Building IT capabilities: Learning by doing

  • Carte T
  • Dharmasiri A
  • Perera T
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Abstract

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are ubiquitous in much of the developed world. With the growing interest in business process outsourcing, further deployment of these technologies in developing countries is a valuable economic development tool. Unfortunately, digital inequity, stemming from shortcomings in National Information Infrastructure as well as lack of IT skills, language barriers, and illiteracy often constrain ICT adoption and use in developing countries. The case study presented here focuses on an e-learning initiative within Sri Lanka. A key government ministry selected 150 of its employees for inclusion in a hybrid learning post-graduate diploma program in public administration. While this program does not focus on teaching information technology skills, its hybrid context provides the added benefit of developing technology skills among participants. We followed the participants of the program from start to finish. Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative data, we found that over the course of the program, participants became more aware of Internet availability and female participants displayed improvements in computer self-efficacy. These results suggest hybrid learning programs, such as the one studied may indeed serve to simultaneously deliver content and improve IT skills and awareness. © 2011 Commonwealth Secretariat.

Author-supplied keywords

  • computer self-efficacy
  • content-based instruction
  • digital inequity
  • e-learning
  • technology adoption

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Authors

  • Traci A. Carte

  • Ajantha Dharmasiri

  • Travis Perera

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