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Exploring barriers to effective e‐learning: case study of DNPA

Fenio Annansingh (Plymouth Business School, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK)
Ali Bright (Plymouth Business School, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK)

Interactive Technology and Smart Education

ISSN: 1741-5659

Article publication date: 13 April 2010




The purpose of this paper is to discuss a case study which examines and analyses a information communication technology training programme conducted using an e‐learning platform at the Dartmoor National Park Authority, UK.


The research adopted a mixed method approach which involved the use of questionnaires and semi‐structured interviews. Data analysis for the survey was accomplished using descriptive statistics and cross‐tabulation, while the interviews utilised coding and data structuring.


The results indicate that an analysis of user's needs prior to training is essential. This should involve both trainee and manager to help ensure their commitment to the training. In addition, the provision of sufficient information prior to training is necessary to allay any concerns trainees may have, likewise mentors should be used to reduce user resistance. Knowledge of the characteristics of trainees would also be useful.

Research limitations/implications

For companies offering an online e‐learning training programme, it is imperative that they identify trainee concerns quite early in order to minimise drop‐out rates and resistance to future training programmes. Further studies need to be conducted on academic qualifications and the likelihood of drop out among trainees.

Practical implications

The paper makes a number of practical recommendations that organisations could use to help mitigate barriers to future e‐learning programmes.


This paper further extends the body of theory on e‐learning and provides new insights into the barriers of e‐learning.



Annansingh, F. and Bright, A. (2010), "Exploring barriers to effective e‐learning: case study of DNPA", Interactive Technology and Smart Education, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 55-65.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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