Newton, D & Hase, S 2001, ‘How can you learn to drive a dozer online? moving to online learning in the mining industry', in M Wallace, A Ellis & D Newton (eds), Proceedings of Moving Online II: a Conference to explore the challenges for workplaces, colleges and universities, Gold Coast, Qld., 2-4 September, Southern Cross University, Lismore, pp. 190-204.
The implementation of effective online learning in workplaces can challenge corporate priorities, organisational culture, organisational structures and employees. Although there has been great interest in the potential for the use of online learning in workplaces there is limited research into an effective implementation process in Australian industries. This study identified those factors that might influence the effective implementation of online learning approaches in the Australian mining industry. This industry is geographically dispersed comprising competitive companies that have a commitment to training staff in practical skill based competencies in an often physically hazardous environment. Using Grounded Theory as a methodological framework, interviews were conducted with a variety of stakeholders likely to be involved in online learning in the future. The principal factors identified as playing a major role in the future implementation of online learning in the mining industry were: competency standards compliance, corporate priorities, organisational culture, organisational structures, learning opportunities, learner needs and online learning environment. The study demonstrated quite clearly the need to plan the implementation of online learning before the event and the importance of aligning the expectations of all stakeholders.