Despite the recognized need for appropriate management of intellectual capital [Wriston, 1992] the majority of organizations face the enormous challenge of supporting their employees' thirst for expanding their skill-base. As a result, universities and organizations are currently collaborating to implement successful training and learning programmes in order to develop employee skills and knowledge in both IT and managerial issues such as knowledge management (K.M). For this reason, as early as 1993, University College Cork introduced a diploma in Credit Union studies to provide professional training for a range of credit union personnel including full-time staff, directors, and volunteers. The course is designed on a distance-learning model and has been supported, to date, by a tutorial-system in regional centers. However, students identified a need for more support, the type that only a virtual learning environment can provide. This research study is focused on the development of an interactive learning environment to mentor distance learners. The case study indicates a strong requirement for the utilization of such an environment to both increase support for and collaboration between the distance learners. We conclude that a structured communication system has the potential to eliminate the barriers imposed by the traditional classroom.
Neville, Karen; Adam, Frederic; and McCormack, Colin, "Mentoring Distance Learners: An Action Research Study" (2002). ECIS 2002 Proceedings. 56.