Hansen, D. J. (2003). Book review: E-Learning: Strategies for Delivering Knowledge in the Digital Age (Author: M. Rosenberg). Educational Technology & Society, 6(3), 80-81 (ISSN 1436-4522)

E-Learning: Strategies for Delivering Knowledge in the Digital Age

(Book review)

Reviewer: Diane J. Hanson
2137 Morningside Ct NE
St. Cloud, MN  56304 USA

Book details:
E-Learning: Strategies for Delivering Knowledge in the Digital Age
Marc Rosenberg
2001, The McGraw Hill Companies, Inc, P.O. Box 182604, Columbus, OH 43272, USA
ISBN 0-07-136268-1, 344 pp


In a famous (and personal favorite) book solicitously bestowed on many wide-eyed graduates in this nation, Dr. Seuss (Seuss, 1990) invites one to be open to the possibilities of the universe through this wonderful phrase: “Oh, the places you’ll go!”  The path of e‑learning is taking on some likenesses in that journey of exploration as well.  As in life, no one predicted that the path would show itself easily or that the road traveled would be free of bumps along the way.  Marc Rosenberg, author of E-Learning: Strategies for Delivering Knowledge in the Digital Age (McGraw-Hill, 2001), gives one some markers to use in establishing an e-learning culture and in assessing the ROI necessary to make e-learning a valued means to enhance the company’s vision for responsiveness in the marketplace.  As a leading figure in the world of training and performance improvement, Rosenberg’s insightfulness in articulating strategies for digital learning is welcoming.

Online training is here as a viable mode of instruction according to Rosenberg.  However, he reminds us that training packages should not be replications of stand-up training.  Structure can vary, but the learners’ needs and the learning situation should always be foremost in the minds of the training professional.  Not all corporations are ready to deliver training by digital means.  Success depends on support in a variety of ways considering several factors: the readiness and openness of a culture to share information in a comprehensive manner, the readiness of management to invest resources in developing a robust infrastructure, and the readiness of trainers to design learner-centered curriculum along an ever-expanding continuum of employee needs.

Rosenberg identifies knowledge management as a key in creating a culture for e-learning.  E-learning and knowledge management are separate processes from training.  In speaking of knowledge management, he stresses that support to move in the learning-through-technology direction must be championed by management—especially front-line managers must be on board for success to be realized.  Building intellectual capital and investing early on not only in the job performance of each employee, but also in the potential of that employee through learning opportunities is tantamount.  An effective knowledge management system not only provides a vehicle to share information, but also builds a community of learners.  The employee can use their computer to view company policies, access forms, distribute information among colleagues, share stories, access expertise of respected sages, trouble shoot, gain up-to-the-minute advice, teach, coach, and customize one’s training needs.  The author stressed the importance of building a culture of learning where learning is perceived and used as a natural piece of one’s job.  Rosenberg, in Chapter 7, provides us with markers (indicators) that help one recognize whether a culture of learning is being birthed.  A successful strategy involves developing a receptive culture toward e-learning and technology, getting key players on board, communicating its value, and leading through the change.

This book is organized into three major areas.  The first part helps the reader understand the possibilities that the e-learning experience offers in terms of relating information and instruction as vehicles to develop and preserve intellectual capital.  Part two addresses the advantages of building a knowledge management system as a tool for learning, for sharing information, for archival of information, and for integrating learning functions within organizations.  Part three helps one evaluate their organization for readiness to implement and sustain online learning.  These chapters pose clues to assessing readiness, recognizing pitfalls and potential, developing strategic alignment with organizational goals, and mounting focused efforts toward sustainability.

The book is speckled with anecdotal glimpses supplied by leading training professionals who share their successful and sometimes not-so-successful encounters in leading organizations on an online learning journey.  Anyone who is concerned with initiating a technology-based form of training whether big or little in preliminary concept should read this book.  Although this book should not be thought of as a recipe or cookbook for success in implementing an e-learning strategy, Rosenberg provides the necessary tools to use in doing one’s homework before beginning. He presents focused, targeted questions that training professionals must answer candidly and reflectively before proceeding with an e-learning solution directed toward performance training.  So,

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!



Seuss (1990). Oh, the places you’ll go!  New York: Random House, Inc.


Copyright message

Copyright by the International Forum of Educational Technology & Society (IFETS). The authors and the forum jointly retain the copyright of the articles. Permission to make digital or hard copies of part or all of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear the full citation on the first page. Copyrights for components of this work owned by others than IFETS must be honoured. Abstracting with credit is permitted. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers, or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee. Request permissions from the editors at kinshuk@massey.ac.nz.