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The local industries in Bahrain seek to access educated, competent and capable Bahraini talents. However, the Universities fail to align quality education to the development of human talent to meet their demands. This is attributed to the inability of the institutions of higher learning to enhance students' pedagogic experience. The abilities to comprehend a problem; develop a solution, analyse outcomes and draw inferences are adversely impacted. A disconnect between the teaching-learning initiatives of the Universities and framework propounded by Bloom (1956) is visible. The overt reliance on conventional educational system culminates in the inefficient deepening and design of curriculum; class room over crowding; one way communication; and ineffective formative and summative assessments. The adoption of such a weak educational system deprives the students of mentoring, resulting in lack of interaction. This de-motivates them to learn, explore and reason retarding the endowment of skill, competence and capabilities, discouraging the employers to consider them as prospective employees. Labour market efficiency is hampered, emphasising the dependence of Bahraini businesses on the expatriate workforce. The short-term nature of their appointment precludes viable manpower planning. This scenario arises due to the dearth of educated and trained Bahrainis.
The above problem justifies the adoption of e-learning, comprising of virtual class rooms, online black board, multimedia, mobile learning, web based learning etc that facilitate ease of access to meaningful education (Cox et al, 2003). This is related to two way interaction, exploration and assimilation of knowledge transferred by the mentors (Howell, 2001). The resultant motivation to learn is further enhanced by the opportunity to gauge the learning outcomes immediately. This elevates the desire to acquire deeper knowledge, accentuating comprehension; strengthening application; accelerating analytical and reasoning skills. These represent dynamic capabilities that elevate the competence to predict an outcome; and enhancing judgement, mirroring the views of Hennessy et al (2003).
E-learning, however, does not guarantee the students' learning excellence automatically. It hinges on the adoption of quality management initiatives, involving institutional and program enrichment by the Universities. They impact curriculum design and development favorably. Additionally the sourcing, training and retaining of teachers, mentors and coaches are ensured. These factors contribute to the effectiveness of course delivery, enhancing the students' pedagogic experience. This necessitates an analysis of the link between adoption of quality assurance standards in e-learning and availability of efficient human resource in Bahrain.
In the above context, this paper examines the correlation between quality assurance standards in e-learning and the availability of efficient human resource in Bahraini firms. This impact analysis explains why the education delivery strategy improves educational excellence, benefiting the pedagogic experiences of students, enhancing their dynamic capabilities to manage tasks effectively. This facilitates manpower planning.
2.0. Quality Driven E-learning and Knowledge Enhancement
In view of this it is important to explain why quality driven e-learning influences knowledge endowment positively. This entails a study of the underlying factors of quality standards that impact the students' motivation to learn and acquire knowledge, competence etc. They help to decipher the extent to which quality centred internet based education enriches human capital, representing favourable pedagogic outcome, propounded by Thielemann, Garcia and Chen (2003). An interpretation of Condie and Munro (2007) and Peled (2000) explains the correlation between quality, e-learning, dynamic capability and manpower planning. When the e-learning system is founded on the principles of purposeful give and take between teachers and students, the urge of the latter to learn and acquire knowledge easily are magnified. A quality standard brings to the centre stage of e-learning system, a concern for students, their learning outcomes, including performance improvement of instructional practices. It denotes a departure from a vast majority of authors, like Ally (2004), Beetham (2004), Czerniewicz et al (2006) and Hall et al (2003), who use weak arguments to justify the benefits of Information & Communication Technology (ICT) application in teaching and learning excellence, linked to a weak theoretical foundation based on Bloom's (1956) or Renzulli's (1977) frameworks, over reliance on technology and the wrong assumption that it can circumvent all the complexities of pedagogic demands.
On the other hand, the frameworks propounded by Quality Assurance Agency (1999a, 1999b), Glover and Miller (2001), Howell (2001) and Lister (2002) reveal that quality education delivery improves uninterrupted learning and knowledge renewal, magnifying intellectual prowess to innovate new ideas and new ways of doing things (Friedman, 2000, Jarvis et al, 2003). Quality management in e-learning is known to enrich the core competencies of teachers, mentors etc, enhance pedagogical reasoning skills that elevate e-learning outcomes in a university. As result the views of the above researchers find favour in the context of educational enrichment in Bahrain.
3.0. Quality Driven E-learning and Human Resource Endowment
The decision to integrate quality with e-learning heightens students' pedagogical experience, resulting in human resource endowment. A study of the features of quality standards explains why they influence the students' motivation to acquire knowledge, skill, competence etc, denoted as dynamic capabilities. It is important to note that effective teaching and learning can not be ensured by mere adoption of Bloom's (1956) framework and ICT. The utility of their delivery depends on the adoption of quality centred processes that help to tailor programs with clear aims and objectives culminating in the students' competence and capability enrichment. These strengthen the proficiency to attain organization management efficiency and readiness to assume responsibility in the job market, which allows an organizations to plan, recruit, nurture and place talents effectively.
Hence a correlation exists between university wide total quality intervention and learning enrichment. An interpretation of Nelson (2002) and Pawlowski (2004) explains that it strengthens program quality and delivery. This impacts the students' proficiency to apply ideas and concepts to differentiate, organize and attribute meanings to relationships, for example inflation and contraction of market size etc. These represent the students' transformation, illustrating when teaching-learning policies, planning and management are duly supplemented by resource investment in ICT infrastructure; electronic instructional materials; and information management system, they attain higher professional goals (Gurr, 2001).
Thus the utility of quality centred e-learning relates to the enhancement of human talent development that magnifies innovation and creativity to solve business problems, representing students' professional readiness (Moon, 1999, Sirat and Kaur, 2007). The timely availability of such talents improves manpower planning in companies.
4.0. Quality Assurance Standards in E-learning and Talent Endowment
Hunan talent is enhanced by quality centred e-learning that supplements manpower planning in the Bahraini companies. In this respect it is essential to understand which quality standard elevates the students' learning. It is also important to examine why a specific quality standard impacts learning that is the foundation of knowledge and competence. The value of a quality standard is judged by its proficiency to support quality indicators, such as institutional commitment; ICT usage etc.
An interpretation of Economic Development Board (2007) explains that the majority of the standards with the exception of Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA) are rigid. They do not suit the demands for educational quality transformation in a country like Bahrain with weak education management. However, the quality experts in AUQA modify the standard to suit the prevailing realities here, facilitating the reform of the universities for educational enrichment. In principle, the value of a standard can be judged when an expert tests it (Gurr, 2001). Testing helps feedback (IEQ, 1999). The effectiveness of AUQA can also be attributed to this, signifying its efficiency to strengthen human talent endowment.
Finally, it maximises the effectiveness of e-learning, elevating knowledge, competence and capabilities. Relating these to Mitchell (2003) and Sutherland et al (2003), shows that the students' teaching and learning enrichment culminates in dynamic capability enhancement. As a result, its adoption enriches e-learning processes that elevate purposeful learning experience and supports students from diverse backgrounds (Alig-Mielcarek, 2003, Renzulli, 1998). They mirror the views of Andrew (2003), Gardner et al (2001), Renzulli (1977) and Renzulli and Reis (1997b) who state that a quality driven e-learning initiative facilitates the adoption of curricula that reflect leading-edge theory and practices, improving approaches to teaching, learning and assessment continuously.
5.0. AUQA and Learning Improvement in Bahrain
The above outcomes are influenced by AUQA, heightening the pedagogic experience of the students in the Universities in Bahrain. The elevation of their pedagogic experience signifies acceleration of knowledge and dynamic capabilities. These strengthen their skills and abilities to communicate, take decisions, solve problems etc. The development such capabilities improve their employability.
In this context it is relevant to examine the utility of AUQA in terms of participation, transparency, familiarity, openness, suitability, harmonization, integrated methodology, quality and measurability. Secondly its utility can also be attributed to a wide coverage of activities in a university. Their internalization beyond the assessment of student learning sensitizes the mentor, coaches etc in the universities to pay adequate attention to diverse factors. These include academic staff qualifications; course duration; and course content etc. These relate to the views of Gray (2002) and James et al (2002). Finally, such student centred initiative heightens the students' quality consciousness, magnifying their dynamic capabilities to contribute positively in their work places (Eisenhardt and Martin, 2000, Eisner, 2000). The consequent development of the students represents talent endowment (Gentry et al, 1995, Jarvis et al, 2003). This emphasises its role to enhance intellectual capital, representing learning, knowledge endowment etc (Newmann et al, 1995, Robertson, 2003). The role of the quality standard to ensure the availability of quality manpower, enabling the companies to source them is significant. However, a deeper analysis is needed to find out why internalization of AUQA improves the students' dynamic capabilities to tailor unique solutions, enhancing the availability of talents in Bahrain.
Further, it enables Bahrain's Quality Assurance Authority (QAA) to monitor e-learning initiatives of the universities. Relating the reports of Economic Development Board (EDB) in 2005 and 2007 to Barker (2007), Condie and Munro (2007), Dzinkowski (2000), Eisenhardt and Martin (2000) and Sutherland et al (2003), explains why the standard improves effectiveness of e-education, representing the students' ease of use, elevating motivation to explore, accentuating engagement.
6.0. Methodology of the Study
The study adopts 'Triangulation' to establish the relationship between quality centred e-learning and availability of efficient human resource in Bahrain. It facilitates the prediction of any external reality, explaining a phenomenon, such as the relationship that enriches teaching-learning; knowledge, competence and capabilities of Bahraini students in the Universities. It helps to adopt a predefined stance towards the phenomenon being investigated, expressing the results in value-neutral, scientific language; and allowing one to move beyond ordinary and subjective descriptions (Kervin, 1999). These result in universal and accurate statements about the phenomenon being studied. It facilitates the attainment of knowledge about the independent reality that may be accepted by reasonable people.
The adoption of mixed methodology, supplemented by in-depth interviews and questionnaire administration, helps to relate the analysis of responses to that of data. This explains how the adoption of quality assurance standards in e-learning elevates the dynamic capabilities of the Bahraini students, improving supply of competent manpower in the market. The availability of qualified employees strengthens planning in Bahraini industries. To facilitate analysis, the 'Survey Research' is used to gather responses of the respondents with the help of in-depth interviews and questionnaire administration. It helps to describe the subject, enumerates objects, beliefs, attitudes, behaviour of the respondents, i.e students, professors, mentors etc, elevating the understanding of the relationship between the adoption of quality assurance standards in e-learning and employment of Bahrainis in the local companies (Remenyi, et al. 1998). The study will analyse the perceptions of the following respondents -
Educational Policy Makers
Ministry of Education
Higher Education Council
Bahrain business leaders
The above is attained with the help of Stratified Random Sampling. This facilitates in-depth interviews of the business leaders and educational experts to gather responses and questionnaire administration on all others to collect the data. They help the examination of the association.
It may be noted from the above that the research methodology is mixed, which facilitates the validation of data and responses. This is attained by relating the results of 't-test' to that of response analysis, which helps to examine the relationship. However, the study is confined to an analysis of responses of a limited number of teachers; students, educational administrators etc in Bahrain. It may be too small for the elimination of relative risk, impairing valid generalization. Further, the study is context specific and may not necessarily be found in the other situations.
A relevant learning environment is denoted by the abilities of the universities to deliver knowledge to the students, accentuating their competence and capabilities. Conventional learning relies on face to face communication that does not maximize their pedagogic experience. An off-site educational initiative like e-learning delivers valuable learning experiences. This is due to the students' improved access, interactivity, engagement through computer-based learning, web-based learning etc. These accentuate the interaction between students and teachers, heightening the interest to learn. To elevate teaching and leaning effectiveness in the universities in Bahrain, the Ministry of Education (MOE) adopts a standard customized by Australian University Quality Assurance Agency (AUQA). The results of the study explain how the application of the standard helps the educational institutions to manage students and ensure uninterrupted learning. These improve the students' knowledge and competence to innovate new solutions. This ability to deliver new solutions represents the students' readiness to enter the job market in a country, rendering a Bahraini company's manpower planning effective.