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Journal Article

A Web Based Intelligent Training System for SMEs  pp39-48

Roisin Mullins, Yanqing Duan

© Mar 2007 Volume 5 Issue 1, ECEL 2006, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp1 - 86

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It is widely accepted that employees in small business suffer from a lack of knowledge and skills. This lack of skills means that small companies will miss out on new business opportunities. This is even more evident with respect to the adoption of Internet marketing in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). This paper reports a pilot research project TRIMAR, which aims to develop a web‑based intelligent training system to aid small business employees in their learning and decision‑making regarding the use of the Internet as a new marketing medium. TRIMAR attempts to contribute to the wider debate on the content and style of training most suitable to small businesses. It aims to identify the training needs of small businesses for Internet marketing at a pan‑European level and to seek the most effective ways to address training and support needs with web‑based systems. Based on training needs analysis carried out within five European countries: UK, Germany, Poland, Slovak Republic and Portugal, a web based system for gaining Internet marketing knowledge and skills was constructed. The system consists of three major subsystems: Self Assessment Tool (SAT), Training Modules (TM), and a Case Retrieval System (CRS). Various users through an online questionnaire tested the system. The initial feedback revealed that the case base training approach delivered on the Internet provided a highly appropriate training medium for SMEs.


Keywords: intelligent web-based training, Internet marketing, SMEs, training needs analysis, case based reasoning


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