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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

E-Learning Seen as Bright Spot in Training Industry

As recently announced by Bersin & Associates, in the United States, corporate learning and development (L&D) expenditures dropped by more than 11 % in 2008. It seems likely that the cuts are will continue in 2009. The organization continues to report that the spending has fallen from $1,202 per learner in 2007 to $1,075 per learner in 2008. Training staff resources are also dropping: Companies overall averaged 3.4 training staffers per 1,000 learners, down from 5.1 per 1,000 in 2007.

However, there may be an e-learning bright spot. I have heard from alumni, colleagues and others in the field that expenditures for e-learning actually seem to be on the rise or are holding steady. I've heard of a couple of organizations that have "outlawed" travel but are now focused on e-learning to meet learning needs of employees.

E-learning is being seen as a way of providing training to employees even though it is cost prohibitive for the large gatherings of employees to get together for training because of travel related costs.

One colleague told me she is hearing that synchronous learning is picking up because organizations were "headed in that direction anyway" but the current economic situation has accelerated the movement.

So, one bright spot in the economy may be an increase in e-learning.
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7 comments:

Blogger In Middle-earth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Kia ora Karl

While I don't deny that "e-learning is being seen as a way of providing training to employees . . . ", I wonder if it's the age-old idea that elearning is a cheap and easy way to deliver training that's causing this to be proposed as a way to 'sort' the training cost problem.

The suggestion that synchronous e-learning may be the way to go also seems a bit suspect, considering that the benefit of (good) elearning is that it can be conveniently asynchronous.

Clive Shepherd's Same Old Story covered this last year. Shepherd's clear recommendation was for blended learning in an organisation.

If times are hard, the most efficient way possible to deliver (or give access to) training makes economic sense - every which way.

Catchya later
from Middle-earth

Jon Aleckson said...

Our small shop of 14 custom eLearning developers has seen a significant increase in potential projects. Incoming requests to respond to proposals has increased by 150% over the same time last year.

S Rosler said...

Ever since my first evaluation copy of Captivate, I've told the folks here to trust me on this (and it's worked thus far), as four years later my original 'tenets', if you will, hold true: CBT works for three reasons: (a) It's cheap, (b) it's portable, and (c) it's asynchronous.

More and more, with organizations' purse strings being tighter and tighter, the answer that's been logical to 'us' for so long is finally starting to sink in to the rest of the world...

Anonymous said...

You comment with biz. there has been cuts. Do you think L&D in Gov. has been reduced as well? what effects can one have on the other if any?

Karl Kapp said...

I think one of the advantages of e-learning is that it can be done either synchronous or asynchronous which makes it flexible and easy to configure unlike face-to-face instruction which requires both space and time convergence.

While much learning can happen with asynchronous tools, I think another way to think of Blended learning is synchronous and asynchronous as well as face-to-face and online.

Thanks for the insights into the increases in e-learning, glad to hear some elements of the economy are doing well. A 150% increase is a nice bright light in a sea of darkness.

In terms of reducing in Government, I say "Yes" one state agency we deal with has stopped all state travel. No travel to any training events. Other agencies are confronted with similar restrictions some formal and some "informal."

We are also dealing with some social agencies that see online learning as an alternative to stand up instruction both because of an attempt to reduce costs and to save time. If they spend all their time training, they have little time to provide needed services.

Thanks everyone for your comments! You've sparked a lot of thought.

rani gill said...

Karl - I concur that people are moving to eLearning as a result of the downturn. Have seen this happen with a former employer.

The difference from 2001 & the last downturn is that people are just a heck of lot more familiar with technology -- or more willing to use it. And there much more cooler stuff now!

Second Life and virtual worlds are still a little "out-there" and have a can pose technological hurdles (firewalls, install, ease of use) -- but that may change.

The challenge, I think, is how we create compelling designs. Most corporations have top-down, industrial view of what/how learners should learn. Does that conflict with how the technology encourages us to learn (twitter, blogs, wikis)?