ELearning Market Update December 2010

As we enter the last month of 2010, two new reports on the elearning market have been published, one from the American Society of Training Development and the other from the UK’s Learning Light.

The 2010 State of the Industry Report just released by the American Society for Training and Development looks at all aspects of the US corporate training market. The report estimates that total expenditure on training in 2009 was $125.88 billion which was down 6.1 percent from the 2008 figure of $134.07 billion. The average expenditure per employee though was marginally up at $1,081, up 1.2 percent from 2008.

The good news for those in the elearning market was that 27.7 percent of all formal learning hours made available in 2009 were online, up from 23 percent in 2008. 37 percent of all training hours involved electronic technology in 2009, the highest level since ASTD began collecting data on the use of technology for this report 14 years ago.

The report notes that “a tough economic climate tends to favor the use of elearning to improve efficiency. Technology-based learning content can be centralized and easily accessed by learners any time, regardless of schedule or geographic location.” ASTD note a dramatic reduction in face-to-face interaction which was down to 59 percent. Pat Galagan, ASTD executive editor commented "there is a lot of blended electronic and classroom. It's a general trend."

This is confirmed by Josh Bersin, president and CEO of Bersin Associates, who has commenting on the trend toward increased use of technology for learning, and noting that between 35 percent to 40 percent of all training hours are now done electronically. Bersin’s research estimates that in 2008 and 2009, training expenditures dropped 11 percent in each year. “A lot of that reduction came in halting instructor-led training, cancelling travel and a shift to technology-based training," says Bersin. The firm's Corporate Learning Factbook 2010 surveyed 1,402 training professionals in 2009. Josh Bersin gave a very useful insight into the elearning market and the need for cultural change to achieve high impact learning at last week’s Online Educa conference in Berlin.You can see Josh's presentation here.

In November Learning Light in the UK published its estimates for the European elearning market. The report estimates that, in 2010, the UK elearning market will grow by “no more that 4.76% on the 2009 figure”. You can download the summary report.

At Kineo we continue to feel confident of strong growth in the demand for elearning as companies see the benefits can be derived such as speed of deployment, consistency, performance improvement and cost reduction. If you need evidence that elearning delivers real business benefits then look at our case studies such as our recent award winning M&S case study which delivered tangible and measurable benefits in performance and cost reduction.

By Steve Rayson