ELearning Market Update – September 2011

Earlier this summer the UK Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development published their latest survey on elearning trends. The survey was based on responses from over 600 learning practitioners; we take a look at the survey results...

The good news is that the continued growth in elearning we have been witnessing at Kineo is confirmed by the survey. 53% of organisations report they have increased their use of elearning in the last 12 months and over 90% of public organisations report they are now using elearning. The figure was only 75% for private sector organisations, but these responses included many smaller organisations with fewer than 250 staff, of whom less than half used elearning.

The report finds – unsurprisingly – that elearning is most commonly used for compliance training. Possibly more of a surprise was the fact one-fifth of organisations say that all their compliance training is delivered by elearning. Hey, other 80% what are you missing?!

Elearning is also used widely for induction and on-boarding with 78% of organisations using elearning in some form.

What was interesting to us is how few organisations reported using elearning in product training. 62% of organisations said they didn’t use elearning at all in the product training. They should read up on some of our case studies to see the benefits that clients such as Nikon are gaining from deploying elearning in this area. Arguably the benefits in product knowledge elearning are as strong, if not stronger, than in compliance.

Whilst the use of elearning continues to grow, there are concerns about embedding elearning and achieving real impact. Take up is still low where organisations make elearning available rather than embed the elearning into a programme. Equally, completion rates remain low where elearning is not deployed as part of a blended solution. We've often said that the hard work is not in the development, but the implementation and engagement around elearning, and we've certainly found that clients who invest in making the programmes land properly, with the right context and support, do fare better.

Reported webinar and virtual classroom usage is lower than we see in our clients, with only 23% using regularly or frequently, but again we suspect it is much higher in larger organisations.

The good news is that 65% believe elearning is either excellent or good value for money. A further 49% felt elearning was good at reducing time to competency. So the business benefits are starting to become more widely acknowledged.

The CIPD report concludes that the significant increase in global interactions taking place in companies “simply cannot be facilitated face to face”. They summarise that technology facilitated learning will be “important in the continued transformation of learning" and that more needs to be done to ensure higher take up and completion rates. The good news is that elearning is no longer novel but “normal practice” and the key question now is how to leverage it to deliver improved performance.

Does that sound like the view in your organisation? Or are you still fighting to get people to pay more attention to the benefits of elearning? Let us know on our ELearning Professionals LinkedIn forum.

By Steve Rayson