E-learning Goes Everywhere

Enterprise Learning’s New Frontiers: Mobile Learning, Virtual Worlds, 3-D Simulations, Serious Games For the second consecutive year, a Web-based survey conducted by Elearning! and Government Elearning! magazines points to increased consumption of e-learning among corporate (enterprise/private) and government (public) organizations alike. In the study, 93 percent of the 740 total respondents indicated that they have an active e-learning initiative. Of those who do not, all — 100 percent — plan to implement such an initiative in the near future. The industry profile of users has changed dramatically in just one year, with service industries now accounting for 81 percent of respondents. Other interesting statistics gleaned from the survey: >> Sixty-nine percent of training hours are being conducted outside of the traditional classroom-based, face-to-face format. >> Use of e-learning, blended or virtual methods has grown 10 percentage points in just the past year, now accounting for 54 percent of all training hours. In the government sector, that number is 50 percent. >> Instructor-led classroom-based learning is on the decline in both the enterprise and government sectors. >> Customer service in both the enterprise and government sectors is fast becoming one of the most important reasons for increased training efforts. >> E-learning tools and services are generally being more widely used than ever. >> Mobile learning is gaining in popularity: 35 percent of all corporate respondents plan to purchase such tools or services in 2010, while only 18 percent currently use it. That’s an incredible increase of 194 percent year-to-year. To illustrate these points and others, we’ve listed results from last year’s survey alongside this year’s results, where applicable. Respondents who identified themselves as working in an enterprise/corporate setting plan to spend $1.46 million on e-learning initiatives in 2010, a whopping 30.4% increase from 2009. Instructor-led classroom-based learning is falling in popularity among all corporations. Six percent fewer professionals report being involved in this kind of traditional learning. Social learning is slightly down: 6% among corporate respondents. Enterprises indicated that they spend up to 74% of their total training hours in e-learning, online meetings or blended methods. Not surprisingly, the organizations that use e-learning, online meetings or blended methods less than 5% are on the decline: minus 8%. Compliance remained No. 1 among all training priorities, but customer service training jumped three levels to No. 2. Other categories that have risen in priority are product training (up to No. 4 from No. 6), professional/industry training (up to No. 5 from No. 8) and sales and marketing training (up to No. 7 from No. 9). These trends are an indication that development of front line personnel and managers are top priorities in 2010/2011. For corporations, employees that touch customers or impact revenue are top training priorities. Since learning measurement is a key component in today’s learning organizations, all 100% of respondents are measuring impact. Employee feedback (75%) and testing (73%) are the top methods used to measure learning in the corporate sector. Respondents use a full range of solutions. Significant growth from 2009 usage rates was reported for social networks and collaborative work spaces (plus 19 points each), off-the-shelf content (plus 17 points), blogs and forums (plus 15 points), and Web conferencing (plus 13 points). Yet other numbers from the survey indicate that use of virtual worlds, 3-D simulations and games is growing. Though virtual worlds are used by only 6%, 15% plan to purchase them — a 250% increase. Interest in 3-D simulations shows a 95% increase and interest in serious games shows a 111% increase. Among corporate/enterprise respondents, management titles accounted for 64% of responses versus just 53% in 2009. High-ranking HR, training, performance and development officers accounted for the largest portion of respondents, 31%. Non-management HR/trainer-type positions ranked second at 24%. Overall, 35% of respondents were non-management versus 47% in 2009. Despite a challenging 2009, organizations have continued to invest in employee, customer and channel learning and development. The tighter budgets resulted in higher demand for fast, affordable, yet engaging training options. We saw a significant increase in virtual instructor-led training, as well as a significant increase in social learning and collaboration across all enterprises. We expect, even after the economy rebounds, organizations will continue to leverage enterprise-wide learning solutions to drive performance, build management talent, and create bridges to customers and suppliers. If your organization has not fully embraced the wide range of collaboration and learning technologies, start.

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