From the standpoint of a magazine that’s always talking and writing about the latest trends in corporate learning/training, it came as a bit of a surprise to us when we tallied the results of this year’s survey of readers.
You would think that social learning (of which mobile learning or m-learning is a part) would be the number one choice among learning professionals for passing on and exchanging corporate knowledge, especially those organizations that have an employee population that travels a lot. But according to our research, fully 40 percent of all training hours are conducted via the traditional instructor-led classroom scenario. E-learning or online methods are certainly competitive with 34 percent of all training hours, and blended learning (traditional ILT plus online training) is also popular with 22 percent of all hours.
Yet those online e-learning numbers are a far cry from what they could — and probably should — be. For all the talk among learning professionals about cutting-edge methodology and technology, those online numbers appear to be lagging.
Perhaps it’s because there’s not a good way to measure how much time employees actually are spending in online training, especially if the learning is self-paced. After all, managers can only take the word of their employees, and it’s only natural to suspect that at least some of that time on line is surfing the Web or not otherwise taking advantage of available training modules.
To hear industry suppliers/vendors talk, virtual classrooms, online meetings and informal social learning are taking off — or at least poised to take off — in popularity. But our most current numbers belie that supposition. Just 25 percent of training hours are self-paced, 19 percent in virtual classrooms or online meetings, and just 10 percent given to social learning. We obviously want to believe our vendors, so we’re assuming that the numbers just haven’t caught up to the actual trends yet. Maybe next year.
For government (including education) and non-profit organizations, the numbers aren’t much different: 41 percent ILT, 33 percent e-learning or online, 23 percent blended learning. And those numbers, too, are somewhat surprising, given the heavy investment that government has been making in telework and information technology.
Certainly, some progressive organizations are making speedy, significant inroads when it comes to e-learning, among them members of our Learning! 100, including Scripps Health, the American Heart Association, the U.S. Department of Defense (especially the Defense Acquisition University), Verizon and others. As their stories are circulated throughout the industry, our hope is that progressive learning methodology — including all e-learning modes — plays a larger and larger role in the overall learning philosophy of more organizations.
To read our original annual research, check out the April/May issue of Elearning! or Government Elearning! magazine. If you don’t get a copy in the mail, the online version is available at http://elmezine.epubxp.com/title/12078.
To find out more about the Learning! 100, visit the website http://2elearning.com/l100/.