Some people might read the title of this post and say e-learning never went away…but I think otherwise.
According to Ambient Research, the self-paced e-learning market dropped between 2007 and 2008 probably because of the recession. But in the 2008-2013 forecast, they do predict an increase in e-learning demand across all sizes of business.
When it emerged on the corporate scene years ago, e-learning was new and cool. Companies invested lots of money in creating e-learning programs. At the end of the day, I’m not sure that e-learning was proven enough to demonstrate the initial investment was worth it. At one point, studies were saying employee retention for e-learning was basically the same (or below) classroom learning.
Since e-learning didn’t set the world on fire, it took second place to classroom instruction.
But a lot has changed. The cost to produce video is decreasing. Today’s training programs need to be short and to the point. They need flexibility in terms of scheduling. This is making e-learning a very viable option.
Tom Bunzel published a post at Workshifting blog outlining the reasons online learning is the future. It’s a thought provoking read – you can check it out here. In addition to Tom’s points, here are some things to consider if you’re wondering if e-learning is an option for your company:
Subjects – Short, direct topics can be easily conveyed via e-learning. Examples might be Ethics or Anti-Harassment. It’s important to balance content with keeping the participant’s attention.
Audiences – Participants who are highly mobile or have a lot of flexibility in their schedules would probably enjoy the flexibility that e-learning provides.
Cost – The number of people who will use this training also comes into consideration. The greater number of participants, the lower cost per person.
Relevance – Subjects that change often could be a challenge in e-learning because of constant revisions. Topics that remain fairly evergreen might fare better.
Of course, there’s more to e-learning development and design than just the four factors above. But given the changing face of our corporate environment, e-learning should be given a serious (perhaps second) look.
Image courtesy of izzymunchted