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Business Schools struggle to get e-learning going, says FT


In a special feature, The Financial Times reports that the e-learning market for management development in the US is suffering a fall-out made more serious by the threat of recession.

The paper reports that despite some warning of the need for caution, some of the many business schools which entered into the e-learning market are beginning to struggle with their delivery. One company, Quisic, which was developing online management programmes for the the University of North Carolina, as well as the London Business School this side of the Atlantic, has cancelled both programmes, having developed just one course programme for the London Business School. Professor Bob Mittelstaedt, vice-dean of execitve education at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, has argued that quality courses are expensive to support in an uncertain market. The Wharton School itself has developed one course on e-commerce together with FTKnowledge which has had little take-up, and has noted problems with video-conferencing as a means of delivery.

The FT does identify success within a more general e-learning field, citing UNext, who've signed a deal to provide General Motors' 88,000 staff with e-learning. Although not a content provider as such, TrainingZONE PressZONE member Thinq has recently signed an agreement to provide access to e-learning materials for the US Navy.

The paper concludes by summarising that most of the big business schools remain confident that e-learning is going to play a continued role in management development, albeit on a more informal basis - the paper quotes Bob Fogel, CEO at Harvard Business School Interactive as saying he expects people to be able to take a management course instead of watching an in-flight video on a long flight.


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