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E-learning – predictions for 2003


We asked your for your expectations, hopes and fears for training in 2003. Sue Harley, Managing Director of IQdos, offers her predictions. If you would like to share your hopes, fears or expectations for the coming year in training, email us.


As a trainer and consultant, I became very excited about e-Learning when I was asked to do a "blended" programme a few years ago. I thought it would herald a much needed wake-up call for the industry to reconsider how best to construct and deliver learning and training within organisations. Unfortunately a lot of the early e-Learning promotion was about benefits in cost savings and measurement, which totally missed the most important point - the learner.

My prediction for 2003 is that the learner and "trainer" will start to receive the attention they deserve. This will significantly improve the design, interactivity and, let's hope, levels of engagement and fun in e-Learning. Just as in ILT and the "classroom", it is not necessarily the leading expert but the most engaging and, dare I say, entertaining trainer that gets the best results.

New Products

Other significant changes are that e-Learning will be more involved with business critical issues and be able to demonstrate how it saves time and delivers increased productivity. This will provide excellent opportunities for trainers to achieve higher status and recognition for their contributions to organisational objectives. This change will also increase the in-house abilities to perform all the resourcing and expertise to provide professional quality bespoke e-Learning.

The growth of a DIY approach will mean that all Subject Matter Experts will easily be able to design and build their own programmes to distribute expertise and know-how. This will make the boundaries between learning, training and knowledge management disappear. The whole process of knowledge, ideas and skill exchange will become more fluid, creative and in some cases make formal training the last resort as other methods of learning are explored.

Less Popular Products

Products that are getting less popular are "stand alone" Learning Management Systems. The initial rush and perceived necessity was unfortunately sometimes matched by over promising and undelivering. This, combined with the expense and time involved for implementing an LMS, made customers cautious about buying. The main exceptions were the very large corporations and institutes who have a global agenda for consistency, etc. Many customers are now buying LMS or LCMS from their IT suppliers such as Oracle, SAP and PeopleSoft, ensuring minimum integration issues and hoping for better return on investment.

Trends with Training Industry

The main trend we are experiencing in this economic climate is the imperative to make sure that training spend is worthwhile and can provide measurable benefits to the business. We are being asked to provide more ways to measure and add value to any training that is conducted.

Another trend is more acceptance and preference for one to one coaching, especially at middle and senior level, rather than send people on courses.

A further trend is the need for people to take responsibility for their own development and performance improvements. This trend will continue as training needs are evaluated against how they support key organisational objectives and the competencies required both currently and for the future. These are good principles in any economic climate and the careful measurement of budget and development priorities will continue to be the focus throughout 2003.

Sue Harley
Managing Director


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