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Elearning effectiveness in doubt


Over half of learning and development managers (57%) now offer elearning as part of their training provision. But there are doubts about its effectiveness, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s annual learning and development survey.

When asked to list the top three most effective training practices, only seven per cent of respondents mentioned elearning.

For respondent organisations using elearning, it is on average available to 60% of employees, but taken up by only half of them. And only 30% are reported as completing courses.

The issues of elearning are clearly defined: almost all organisations agree elearning is more effective when combined with other forms of learning (95%) and that it demands a new attitude on the part of the learner (92%).

Martyn Sloman, learning and development adviser, CIPD, says:

“Eleaning is here to stay: over the last decade it has become a permanent feature of the training and learning landscape. However, we still have a long way to go to embed it effectively in the organisation. It’s clear from our survey that it is still not fully appreciated by learners or by training managers.

“Simply saying we support blended learning solutions is not enough. We must work much harder to integrate elearning into broader learning and performance support activities. The best organisations are doing this, but the worst are simply making elearning available to the individual on their PC and hoping that something will happen as a result. Elearning is about learning not technology.

“Businesses need to remember that technology is there to support people management and development strategies, not replace them.”

Despite elearning apprehension from both employers and employees, elearning usage continues to rise: nearly half(48%) agree it’s been the most important development in training in the last few years and almost one third (29%) say that in the next three years between 25-50% of all training will be delivered remotely.

Not surprisingly, large employers are more likely to use e-learning: organisations with more than 5000 employees have an uptake of 79%, whereas those with less than 250 have a 39% uptake. Possibly due to the government endorsements of elearning in the Leitch report, there is also an overwhelmingly larger amount of public sector organisations that use e-learning (82%) compared with the private sector (49%).

For more details of the elearning part of the CIPD's annual survey, look out for our feature, written by Martyn Sloman, which will appear on site and in our emailed bulletin tomorrow.


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