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Becky Norman


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Fosway’s Digital Learning Realities Research 2019: Interim results revealed


Ahead of presenting Fosway’s interim results on day one of Learning Technologies 2019, David Perring, Fosway’s Director of Research, spoke to TrainingZone about some of the findings that have particularly caught his eye.

With approximately 800 L&D practitioners having already taken part in the survey, Fosway has gained good insight into how the results are panning out and evolving from 2018’s report. As is tradition, David Wilson, Founder and CEO of Fosway, alongside David Perring, Director of Research, held a session at Learning Technologies 2019 to provide a snapshot of the stand-out findings to date.

For those who missed the presentation, here are a few of the most illuminating results so far…

Where is L&D on the digital transformation journey?

The first, and perhaps least surprising, point David Perring highlighted (given that things don’t tend to change much in 12 months) is that the interim results to the question, ‘Where is your organisation in its journey with digital transformation?’ are very much the same as last year’s findings. Around 70% answered ‘In progress’ – a purposefully broad option encompassing those at the very early stages of transition through to those at implementation, testing and evaluation stages.

In answer to the same question, 5% have completed – or as David Perring quipped “think they have completed” – transformation. The point being that transformation is a continuous process and these 5% have likely just finished one phase of their transformation process.

Are L&D practitioners happy with their learning platforms?

Shifting the focus towards learning technology solutions, only around one third of respondents believe their learning platforms are fit for the modern workforce. With the majority (50%) of L&D practitioners stating that their current tools are insufficient for today’s work climate, David Perring poses a fair question: “Why do we buy technology that doesn’t work for us?”

His theory is that we focus too much on how the functionality offered by a particular vendor’s learning solution will advance our transformation efforts, when what makes transformation successful is a focus on people – on contextualising the technology, piloting it and proving that it brings value to the workforce.

“Buyers beware” warns Perring. The evidence shows that this technology trance is an easy trap to fall into.

How is the L&D industry doing with measuring learning impact?

Terribly. Only 14% of respondents so far are effectively measuring the impact of learning, while around half are ineffectively doing so and a third not measuring impact at all.

The L&D industry is far behind in proving its worth to the wider business. By not providing hard evidence of how learning is adding value on an individual, team or organisational level, practitioners are missing a huge opportunity to gain recognition of their contribution to the organisation and much-needed investment for future learning.  

How are L&D professionals coping with a diverse range of digital learning tools?

Most companies have yet to find a digital learning platform that successfully fulfils all their needs. L&D professionals are therefore faced with the difficulty of managing a number of systems and tools – such as content authoring systems, an LMS, social or collaborative learning tools, MOOCs and virtual classrooms.

David Perring highlights that one of the biggest challenges L&D face is stitching together these multiple, fragmented learning systems to create meaningful experiences for our learners.

How will we overcome this in the future? He believes chabots will become a viable solution, offering a consistent point of content that will helps users efficiently navigate through the various ecosystems.

A manifesto for learning

To finish on a positive note, the top growth areas for digital learning show promise that L&D is headed in the right direction. Perring sees these areas of focus – blended learning (74%), video (74%), user-generated (64%), microlearning (59%) and performance support (56%) – as a manifesto for modern learning for today’s L&D professionals.

Not yet had the chance to complete Fosway’s survey? There’s still time to have your say in 2019’s Digital Learning Realities Research.


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Becky Norman

Managing Editor

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