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Life for e-learning after September 11th.

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These days managers appear to be just as likely to book training on-line as it is in a classroom. There is no doubt that e-learning has grown in popularity over the past few years and has begun to re-shape the way trainers train. Law firm Clifford Chance estimate e-learning to grow by 96% over the next five years. This is an optimistic statistic however it was recorded before the atrocities of September 11th.

So what exactly is e-learning?
It could mean anything from computer based training to web- based training, using Internet, Intranet, networks etc.. Waller-Wilson Matrix define e-learning as “E-learning is the effective learning process created by combining digitally delivered content with (learning) support and services.”

Prior to September 11th, reports showed a growing demand for e-learning, however traditionally whenever there has been a downturn in the market, training is one of the first budgets to be slashed. E-Learning consultant, Fenella Galpin, suggests that “people think more about the sort of employer they are working for and what that employer can offer them. In order to keep your people you have to give them opportunities. When times are hard you do not want to loose your best staff.”

As the US falls victim to recession, its knock on effect is that managers are scrutinising budgets more than ever. Therefore it seems unlikely to place training as a priority for many agendas.

However there is light at the end of the tunnel. Tim Drewitt from McGraw Hill argues that the need for people to be trained will not go away (recession or no recession). “ a lot of training is being postponed and things are being re-examined internally. What I am hopeful for is that this could be another opportunity for e-learning to prove its worth”.

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