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Trainers realising the complexity of e-learning


The results of the ETV survey"Training of Trainers and Teachers" of e-learning in 2001 shows that the emphasis has shifted to developing the presentation and management skills required for e-learning, and that good products to train trainers in e-learning are rare.

There was a drop in the amount of IT training undertaken by respondents, but a significant rise in training in pedagogical approaches and learning management techniques suited to e-learning. The report states: "Pedagogical interests are much lower among private training companies and trainers in private non-training organisations. On the other hand, training in developing 'skills relating to management' are much lower among public training providers, Colleges of further and higher education and self employed teachers and trainers." In general, though, the trend is towards recognising that there's more to e-learning than technology. However, very few (2.1% in 2001) are undertaking skills development for emoderation in spite of emphasis placed on these skills in a previous survey (Trainers' skills for e-learning). About 5% in both years have been learning about e-assessment.

Other Findings

"Training the trainer" programmes for e-learning were rated quite badly: 21% rate them poor, 45% only fair and only 7% give a very good and 1% give an excellent rating based on their experiences.

More and more of the time spent by trainers on professional development in this area is informal. Informal programmes and activities outside of work time are largely funded by learners themselves although about 18.3% have their employers pay some or all of the costs associated with this professional development. More trainers are spending higher sums on course fees in this area. Expenditure on books i salso high and increasing. CDROMs remained very significant with very similar spending patterns to books in both the last two years.

Adding all costs together, a majority of respondents are spending up to €6000 a year on professional development relating to e-learning, and between 10-20% spend considerably more. The costs associated with professional development appear to be rising but in spite of that, the vast majority will spend more rather than less time on e-learning professional development in the future.

Survey sample
There were 446 respondents, of which nearly 80% were from the EU, 8% from the rest of Europe and 5% from North America. Nearly all were directly involved in training: 45% fromm public training organisations, vocational training, HE and FE, 14% employed in private companies, 15% consultants and 6% independent teachers and trainers. Gender ratio men / women - 61.8/38.2.

Further Surveys
Two more Cedefop surveys on European e-learning - "E-learning and training" and "Users' views of e-learning" - will also be published next month. Between them, they show a 70% year-on-year increase in revenues from e-learning, with e-learning accounting over 30% of the earnings of a variety of private and public sector training suppliers, compared to 18% two years ago. About 30% of vocational education and training across Europe is now delivered electronically, but the actual percentage varies from around 50% in some countries -particularly the Nordic ones - to 10% to 15% in others.

However, not all users are impressed: 32% of respondents to
a survey on trainers' abilities suggested that their skills in preparing a specification and tools for electronic training were 'poor' with only 17% thinking they were 'very good' or 'excellent'. Yet over 60% of the same trainers believe that it is important to have the ability to moderate and stimulate learners in a virtual workplace. Other topics include the economics of use of e-learning and its value in training people with disabilities.


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