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Blended learning set to double in UK & US

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UK and US organisations plan to reduce the time that training delegates spend away from the workplace by almost doubling their use of blended learning over the next two years, according to a transatlantic study.

The survey found that 13% of all organisational training is currently delivered via blended learning – a figure predicted to rise to 19% in 2005 and 24% in 2006.

One of the main reasons behind the predicted growth in blended learning is that 67% of organisations say they are looking to reduce participant time away from the workplace by up to 50%.

Less than two thirds of organisations (64%) said that the cost-per-participant was a key factor when developing a training solution.

The survey, by blended learning specialist Balance Learning and Training Magazine, claims that the increased use of blended learning will be accompanied by a reduction in pure instructor-led training, which currently accounts for nearly half of all organisational training. According to the survey, this figure is set to fall to 42% in 2005 and to 38% in 2006.

The poll, of 118 UK and 150 US organisations, also showed that blended learning is more popular in the States where it is seen as the most effective and most efficient form of training and is used by 77% of organisations.

In the UK, it is used by just 55% of organisations and ranks as the fourth most effective training approach – behind instructor led-training, on-the-job training and coaching – and the third most efficient training method, behind on-the-job training and coaching.

How blended learning is used:

* UK used by 55% of organisations for:
67% – management and leadership training
41% – customer service training
52% – interpersonal skills training

* US used by 77% of North American companies for:
44% – management and leadership training
46% – customer service and sales training
40% – interpersonal skills training

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Annie Hayes

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