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Annie Hayes

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Fall from grace sees elearning on the slide

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Elearning is now offered by over half of learning and development managers, yet just 7% mention it when asked to list the top three most effective training practices.

According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s (CIPD) annual learning and development survey, elearning is on average available to 60% of employees, but taken up by only half of them. And only 30% are reported as completing courses.

Almost all organisations agree that 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, said: “Elearning 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.”

Despite the gloomy findings, 48% agree elearning has been the most important development in training in the last few years, whilst almost one third 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 elearning: organisations with more than 5,000 employees have a take up of 79%, compared to those with less than 250 with a figure of 39%. Take up within the public sector (82%) compares favourably with the private sector (49%).

Sloman added: “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.”

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Annie Hayes

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