Future Trends in e-Learning

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Learning & Training: The Year Ahead:

The changing learner and the quality of training
According to the Municipal Research & Services Center in Seattle, “For the first time in history, there will be four generations in the work force. In the next 20 years women and minorities will make up over two-thirds of the workforce.”
The center makes two predictions that impact training:
Employers will need to find new ways to motivate the new work generation and provide opportunities for training to improve skills and knowledge base.
The new workforce will want a more flexible workplace and may prefer flexibility to higher salary
The use of gaming in training or “Nintendo meets Macromedia” is not that far in the future. Videogames can be a powerful way to instill real-world skills,” says Geoffrey James in Business 2.0. “The U.S. Marine Corps has used Doom to teach battlefield tactics, and a recent survey revealed that doctors who play videogames made 37 percent fewer mistakes during laparoscopic surgery. It’s no great leap, then, to conclude that the tools that make better soldiers and surgeons might also make better corporate warriors”
To address the rising number of women and minorities the workplace, content has to be at the very least gender agnostic and in many cases bilingual. Three out of five of our latest projects include Spanish translations.
The effects of technology and the distributing of learning
John Hubbell in December’s Chief Learning Officer magazine says, “The performance needs of today and tomorrow require a more dynamic approach to pushing content to workers and making the connections available in real time to help employees find what they need to perform optimally (43).”
According to the “ASTD 2004 State of the Industry Report,” technology-delivered learning has increased each year since 1999. Projections for 2004 indicate a 5.8 percent increase to a high of 29.4 percent. The analysis also finds “more than half of technology-based delivery was online in 2003 and 2004, and at least 75 percent of online learning was self-paced” (16)
In the next three years, there will be a move toward EPSS or Electronic Performance Support Systems. In general, 20-minute modules are replacing hour-long courses and leaning paths are customized to individual needs. Learners will be able to access content when faced with a challenge on the job
Corporate restructuring and the demands of training departments
The lines between training, marketing and product development are blurring. While today we focus on training our employees, in the next three years, we will start to look at training our customers.
The main driver behind the blur of these traditional corporate lines is the growth of ROI analysis or the good old, “So why am I spending this money?” Leaders in training organizations are looking more and more for ways to assure the vitality of their organizations.
This year, we will see training used to address specific challenges and targets set by the organization. What business strategies is my company undertaking this year? If you can answer this question, you have the basis for your training strategy going forward

Q&A with Josh Bersin
Productivity Point, Training Innovations, December 2004 » click for article (offline)

The major e-Learning trends for 2005 will include rapid e-Learning, maturity of the LMS market, evolution to enterprise LMS and the emergence of training outsourcing. We will also see blended learning becoming mainstream and the emergence of the premium content market.
It is important to supply organizations with all of the tools necessary to implement their training solution, and this typically means that e-Learning is not the only medium used. Blended learning is a far better solution than pure e-Learning because it drives retention and engagement unlike ‘self-study’. The challenge is that blended learning is a more complex solution to administer and must be done consistently.

Q&A with Josh Bersin
Dave Chalk Connected » click for article (offline)

In January 2003, the International Data Corporation (IDC) predicted that web-based training in the US will total $18 billion in 2005, up from $4.2 billion in 2001. eMarketer’s e-Learning Report (published in July 2003) predicted that the US corporate e-Learning market will quadruple over the next five years to reach over $16 billion by 2005/2006

Q&A with Josh Bersin
2005: e-learning Moves to the Front Lines
Joe Gustafson LTI Magazine, 12 Jan 2005

Trend #1: Companies will find new ways to deliver informal knowledge.
Structured learning can provide a sound basis to prepare someone to perform their job and to develop skills. But what gives companies a competitive edge is how well they can leverage the collective expertise of the organization – the informal and proprietary know-how that helps employees become truly adept at meeting daily challenges.
For example, it’s informal knowledge that helps your sales reps know how to respond to a recent competitive threat, how to address the intricacies of your selling process, how to communicate your company’s position on the latest “hot” issue, or how to effectively provide consultation to customers with very specific needs. This type of knowledge can make every employee an expert at his or her job, or make every one of your channel partners an expert about your product. Salespeople can close deals faster, your channels can sell your product more effectively, and your customers can derive greater value from your relationship.
For such informal knowledge such to have impact, it must be easily delivered as continuous on-the-job learning that can be consumed and digested in small snippets, and made easily accessible without taking time away from core tasks.
Combining familiar tools that business users already use today – such as PowerPoint, Web pages, documents, and a presenting expert’s own voice – can create powerful content without the requirement of long development times or special skills.
Trend #2: e-Learning will be tightly integrated with mission-critical business processes.
What e-Learning brings to the sales, marketing, and selling process is the ability to communicate, illustrate, and educate in a rich, consistent and customized format. e-Learning produces a high level of knowledge retention and – of critical importance – it prompts action.
Trend #3: ROI will focus on business impact.
As e-Learning becomes more finely woven into front-line business groups, e-Learning ROI will be more reflective of the way companies are using it within their business process.
The good news for learning and development professionals is that as e-Learning becomes more of an integrated process, its benefits become more measurable based on the process results. ROI becomes easier to measure, and the value that you can help provide to business units expands exponentially.

Most Companies to Advance Learning Programs in 2005
Jan 19, 2005 LTI Magazine » click for article (offline)

Eighty-four percent of Fortune 1000 and government organizations recently surveyed by THINQ Learning Solutions, Inc. plan to invest in their knowledge management systems over the next 18 months, moving to the next stage on THINQ’s Learning Management Maturity Model (LM3) as part of that investment
When asked to choose all relevant areas for investment from a list, a majority of respondents indicated that they planned to concentrate their investments in competency management (56%) and/or performance management (53%) applications.
Respondents also planned to invest in Testing & Assessment (42%), Learning Management System (LMS) (40%), e-Learning Content (33%) as well as Virtual Classroom and Learning Content Management System (LCMS) applications (both 30%), among others.
Of those companies surveyed, 51% identified themselves as currently functioning at Stage Two of the LM3 — Managed Learning, in which an organization has adopted both a consistent approach to learning as well as learning software applications and other technology investments to centralize information.
Within twelve to 18 months, 49% anticipated that their investments would advance their learning initiatives to Stage Three — Competency-Driven, in which learning technologies begin tying into other enterprise applications, such as ERP systems, and sharing information to build and maintain a learning culture.

e-Learning Plays An Increasing Role In Business Strategy, According To Forrester; Six Enterprise Learning Management Suites Evaluated
January 10, 2005 » click for article (offline)

Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) finds that today firms are more closely integrating learning applications with other company activities and elevating the role learning plays in their businesses’ success.
“We’re seeing a positive response to this strategy from customers, who are integrating learning applications with other company activities. Learning is no longer something employees do separate from their work — it’s becoming more closely tied to their work and to the success of the company meeting its goals.” — Claire Schooley, senior analyst at Forrester Research.

Ray Jimenez, PhD
Vignettes Learning
“Helping Learners Learn Their Way”