Quick Introduction to Towards Maturity

by | Mar 19, 2008 | Articles

The January edition of Training Journal  includes a short article revealing the main findings of the ongoing e-skillsUK study on Maturity in e-learning.  The article gives a short summary of the method and approach to the original study as well as supporting evidence outlined in the case studies and podcasts on this website; demonstrating that both theory and practice lead to the same conclusions.

Some quotes and highlights from the article are included below.

Leadership by example and by strategy.

“Organisations in the top quartile for business impact are more likely to have an {e-learning} strategy and their top management are more likely to be users of e-learning”. “77% of those {organisations) in the top quartile for business impact say managers coach their own teams, dropping to 40% for those in the bottom quartile.”

Empowerment

“65% of learners say that e-learning allows them to take charge of their own development”.  Seventy eight percent of the most e-learning mature organisations empower learners compared to 31% of the least mature.

Rapid consolidation of learning

The message about the use of e-learning is less positive in this respect with 45% of learners agreeing they can put e-learning into practice quickly and 53% agreeing they can out classroom training into practice quickly.

What Learners Value and Want

Tutor support and job assignments are most valued while learners are learning but once fully back at work they prefer workplace reference support and job aids.

Learner Feedback

Thirteen percent of respondents collect no feedback from learners, most use the equivalent of happy sheets. 73% of those in the top quartile for business benefit use regular surveys of learner benefit dropping to 29% of those in the bottom quartile. Such regular surveys also make an impact on staff; surveys are used by 82% of those in the top quartile for staff impact and 24% of those in the bottom quartile.

Promotion and branding of e-learning

Emails, line manager briefings, newsletters and posters make the biggest difference to the take up of e-learning and the resulting business benefit.

Blended and informal learning

E-learning is widely regarded as a component of delivery and not a replacement.  From the respondents results there are virtually no examples of e-learning being used for a topic by itself but every topic is delivered somewhere with an e-learning component. There is increasing use of Web 2.0 tools to encourage collaboration and informal learning. The article describes three elements to an e-learning adoption curve, IT skills (rapid early growth rising to 75% adoption), company and industry specific growth (rising at late stages of adoption to 75% penetration, generic and management skills (rising steadily to 50% adoption).

Training Function Capability

The study compared findings from previous years and there has been little change in the skills of training functions in their capability of managing e-learning. However there are big differences between training teams, for organisations in the top quartile for business impact 90% have e-learning capable teams dropping to 38% of those in the bottom quartile for business impact.

The Future.

Respondents are more positive about the future of e-learning than they were in 2004. ICT infrastructure and availability of e-learning have improved since 2004 but overall there is little actual improvement in delivery, development and implementation.

There is still a lack of relevant quality content but greater appreciation that this can be created inexpensively with modern tools. E-learning is here to stay and will remain a component in learning provision.

The full article can be downloaded from this link.

This article was originally created by the Work based e-learning project at e-skills UK and is reproduced with kind permission.

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