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Driving Business Benefits – the UK’s comprehensive review of Learning Technologies at work is launched today
(28 January 2009) Businesses are demanding much more from learning technologies in the downturn but are failing to prepare themselves to take advantage of the opportunities available.
3 out of 5 businesses expect to increase the allocation of their budget to learning technologies moving into 2009 but they are demanding much more from their investment according to ‘Driving Business Benefits’ - the UK’s most comprehensive Benchmark survey of learning technologies in the workplace published today.
Strengthening induction training, improving the quality of work based learning and developing a better qualified workforce topped the list of reasons for this increased investment, closely followed by a requirement to improve staff satisfaction to aid retention. The drivers reflect a shift in attitude from 2 years ago when the primary reasons for investment were to improve learning access and flexibility and reducing costs.
However, despite increased expectations, 2 out of 5 of the businesses taking part did not agree that they had the skills to take advantage of new opportunities for learning.
The research, undertaken by Towards Maturity, is the 3rd in a longitudinal research series looking at trends in the use of learning technologies in the business environment. The work is supported by Becta as part of the Next Generation Learning @ Work campaign.
The research included more than 300 organisations across both private and public sectors. It represents one of the most detailed studies to date into the ways that learning technologies are used in the business environment. The report highlights how organisations use and benefit from different types of e-learning, identifies critical success factors for e-learning success, and considers future trends. It is free to download from www.towardsmaturity.org.
‘ 2009 is a critical year for learning and development professionals to demonstrate that they can add bottom line value to their organisations. As in any other profession, a downturn provides an ideal opportunity to innovate with new approaches and tools . We are thrilled with the record numbers of organisations who took part in this benchmark review. The report provides the whole learning community with collective insights on how to step up to the challenge of delivering more with less this year ‘Laura Overton Managing Director, Towards Maturity
Jane Williams, Executive Director, Further Education, Regeneration and Delivery at Becta said: “This report highlights the need for continued investment in technology for learning in the workplace, even in the face of a challenging economic climate.
“The report offers some interesting insights into the current position and future adoption of work based learning technologies, as well as the challenges ahead.
“Through our work with Towards Maturity, we aim to continue to stimulate the debate around work based e-learning. We encourage all employers and providers to use the benchmark report to join the debate and explore the benefits of adopting Next Generation Learning in their own workplace.”
I've found that participating in the research programmes from the Towards Maturity team has always provided a good opportunity to 'take stock'. Their pragmatic approach to benchmarking good practice provides a very useful source of industry information and food for thought" Mike Booth,Learning Technologies Manager, Cable&Wireless
Some of the key findings from the research include:
1. The people factors are the biggest barriers to successful implementation – the top 3 barriers cited by over 50% of organisations were:
o Reluctance of staff to adopt new technology
o Lack of knowledge about its potential use and implementation
o Lack of skills amongst staff to manage and implement e-learning
2. Overall, learning and development staff understand the opportunity but currently are not making the most of the potential for engaging learners:
a. Less than 1 in 5 are using technology to support collaboration between learners
b. Only 2 out of 5 agree that information about their e-learning is easy to find in their organisation
c. 1 in 5 organisations are still only using text based e-learning ( without supplementing this with video, animation, audio or images)
3. Those more mature in their use of e-learning report more benefits from their e-learning investments eg
a. Established users are over 6 times as likely to report improvements in quality than those who are sporadic users
b. Established users are over 3 times more likely than sporadic users to report improved staff satisfaction, improved customer satisfaction and an ability to respond faster to business demands.
4. Trends in technologies and services
a. Learning Technologies that allow learning and development to respond quickly to business needs have experienced the greatest growth in the last 2 years ( podcasting is up by 195%, rapid development tools up by 43% and the use of virtual classrooms is up by 23%)
Driving Business Benefits also goes on to analyse the habits of the highly successful e-learning implementations, useful for those who are looking to deliver increased business and learning benefits in 2009. All participants received a personalised benchmark report indicating their strengths and weaknesses for 20 activities known to improve business benefits, staff impact and take up. The final report will contain the generic benchmark report for everyone to use together with links to free case studies and resources from the wider learning community to help them improve results.
To find out more and download the reports , click here