Is online learning out of favour for Learning and Development?

28th April 2015

We read with interest in HR Magazine that??pure online learning is the least preferred learning and development method among executives‘??, according to a report by Henley Business School.

The annual’?Corporate Learning Priorities Survey, which researched 368 executives from 39 countries, found only 6% of executive and senior management and 7% of middle management preferred elearning as a learning and development method.

In contrast, coaching is rising in popularity, especially among senior management. Some two-thirds (65%) of executive and senior management said coaching was their preferred learning and development method.

The survey results are interesting, but only paint some of the picture of?what we have become increasingly aware of at Marshall ACM in recent years.

Although it is true that a blended approach to learning is becoming an increasingly popular option, it is still the case that this is only supplementary and not as a replacement for elearning packages.

Traditional classroom training is a great option for reinforcing the learning garnered from an elearning course and allows students to ask questions directly and approach the learning from a different angle.

However it is not without drawbacks, as we all know, face to face training is only as good as the facilitator. It is also expensive and slow to roll out especially within large organisations.

Not only this, it is difficult to track and test the learner’??s understanding of the course material in a classroom where there may not be an assessment component or if the learner is too shy to participate fully.

On the other hand, a good learning designer can create increasingly personalised training that takes into account the social and collaborative aspect of learning.

To suggest that?online learning programmes are becoming increasingly unpopular amongst executives is naive at best and not indicative or representative of the attitude towards?online learning as whole.

In fact, as the comments underneath the HR Magazine article suggest, there’??s plenty of people out there who agree with us:

‘??Online learning and coaching take many forms, are used by many different types of people with varied needs, and vary significantly in quality of content and delivery. Only when those dimensions are explored are we likely to find out anything useful and actionable.’??

‘??It depends on how the online training is developed and delivered. On the one side, it’??s true, we clearly see a decline of online corporate training. Busy schedules, sometimes unstructured work environments, means that it becomes difficult first to find the time, then to focus on the learning objects. On the other side, however, online training is actually booming.’??

Instructional design and the technologies at hand are evolving quickly and reflect the needs to the learner more accurately than a traditional??chalk and talk’?model.

Agree with us? Find out more about how Marshall ACM’??s’?customised online learning courses’?can benefit your organisation and create a satisfying learning environment for your team.

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