Is e-learning more popular in a recession?

PARN Global News Article - 10 July 2012

Is e-learning more popular in a recession?

Is e-learning more popular in a recession?

E-learning has been the coming thing for the last two decades, but have the recent recessions been the catalyst that has brought it into the mainstream?

By 2015 the global market for e-learning provision is projected to be just less than $50 billion (USD). Early uptake of e-learning was generally from large corporations. However, more recently uptake has shifted towards education institutions, both HEIs and FECs. Are professional bodies following suit?

Research carried out by Cegos has shown that in the private sector the proportion of companies planning to use e-learning for their internal training needs jumped from 55% to 75% during the so-called ‘great recession’ of 2008-2009. Can the same be said of professional bodies?
PARN research has shown that out of 57 professional bodies responding to our recent survey on e-learning 38 were already using e-learning, with 12 of the remaining 19 planning to implement it soon.
With a growing appetite for ‘bitesize’ learning as the recession causes increased time pressure, especially on small businesses and sole practitioners, e-learning seems to have become a priority.
E-learning might just be the killer app for professional bodies during a recession; it is a cost-effective and flexible training solution with a potentially global reach. But it is not cost free; e-learning requires an initial investment and ongoing maintenance, either in staff time or purchasing from an external supplier.

In setting up e-learning provision for its members, professional bodies are trying to hit a moving target. Changing technology, pedagogy, and user expectations make it difficult to stay ahead of the curve. What can be done?

PARN’s research on e-learning included a survey of professionals in a variety of sectors. Our analysis looks at what professionals want from e-learning and how they want to see e-learning provision develop in their profession.

The research shows that about 15% of the 1829 professionals surveyed do e-learning via mobile devices (often called m-learning). The most popular devices professionals use are smart phones, laptops and tablet computers. Surprisingly smart phones are even more popular than laptops. This might be because, due to the recession, professionals are squeezing learning in to their commute, rather than taking time out of their working day.

Is e-learning on the increase at your organisation?
Is the recession helping or hindering uptake?

Let us know on our forums on PARNPeople:

Upcoming Conference on E-learning, M-Learning & Beyond

You can learn more about PARN’s research at our upcoming conference!

E-learning, M-learning & Beyond: New Technologies for Professionals

8 November 2012
9.30am - 4pm
Woburn House - London

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