The view that poor completion rates mean an e-learning programme has not
been successful have been blown out of the water by the findings of new
research from Skillsoft. It shows that 93 per cent of online learners learn
what they set out to gain from a piece of e-learning, regardless of whether
they complete a course or not.
Poor completion rates have been one of the downsides of e-learning, but
Skillsoft managing director Kevin Young says the research backs up what his
company has always believed: that it is the immediacy of the medium that is of
"It’s a case of users taking the part of the learning they need at that
time, rather than sitting through an entire course," he said.
"The survey proves that e-learning provides performance support. It is
more a case of people thinking ‘what do I need to do my job more effectively,
and can e-learning – whether it’s a 10-minute or a 20-minute or whatever length
course – help me fix it?’," he added.
The study of 15 major global organisations including AT&T, FedEx,
Siemens and Royal Mail, also found most respondents learn in small chunks.
Fifty-eight per cent accessed learning for less than an hour, with a third of
these accessing for less than 30 minutes.
Only 23 per cent manage to complete a course in one stint, with the
remaining 77 per cent giving a variety of reasons for not completing a course
in one go, including lack of time/workload (51 per cent); work interruptions
(16 per cent); and preferring to break the learning up (32 per cent).
A management summary of the report is available from Skillsoft by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org