On-line learning is held back

Employers are out of touch with on-line learning in their organisations and few know what they are spending on it.

Two separate surveys, published this week also reveal that cultural barriers are slowing the growth of on-line learning.

The charity Campaign for Learning found that e-learners are positive about the experience but bemoan the lack of support from their organisations. There is a general feeling that this should take the form of personal learning support, such as someone to call on the telephone or visit in a learning centre.

The Campaign for Learning, which conducted the Attitudes to E-Learning survey in partnership with the UfI, KPMG and Peter Honey Learning, found that two in five do not know how many e-learners there are in their organisation and a similar number did not know what proportion of their training budget was being spent on e-learning.

Despite the excitement surrounding the growth in on-line training, there are reservations about e-learning. A quarter of employers believe that it is not as effective as face-to-face teaching, while 11 per cent think e-learning during work time is not conducive to effective learning.

“It is interesting that even among employers and individual early adopters of the technology there is a healthy scepticism about the limits of e-learning and we need to be wary of much of the hype,” said Campaign for Learning’s chief executive Bill Lucas.

A second survey published in Personnel Today’s sister magazine Training next week reveals this is common ground. Corporate foundations for e-learning success found that the greatest issue preventing effective delivery of e-learning among those who have an intranet is “interruptions at the desktop”.

The Training magazine survey, conducted with Xebec McGraw-Hill, showed that training and HR professionals have major concerns about the lack of commitment by senior managers to on-line learning.

www.xebec-online.com

www.campaign-for-learning.org.uk

By Stephanie Sparrow

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