Because of regulatory changes, the financial services sector has no choice other than to adopt e-learning, says Wide Learning's Jan Hagen. But other sectors would do well to pay heed to such impetus
Over the last few years there have been many predictions about the rocket development of the e-learning market. Every year there were plenty of reasons why this market was a bit slower in developing than expected, but next year it would be massive. Why then did it not happen so quickly? Why then is it now suddenly taking off? There are some entirely logical answers here.
Firstly, let's consider the rapid growth that failed to materialise. This is largely due to the fact that it takes a lot of time to change an approach to learning and while it is easy to sell the benefits of e-learning to management, it is not so easy to sell it to an end user. Added to this, much of the learning was poorly designed. A lot of 'learning' companies sold management features rather than effective learning, ensuring a dismal learning experience and so a cynical marketplace.
Why then, you may ask, is e-learning top of the agenda in many financial services firms right now? It now makes sense to buy into e-learning because a need has emerged that is most effectively solved by an e-learning-based solution. The changed regulatory structure in the financial services sector puts a difficult obligation on the industry. There is a need to quickly communicate the intricacies of a changed regulation to everyone within an organisation, making sure that everybody understands what these changes mean for them as individuals and generate reports on individual progress to satisfy the regulator. On top of that, there is a need to test a large section of staff on their actual competence to do their job.
And when you have solved all of that, you have to do the same thing at least every two years. The only way of doing all this effectively - without bankrupting or seriously disrupting the work a company does to earn a living - is by using a technology-based solution.
As always, a product or an industry will benefit when there is a genuine need for its products. Obviously, the same thing is happening as before. Again there are companies who see this opportunity as a way of making some fast money and they jump in and quickly roll out some e-learning training. A few tips are: check their learning design strategy - how do