Another month, another survey. This time it’s the 2008 Learning and Development Survey of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Okay, it was actually published last month, but I’ve been busy.
This is an annual survey running since 2002, which allows for some trend spotting. And with it comes the Reflections document, four essays on different aspects of the survey – with one of them (on e-learning) by me.
Although of course I recommend downloading the survey and reflections document and reading them thoroughly, you can get most of my piece from the first paragraph:
At first glance the CIPD 2008 Learning and Development survey is a mess of contradictions on e-learning. Just 7% of those polled regard it as among the most effective learning and development practices, yet 57% of organisations use it and 27% of the remainder plan to use it within 12 months. While only 8% of those who use e-learning as a learning and development intervention would rate it as ‘very effective’, 64% believe it is ‘fairly effective’.
In other words, most people responding to the survey use e-learning as part of the delivery mix and are just getting on with it. That’s borne out by the survey stat that 95% ‘feel that e-learning is more effective when combined with other forms of learning’. No, really?
I reckon that the term e-learning has out worn its use. I argued as much in July 2007, in a piece for Training Zone entitled ‘It’s time to drop e-learning‘. The term carries with it a swathe of implications and memories of what it meant in the early days around 2000, but which no longer apply, including: large LMS implementations, central control and complex authoring approaches. Perhaps we should drop the term and replace it with ‘technology-supported learning’.
Among the rather muted blogging reaction to the survey is Clive Shepherd’s take on the e-learning side. His reaction is worth reading, and he reaches a different, but interesting conclusion: is it time for the CIPD to revise their question set to reflect more the current uses of technology-supported learning? Certainly, a new question set would not allow for comparison of results with the past, but they would be able to provide more insight into people’s attitudes today.