Echelon survey shows e-learning is gaining ground

April 7, 2004

Research by Echelon Learning, the consultancy-led learning publisher, has revealed that web-delivered learning is gaining in popularity and is now the second most popular way of acquiring both knowledge and skills.

Respondents were asked five questions:

– What was their preferred delivery mechanism for acquiring a skill?
– What was their preferred delivery mechanism for acquiring knowledge?
– What was their preferred delivery mechanism for resolving an immediate business need?
– What was the relative importance of certain attributes when acquiring skills, knowledge or resolving a business need?
– How important were certain delivery mechanisms when implementing a blended learning programme?

While classroom based training remains the most popular method of acquiring a skill (achieving an average score of 4.29 out of five) the option of web-delivered learning is increasingly used in self-development and accessing and referencing knowledge.

Echelon’s David Hill commented: “The richness of classroom based training is being successfully complemented by web-delivered learning, which came second in popularity in both the ‘acquiring skills’ and ‘acquiring knowledge’ polls’ and is increasingly being used for self-learning.”

When it came to acquiring information to meet an immediate business need, online text based materials scored highest (3.55 out of five) – ahead of classroom based learning (3.35) and books (2.81). According to David Hill, this is because the Internet has opened up the capability for ‘instant research and reference’, enabling performance to be supported at the time of need.

Respondents rated the ‘depth of content’ (4.06) ahead of ‘speed of access’ (3.75), ‘tutor support’ and ‘level on interaction with material’ (3.73 each). Respondents said that the least important factor when choosing development materials was the level of interaction with other learners (3.64).

“Unsurprisingly,” Hill added, “Respondents rated classroom based and web-delivered learning as the key delivery mechanisms of a blended programme. This combination enables knowledge to be developed prior to training and learning to be accessed post-training on a ‘when needed’ basis.

“It appears a no-brainer means of saving money and making training more effective.”

The research was carried out in February 2004. Over 100 trainers and HR professionals returned completed questionnaires

About Echelon
Echelon Learning is a consultancy-led publishing house that integrates electronically-delivered knowledge and learning into management skills and business performance development.

Echelon Consulting spearheads the company’s service with the development of new content in meeting clients’ requirements. This is usually derived from analysing employee knowledge and learning needs captured during client learning programmes.

Where appropriate, Echelon Publishing then offers this new content to a wider audience by publishing the material in generic format. This is made available in the form of easy to use ‘learning nuggets’ together with business development information licensed exclusively from one of the market’s best-known providers, Bloomsbury.

Echelon e-Learning provides the electronic systems which enable content to be published, distributed and usage tracked, and offers work-based solutions to a global audience. Now Echelon’s blended learning based on a bespoke site populated with material selected to support specific courses, builds knowledge prior to the event and refreshes application when back at the desk.