<p>Despite continually evolving technology and tightened budgets, traditional classroom-based instructor-led training and formal on-the-job training remain prevalent in today’s learning organizations. <br /><br />Forty-one percent of learning executives indicated they continue to use classroom training as the primary learning delivery method, according to a report analyzing survey data from the <em>Chief Learning Officer</em> Business Intelligence Board (BIB) released this week.<br /><br />In April, the editors of <em>Chief Learning Officer </em>surveyed the BIB, a group of nearly 1,500 professionals in the learning and development industry, to assess and benchmark learning delivery methods. The full analysis of the results was released Monday in “Focus on Learning Delivery,” a <em>Chief Learning Officer</em> report.<br /><br />While classroom-based instructor-led training (ILT) continues to be the most commonly used delivery method, its use has decreased slightly over the past three years (from 44 percent in 2009 and 45 percent in 2008). Formal on-the-job training tied asynchronous e-learning for the second highest ranked instructional delivery method (18 percent), followed by synchronous e-learning (11 percent), text-based training (4 percent), satellite video (4 percent) and portable technology (1 percent).<br /><br />ILT continues to be a popular choice among learning executives, but advances in technology and heightened budget consciousness are making both asynchronous and synchronous e-learning attractive. <br /><br />BIB members reported that their use of asynchronous e-learning — combining self-study with asynchronous instruction — was driven by the flexibility of its self-paced format (52 percent), the ability to reach a large audience with few resources (47 percent) and cost savings over classroom learning (45 percent). </p><p>Cost savings also were important to synchronous e-learning users (55 percent), as was the value of student-instructor interaction in real time (28 percent).<br /><br />Interestingly, at the height of the cost cutting and budget restrictions brought on by the recession in 2009, organizations indicated their use of more expensive ILT was driven not by cost but by corporate culture and the value of student-to-student interaction. </p><p>Both reported reasons spiked in 2009 (54 percent and 51 percent, respectively) but dropped again in 2010 (43 percent for both), indicating that organizations attempted to boost productivity and shore up morale during the recession by bringing employees together in the classroom. As external economic pressures ease, organizations appear to once again be steering away from ILT and refocusing on other learning methods.<br /><br />Looking at anticipated change in delivery methods in the next 12 to 18 months, learning organizations are poised to increasingly support learning that includes technology and decrease emphasis on in-person, location-based learning. A majority of BIB members indicated they plan to increase their use of asynchronous e-learning (59 percent), while the greatest anticipated decrease is in classroom-based ILT (36 percent).<br /><br />BIB members also reported they plan to increase asynchronous e-learning mainly due to its perceived effectiveness (21 percent), cost (27 percent) and convenience (26 percent). Anticipated use of classroom-based ILT decreased primarily due to cost (44 percent). Hiring an instructor and maintaining classroom space and the materials to implement this methodology are expensive, time-intensive endeavors. </p><p>While the classroom remains king for now, the rapid speed of business and technological change are making other learning delivery methods increasingly popular. </p>
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