Monday, 8 September 2008

Training Method Trends

Steve Wexler who runs eLearningGuild research has been producing some really interesting information recently. All of the data comes from surveys to the eLearningGuild membership (which is more than 30,000) and typically they have 2,000 - 3,000 respondents on surveys which is large enough to get pretty good indications.

He recently provided me some information about what learning delivery methods were being used and particularly if they were trending up or down. The way he did it was by assigning scores to responses that were - Often, Sometimes, Rarely, Never. So, if you see a 4.5 that means that people were between often and sometimes. A 2 is between Rarely and Sometimes. It's a bit complicated, but it effectively judges the trend - not necessarily the amount.

So here's the graph showing all of the trending information ...

Training Method Changes

Increase Decrease Training Methods

Some things that jump out at me:
Prediction #8 => Serious Games - Seriously Sorry, Not for You

They will continue to get talked about A LOT. And people will continue to be interested and excited. Likely YOU will get to attend a session on them. But YOU won't get to build one, or buy one, or participate in one.
  • While I'm claiming victory on my predictions, might as well point out that mobile learning also showed a big drop which lines up with another prediction from the beginning of the year (Prediction #5 => Mobile Learning - Continued Scattered Examples and Disappointment). I actually believe that mobile delivery will become more important over the next few years, but the form of it will be web access, not specialized mobile learning applications. That likely will make the numbers around a term like mobile learning a bit problematic. If someone can get to your online reference (stored on a wiki) through their smart phone's browser, is that mobile learning?
  • Big winners: Communities of Practice, Wikis, Blogs, Podcasts. Warning that on Blogs and Podcasts, the numbers are so low that any adoption looks bigger than it really is. However, that's still impressive. And I would expect that Wikis will continue to grow - actually my guess is that this is the fastest growing item over the next couple of years.
  • What was my biggest surprise - online mentoring / tutoring shows a drop. What? How can that be. There is so much more of these kinds of systems being created. There is so much more informal learning through these techniques. I'm glad I didn't predict those trends at the beginning of the year. I would have been wrong.
Corporate Training Methods

But what about in corporate training? What are the trends for methods in corporate learning? How do they possibly differ from overall trends shown above? Here's the graphs for corporate (non-Government, non-Education) training methods:

Surprisingly little difference between Corporate and Overall in terms of the training method trends. A few notes:
  • Virtual Labs - which certainly are used a lot in distance IT training, show no drop off here as compared to a 4.8% drop overall.
  • EPSS shows a small increase as compared to a drop overall.
Training Methods in Corporations 500+

Often the size of the corporation makes a differences, so what about when we only look at corporations above 500 employees?

Again, this is pretty close to overall, but a few differences:
  • Blogs, Podcasts, Communities of Practice, and Wikis have jumped even more in larger corporations than in smaller corporations.
Training Methods in Education

How does this compare to Education?

Again pretty close. Some differences:
  • Knowledge Management Systems (KMS) show greater increase in education - good luck with that. I wonder what could be behind undertaking things that have been so problematic in the past and seem to have lost out to emergent knowledge capture solutions.
  • In-person tutoring/mentoring shows a drop in education while it shows an increase in overall and corporate. This is a surprise to me. I don't even have a guess why you would see a drop in education both for in-person and online tutoring and mentoring. That seems like a really bad trend.
  • Look at mobile learning in education. 23.5% drop!
  • Games, EPSS, Simuations also dropping fast in education.
I also noticed that education is showing more dropping and corporations are showing more increasing. Not sure what to make of that?

Training Methods in Government

How about with Government?

Some notes on Government training method trends:
  • Online mentoring in Government shows a big increase. This is what I expected overall. I don't get this.
  • Classroom instruction is trending up even faster in Government.
  • Simulations are trending up in Government.
  • Wikis are almost flat - weird - especially given some of the well known government case studies around use of Wikis.
  • Synchronous eLearning is trending down? What?

Questions I have:
  • Why is online tutoring / mentoring showing a drop overall? And why are both online and in-person tutoring / mentoring dropping in Education? And why is Government trending up in both and especially in online?
  • Why is education showing more stuff trending down than corporate?
  • Why aren't Wikis showing a bigger jump in Government?
  • And what's the deal with synchronous eLearning dropping in Government?

Keywords: Conference Calls, In-person mentoring/tutoring, Online References, Online Assessments and Testing, KMS, Learning Content Management (LCMS), Knowledge Management, Portals, Print-based materials, Video Broadcasts, EPSS, e-mail, Chat rooms, Instant Messaging.

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