Archive for November, 2006

Trend Watch

istock_000000915694small.jpgWhat are the hot topics in e-learning strategy and what does it mean for us? In this edition we cover five key e-learning trends we’ve seen in recent studies and which were also hot topics at the Chief Learning Officer Symposium, held in California last month.

Broadly, we’re hearing plenty of discussion on five interesting trends:

Alignment

The scope of learning is changing significantly. From being predominantly focussed on employee learning, organisations are now reaching out to provide learning resources for their extended enterprise of suppliers, customers and, in some cases, even shareholders. CLOs are being asked to align their efforts to a broader supply chain model.

Speed

That old chestnut of ‘speed to competence’ remains a key trend. Many report that e-learning continues to drive efforts to bring new hires and existing employees to competency much faster, and to do that with fewer hours off the job.

Outsourcing

Tactical outsourcing is back on the table, with many companies looking at carefully outsourcing components of their learning function, predominantly logistics, premises and some aspects of development. The ‘all or nothing’ outsource approach first seen during the late 1990s is no more, with companies taking a considered view of their learning capability, specifically around what creates value for them and what processes are transactional and can be handled by an external partner.

LMS buzz

The buzz on buying an LMS or LCMS is over. We’ve noticed that the current focus is not on buying or picking a system, but rather on extending the capabilities of learning systems already in place in many organisations. The past five years in the Australian market has been an incredibly busy time for LMS vendors. Most companies who required an LMS now have it in place and are keenly pursuing ways of getting maximum value from the investment.

Generational appeal

Many CLOs at the recent forum were very focussed on competency management, talent management and the need for the learning function to remain relevant to both the current and next generation of employees. “Generational appeal” (as in learning that appeals to all ages) seems a focus for many L&D practitioners. As we see up to four generations in the workplace, e-learning developers face some fascinating challenges in delivering learning that engages, inspires and motivates people of all ages and styles.