Archive for the 'Trends' Category

e-Trends Conference Presentation


This month, Lisa and myself presented at the 2007 e-Trends Conference where we discussed emerging technology and its impact on learning & development in Australian organizations. The two day event featured a wide range of topics on e-learning and collaboration. It was great to exchange idea with professionals from different sectors and hear about their online adventures. 

The E-Learning Networks Project is designed to advance the Vocational Education and Training (VET) system in Australia by ensuring individuals gain access to the best national and international knowledge about e-learning. The Project fosters sustainable professional learning practices within an environment of online networking and knowledge sharing. They have some great resources on their site. 

The conference archive of all presentations is available at: 

Simon Oaten
Learning Dynamics 


In a Twitter about microblogging

twitter.jpgFad or anoying distraction? I’m still considering its uses, but it seems microblogging is upon us and hear to stay…at least for awhile.

Micro-blogging is a process that enables you to write brief text updates about your life on the go, and send them to friends, associates and interested observers via text messaging, instant messaging, email or the web. For example, “I just wrote a new blog, isn’t that exciting?”.  Well, without being too cynical, the idea is that you can create a ” persistent presence”  and keep a core group of people informed about your current activities.

There seems to be two camps at present – those who see it as a breakthrough form of communication and those who think it will end up an annoying distraction and navel-gazing activity.

I can see some potential uses in the learning space during a real-time activity where you need to keep learners linked and collaborating. Although, it may be far easier just to phone each other!

The leading  application at present is called “Twitter”.  When you send a mobile text to the Twitter site,  it sends it out to your group of friends and posts it to your Twitter page. They can check your update on their phone or via your Twitter page.  Likewise, you receive your friends’ mobile updates on your phone.

For further information, you might like to check out their blog.

Simon Oaten
Learning Dynamics

Making the Grade: Online Education Report

ist2_720164_path_to_efficency_compass.jpg“Making the Grade: Online Education in the United States 2006” is the fourth annual report on the state of online learning in U.S. higher education produced by the Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C).   Sloan-C produce a terrific range of publications and reports of interest to e-learning developers working in the corporate and tertiary sectors.

 Sloan-C’s core purpose is to encourage the collaborative sharing of knowledge and effective practices to improve online education in learning effectiveness, access, affordability for learners and providers. Their great website has excellent resources on all areas of online education.  

The “Making the Grade” report is aimed at answering some of the fundamental questions about the nature and extent of online education. The report is based on responses from over 2,200 colleges and universities and examines a number of key questions:  

  • Has the growth of online enrolments begun to plateau?

  • Who is learning online?

  • What types of institutions have online offerings?

  • Have perceptions of quality changed for online offerings?

  • What are the barriers to widespread adoption of online education?

A free copy of the report is available here.

What lies ahead on the e-learning journey?

j0401286.jpgWhile e-learning has its origins in being a new and efficient channel to deliver training, that framework can no longer support all the learning needs of individuals and organisations by itself. We need to recharge e-learning’s format and purpose and move toward informational and collaborative approaches that focus on the specific jobs people do. It must move beyond courseware, modules, simulations and into work itself. 

Marc Rosenberg’s “What Lies Beyond E-Learning?” report focuses on this theme and convincingly argues that:

 E-learning will become more than “e-training.” E-learning will move to the workplace. Blended learning will be redefined. E-learning will be less course-centric and more knowledge-centric. E-learning will adapt differently to different levels of mastery. Technology will become a secondary issue.

Check out his article.


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:


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.


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.


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.