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Learning Delivery 2011: Classroom Is Still King
Despite the continued growth of e-learning and newer technology-driven delivery methods, classroom learning remains resilient and dominant.
Despite continually evolving technology and tightened purse strings, expensive and intensive traditional classroom-based instructor-led training (ILT) remains prevalent in today’s learning organizations, especially for critical management and leadership skills.
Sixty-five percent of learning executives indicated they continue to use classroom training as the primary learning delivery method for developing soft skills, according to an analysis of survey data from the Chief Learning Officer Business Intelligence Board (BIB) featured in the magazine’s February special report on learning delivery.
The editors of Chief Learning Officer, in conjunction with the HCM Advisory Group, survey the BIB, a group of 1,500 professionals in the learning and development industry, several times throughout the year to assess and benchmark a variety of learning and development measurements.
Based on those surveys, classroom-based ILT remains the primary delivery method used overall, regardless of type of skill being developed. According to the survey, 41 percent of learning executives indicated they continue to use classroom training as the primary learning delivery method. 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).
For delivering soft skills training, the classroom-based method is even more prevalent and has proven to be remarkably resilient. The use of ILT for soft skills is only slightly down this year (65 percent) after its peak in 2009, when 69 percent of executives employed it as their delivery method of choice. In 2007 and 2008, 65 percent and 64 percent reported using ILT for soft skills training, respectively.
Asynchronous e-learning and formal on-the-job training were a distant second and third in 2010, according to the survey findings — only 13 percent and 8 percent reported using them to develop their employees’ soft skills, respectively.
The use of ILT for soft skills training is also consistent across different company sizes. Sixty-six percent of respondents from companies with fewer than 2,500 employees reported using it as the primary delivery method, 69 percent for companies from 2,500 to 10,000 employees, 65 percent for companies with up to 100,000 employees and 62 percent for companies with more than 100,000 employees.
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