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Tech Headlines for August 2014

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

E-Learning Investments Up

According to new research from Elearning! Magazine Group, investment in e-learning increased to $4.9 million annually, up 9 percent over 2013. Meanwhile, the overall enterprise learning budget averaged $6.4 million—a slight increase from 2013’s $6.2 million annually, per respondent.

To uncover current e-learning practices, toolsets, and future purchasing plans, Elearning! Magazine Group, which includes Elearning! and Government Elearning! Magazines, executed a 38-question survey of executives from corporate business, government, and educational institutions from January to April 2014.

The E-Learning User Study found that e-learning, virtual training, and blended learning continue to grow in adoption. Almost two-thirds (61 percent) of training hours are being deployed outside the traditional instructor-led classroom. And 48 percent of training hours are deployed via e-learning, blended, or virtual classroom options—holding steady over 2013.

Respondents use a full range of tools and solutions. The highest rate of growth (over installed base) among learning and talent management systems are LMS-cloud (28 percent) and peer evaluation (29 percent) tools. The survey found that cloud-based solutions are impacting the deployment of enterprise solutions, with LCMS usage down 40 percent and LMS Enterprise use down 22 percent.

For e-learning tools, the most highly used solutions remain:

  • e-learning development tools (75 percent)
  • web conferencing tools (71 percent)
  • project management tools (55 percent)
  • assessment and testing tools (53 percent)
  • content development services (53 percent).

From a planned purchase perspective, the top priorities have shifted to engagement-oriented solutions: mobile learning at (35 percent); video solutions (31 percent), gamification (23 percent), and virtual classroom (27 percent).
To learn more, read the full user study at www.2elearning.com/research/item/55597-e-learning-user-study-2014.

Will MOOCs Kill the Classroom Star?

In a new research paper, Christian Terwiesch, professor of operations and information management at Wharton, and Karl Ulrich, vice dean of innovation at the school, examine the impact that massive open online courses (MOOCs) will have on business schools and MBA programs. In their study — titled, “Will Video Kill the Classroom Star? The Threat and Opportunity of MOOCs for Full-Time MBA Programs” — they identify three possible scenarios that business schools face not just as a result of MOOCs, but also because of the technology embedded in them. In an interview with Knowledge@Wharton, Terwiesch and Ulrich discuss their findings.

An edited transcript of the interview appears at http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/moocs-mba-programs-opportunities-threats.


Virtual Teams Prominent and Productive

More than half of the productivity of a significant portion (41 percent) of workers depends directly on virtual teams, according to the 2014 Virtual Teams Survey Report. Produced by RW3 CultureWizard, an intercultural global business consultancy specializing in business skill development for corporate employees, the report also finds that 77 percent of workers have colleagues from other cultures on their teams, and 40 percent of all workers spend between almost half to all of their time working on multicultural virtual teams.

According to Charlene Solomon, President of RW3, "Almost everyone who works in global business is on a virtual team."  She says, "These teams confront unique challenges because the lack of face-to-face contact intensifies the impact of cultural differences between members."

A high majority (81 percent) of survey respondents feel that virtual teams produce better business results than co-located teams. However, they also report that lack of face-to-face contact creates challenges that affect trust (64 percent), decision making (55 percent), managing conflict (54 percent), and expressing opinions (53 percent).

"What makes these challenges particularly acute is that many are unprepared for them," says Michael Schell, CEO RW3 LLC. "Organizations assume that virtual teams are easier because email, telephones, and web technologies make them ubiquitous and easy to create. Only 21 percent of virtual team members receive any training to be effective on an intercultural team, leaving virtual team members facing challenges they're unprepared for."

Schell continues, "The economic impact on productivity represented by these virtual team challenges is incalculable, but significant, and relatively simple to improve." 

Solomon adds, "Some 38 percent of the survey respondents were team leaders, underscoring the importance of virtual teamwork as a developmental arena for future leaders."

Nearly 3,000 managers from more than 100 countries—and a range of industries—participated in RW3's biennial survey, the third since 2010. The entire study is available at info@rw-3.com.  

New Gamification Infographic


Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics.

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About the Author

Ryann K. Ellis is an editor for the Association of Talent Development (ATD). She has been covering workplace learning and performance for ATD (formerly the American Society for Training & Development) since 1995. She currently manages ATD's Community of Practice blogs, as well as ATD's government-focused magazine, The Public Manager. Contact her at rellis@td.org. 

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