eLearning is popular and effective

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management

ISSN: 1741-0401

Article publication date: 1 September 2004



(2004), "eLearning is popular and effective", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 53 No. 6. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijppm.2004.07953faf.004



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

eLearning is popular and effective

A major study by e-learning provider, SkillSoft, proves that the majority of employees are eager to improve their professional and personal development – despite some of the barriers they have to overcome in order to do so.

A random selection of e-learning users within 16 global organisations participated in the study. Pressure of workload and/or lack of time was cited by 51 per cent of the sample as the main barrier to professional and personal development, with a further 16 per cent saying that interruptions in the workplace made it difficult for them to focus on their learning. For others, it was a lack of management support and encouragement – both at line manager and senior manager level – that prevented them from taking fuller advantage of the e-learning opportunities open to them.

However, the good news for employers is that, despite these constraints, with e-learning the majority of employees (68 per cent) are taking responsibility for their own development and finding the time and the motivation to learn at their desks when their pressure of work allows. This group dips in and out of e-learning courses during quieter times – typically learning in 10-30 minute chunks. Only 9 per cent are able to make use of a dedicated training area at work.

The remainder of the sample (23 per cent) are opting to access e-learning in their own time – either at home (11 per cent) – or by coming into work early; leaving the office late or using their lunch breaks (12 per cent).

Owing to the sporadic nature of these learning patterns and because most employees are learning online in small chunks, most of them (77 per cent) either did not complete the online course in one attempt or did not finish it at all. Despite this, 93 per cent of respondents say that they still learned what they needed to; 88 per cent say that they have already used something that they learned from an online course to help them in their jobs; and 52 per cent have passed on something they have learned to at least one colleague.

E-learning also scored highly as a method of training delivery, with 93.5 per cent of the sample stating that they enjoy e-learning and 98 per cent saying that they would recommend it to other colleagues.

Free copies of a management summary of the full research findings are available from Kay Baldwin-Evans, head of research at SkillSoft via e-mail: kay_baldwinevans@skillsoft.com

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