Thursday, July 7, 2011

Why are some organizations so slow to adopt elearning? (Part 1 of 3)

Think back to what you did in the past few days, when you had a private or professional question. If you are like the 95% of business professionals surveyed in a recent SocialStrat study, you probably searched for an answer using a browser like Google or Bing. 

This is informal learning in practice. You not only chose the quickest and easiest path, but also one that you trust. For example, lets say you are new to the Twitter world, and want to learn how to follow someone. So, to “google” you go where you run a search for the phrase: “How do I follow someone on Twitter?” You end up with about 384 million results to pick from. Reviewing some of the most popular result headings you can quickly (within minutes) find the answer you seek from several different sites, and in several different forms, like text, images, and video. Now you can tweet like a pro. That’s how people want to learn, like to learn, and choose to learn. 

There is no question that traditional learning and training is undergoing a major make-over. The in-person conference room or lecture hall presentation is rapidly loosing market share and prominence to elearning alternatives. The research and data supporting this is undeniable. 

However, even with the writing so clearly on the wall, or screen, why are many organizations so slow to adopt eLearning? (By eLearning we mean webinars, virtual classrooms, asynchronous self-paced courses, mobile learning, informal learning and social media best practices.)

We'll start answering this question next week in part 2 of this part 3 series...


  1. This is an importnat question. I suspect most organizations have done little thinking on the topic becasue they are unconsciously taking advantage of on-demand learning. The question for the traditional suppliers of learning seems to be, how do we help the organizations notice that they need both in the moment and structured learning and that it has to be based on the business goals of the organization, not the HR department, or individual manager? Also, that the learning is outcomes based. Learning is no longer an abstract experience.

  2. Great point Alan! The responsibility does rest on us, and any elearning champions.