Thursday, December 13

What is to Come in 2008

As I read the blog I'd like to post a few updates on our research and predictions for e-learning in 2008.

1. Social Networking is hitting the corporate scene, driving tremendous demand for informal learning, or what we call "learning on-demand." The solutions organizations are looking for include blogs, wikis, and communities of practice. The CoP companies we talk with tell us that their businesses are booming (Tomoye and Mzinga being two which focus heavily in this space).

We just surveyed 800+ worldwide training directors and CLOs and found that 83% feel they have a significant or urgent need to change their learning programs to deal with the learning styles of younger workers. And despite this need, only 35% feel that they have the tools and experience to do this today.

What we expect to happen in 2008 is an explosion in the use of "self-published content"- that is solutions which enable learners to reach out and support each other. Organizations which do this today include Cisco, IBM, Symantec, Infosys, and many more. In fact, this is something which is relatively easy to do - if you remember that your role is to "facilitate"this content interchange, not "create content."

2. E-Learning, as defined, is not as successful as one may believe. I have to say, I started working in e-learning before the term was coined and spent much of my career over the last 10 years in the development, analysis, and research in this topic. I figured that by now we would have "figured it out." This is not the case. In fact, in the same research I cited above (to be published this Spring), only 19% of organizations feel they are doing a good job at building "high-impact"courseware, 13% at building simulations and other higher fidelity forms of training, and most surprising of all, only 23% feel that they are doing a good job at blended learning.

This really suprised me. While many large organizations are doing quite well at this, far more are still behind the curve. I believe the problem is that the complexity of e-learning grows each year, and now we consider searchable content, audio, video, and web 2.0 interactions as "standard" for all internet applications. Content which is in the early 2000s "page turning" style has become very boring and hard to complete.

Anyway, much more to talk about but I'll keep this short. Please contact me at (510) 654-8500 or visit our website for more - we're publishing our 2008 predictions this week. (


Short Stories said...

Self published content is already making headway. You have made an accurate assessment. I like to hear others views that agree with what I was already assuming.

Dan McCarthy said...

Josh –

I’ve just started to understand social networking and blogging as a learning phenomenon. I started writing my own leadership development blog,, and am totally hooked on it. It’s something I do on my own time, not officially associated with my “day job”, although many of the topics I post on based on current challenges.

If I was doing this on company time as part of a sanctioned learning tool, I’m not sure if it would be as fun. I like having complete editorial freedom, and having the potential to reach out to a world of learning professionals and leaders.

My company still gets the same benefit – the content is relevant and available to our leaders – and they are basically getting my services “for free”. I’m also learning a lot about leadership development by doing this, again on my own time.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out, for me and other “corporate bloggers”.

Stuart Kruse said...

I have one simple Christmas wish. I'd like the business world and the ID world to make a simple resolution:

To stop using computers to deliver content.

Let's use computers for interaction, for simulation, for supporting communication/conversation, for reflection, experimentation, for practice, for sharing, for finding, for creating, for saving and for growing...but not for delivering simple content.

I believe this one simple resolution would transfer the world of on-line learning. It wouldn't matter if the business world was slow to change and can't deal yet with simulations, wikis, blogs and other things...if nothing else, if they still want to do electronic courseware, if they vowed to fill it with interaction rather than content, we'd start the slow evolution we all know is due.

Happy Christmas all,
Mindful - waiting for the change

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Hey Josh,

My last couple of posts are about this issue of self-published content. We're doing it in the LMS through blogs, discussions, comments and through Community via multiple mechanisms. This is a reasonably unstructured way to self-publish.

But we're also doing this within our course authoring tool. We think there is value in extending the authoring paradigm to include SME's (through a new Contributor role within the tool) and learners (through learner-facing blog and comment widgets embedded directly in the courses). We think that the combination of extending authoring roles and enabling contributions by learners within structured content provides a way to move to "self-publishing" in a controlled way. A big part of our strategy for 2009 is meeting companies where they are. Some are ready for self-publishing in unstructured ways; some may want more control as they start moving toward social learning. We're striving to provide a robust answer to both with clear migration paths from one to the other.