Why aLearning Won’t Go Away as Non-Dues Revenue
Posted by Ellen on April 6, 2008
I’ve been reading Jeff Cobb’s Mission to Learn post, “You Want Me to Pay for Learning?” and while I agree that learners will be more reluctant to pay for online learning — because so much is free already on the Web — I don’t agree that this alone is the reason we should stop charging registration fees for our online offerings (see my comment and his response for more dialogue on this, including the fact that some online learning costs real money to produce and those costs need to be recovered).
Here’s another reason: increasing costs related to in-person education and training sessions will drive people to the Web as an alternative. Some associations have even moved their annual conference online (Jack Coursen and Matthew Cutter presented on why and how the American Speech-Hearing-Language Association did this for their audiologists at the 2007 ASAE and The Center’s Technology Conference).
The challenges won’t go away as costs continue to rise. Even if they stay the same, we’re seeing some participants tackle $800 flights, $200/night hotel accommodations, plus meals, ground transporation, and other costs, with per diems that have never been adequate to start with.
A woman at a national training and meeting center recently posted a note to a forum saying she had heard from a customer who said “they have cut their training budget, placed a moratorium on all offsite training, and is losing her job at the end of the month. I was shocked… I haven’t heard that from a customer since after 9/11.” She asked if others on the forum were feeling similar effects of the current recession.
The posting got a lot of traffic, most of it agreeing that in their respective companies and non-profits they are seeing cut-backs. Others are seeing an increase in online learning. One wrote he’s seeing an increase of 10-15% in the utilization of elearning compared to the same time last year.
Here’s my argument: our members will pay for elearning IF the value is there for the content, IF the cost is affordable, and IF it means saving money in the long run.
If you had to choose between
(a) sending a staff member to live training that costs $250 for the registration fee, airfare, ground transportation, at least one night in a hotel, and meals (let’s just say it all totals $1000) while trying to adjust the workload to accommodate that person’s absence from the office for at least two days
(b) registering for an online class covering the same content but will cost one day “out of the office” (in the office, but with the door closed) for $175
which would you choose?
This entry was posted on April 6, 2008 at 2:18 pm and is filed under aLearning Trends, Justifying aLearning. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.