aLearning Blog

Online Learning for Trade Associations

Plans for eLearning Development are on the Rise

Posted by Ellen on December 26, 2008

Two respected sources, citing at least two respected studies, indicate that elearning development will continue to increase in the next year.

Chief Learning Officer ( surveys a segment of its readership monthly on various topics, and in November reported on expected investments of training dollars and whether those investments in training are expected to increase or decrease. Forty-two percent of responding learning officers reported an anticipated increase in spending. The highest area of growth? eLearning, of course! Seventy-nine percent of respondents said they expected to increase el-learning. The next highest response was performance management (70%), so elearning is clearly a key focus for learning executives in the next year. When ased about their use of external providers of the next two years, 53% of respondents cited outsourcing content development work on a project-to-project basis.

The 2008 ASTD State of the Industry Report ( was reported in the November issue of T+D magazine, and those results support the CLO findings as well — organizations have continued to increase the amount of online learning they offer. In 2006, 65% of learning hours were “instructor-led real time” but dropped to 61% in 2007. “Technology-based” learning hours comprised 30.3% of offerings in 2006 but grew to 32.6% in 2007.

If you benchmark against for-profit training, 90% of online learning was self-paced in 2007, and has been at that level for several years. Maybe even more important is this data nugget: in 2007, more than a third of learning hours were offered via technology (online).

How do you stack up?

Okay… one more piece of data from the same issue of T+D: In resonse to the question, “Has the economy changed the types and amount of training your organization provides to employees?” 62% of respondents said, “Yes.”

Ours has. We’re offering at least one Webinar in place of a live event just in the next month.

How prepared are you? Has your association’s learning strategy anticipated lower registrations and enrollments for live events? Have you, like those for-profits surveyed and summarized here, planned to increase online learning to ensure your members continue to get the training and education they need and expect? If you were to be surveyed today about your online learning plans, what would you say? Are you ready for tougher times ahead, or not?

2 Responses to “Plans for eLearning Development are on the Rise”

  1. Jeff Cobb said

    Ellen – A bit of additional data for your mix. In the recent Association
    Sector E-learning Survey
    I asked participants whether their total education budgets – including e-learning – would go up, down, or stay about the same in 2009. The largest group of respondents (49%) said “stay about the same.” When I asked about e-learning by itself, however, 56.5% said their budgets will go up in 2009. Plans are indeed on the rise! – Jeff

  2. Ellen said

    Jeff — Thanks for adding to the data stream! Certainly it makes sense that money is being diverted to elearning in this economic climate. Looking forward to seeing your survey results!

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