2009 saw another shift in training delivery methods, as L&D organizations continued to search for ways to save money. Our research shows that use of online delivery – including self-study e-learning and virtual classroom training – reached an all-time high, with 33% of training hours delivered by these methods. (For more information, see The Corporate Learning Factbook 2010 report.)
The increase came primarily at the expense of instructor-led classroom training (ILT). Although ILT remained the dominant delivery method (accounting for 60% of training hours delivered), its use has declined. Some ILT hours have been replaced with virtual classroom training (VILT), which uses a live, remote instructor broadcast online or over video. Virtual classrooms maintain the benefit of live instruction, while avoiding the costs associated with travel and facilities. Use of VILT increased to 13% of training hours delivered in 2009.
In addition, some companies reduced their in-person classroom time by offering online pre-work and post-work in a blended learning format. Use of online self-study courses increased to 20% of training hours delivered in 2009. Consider that in 2005, this percentage was just 7%.
Fortunately, e-learning courses are evolving beyond the hours-long "page-turners" from yester-year. E-learning content is increasingly moving toward short segments that can be delivered multiple device types – computer, cell phone, or PDA. With the ease of creating rich media, the content may incorporate audio, video, or a 3-D simulation. These factors are changing the face of e-learning.