What Organizations Are REALLY Looking For In Online Training

What Organizations Are REALLY Looking For In Online Training

It may seem that nothing has changed over the course of the last ten years when it comes to online training and learning technologies. Most, if all not all, organizations want better trained employees. That’s a no brainer. Training managers want to be able to more efficiently train employees.

My eyes were opened when I came across a recent publication by Towards Maturity; an independent, not for profit organisation that works to improve the impact of learning technologies in the workplace. They published a benchmark study titled New Learning Agenda – Talent: Technology: Change which details learning trends over the course of the last ten years.

Having access to a study like this is not only incredibly insightful, it’s also very reassuring to us as a provider of custom elearning development and training services to organizations.

Of particular note was a table from the Longitudinal Trends document that accompanied the study.

The table below details two of the the key business drivers for the implementation of learning technologies from the years 2004 – 2013. The percentages indicate the percentage of respondents citing this as a key driver for investment in learning technologies.


Business Driver








Increase access and flexibility in providing staff training








Increase productivity








Increase access and flexibility in providing staff training

There a number of interesting insights that can be derived from the above chart. One of which that immediately stands out is the upward trend for “Increase access and flexibility in providing staff training” — which started at 10% importance in 2004 and is 98% in 2013.

This tells us a number of things. Firstly, access and flexibility are indicative of the rise of mobile learning. I can only speculate that the increase in this driver from 2009 to 2010 is a result of the introduction of the iPad and more broadly the rise of tablet computing. It may very well be. There’s no denying that tablets and smartphones do increase the access and flexibility of online training.

Mobile learning goes hand in hand with the rise of cloud-based services. From a personal perspective, much of the work I do here revolves around the usage of cloud-based online services. It gives me the opportunity to check in if needed to without making the commute to the office.

Whether it’s Google Drive, Dropbox, or even a cloud-based Learning Management System (LMS), the fact remains that being able to access services is increasingly important in today’s work environment.

Increase Productivity

Another driver of note from the above chart is “Increase Productivity”. On first glance, that doesn’t really tell us a lot. Upon further inspection, it tells us a lot more. Namely, that there’s increased attention to the actual employee results that online training is expected to deliver.

When this question was initially asked in 2008, 49% of respondents cited this as an important factor. Fast forward to 2013, the number has almost doubled with 91% of respondents citing this as important.

So what does “Productivity” mean in relation to this business driver? From a training standpoint, this means that not only is the online training expected to be more effective, it also means that the results are being carefully monitored in the online training software.

This is turn drives the quality of the online training. While “presentation-style” online training may have been easy to deliver in the years past, its lack of effectiveness as a means driving behavioral change and skill adoption has become apparent.

With increases in available technology and instructional design techniques, today’s best online courses are more interactive, have a solid learning foundation and available on most devices.

Final Note

There is an increased awareness in what makes up effective etraining. Not only does it need to deliver the content, it need to do so in a way that drives performance, increases knowledge retention and addresses poor completion rates. Substandard online training doesn’t cut it anymore and employees — and the ones responsible for delivering the training — are becoming aware of this fact. The numbers are there to back it up.

To learn more about how you can deliver online training that gets results, download our free ebook Learn How To Create Performance Based Elearning.

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