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Economic Crisis Boosts E-Learning

The present world’s economic woes are opening up new opportunities for innovative forms of education and training such as informal learning, e-learning and blended learning.

Faced with shrinking budgets, the use of learning technologies is becoming increasingly attractive for businesses: This was the appraisal articulated by the consultants and training professionals who responded to an impromptu survey undertaken by the international e-learning conference Online Educa Berlin.

Many enterprises definitely intend to drive down training costs, according to Sue Martin, Global Certification Portfolio Manager at SAP, but employee qualification nevertheless remains a key factor in enhancing the ability to compete. "Against this background, e-learning could see its greatest upswing in years", the SAP manager asserts. "In times of tight or zero travel budgets and increasing environmental awareness, the importance of learning technologies has to be given a second look.”

Charles Jennings, Global Head of Learning at the media concern Thomson Reuters, says: "’Do more with less’ is today’s corporate byword. The path is leading away from resource-hungry approaches such as face-to-face teaching with its lack of scalability." According to Jennings, the main threat for training departments is that if they do not adapt to ‘smarter’ approaches and increased focus on working to improve business performance, they will be marginalised and downsized.

"Only the most business-critical training will remain unscathed", confirms the British e-learning consultant Clive Sheperd. Christophe Binot, E-Learning Manager at the French oil firm Total, adds: "The newest solutions make it possible to turn a PowerPoint presentation into a course for a thousand employees within two hours. The ROI outperfoms training in a classroom."

The current and future effects of the economic situation on education and training will be a topic at Online Educa Berlin. From December 3 - 5, the international conference and trade exhibition will tackle the gamut of issues related to learning technologies for schools, universities and enterprises. The venue is the Hotel InterContinental Berlin.

Beate Kleessen | alfa
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