According to a report by virtual learning worlds and serious games’ specialists Ambient, there is a general slow down in spend on self-paced e-learning due to three market factors:
- The commoditisation of platforms and tools, which reduces market price
- Pricing pressures in the corporate e-learning sector caused by the slow economic recovery
- The growing tendency for buyers to buy other types of learning technology products – such as virtual classroom technology – rather than an e-learning module
Steve Rayson, of Kineo, has gone on record as saying: “Ambient’s market report says there is slow down in the market for self-paced e-learning. We don’t see it yet, though we see the rationale.”
In response, the well known e-learning consultant, Glynn Jung, has commented: “There are reductions in generic content reported to me by most suppliers plus a lot of activity finding channel partners other than box shifters. I had lengthy discussions in March and April with CEdMA (IT commercial training managers). They are experiencing slowing in demand in certification upgrades (including e-learning). ITL and PRINCE2 continue to grow, however.
“So the pattern is there but training hasn’t stopped. It’s just different and more focused – also more pull-based by learners.”
Meanwhile, in the related sector of e-learning within the academic (education) sector, one source in Australia has revealed that, in recent months, ‘we’ve had a veritable tsunami of brilliant UK academics applying for positions out here.’
Comment: That would seem to make it 2 – 1 in favour of those seeing a slow down in the UK e-learning market or 3 – 1, if that slow down is allied to a change in focus in the market. The ‘1’ has come from the supplier sector. Of course, this sector may be thought to have a vested interest in promoting the idea that, if not continuing to boom, business isn’t at all bad.
Nonetheless, this is an interesting and illuminating insight from the Australasian market – into which the cash-strapped, recently jobless UK-based e-learning related academics are going or, at least, attempting to go. Given that we’re not only in the middle of a financial crisis but also experiencing a rather dull, dismal and rainy summer at the moment, I can’t blame them.