While most companies use e-learning, just seven per cent see it as one of the top three most effective training methods, according to a CIPD survey. Only 50 per cent of employees who are offered e-learning take it up, while just 30 per cent are reported as completing their courses. Yet the use of e-learning continues to rise, with 29 per cent of companies saying that between 25 and 50 per cent of all training will be done remotely.

Large companies are more likely to use e-learning – some 79 per cent of organisations with over 5,000 staff currently use e-learning. By contrast, only 39 per cent of companies with less than 250 employees use e-learning materials.


Respondents rate e-learning as most effective when combined with other methods, while 92 per cent believe that using e-learning successfully requires a different attitude in the learner.


“E-leaning is here to stay but it’s clear from our survey that it is still not fully appreciated by learners or by training managers,” says Martyn Sloman, learning and development adviser, CIPD. “Businesses need to remember that technology is there to support people management and development strategies, not replace them.”


Comment: As long ago as October 1992, I got into some trouble for reporting – accurately – potentially embarrassing remarks made by Chris Wallden, who had been head of training development for Barclays Bank. He said – in a meeting of the Association for Computer Based Training (TACT), later the eLearning Network – that Barclays’ trainers felt that computer based training (e-learning) programmes would take away the demand for their ‘in class’ experience and so opposed the increased use of e-learning within the bank’s mixed-media approach to training. From Martyn Sloman’s comments, nothing much appears to have changed within the ‘HR mindset’ in 16 years.