Online training is currently estimated to be a twenty seven billion dollar industry and it’s still in its infancy. Based on research, Ambient postulates that over the next three years the online training industry is expected to mushroom into a fifty billion dollar industry. During this time, pricing for online training services is dropping to a fraction of what it once was similar to electronics. A good example is when digital versatile disc (DVD) players first hit the market they were in excess of $1,000 per unit, but today you can purchase one for less than $40. Online learning is following the same model. Some large online training companies were charging over $40,000 for initial setup, plus annual fees in excess of $25,000 per year, plus fees for each user and fees for every course which can escalate costs well into the six figures per year. New technologies and innovative start up companies like BIS trainer are now offering comparable systems with better service for a fraction of the price. Based the Ambient Insight Market forecast and the highly competitive pricing for online learning the growth of online learning should escalate four hundred percent in the next 3 years in terms of usage.
The current challenge with online training is the resistance, similar to resistance with any new technology. Some people and companies that are not online with internet based training offer a host of excuses and reasons to support their beliefs. There are people that say there is no future in online, classroom training is superior and there is no way to replace it. Others say that online training courses are boring and employees do not enjoy taking them. Another push back from organizations is that they cannot say for sure if that person who was supposed to take the training really did instead of someone taking it on his or her behalf. This is an interesting point of view.
The reality is that computers are getting easier to operate and more affordable to purchase. In addition, internet access is rapidly becoming ubiquitous. It’s now possible to purchase a new laptop computer with incredible speed and quality for less than $600. The cost of mobile internet is less than $50 per month. These changes alone are breaking down some of the barriers to entry for potential end-users.
As for classroom training versus online training, both are valuable, but a 12-year study from the US department of Education has recently shown that online training achieves superior results across the board over classroom based training. When combining classroom based training with online learning the results become even more impressive.
The idea that online learning is boring was based on the old computer-based training courses which were typically developed using canned eLearning authoring tools which allowed people to make numerous courses quickly similar to using PowerPoint, but today there are many more options being to surface. Production level quality training courses with virtual instructors are more like watching TV shows than training courses.
New interactive games embedded into online courses now help end users learn important principles while having fun. New Game Based Learning for online training opens the doors to endless possibilities for the future of eLearning and this is just the beginning!
Finally, the question of who is taking what online courses is easily solved using proctoring technology. Proctoring technology allows online courses to be locked until a proctor, like the onsite human resources manager, unlocks the course for the users and watches them complete each course. This level of security is not always needed, but is available when required for critical safety training courses that require compliance.
Based on these new finding and new technologies the projected growth of the eLearning market will probably be much higher than expected in the next five to ten years. Global market size will probably exceed one hundred billion dollars by the end of 2015.