The ATD published a report on Instructional design: “Instructional design now: a new age of learning and beyond”. They did a survey among 1120 learning professionals. I find outcomes of this report shocking. For 92% the most popular tool is traditional classroom training, and only 38% believes that they meet their learners needs. Here is their info-graphic.
Some more detail from the report:
Top 10 approaches in Learning:
- 92% – Traditional classroom instruction
- 77% – Assessments
- 70% – LMS
- 70% – Blended learning
- 69% – In person coaching
- 66% – Structured on the job training
- 65% – Courseware authoring tools
- 65% – Synchronous learning systems
- 63% – In-person mentoring
- 61% – Asynchronous learning systems
All this is really old school stuff. No social learning, no informal learning, nothing about connecting learning to the business. 35% does not even use an authoring tool at all. Are the still using pen and paper? I knew that the Instructional Design community is not the most innovative community, but I was unpleasantly surprised with these outcomes.
Another interesting list is the challenges instructional designers face.
At number 1: 41% of the respondents indicates that the lack of leader support is their main challenge. Another clear sign that learning is still not integrated at all in the business side.
Number 2 is lack of skills and competencies (40%), a shocking 40% believes that the are not able to do their job in a proper way! There probably is a relation with the fact that 38% doesn’t have any qualification in eLearning or instructional design at all.
Funding, measuring of effectiveness, technologies and keeping up with developments are among the other top 10 challenges. But number 10 is really interesting again: 16% of the respondents indicates they are challenged by the loss of control due to the success of informal learning. This indicates to me that informal learning is happening despite the L&D department and that they see it as a threat, instead of an opportunity they should embrace.
But the most shocking figure for me was that 38% of respondents believes that they meet their users needs. This means that 62% believes that they are not doing a good job. Meeting the learners needs is a basic requirement. Improving their skills and behavior so that can contribute more to the business goals is the real goal. It does say in the report that almost half of the respondents do believe that they have a positive impact on business goals. But that still means that almost 70 of the respondents believe that what they do is of no importance to their organization! And more than 50% believes that what they does not have any impact on their organizations goals.
I gave my summary post after the last DevLearn conference in Las Vegas the title ‘The gap is widening, we are in a crisis‘. The reason for that was that I noticed an increasing distance between the speakers at the conference and the audience. I did have some doubts about that title. I thought that maybe I was exaggerating it a bit. But after this report I would say:
The canyon is widening: We are in a crisis!
You can download the white paper or book at the ATD (The white paper is free for members, $ 19.99 for non members)