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e-Learning Budgets Increase in the U.K.'s Voluntary Sector

By Bob Little / June 2010

TYPE: OPINION
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A survey of learning technologies in the voluntary sector—encompassing more than 80 charities, representing more than 50,000 staff and volunteers— has found that:

  • The top four benefits of adopting learning technologies are:
    1. improving flexibility of learning
    2. improving access to learning
    3. cutting costs and
    4. increasing reach.
  • More than 66 percent of participants are looking for their investment in learning technologies to:
    1. increase staff retention
    2. improve training quality
    3. increase the number of qualified staff
    4. enhance the induction process
    5. reduce time spent learning and
    6. improve administration efficiency.
  • Improving learning delivery and its impact is more important than just finding a "cheaper option" when it comes to employing learning technologies.

The survey, carried out by e-learning analysts Towards Maturity, in partnership with the Charity Learning Consortium (CLC), is available at www.charitylearning.org/benchmark.

There's nothing particularly earth-shattering in these findings, although there would have been if the survey hadn't revealed these things. Nonetheless, it's nice to see that the voluntary sector is waking up to the advantages of "learning technologies" (otherwise known as e-learning systems and content) and following the lead of all the other sectors in the economy.

However, what is really innovative in this story is how the third sector is freely sharing best practice through, for example, the Charity Learning Consortium.

According to sources close to this Consortium, there is a genuine openness among members to collaborate in this field at least. Consortium members include some of the major charities in the U.K., notably the British Red Cross, Mencap, The Prince's Trust, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID), the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Barnado's, Breast Cancer Care, Guide Dogs for the Blind, and the Duke of Edinburgh's Award.

About the Author
For more than 20 years, Bob Little has specialized in writing about, and commentating on, corporate learning—especially e-learning—and technology-related subjects. His work has been published in the U.K., Europe, the U.S., and Australia. Contact Bob at bob.little@boblittlepr.com.



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