The market for online learning — where users go at their own pace and on their own schedule — has been growing constantly, led by the corporate sector, one of the top users of online training. Small- and medium-size businesses also are using online training much more than in the past.
According to a recent report on Web-based learning, the corporate sector will continue to be the leading buyer of Web-based training programs. The education sector is expected to be the second biggest buyer of online educational programs.
The market for online learning has passed $17 billion and is expected to continue growing at more than seven percent a year, according to a recent report. There has been growth in online learning in all groups, including corporations; healthcare; non-profits; federal, state and local governments; school and colleges; and consumers.
The healthcare industry is expected to expand the most in online learning, with education, both scholastic and collegiate, second in line. Healthcare has been relatively immune to the pressures of the recession, according to the report’s authors, which accounts for its continued expansion in the online learning area.
Online learning is now second in demand to classroom learning for acquiring skills and knowledge. The use of the Web has become more common for purposes of personal development and as a reference source.
Online learning has become a widely-used companion to classroom learning. But when people needed to find information quickly to meet a business deadline, they rated Web-based learning as the best place to go. Classroom learning finished second in people’s ratings for finding knowledge quickly. Web-based learning has become such a key component for business training because people can use it for immediate results when researching or referencing something.
When looking at the different types of training programs available – both classroom and Web-based – people valued depth of knowledge the highest, followed by how fast the knowledge could be accessed. Below these priorities, learners looked for the amount of interaction with the instructor and other learners.
The combination of both classroom and Internet learning seemed to work best because it enabled people to get the knowledge background they needed to help them with their training program and also to learn particular pieces of knowledge when they needed to.
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