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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Social learning adoption slower than expected, survey finds

The adoption of mobile and social learning in organisations is falling behind expectations, according to the results of the fifth UK Learning Trends Index.

The research conducted by GoodPractice in conjunction with Reed Learning and INL consultancy finds that new ways of learning and working should now be common, with 60 per cent of respondents reporting an increased reliance on informal learning.

A further 54 per cent predict a growth in their use of social media and 70 per cent highlight the importance of learning technologies, including mobile solutions. Despite this, the research reveals a significant gap between what organisations want and what is actually happening.

More than 300 people participated in the survey but only 24 per cent of respondents actually have an agreed strategy in place for informal learning. Worryingly, only 21 per cent have trialled any kind of mobile learning initiative.

Nigel Paine, strategic adviser on learning and talent, said: "This report confirms a lot of assumptions; the desire to move to mobile, the need for a strategy for informal learning and the impetus around employee engagement. But this confirmation is actually dynamite. It gives a locus and a context for all those involved in L&D and the senior executives that support it."

GoodPractice also points to the importance of continuing to invest in informal learning, especially from a managerial perspective. The Learning Habits of Leaders and Managers research report published recently revealed that when they are faced with a new or difficult challenge at work, leaders and managers demonstrate a strong preference for informal learning and social support.

Peter Casebow, CEO of GoodPractice, said: "Some would say you can't control or plan for something like informal learning, but you can put a strategy in place. Based on our experience, any strategy for informal learning needs to include three basic areas: improving basic skills, such as searching for information effectively, creating opportunities and encouraging sharing and collaboration.

"As the UK's predicted economic recovery continues to falter, the pressure placed upon L&D to design and deliver learning initiatives which will boost organisational performance across a range of key areas has undoubtedly grown. We look forward to seeing the impact of this more business related focus in future Learning Trends results."


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