The market for e-learning just keeps growing and growing, according to research and sales figures.
A survey by Ambient Insight Research has showed that the worldwide market for e-learning products was $32.1 billion (£20.5 billion) in 2010 and is expected to rise to $49.9 billion by 2015.Products and methods of online learning that were deemed the most successful in sales rates included "how to" videos, step-by-step interactive guides and course notes which have multi-media inserts and annotations which directed learners to other resources.
Writing for Gadget magazine, Andre Joubert of MWEB Business said that he thinks the availability of media-rich, interactive e-learning content on the internet - and the advent of uncapped, business-strength broadband connectivity is changing the face of e-learning. He based his analysis on South Africa, but his principles apply worldwide as global sales figures show.
Mr Joubert said: "E-learning has long been recognised as offering considerable advantages over conventional classroom-based training when it comes to training employees and management quickly, efficiently and conveniently. "There are online courses that offer recognised and accredited qualifications in everything from human resource management and marketing to project management and software applications development."
Training through online learning is now widely available on the internet and Mr Joubert commented that it can be beneficial to anything from flower arranging and PowerPoint presentations to health and safety. He mentioned that the advice and skills available through e-learning are valuable to many people and a range of businesses.
Mr Joubert cited many benefits of the virtual classroom, such as convenience, relevance, immediacy, affordability and ease of use. He added that beginning the learning experience can be as easy as starting up an internet browser. According to research by Key Note from last year, instructor-led training represents the largest sector of the market, although e-learning teaching - which includes blended learning - showed the highest growth over the review period between 2005 and 2009.