Tagoras recently released its much-anticipated 2016 Association Learning + Technology Report, which contains a wealth of information about associations’ efforts to incorporate technology into their educational programs and platforms.
We know the educational landscape is changing as associations adapt to their members’ learning needs and habits. In fact, almost 90 percent of the nearly 200 associations that responded to Tagoras’ survey reported offering technology-enabled or technology-enhanced education for their members.
Webinars continue to be the No. 1 technological learning tool, followed by online learning programs, such as tutorials or presentations.
But some new types of learning are also emerging: massive open online courses, flipped classes, gamified learning, microcredentials and microlearning, which has the highest rate of adoption.
Other key takeaways from the report:
- Social media – Not surprisingly, associations use YouTube for education. But Twitter ranks a close second followed by LinkedIn and Facebook.
- Mobile learning – About 41 percent of associations that use technology for learning provide a mobile version of their content. In addition, in the next year, 26 percent plan to go mobile.
- Live streaming – Not many associations offer virtual conferences, but instead nearly 30 percent said they live stream events.
- Learning Management Systems – A LMS is the second most popular technology platform. In fact, the percentage of LMS users increased from 51 percent in 2013 to 60 percent in 2015.
- Data – Despite a growing use in technology, less than one-fifth of respondents said they always use data to decide which learning platforms to use for future educational opportunities.
- Instructional design – More than 50 percent of associations employ instructional designers.
- Chief Learning Officer – About 40 percent of respondents said someone within their organization holds a title that incorporates the word “learning.”
- Knowledge transfer – More than 30 percent of associations reported using technology to sustain learning after the completion of an educational product or service.
- Credentialing – Across the board, credentialing is becoming increasingly important for education. In fact, 68 percent of associations provide education to support a credential required in their field.
Blending technology and learning seems to make business sense for associations. More than half of those surveyed have seen an increase in revenue from their educational offerings. In addition, the associations that employ a Chief Learning Officer, or someone with a similar title, net more revenue from their educational offerings than those that don’t. Read: Credibility counts.
All this said, cost is still a top concern among associations. Just more than 50 percent of respondents said they’re satisfied with the cost of creating educational offerings and the cost of employing staff to develop and execute them.
Somewhat disappointing: Only 18 percent of associations that use technology think they’re successful.
“Technology has changed learning irrevocably, and the rate of change isn’t likely to slow,” Tagoras said. “This creates a clear opportunity for technology to transition into a more significant, more strategic part of the mix of education and professional development associations provide to members.”
As this happens, Tagoras predicts:
- Growth in implementation of learning platforms and their integration with other key systems, like association management systems
- A continued focus on professional instructional design to help ensure educational products are effective
- An increase in competition that will, in turn, drive experimentation as associations look at how best to deliver more value
- The professionalization of the education function overall and the growth of roles like chief learning officer
Aligning with Event Garde’s tagline, Learn.Network.Transfer, look for blog posts throughout the next few months that break down specific elements of Tagoras’ report.