Technology

Report: 90% of Associations Use Technology to Enhance Learning

By / Dec 16, 2013 (iStock/Thinkstock)

Associations that implement a strategic approach to incorporating technology into learning report more revenue gains, according to a new report from Tagoras.

Roughly half of associations that use technology for learning purposes reported they have been able to increase their net revenue from educational offerings, a new report [PDF] from Tagoras found.

The day will arrive, maybe sooner than we all think, when we can drop the term technology altogether when talking about learning.

The report—“Association Learning + Technology 2014”also found that less than a quarter of the 200 associations surveyed have a formal, documented strategy for using technology to enhance or enable learning.

“In most cases, using technology should increase the number of people you’re able to reach with learning offerings, so you expect revenue to go up even if you aren’t being all that strategic,” said Celisa Steele, managing director and cofounder of Tagoras. “The survey clearly shows, though, that organizations that are strategic make bigger gains: 69.7 percent of organizations with a formal strategy for how technology will be used to enable or enhance learning report an increase in revenue, versus 51.7 percent of all respondents.”

The report also found that most associations, almost 90 percent of those surveyed, are offering some kind of technology-enabled or technology-enhanced learning. This marks a steady increase from 2008 and 2010, when Tagoras conducted similar surveys. About 60 percent of respondents reported using technology for learning in 2008, and 77 percent reported using it in 2010.

Other areas of growth include virtual conferences and mobile learning options, or what the report authors termed “m-learning.” From 2010, there was an almost 50 percent increase in associations using technology to offer virtual conferences, and a 300 percent increase in the number of associations providing a mobile version of at least some of their content.

“Add in those planning to offer a mobile version in the next 12 months, and we’re on track for a majority of associations to make m-learning part of their offerings in the near future,” the reported stated.

Webinars and webcasts ranked as the most popular types of technology-enhanced or technology-enabled learning, with 80 percent of respondents offering recorded and real-time versions of these learning formats. Self-paced courses came in third, followed by facilitated online courses and blended learning.

“It used to be that technology automatically meant online education or e-learning,” said Jeff Cobb, managing director and cofounder of Tagoras. “That’s no longer the case—technology is now woven into just about every form of learning. The day will arrive, maybe sooner than we all think, when we can drop the term technology altogether when talking about learning.”

Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. More »

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