e-Learning in Nonprofits and Associations

A very interesting document about e-learning uses in a 697 nonprofits survey carried on by Isoph and N-TEN: what do they use it for, what are the main pros and cons, etc.

The key findings are as follows:

  • There’s a wide and growing adoption of e-learning among NPOs, being the largest organizations the most rapid adopters. The survey points that the main reasons for this are a big annual budget and/or a wide geographic focus. I totally agree with this, but I’d like to add that a managerial culture within the organization is also a must to adopt e-learning. While little NPOs usually just don’t “understand” the concept of investment, bigger NPOs do. The reason – linked to big budgets, of course – is that they prefer action than bureaucracy, forgetting that some of this bureaucracy will entail more efficiency in the overall performance of the NPO and its projects.
  • Vast majority of organizations are (somewhat) satisfied, mainly due to convenience for learners, ability to reach more learners (access) and cost-effectiveness.
  • Main barriers are staff time, funding, expertise, concern about end user’s technology and concern for effectiveness. I think most of these barriers will disappear once e-learning is a well known technology widely adopted by many, especially concern and expertise matters. Staff time barries are surely linked with what I said before about seeing training in general (not just e-learning) an investment instead of a simple expenditure such as travel costs or electricity consumes.
  • Most uses concern staff and volunteer training, in first place, and advocacy in second place. There’s a big lack of training for development. End user’s technology concern/shortage is, no doubt, the barrier to overcome in this case. Sadly, is surely one of the best applications of e-learning in development projects.

More info:

e-Learning in Nonprofits and Associations (124 Kb)

[via Development Gateway]

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2004) “e-Learning in Nonprofits and Associations” In ICTlogy, #15, December 2004. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
Retrieved month dd, yyyy from http://ictlogy.net/review/?p=200

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