Learning + Technology: The Latest on What Associations Are Doing

I asked Jeff Cobb to share a summary of his great new report on social learning, a topic which you know is dear to our hearts. Download!


How are trade and professional associations using technology to enable or enhance their education programs?

To what extent do social media, mobile, and trends like massive open online courses factor in?

How much success are organizations having with technology-enabled and technology-enhanced learning?

Those are just a few of the questions we set out to answer with the latest edition of the Association Learning + Technology report.

The full report is now available for free download – as in no money or e-mail address required – but here, also, are some quick highlights:

  • The report was based on a survey that drew responses from 200 organizations. 88.7 percent of respondents indicated their organization already offers technology-enabled or technology-enhanced learning. Anther 10.6 percent said they plan to within the coming 12 months. Clearly technology is now an integral part of association education.
  • Webinars still dominate the landscape, as they have the last two times we ran a similar survey. Over 80 percent of survey respondents using technology for learning said they offer recorded (i.e., on-demand) and real-time (i.e., live) Webinars or Webcasts. Self-paced online courses, at 65.5 percent, were the only other format that came close to Webinars.
  • When it comes to more sophisticated and innovative forms of technology-driven learning, associations still have a ways to go. Only 31.4 percent report doing blended learning, an approach that typically combines classroom-based and online learning. Less than 10 percent of respondents indicated that have experimented with trendy new options like massive open online courses (MOOCs), digital badges, flipped classrooms, or gamification.
  • Among social media tools specifically asked about in the survey, YouTube is the most common in associations’ learning programs (used by 33.1 percent of respondents), but Twitter (32.2 percent), Facebook (28.8 percent), and LinkedIn (27.6 percent) follow not far behind.
  • Just over half of respondents (51 percent) report using a learning management system (LMS) to deliver and manage education. This number has grown quite a bit from the 39.7 percent of respondents who reported using either an LMS or a learning content management system (LCMS) in the 2010 edition of the survey.
  • Finally, the majority (51.7 percent) of associations that use technology for learning have increased their organization’s net revenue from educational offering. The vast majority also characterize their efforts to use technology enhanced or enabled learning as either somewhat successful (66.7 percent) or very successful (19.1 percent). In the report we also identify the key practices of the “very successful” organizations.