Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
During today's presentation I began thinking about how we measure success in e-learning. IDC talked a lot about spending, which makes sense from a provider point of view. But from my perspective, e-learning would be a success if I spent less on learning. This theme is echoed in Jakob Nielsen's column from today. Increased productivity, he noted, means decreased expenses. Even small time savings, he writes, add up. It's old knowledge, of course: a one minute time saving per day multiplied across 10,000 employees adds up to a significant chunk of money. But doesn't this eventually result in layoffs, he asks? No: the lower the cost of a unit of production, the more units will be produced. It should work the same way in learning, and indeed, this is the whole point. By lowering the cost of learning, we greatly increase the amount of learning that takes place. So while we should perhaps simply rely on raw spending figures, we can measure growth in the industry.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Sept 22, 2023 03:50 a.m.

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