According to the “Association Learning + Technology Report” created by Tagoras, “Digital badges are offered by 14.8 percent and, like micro-learning, seem poised for significant growth with a quarter (25.3 percent) of respondents reporting plans to add digital badges in the year ahead. Flipped classes are offered by 13.3 percent of respondents, and gamified learning and MOOCs are currently offered by under a tenth of respondents using technology for learning.”

The statistics stated above are results of an online non-statistical survey, conducted by Tagoras, that evaluates how associations are incorporating formal and informal learning to keep their members up to speed on the latest information in the work place. Jon Aleckson and Andy Hicken, of Web Courseworks, interviewed Celisa Steele, co-founder and managing director of Tagoras. In this interview, Celisa explains how Tagoras predicts the future of learning technology in the association space based on their online survey.

The following questions were asked during the interview:

Impact of the survey

“Tell me about why you do this technology survey and what you’ve learned over the past number of years that you’ve done this survey in terms of the market acceptance of it in general and your motivation to continue to do it?”

The report has been conducted 5 times as of today. The data shows how education has been supported year after year and how it has changed throughout.

“Can you address what you’ve seen over the years as far as documented strategy and give us some anecdotal evidence in terms of the impact of your learning business maturity model?”

There is a “strategy vacuum”. There is a lot of focus in associations on the day to day tasks but very few who are thinking proactively and planning for their bigger vision: what they’re offering, who they’re offering to, etc. Celisa emphasizes the importance of strategy and how it plays a role in their business maturity model.

“Do you see education managers, CTOs, etc., at associations using your survey with boards to justify investments?”

That was one purpose of the survey and Tagoras is aware of organizations using the survey for this reason. Having data from the report to make observations and decisions moving forward is helpful.

“Can you talk a little bit about what you’ve seen over the years in terms of online learning as a business and revenue generator?”

One of the data points Tagoras has collected addresses if the use of technology to promote learning has increased revenue and membership for associations. They’ve seen this to be true.

 Association Learning Awareness

“How do you see the impact of formal versus informal writing coming into play?”

Learning happens formally and informally. From the survey, they’ve observed a jump in microlearning. There has been an increase of 18% within the last year.

“It seems to me that one of the ways associations can bridge their mission to provide credentialed formal learning, but also provide the informal learning for their members, is the use of technology. Are you seeing how people are doing that as far as bridging that dichotomy by making that micro learning more creditable?”

The growth in the private online community platform has been the biggest observation in bridging the gap in formal and informal learning.

“I was pretty excited about the increasing adoption of badges and the plans for more organizations to start using badges. Do you have a sense for how you see associations adapting badges into the education programs?”

Digital badges are like certificates that trail back to where the certification was received. It is essentially like girl scout badges but for post education learning from associations. The predictions, from the survey, Tagoras foresees is that digital badges will increase. The survey reported 15% use digital badges now and 25% say they are planning on using digital badges in the future.

 The Future of Tagoras’s Online Survey

“How do you decide from year to year what new concept to bring up?”

Tagoras makes changes to their survey based on what is going on in the association learning space. The growth in various technologies from year to year impacts the drive of learning platform development and the opportunities available for associations and members of associations.

Tagoras will conduct their survey in the years going forward to raise awareness and provide data about the participation and use of the different forms of association learning. The information Tagoras provides allows associations to make important business decisions about learning management strategy and management.

Don’t miss out on our October 31st Webinar “Next Generation LMS: Apps, Authoring and Curation”, presented by Becky Willis from Ed Cast. She will be informing her audience about the solutions that learning experience platforms use including aggregation, curation, personalization, and creation.

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