Providers of Learning Content Face Multiple Delivery Challenges

DCL and data conversion strategy2014 Educational and Training Content Trends Survey from DCL, DITA Strategies and Lasselle-Ramsay shows corporate learning groups lag in content maintenance and analytics

Professionals who create and deliver training and educational content for both business and public sector organizations face a number of challenges in today’s content-driven marketplace: lack of resources to maintain content, reduced time to market, and the analytics to measure effectiveness.  These are the findings of the 2014 Educational and Training Content Trends Survey, conducted jointly by Data Conversion Laboratory (DCL), DITA Strategies and Lasselle-Ramsay, leading providers of content development, conversion and strategy services.

“Corporate training groups create a wide range of content, but they do so with limited resources while facing many technology challenges,” said Mark Gross, CEO of Data Conversion Laboratory. “This survey uncovers areas for industry to address, and opportunities to significantly improve content development and delivery with better use of XML, modular content, and content management tools.”

Among the 200 professionals who participated in the survey (who were able to select more than one answer), more than 48% reported that maintaining content is their “greatest challenge to developing and delivering training content.” 47% noted the lack of analytics to measure learning effectiveness as a top challenge, with other top challenges being “reduced budgets” (42.5%), “time to market” (38%) and “out-of-date information” (34.5%).

Another key finding was that only 25 per cent of training groups use XML to create materials. A majority (65%) still rely on Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft Word (58%). In addition nearly two-thirds of respondents reported that development and maintenance of training content is managed by individual groups or divisions within their organizations.

“Many training groups are not leveraging the benefits of XML and structured content,” noted Amber Swope, who heads DITA Strategies. “These benefits include maintaining a single source of content, leveraging that source to deliver consistent materials in multiple formats and supporting multiple delivery methods.”

With recent emphasis on mobile delivery, a relatively small percentage of respondents are delivering learning content via mobile apps (10.7 per cent); the majority are still delivering in more traditional formats including printed materials (73.4%), slide presentations (64.5%), online courses (59.8%), and videos (43.8%). The vast majority of respondents reported that they deliver content to desktop computers (91.1%), with just a small percentage deliver to multiple devices such as phones and tablets.

Joan Lasselle, co-founder and president of Lasselle-Ramsay concluded “it’s clear that content teams in the learning organization understand the need to deliver effective content using a variety of methods and tools. Helping them master the tools and workflows necessary for delivering their content across devices and channels represents a big opportunity for the content industry.”

The results of the Educational and Training Content Trends survey have been compiled into an infographic which can be downloaded at

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