By David S. Bernstein and Sarah Auerbach

Let’s make one thing clear: Nobody is really abandoning the classroom. An overwhelming 97 percent of you use the classroom for at least some portion of your training delivery, and 96 percent still plan to do so in 2000.
This article originally appeared in the June issue of Inside Technology Training and appears on TechRepublic under a special arrangement with the publisher. This is the second of three installments of the original article. Click here to read the first installment titled: “Inside Technology Training’s 1999 State of the Industry Report .”
But, according to your predictions about your own plans, the heavy reliance on classroom delivery—defined as using the classroom for more than three-quarters of all the organization’s IT training—is disappearing. Almost half—46 percent—said they’ll use that much classroom training in 1999, but only 27 percent said they will in 2000. And the percent using exclusively classroom delivery will drop from 12 percent to just 8 percent.

But after all, these are just predictions, and it’s possible that these plans will fail to materialize. In last year’s ITT Industry Survey, 43 percent of respondents said that they did three-quarters of their training in the classroom, but just 32 percent predicted they’d do the same in 1998. This year’s survey suggests that our respondents were wrong then. So perhaps we should take the current predictions with a grain of salt.

Figure A
Delivery Methods Survey Results

Assuming the numbers reflect reality, one thing is clear: You’re not shifting from one method to another; you’re shifting from one method to many.

While the classroom loses favor, other instructor-led methods, including the much-touted “virtual classroom” of synchronous LAN- and Web-based training, will increase from 10 percent to 15 percent of IT training.

Technology-based training, which is occupying so much of your time these days, is also starting to occupy your students’ time: On average, about 19 percent of training in 1999 and 26 percent in 2000 will take place across a network, intranet, Internet, video or audio conference, or satellite.

Meanwhile, videotapes, books, and CD-ROMs will make up, on average, 15 percent of training in 1999 and 20 percent in 2000.

So, while it may look like training professionals’ responsibilities are decreasing as the amount of self-study increases, it seems more likely that the broader array of delivery methods is placing an even greater burden on those who must coordinate them all.

David S. Bernstein is a senior editor of Inside Technology Training. Sarah Auerbach is a senior associate editor of Inside Technology Training.

We’d like to know what your training department or organization plans to do the first week of January. Do you have classes scheduled, or are you setting aside this “uncertain” time for housecleaning and in-house staff training? Let us know if you have a Plan B in place (just in case there are Y2K issues that affect your training plans) by sending us a note .