Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Holidays from LearningWare

Happy holidays to all our customers, friends, family and trainers everywhere. This past year has been one of tremendous growth and excitement for LearningWare as we launched two new products, gave presentations in Orlando, DC, Minneapolis, San Diego, Chicago--to name a few, gained new partnerships, added fresh talent to our team, and made a lot of changes big and small to the look and feel of our website, newsletter, Linked In group, Facebook page and more.


It's also been a great year for training and development. As many companies have cut back in various departments, it is more critical than ever to make sure that employees are learning and retaining information. Now that the recession of last year is lifting, somewhat, we're seeing a renewed enthusiasm for the training departments and ongoing interest in making training more engaging, effective and fun.

It's with that goal in mind--making training more engaging, effective and fun--that we've been able to meet so many new customers this year, continue to meet the needs of current clients and renew old friendships. Thank you to each and every one of you for having the dedication to your learners to use game shows while educating. Thank you for your input and feedback--our customers have been tremendously valuable in determining our development paths. Thank you for your ongoing support and your business.

Most of all, thank you for being a part of our LearningWare family.

We've got a lot of exciting things coming up in the new year that are going to continue to revolutionize games and game shows in training--both in the classroom and online--so stay tuned.

Happy Holidays!

Your friends at LearningWare.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Webinar Experiences Survey: Full Results

The Webinar Experiences Survey Results
By: LearningWare, Inc.

November 12th, 2009, LearningWare sent out a survey to a large database of (mostly) trainers--asking them basic questions about their experiences within webinars. Some of the results we got were expected, others were unexpected in scope, while others completely surprised us.

Let’s take a look at some selected results:
It’s not surprising that webinars have replaced in-person meetings. Not only is webinar technology growing--and it will naturally gain new adopters--but it’s also an economical, efficient choice in an economy where budgets are tight and companies are becoming more globalized. This seems to support the reasons for using more webinars: attendees can be at their desks, saving money on travel, while bringing people together from around the world.
Respondents ranked the following issues (each issue ranked individually) on a scale from 1-3. A “1” meant that the issue was a MAJOR issue--where a “3” was not an issue at all. All of the items were at least minor issues--with little to no interaction, technical problems and boring presentations ranking as the most major issues.

But not knowing what attendees are doing--a “minor” issue--might be more critical than previously thought:
Here’s where results got interesting. While fewer people played computer games or visited social networking sites than expected, a whopping 80% checked their email during a webinar (not unexpected, but unexpectedly high), 65% worked on other projects and 67% muted the call to have other conversations. But perhaps most shocking: 51% left their desks and 35% went to the bathroom! So participants in a webinar were not even there.

The next statistic, then, is not surprising at all:
55% believe that webinar training is not as effective as classroom training. And boy, did this question ever get people talking. We included a section for elaboration, and here is what some survey takers said:

It may be more efficient and the cost savings may result in additional training taking place over he span of a given year, but there is something lost in the interaction between facilitator and participant. Gauging participant interest and retention, along with maintaining their attention, is extremely difficult.

If used the right way. Interaction and design are key. Without interaction, you lose participants. Designing a webinar so participants stay engaged is challenging, but necessary.

So what could make webinars better?
With a whopping 82% of people responding that more interaction would make a webinar better--the call to action is clear. But are people currently using the sparse interaction tools available to them?

Only 11% are using interactive tools in every webinar--with a whopping near-30% NEVER using interactive tools.

While we suspected that accountability and attention were lacking in webinars, we were surprised at the extent that our suspicions were correct. It’s clear that webinars are here to stay--as companies continue to globalize and do more on a smaller budget. It’s also clear that action needs to be taken to keep webinars engaging and make them as effective as a face-to-face meeting (all while people are sitting in front of one of the biggest sources of distraction: their computers).

For full survey results, visit www.learningware.com/WebinarSurveyResults.html.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Recent Webinar Survey Shows Attendees Not Paying Attention; Seek More Interaction

Some of the statistics from the recent Webinar Experience survey were expected, like 38% of respondents reporting that webinars have replaced in-person meetings. But other statistics shockingly outline webinars' faults. For instance, 67% of webinar attendees mute the conference call to have other conversations.

Minneapolis, MN (PRWEB) December 3, 2009 -- LearningWare Inc., a leader in classroom and elearning training solutions, recently conducted a very revealing Webinar Experiences Survey. The survey validated the trend of webinars continuing to replace in-person meetings, but also showed that attendees' minds, and bodies, may be elsewhere during said webinars.

The survey revealed that:

35% of attendees had gone to the bathroom during a webinar.
65% of attendees had worked on other projects during a webinar.
67% of attendees had muted the conference call to have other conversations.
81% of attendees regularly check their email during webinars.

More and more companies are replacing traditional face-to-face meetings with virtual, online webinars. According to the survey, a third of those in-person meetings and trainings have been replaced by webinars, while (according to Frost and Sullivan) webinars have increased by 20% across the board since 2008. It makes sense—it saves time and money in a world where offices are more likely to be decentralized and travel budgets have been cut.

But one survey respondent states,
“(Webinars) may be more efficient … but there is something lost in the lack of interaction between facilitator and participant. Gauging participant interest and retention, along with maintaining their attention, is extremely difficult.”

With a lack of face-to-face connection, it becomes increasingly difficult for the webinar leader to know what’s going on in the minds of one’s attendees on the other side of the webinar screen. This lack of accountability, combined with attendees sitting in front of one of the biggest sources of distraction (their computer), makes it no wonder attendees’ attention is elsewhere and webinars are, therefore, less effective.

When asked if webinars could be as effective as in-person training, one of the respondents stated,
“If used the right way. (But) Interaction and design are key. Without interaction, you lose participants. Designing a webinar so participants stay engaged is challenging, but necessary.”

Approximately 80% of respondents said more interaction is the number one solution to increase effectiveness, but only 12% of people surveyed regularly use some kind of interaction tool (i.e. polling, whiteboards, etc.) in their current webinars.

While webinars are a cost-effective meeting and training solution, there is definitely room for improvement. Adding interaction that keeps participants accountable for their attention could be the first step to revolutionizing a medium that is currently flawed, but clearly here to stay.

To see the full results of the Webinar Experiences survey, go here.

About LearningWare:

Since 1995, LearningWare has been producing software templates that have been proven to increase content comprehension and retention. AllPlay Web is their newest product—designed to make webinars more engaging and effective by using interactive competition. Their flagship product, Gameshow Pro, is in use in over 40,000 corporate and educational classrooms, and has been receiving rave reviews.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

News and changes and gurus and more!

There have been a *lot* of changes and additions and all-around great things happening at LearningWare lately. To keep you apprised, here's a quick summary:

We got a new website!

We started a Game Show Gurus group on Linked In! (Feel free to join!)

We relaunched our monthly Game Show Espresso Newsletter with a totally new design--including more articles, information, an ask-the-experts section and more!

And a reminder: We're also on Facebook and Twitter, so friend and follow to get the latest info on LearningWare products, news, game show tips, and more!