Barriers to Learning


I'm currently undergoing my CIPD Certificate in Training Practice. I am conducting research for my work-based project on why individuals are reluctant to adopt the e-learning training approach. One of my objectives is to conduct a discussion with learning and development professionals on the barriers of learning.

Please identify what learning barriers may occur in general and specifically for e-learning and discuss what measures you would put in place to tackle these barriers.

Look forward to any discussion!

Thanks :)

Hi Gaynor, Brightwave have

Hi Gaynor,

Brightwave have just produced a new white paper '27 ways to leap over e-learning barriers' about this very subject. It can be downloaded for free here:

Many of the barriers to e-learning have been overcome, but the ones that remain relate to skills, attitude and workplace culture.

I hope you find this useful.


Peter Styles,
Content Editor,

Hi Gaynor we've done quite a

Hi Gaynor

we've done quite a bit of work on this over the years via the TM benchmarks that you may have seen . In this work we've been tracking barriers & drivers in order to identify why some organisations are more successful than others in getting their organisation to adopt e-learning.

you can download the research reports for free here :

( the 2006 report and 2004 report also had data from over 3000 learners)

the current benchmark is open at if you fancied giving it a go!

Drop me a line if you've got any qus


For some learners the use of

For some learners the use of computer is still a barrier. The use of a LMS, another login, using another company IT system before you even get to content does put people off. For some people the test element at the end, as detailed by Gaynor, also puts some people off.

There are a whole set of barriers for learners, you could think it like a a hierarchy of barriers!


Hi Barry, At the moment the

Hi Barry,

At the moment the main barrier is that learners do not have time to use the e-learning system. This is due to other work commitments and priorities.
We have tried previously to overcome this by integrating training time (weekly) to the planning and scheduling of work.

Another barrier being experienced is the lack of quality of the training content. Learners feel it isn't specific or relevant to particular job roles, therefore it is missing their direct learning needs. Therefore the motivation for learners to complete the courses is low.


Hi Gaynor, Relevance, a

Hi Gaynor,

Relevance, a focus on learners' needs and what they can relate to, is surely the foundation for any provision of learning opportunities?

Boredom occurs if would-be users of training content either have no need of the potential learning it offers or have not understood what needs could be met.

Anxiety occurs if would-be learners find learning from the content difficult. Would-be learners are unhappy if they have to fight their way through content to find what is relevant to their needs. They find it even more difficult when they have to struggle to interpret content to match their circumstances and environment. Add a test at the end of the content to test short term memory and the possibility is increased of having anxious rather than unhappy learners.

Only beyond boredom and anxiety comes motivation.


Hi Gaynor, Well... I'd start

Hi Gaynor,

Well... I'd start off by asking you what barriers you've experienced or identified (or perhaps felt yourself)?