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Any Answers Digest #2 – Getting intranets live and kicking, facilitating e-learning in induction programmes


TrainingZONE Any Answers Digest - Issue 2
Wednesday 12 December 2001

Getting intranets live and kicking, what's great about open
learning, facilitating e-learning in induction programmes,
what's the proof stress management programmes work?

Welcome to the second edition of this new wire from TrainingZONE.
The first edition attracted so much interest, we've decided to
continue to make this digest available to all subscribers to
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What you asked this fortnight:
New questions posted include:

What are the advantages and disadvantages of open learning
for learners and companies? Kay Robertson.

Can anyone recommend a practical training exercise to help
employees practice the skills of negotiating? Terry Westwood.

Does anyone have examples of competencies for clerical/admin
staff they can share? Ceri-Anne Bailey.

Got a question you need answered? Post it now, free of charge at

Featured question:
Britvic Soft Drinks (BSD) are implementing a Self Service
Employee (SSE) programme by where employees can access
information about their own holidays, absence, cars, expenses and
training information. Please note this is nothing to do with e-
leaning as this is a different project. We have an IT Induction
course which all new employees who need to use a PC are trained.
This course covers an Intranet/Internet and SSE overview. Given
that BSD is a manufacturing company I would like to know about
other company's experiences of training people who do not have
their own personal PC access and some who have no PC skills at
all. These people would only need to access a shared PC
occasionally to access SSE information.

Question submitted by Paul Bradley

Members responses

(Edited version appears - see the site for the full text)

Your questions - and the responses below - raise useful points.

There are plenty of organisations with pretty dormant intranet
because no-one maintains them and no-one facilitates their use.
All this needs attention in the planning stage. Some suggestions:

If staff don't have their own PC, think carefully about where to
locate public-access machines.
Encourage all staff to become more computer literate - perhaps
by sponsoring access to ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence),
Ensure there is really good - and well signposted - on-screen
help menus.
Run other activities on your intranet which will encourage all
staff to regularly visit.

Tim Pickles


As Paul mentioned, the super user and mentor approach worked for
me in an earlier life - we implemented exactly the same project
as you. We provided PC skills training as part of the induction.
we provided extensive on-line help for the system user, we
provided a help line in to HR, we made sure that there were
plenty of 'super users' around the business, and also, we
provided mentors as part of he induction process to help new
people fit in quicker. All of these routes made sure there was
enough support for the user - perhaps as important as the initial
training was.

Martin Schmalenbach


I too work for an e learning company, but the experience I share
with you is based on my 14 years experience with Lloyds TSB.
Many sponsors charge into these type of projects and are dazzled
by what the technology can offer them and with dreams of all
singing & all dancing courses set in virtual surroundings. My
experience tells me however that without two things any project
is set for failure.
The first is support. Despite the fact that people will say the
course is intuitive, some people will still not be able to
understand what to do. Human support, ideally via the phone is
essential to answer questions only people can come up with!
The second is communication. You know why the course is needed,
the sponsor knows why it is needed, so make sure you communicate
this to the people who actually have to do it.

Gareth Pugh


Paul, firstly I admit I work for a company who provides e-
learning as part of their services. However, I have been involved
in this sort of training for many years. He is my starting place:
1. Work out the benefits for the user - selling these will make
people less 'scared' of the process.
2. Use CBT / e-learning as part of your solution - the only way
people get over the technology issues is to practice - safely.
3. Allow the process to be repeated, give time and resources to
'play' when it is relevant to them.
4. Think about creating 'super-users' - peers rather than
supervisors to help in the work environment.

Good luck.
Paul Allman.

Read the full discussion and add your own views at

Any Answers Answered:
This fortnight, new responses have been added to the following

Q - We have recently introduced e-learning into our 6 week
induction programme and would like some pointers on the trainers
role in facilitating the learning. What role should the trainer
play? Joanne Hodgson.
A - I see the trainer's role as changing to that of e-learning
manager (an extension of classroom manager?), says Robin Henry.
Transfer the best of what you do already, adds Lucy Marder.

Q - Could anyone suggest how I could relate the cognitive
learning theory to online learning and learning in a learning
centre? Felicity Ash-Boutall
A - I recently found a good document on instructional design and
learning theory on the web, says Howard Jones. The same practical
steps apply as to other learning. Identify your aims, locate the
barriers and design appropriately, adds Rob Murdoch.

Q - What proof is there that investing in stress management
programmes and resources actually yields a financial return in
the end?
A - Have you tried contacting the International Stress Management
Association?, suggests Sheila Price. I have data which proves
that it works, says Fergus McBride.

Any Answers would cease to function without all those who
regularly share their knowledge and experience. If you've
benefited from receiving advice from an Any Answers question but
have yet to post a response yourself, why not do your bit by
responding to one of the questioners now at

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Copyright (c) 2001 Sift Group Ltd. All rights reserved.
May be reproduced in any medium for non-commercial purposes as
long as attribution is given.

TrainingZONE, 100 Victoria Street, Bristol BS1 6HZ
Tel:+44 (0)117 915 9600 Fax:+44 (0)117 915 9630 ISSN 1474-2225


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