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Seb Anthony

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Internal Expert Training / Corporate University

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Our company is currently developing an "Internal University" - the idea being that that we share our internal expertise across our organisation and utilise fully our internal technical experts. The company is spread across UK, France and Italy and is involved in high technology engineering (and hence has a number of highly intelligent, if sometimes eccentric experts). I would like to ask the network 3 questions and any help would be appreciated.

1. Have any of you worked in this kind of "internal university" for purely technical training or do you have any examples (2 that have been given to me are THALES and Astrium) in a multi-national envirnonment? I would like to go and talk to them.

2. What recommendations do people out there have for e-learning tutoring tools? - the basic kind where an internal expert could put together an awareness session or course that is more than a series of powerpoint slides (more interactive) and could be held an intranet. This isn't the only way of running courses but we would like to offer them this way as well.

3. Any good ideas in terms of multi-national technical seminars/web conferences/chat rooms/forums etc..? I have seen many of these across many websites but what has worked for people out there in terms of knowledge sharing and networking across 3 countries in a highly technical domain.

Many Thanks
Mark Bennett

5 Responses

  1. ‘Expert Training’
    In response.

    1. Corporate Universities evolved after it was realised that Training Centres were not being utilised. (I have many views on why these centres do not work in all situations, that’s for another day) What you need to keep in mind is that there are two methods of delivery of e-learning. Push and Pull.

    Push YOU decide who does what training. (and often in what timeframe)The YOU is the line manager and the decision should be taken with the trainee in personal assessment.

    Pull The trainee decides what training he thinks he needs and takes it from an open site or LMS.

    The Corporate University falls into the second ‘PULL’ and has often failed due to the wrong people taking the wrong training and not advancing the business.

    Consider carefully how you approach this…you can provide the University, but control who has access to what.

    I have been involved with many corporates who started down the road of the University, many who have altered what they have towards a controlled learning regime.

    Although we did not build the training, we supplied Astrium with development tools and trained some staff in how to develop e-learning. I could certainly put you in touch with the right people to speak to.

    2. We have been in the business of supplying the market with a number of tools for almost 10 years. I do not wish to use this forum as a self advert, it is not the place. I use it to offer good advice if I can. Please contact me offline for more information.

    3. In the last 6 months we have seen information on over 300 different seminars. I have been to some, but to be very honest they all say very similar, (in fact most have the same circuit speakers) Have a look at ELN E-Learning Network, and the work of BAOL British Assn of Open Learning. BUT to be honest, you found the best place for information right here !

    Neil Lasher
    Trainer1 020 8958 8959

  2. University on the shopfloor
    Portmeirion are currently invovled in a similar initiative, which will span the ceramics industry. We have been working with Unipart who have operated an impressive University on the shopfloor to great effect for many years. They have a seperate division, Unipart Advanced Learning Systems who give advice and guidance on this topic. I can give more detail if you are interested.

  3. Corporate University Suggestion
    Hi

    1) University – Having looked into Corporate/Internal University a couple of years ago, one company that was highlighted to me to get in touch with was Motorola. I have some info(mail me your address and I’ll send it to you).
    Another multinational techie company is Vodafone (I have heard good things about their on-line learning at work) and also car manufacturers seems to have them too and they work really well.
    Check out People Management magazine, Personnel Today and so forth for mention of best practice Uni’s, then make contact with them to set up a meeting to create a working partnership. We did this with Motorola and they were very flattered they were our ‘inspiration’, and whilst they did not give away too much of their content, they pointed us in the right direction in terms of a framework and offered advice afterwards… in exchange for help from us in the future – good networking opportunity!

    2)E-learning tutoring – I worked at Cable&Wireless for a while who went totally in favour of ‘e’ and created a learning portal that interfaced with ‘blended learning solutions’ (which sounds like what your guys would benefit from). The portal was intranet-based but had connections with learning resources, on-line courses and direct access to L&D professionals across the global business. We can chat about this some more over the phone if you like?

    3) I have some experience of web chat/conferencing etc. (as you mentioned)… would be happy to share my experiences.

    If I can be of any help, mail me your number and I’ll give you a call – my email address is [email protected]

    Good luck…
    Kate 🙂

  4. QANTAS An Exemplar Internal College
    QANTAS Airways Ltd (Australia) has a QANTAS College for its staff which is often mentioned as an exemplar.

    QANTAS can be found at http://www.qantas.com.au and you should be able to find someone you can email about their training college.

  5. Discussion forum platforms
    Hi Mark,

    I’ve worked with a number of discussion forum platforms.
    For building genuinely collaborative, multi-national self-managing learning communities, I recommend Centrinity’s ‘First Class’: it has a good balance of useful features, an intuitive interface, and is reasonably priced. The message history (which shows who has read each message) is particularly helpful for participants and tutors.

    I firmly believe the success of an e-community has a lot to do with the skills of the e-tutor during the initial phase, and I recommend that you include the provision of training for your e-tutors as part of your strategy. There are a variety of approaches you can adopt – and as a practitioner, I’d be happy to discuss this with you.

    However, if you want a more than a discussion forum (e.g. shared whiteboard, video conferencing, content management etc) … there are a number of LMS and VLEs – and this is a longer discussion. I start by asking the users what functionality they would value/use etc. (I’ve found a little market research goes a long way).

    Let me know if I can be of further help,
    Kind regards,
    Pat

    [email protected]

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