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LearnDirect unveils induction programme for ‘new learners’


At the e-learning exhibition last week, Mary Wallace from the University for Industry unveiled one of the interactive packages designed for LearnDirect.

The package, designed by the BBC, is designed as an induction to learning for new learners and those who haven't been in a formal learning environment for some time.

The cartoon-based programme takes a light-hearted straightforward approach, as it is designed to be used by those with little experience of computers and who may find it daunting. The initial part of the programme shows a cartoon figure attempting to get over a 'brick wall' - a symbol for those re-starting the learning process.

Wallace says the UfI aims to assist those who've 'fallen through the learning net' - to this end, the induction package aims to provide reassurance with a section with some of those who have returned to learning explaining their own experiences.

The package has tests for the learner at the beginning to establish whether they have basic skills or ICT needs. All the training products will have a self-test section at the beginning, and a skills check at the end to summarise the learning which has taken place.

Wallace also explained the set-up of the network of online Learning Centres currently being created around the country, due to be completed in Autumn. Each learning centre, which may be situated anywhere from a railway station to a football club to a library, will have between 2 and 50 dedicated PCs and a guide on hand to help to explain the procedures. Wallace said "there is a lot of learning support at every level - the aim is to get individuals to be self-supporting".

The induction course is one of 250 currently available online. LearnDirect materials will be available in print, video, audio-tape and CDROM form, but 60% of the material will be completely online. The UfI is working with National Training Organisations and the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority to map all the materials to existing qualifications by breaking them down into units.

TrainingZONE was interested to view the induction course in action, but there were a fair few technical problems with the demonstration at the exhibition. Hopefully this isn't a reflection on the capabilities of the interactive packages themselves!


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