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Online interview: David Wilson, eLearnity


This week, TrainingZONE launches a whole new area of the site dedicated to features, news and comment on e-learning. In an live online interview from this week's HRD 2001 exhibition and conference, TrainingZONE spoke with MD of e-learning consultancy eLearnity, who'll be co-hosting the area with us.

Stephanie Phillips Hi David - thanks for coming.
David Wilson Thanks Stephanie.
Stephanie Phillips Do you want to tell us a little bit about the thinking behind your involvement with the E-learningZone?
David Wilson I guess it's simple really. We spend a lot of time working with organisations to help them develop their understanding of e-learning. The concept of the zone seemed a logical extension to this activity
Stephanie Phillips We're seeing quite a bit of interest already from people at the exhibition about the new area.
Stephanie Phillips It seems people are looking for a place to go to get some unbiased information...
David Wilson We also saw the need for a good European perspective on e-learning. Currently this lacking - it’s very driven by US companies.
Stephanie Phillips Yes - the Masie Center and the like...
David Wilson Exactly. There really is no equivalent in the UK or Europe - until now.
Stephanie Phillips Indeed! The aim of the Zone is to provide something similar...
David Wilson What we're aiming for is an independent perspective of the key areas of e-learning such as strategy, learning design, technology and so on.
Stephanie Phillips Which is needed, because there still seems to be a lot of hype out there!
David Wilson You've read my script!
Stephanie Phillips There's a lot of talk about a shake-out of the number of companies involved...
Stephanie Phillips Do you think this will happen this year?
David Wilson It's already started to happen to a degree. I was talking about 18-24 month consolidation ... this seems to have accelerated
David Wilson with the NASDQ winter.
Stephanie Phillips It's interesting - I guess because it's a new market moving towards maturity...
David Wilson Its a function of the embryonic nature of the market meets the DOTCOM burn factor. Its now difficult for organisations
David Wilson that were focusing on raising more capital or IPOing
Stephanie Phillips What about the idea that technology was overtaking content in terms of emphasis or importance?
David Wilson The technology providers are definitely at the front end of the curve - for good and bad.
David Wilson The LMS vendors particularly so. But its interesting to see the way the market (i.e. stock) has been valued recently.
David Wilson They historically have been seen as being the key piece of the e-learning infrastructure jigsaw.
Stephanie Phillips Do you think there'll be a move towards more technology for people to create their own content?
David Wilson This has been a common discussion point for a long time - certainly prior to e-learning. The content tools have
David Wilson historically been targeted more at media professionals with a significant shift over the past couple of years to make
David Wilson them more accessible to normal mortals. Not sure where this will take us short term.
Stephanie Phillips Access to content seems to be more of a problem for SMEs...
Stephanie Phillips Do you think the government's initiatives are going to be helpful? LearnDirect, learnonline etc.?
David Wilson Useful in what sense?
Stephanie Phillips For getting learners involved in learning online, who maybe don't get access to tailored online training.
Stephanie Phillips Are people going to be able to access or want to access this sort of thing?
David Wilson It certainly lowers the barrier to entry although the danger is it also is seen as a lowest common denominator model.
Stephanie Phillips Yes, I think that's true.
Stephanie Phillips Okay, it's time to wrap things up. Thanks for your time - hopefully we can run another online session soon.
David Wilson Thanks - bye for now
Stephanie Phillips Thanks again.

TrainingZONE's E-learningZone, run in association with eLearnity can be found at


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