No Image Available


Read more from TrainingZone

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Spotlight: We shine the light this week on Clive Shepherd


White breadClive Shepherd says that if there's one thing he's learnt it's that elearning is about people rather than technology. He talks to about thinking big, especially for elearning.

Name: Clive Shepherd

Age: 55

Job title: Independent elearning consultant and chair, eLearning Network

For the past 10 years I have worked independently as a consultant, specialising in elearning and all the ways in which technology impacts on learning and communications at work. Before that I was a co-founder of the elearning developer Epic, and before that director, training and creative services for American Express.

1. Why did you become an elearning consultant?

Not initially out of choice, to be honest. My work at Epic had run its course and I needed a new direction. It seemed to make most sense that I capitalise on the many years of experience I had had working with new technologies for learning.

2. What do you love best about your job?

I love working from home several days a week and not being answerable to anyone except my clients. Unlike some people, I find it easy to work alone and find this very productive.

3. What do you find most challenging?

My work is full of challenges and, as a very goal-orientated person, if they weren't there then I'd establish them for myself. The public speaking and the writing doesn't faze me in the least: the real challenges are making change happen, sometimes in the face of conflict.

4. What's the best advice that you would give to someone new to elearning?

Don't start as a consultant, because even if you have the knowledge, you won't have the wisdom. The key is not to analyse too hard, just make sure you get lots of practical experience. Elearning is more about people than it is about technology, and people are full of surprises. The more experience you get, the fewer the surprises.

5. What's the best advice that's been given to you that has helped you in your career?

To think big. So many of us are capable of much more than we allow ourselves to conceive. We can make things happen if we establish an inspiring vision, tackle it with enthusiasm and take it a step at a time.

6. How do you see elearning developing over the next few years?

The use of technology to assist learning will become so commonplace that it will seem strange to give it a name. Computers provide a channel for communication, nothing more, nothing less. This channel is so cheap, so accessible and so flexible that it would be bizarre not to take advantage of it.

7. What's the best career help book that you've ever read?

It's not really a career help book, but a book that has changed my conception of learning. It’s 'Knowing Knowledge' by George Siemens.

8. What's the best event within the training community that you've ever attended?

Probably the Annual Gathering of the eLearning Guild, in Boston, 2007. I met a whole load of fellow bloggers for the first time, and we got on as if we'd been buddies for years.

9. Who do you think is the most inspirational member of the training community and have you ever met them?

I'd say either Jay Cross, who I have met, or Roger Schank, who I have not. Both are radical thinkers on the subject of learning, who don't care who they upset.

10. What else would you like to share with our members?

As Chair for the eLearning Network in 2008, it has to be an invitation to join us as an associate member – you can't lose, it's free. And perfectly compatible with!

Read the last Spotlight, on Roy Scott


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!