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The TrainingZONE LearningWIRE – Issue 11



LearningWIRE - Issue 11
8 June 1998

A FREE electronic newsletter for net enabled people engaged in training, learning, coaching and staff development.

Copyright (C) 1998 Sift plc. All rights reserved.
May be reproduced in any medium for non-commercial purposes as long as attribution is given.

In this issue:

  • Recent news stories
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • University for Industry
  • Learning organisations
  • Review of 'Becoming an Effective Trainer'
  • Vacancies for contributing writers and surfers
  • Tim's Top Tips

This issue part sponsored by

Pavilion Publishing - leading publishers of training resources, journals and manuals - organisers of major national conferences - for professional in health and social care

'Toolkit for Trainers' - the international bestseller, now available in five foreign language editions. Order on-line quoting LW11 for 10% discount.

Sift - Building internet communities for professional groups. "We scour the net so you don't have to" ******************************************************************

Recent News Stories

The internet is starting to have a significant impact in the way distance learning is delivered

The UK government has announced that in future all teachers must become competent with information and communications technology, and know how to apply it in the context of their subject

Discussion on the approaches which trainers use to select an appropriate method to foster learning

Fenman publish three new videos promoting learning review meetings, with accompanying manual by Peter Honey

Major conference announced on the 'Dawn of the Learning Age' to be accompanied by the 'Lifelong Learning Exhibition'

Coaching and mentoring

Some recent findings from the Internet Monitor site include a useful list of books and manuals on the subject

The same site has also published an interesting paper on how the role of trainers will need to change as managers become more confident and proficient in the use of coaching skills within their teams

University for Industry

The UK government has released initial details of this new initiative to promote lifelong learning through the workforce

and there is more information at the new site dedicated to the UfI

Learning Organisations

If you're interested in organisational development and the concept of the learning company, there are a growing number of websites which you should check out.

For more than a year, a major email based discussion group has been running globally looking at the practice of learning organisations. You can take part, subscribe for the emails, or subscribe for a daily digest. Be warned: you could receive up to 30 emails a day! The digest is also available on the web.

MGTaylor run a very effective site looking at the creative design of organisations, promoting discussion, and encouraging the use of some sophisticated tools.

One of the major sites encouraging organisational development and promoting inter-active working across its (mainly American) network is at

The Maynard Leigh site has published a short article looking at the relevance of Kahlil Gibran's writings [e.g. 'The Prophet'] to the creation of healthy workplaces.

Finally, have a look at the Thresholds site which explores the relationship between organisations and living systems. They also have their own journal.

Book Review: 'Becoming an Effective Trainer' by Gillian Squirrel
(Russell House Publishing, 1998, 19.95. Tel: 01297-443948)

This new A4 publication is given the rather extended sub-title of 'A manual to promote professional practice for new and experienced trainers and educators in non-traditional learning environments' which just about sums up what it's trying to achieve.

Drawing on extensive experience with youth groups, social skills groups and behavioural change settings, this is a thorough and detailed working manual which introduces the learning process well and provides a great many pointers to good practice. The text is somewhat dense at times, but it nevertheless covers all the main points you would expect to see in an experiential approach to learning and development.

The design of the manual does much to break up the lengthy text. The use of icons, box-outs, self-completion activities, checklists and OHP sheets all serve to make the material useable in a range of contexts.

There is a good exploration of the action planning cycle. A later chapter examines both marketing and evaluation - a slightly awkward fit, but with some interesting ideas. The final appendix on Games also seems a little out-of-place: there are a great many more training and learning games and it's not clear why these ten have been selected. An extended reference list pointing to the wealth of other resource material sources would have been preferable.

I was also disappointed by the lack of acknowledgements given to the developmental ideas of other trainers whose work is extensively used in the text: Kolb, Honey and others are implicitly recognised in the writing, but receive little formal credit; their absence from the Book List is noticeable.

Overall, this is a workable manual, a good refresher of key aspects to learning, a useful starting point for people new to the field, and it generally promotes all the right messages. I don't think it adds very much to the existing body of knowledge but neither will it send people in the wrong direction either.

Vacancies: Contributing writer and surfers

TrainingZONE is looking to recruit two or three people who regularly use the Web and might be willing to submit interesting news stories, Internet links, internet monitor reports, and background material of interest to our audience. If you'd like further information, please

Tim's Top Tips

So, you thought discussions about money were deadly dull and always to be avoided. Well, surprise yourself. Have a look at

That's it for this issue. Hope you're enjoying the new TrainingZONE website as we add new features to it. Do let me know your reactions and ideas.

Tim Pickles,
Editor, LearningWIRE and TrainingZONE


About Sift

Sift plc is a leading developer of online communities. Based in Bristol, Sift has developed AccountingWEB for professionals in the accountancy profession, and BusinessZONE. At the 1997 Online Information Exhibition at Olympia, Sift were voted European Information Product of the Year (and also runner up as Internet Product of 1997).

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Editor: Tim Pickles
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Tim Pickles: Designing toolkits for people and organisations <<<---<< LIVE ! LOOK ! LEARN !!

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