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The TrainingZone LearningWire – Issue 63


The TrainingZONE LearningWIRE - Issue 63
23 August 1999
The Learning Community
Copyright (C) 1999 Sift plc. All rights reserved.
May be reproduced in any medium for non-commercial purposes as long as attribution is given.

Editor's Note
The debate about the relative merits of training and learning, and the suitable balance between technology delivered content and tutor-led content in learning programmes continues to ellicit lively responses from members. You can review how the argument has developed at
Meanwhile, another interesting result is emerging in our online Poll to determine whether training should be driven by goals of individual or organisational development. You can cast your vote (anonymously) at

If your email programme does not enable you to view and click active hyperlinks in emails such as LearningWire, you can now read the full text in your web browser, where all the links will be active. Further information towards the end.

Tim Pickles, Editor
mailto:[email protected]




Addressing critiques of ideas and practices of organisational
learning. For information or to offer a session contact
Tom Boydell mailto:[email protected]


LearningWire currently reaches over 2,800 professionals every week. Put your message before this focused audience of people engaged in training, learning and development.


Focus on Action Learning

As a method of developing staff and promoting self-directed learning, action learning seems to be remarkably under-utilised. I've worked with several large organisations who certainly have the capacity to develop this approach, but who remain remarkably reliant upon traditional models of instructor-led training. All too often I hear excuses about how people would not commit themselves to this sort of programme; they can't be trusted to take responsibility for their own learning; we can't spare such regular time.

I suggest this is all bunkum. There's plenty of evidence that action learning approaches are cost and time effective, provide a positive learning environment, are welcomed by those who take part, and contribute significantly to good team-working and networking outcomes.

If you're new to action learning, there's a really practical book, 'Action Learning for Managers' by Mike Pedler (publishers: Lemos and Crane) on the subject which is more than enough to get you going.

This week, we've come across some excellent web-based resources promoting action learning approaches. The Global Anthological Journal of Action Learning is excellent. Don't be put off by the tongue-twisting name. The site provides a wealth of information about action learning which should be sufficient to convence any sceptic. One part of the site is devoted to more than a dozen case studies of action learning in practice, mostly within larger companies. Some of these make for excellent reading. Several articles from the Journal are also available online. For those with an interest in exploring the field further, Alan Mumford has contributed a Review of Action Learning Literature.

There are plans to set up an Action Learning Institute which will be web-based and deal with issues such as accreditation and professional development. The Institute may launch in the first half of next year.

Meanwhile, we shall republish the regular newsletters associated with the Journal on TrainingZone in order that readers can scan what's happening every month. The August issue is at

Action Learning International is another great site offering plenty of information, links, resources and discussion for people new to, or actively engaged in action learning. I was particularly impressed with the section on Action Learning Resources where the first substantive page provides users with a comprehensive guide to action learning - what the method is, what the benefits are, and how to get the whole process going. This section is definitely worth checking out. The main site is at

If you've come across any other good action learning sites, please let us know so that we can add them to this list in future issues.


Other resources for Training and Learning

WebWatch brings you information about useful and relevant resources from other Internet sites around the world. Unless otherwise linked, all the following stories can be found at

New click2learn service
As announced in the PressZone last week, Asymetrix have launched a new online service offering a considerable range of business skills and computing skills courses for purchase. There's a high level of user control at the site which is worth visiting to see the range on offer

Health and safety games for trainers
This is a review of a new book published by Gower and covering a subject for which there is little other resource material. The resource is written by Leslie Rae and appears on our Review pages.

Explore your Values - breakfast launch
Peter Honey's new resource material for exploring and using your values is to receive a breakfast-time launch on 10 November in Leamington Spa. Places are now available.

British Association of Open Learning
An interesting and useful website for everyone engaged in the field of open and distance learning. Good links to various providers, plus some material on the value of this approach to learning.

Themes and issues in Continuing Professional Development
The full text of this overview article by Dr Nigel Hemmington is available in the online issue of the Global Anthological Journal of Action Learning (see above).

Further information about all these sites, and hundreds of others, can be found at


Microsoft Approved (MOUS) Courseware

Individual student & instructor guides are available or you
can reproduce as many copies of Office 97 & Office 2000
Courseware for an annual licence of only 3,995 UK pounds.

mailto:[email protected] for free demo material


HR News

HR Web is our new area for posting news, resources and updates of interest to the HR profession. It includes personnel, employment and human resource management material.

Fundamental review of the Employment Service
The government has announced details of its new review of the role and functioning of the Employment Service - the umbrella body tasked with providing advice, job search and other support services to people looking for work.

HR Magazine
This quality monthly magazine is published by the Society for Human Resource Management. The August issue offers several features online and you can check out the full contents at

New Key Factsheets from the IPD
Two new downloads on the Institute of Personnel and Development website will be of interest to HR managers. Their Key Factsheet series offers succinct and accurate guides to current issues, legislation and practice. The two new Factsheets cover 'Working Time Regulations' and 'Strategic Issues in Occupational Pensions'.
The IPD has also recently published a commissioned research report on the impact of the Working Time Directive on organisations with 50 or more employees.
Much of the IPD website is only accessable to members quoting their membership number. These reports are in the Good Practice area of the site.

HR Weeks around the world
Next week is HR Week in Australia, so if that's where you live, or you happen to be visiting distant relatives, why not check out what's happening in each of the states at
Meanwhile, back in the UK, the flagship National Conference and Exhibition organised by the Institute of Development runs this year in Harrogate from 27 - 29 October. Bookings are now open. Further details from


Other News

For a wide range of all the latest training news stories as well as updates on global news stories, visit

Latest statistics
The Basic Skills Agency website has published its latest statistical information relating to England and Wales. This shows all the current trends for those involved in vocational and basic skills training.
Also published last week were the latest employment statistics showing the number of people in work to be at their highest ever in this country.

Tackling standards in work-based training
This highly critical report from inspectors at the Training Standards Council was published last month into training provided by many Training and Enterprise Councils. The report itself has generated soem controversy both in the printed press and on the pages of TrainingZone. Given the large question mark hanging over the future of TECs following last month's publication of the white paper 'Learning to Succeed', with its proposals for a network of Learning and Skills Councils, this is a hot topic.

Online clearing house
If you, or any member of your family, has now obtained exam results which were not quite what you wanted to pursue your chosen course, you may want to check the NAMSS site which has links to all the FE and HE clearing house course vacancy information sites.

Thought-stopping site
With recent TV pictures of tragedy in Yugoslavia, Turkey, China and several African countries, have a look at this excellent website which is highly likely to prompt action. The Hunger Site displays a world hunger map, showing the graphic location of one death from hunger every 3.6 seconds. There is a free online donation facility to programmes managed by the UN World Food Programme.


Any Answers?

Your questions to the Editor on any aspect of training and development
are posted here. If you have an answer, please visit the story and add your Comment at the end.

Do you know of any web-based personal organisers which enable several users to enter and view each other's commitments?
Bruce Britton

Keep sending new questions to the Editor
mailto:[email protected]



Vacancy: Freelance SUB-EDITOR for TrainingZone and LearningWire

Due to rapid expansion, we're seeking an enthusiast to find
and write interesting stories. People with an HR interest
particularly welcome.

For further information, see


New postings in the PressZone

The PressZone contains details of all the latest news and releases from training suppliers and providers.

EQ assessment, is giving consultancies an edge
Emotional intelligence testing helps companies get the best from their employees by understanding them more deeply and learning how to motivate and manage them effectively. This helps productivity, helps solve conflicts and keeps stress levels to a minimum. Buckholdt Associates, the leading UK experts in this field, have now made agreements with two large management consultancies to help them go this extra mile for their clients.


To read the online version of LearningWire Issue 63, paste this link into your web browser:


About Sift
Sift plc is the award-winning UK developer of online communities bringing you TrainingZone, AccountingWeb, BusinessZone, Travel Mole and LawZone.


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Editor: Tim Pickles mailto:[email protected]
Sift plc., The Mill House, Redcliff Backs, Bristol BS1 6LY
Tel:+44 (0)117 915 9600 Fax:+44 (0)117 915 9630


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