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The TrainingZone LearningWire – Issue 77


The TrainingZONE LearningWIRE - Issue 77
29 November 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.

From the Editor
Yet another week dominated by news of further developments in online learning delivery. "If you're not learning online by 2002, you'll be unemployable" is re-quoted by KnowledgePool boss. Learning Direct becomes 'learndirect'. The University for Industry launches the first 68 local learning centres enabling adults to gain easy Internet access to courses. And People Management magazine devotes feature articles to the subject. All this and more is covered below.

In discussions on the TrainingZone site, several members want to see a central facility to publish and search for Invitations to Tender in the consultancy and training field. We'll take the hint! Until 29 February, our Tenders pages will accept notices of Invitations to Tender for publication without charge or limitation on length.

Tim Pickles, Editor
mailto:[email protected]


TRAINING ADMINISTRATION S/WARE - Training Controller the complete
training management system is just launched by RMS - makers of the
best selling Evaluator system. Training Controller manages all
aspects of your training function from training records & course
bookings to evaluation and competency management. For a full run
through Visit our web-site at
http://www.rmsuk.comor call 01923 770077 for details on our introductory price offer.

4,301 professionals engaged in training, learning and development will receive LearningWire this week. You too can advertise here.


This week in the TrainingZone community
Not one, but two free Online Workshops:-

Date: Tuesday 30 November
Time: 13.00 UK time
Subject: Creating a Learning Organisation
Facilitator: Mike Kelleher, Chair, European Consortium on the
Learning Organisation

Date: Wednesday 1 December
Time: 19.00 UK time
Subject: Creating the next generation of healthy organisations
Facilitator: David Firth, author, consultant, creator the 'The
Corporate Fool' and other well-respected titles

These are highly valuable learning opportunities which you can join in just by going to the time shown for each workshop

This month, two new Topic Experts have joined our panel of professionals willing to answer you questions and offer advice and comment on specialist areas. Clive Lewis will respond on issues relating to thinking, learning and creativity in business. Andrew Gibbons will respond on issues about recording CPD and managing your own learning.



Online learning - yet more big developments
It's only two weeks since we reported on the launch of two major new services, and gave our overview of the current state of play. This item is already the most heavily accessed story on the whole of TrainingZone.

This week, it's overtaken by more developments. A two day conference in London heard several speakers, including TrainingZone, putting forward case studies and issues for the development of e-learning systems. There was much to talk about. Many companies are developing multimedia CBT systems but the challenge is obviously to get feature-rich and accessible delivery systems onto the Internet where they can be easily updated. Most online learning is still far too 'in-active'. Our report and review of this conference is available at
Whilst our presentation on 'What the Learner requires from Online Learning' is also available in the Toolkit area as a PowerPoint file.

On the same day as the conference, the University for Industry (UfI) was unveiling the first 68 local Learning Centres in the network of community- and employer-based accessible centres for learning throughout England. Whilst the full network is unlikely to be in place before the formal launch next September, these initial centres are key pilots in delivering learning programmes over the Internet to any adult learner. Simultaneously UfI announced the rebranding of the Learning Direct call centre service (0800 100 900) providing advice to enquirers. Together with the local learning centres, the whole system is to be renamed 'learndirect'. At present, the network is starting to be seen in England; it will spread shortly to Wales and Northern Ireland; Scotland will have its own network which is presently some way behind in development. To find out about learndirect and the location of the first 68 local learning centres, see

Finally, we're impressed with the approach taken by towards online learning. Their pilot site recognises many of the problems in delivery over-complex learning through technology and instead focuses on courses delivered regularly in small chunks making extensive use of email. There are a range of learning courses at

Online learning versus tutor-led learning
The comparative merits of different approaches to training and learning have been debated for many years. The discussion which began when distance learning approaches were first developed has been extended and updated with the recent rapid advent of online learning technologies. In a research report on 'No Significant Difference' more than 355 comparative research studies have been examined. A digest of each of these studies is now available online from the author showing all the evidence to date. There's also a companion website listing all those studies which do point to the differences. Looks like the debate will continue for some time.

More funds for young people's training
The government has announced a budget of 30 million pounds to be allocated to improved training programmes for young people, in a move which will be coordinated by the Training and Enterprise Councils.

Practicing what you preach
Ellis Hayward is a management consultancy specialising in online learning and organisational change. This article by Jane O'Hara of Ellis Hayward explores how Lotus Developments are using their own products such as Lotus Notes to facilitate the sharing of knowledge within the company and developing online learning for the staff.

Maximising return on investment in temporary staff
As temporary staffing becomes a more permanent solution for many organizations, HR professionals have looked for ways to better optimize this resource and improve the return on their investment. This month's Workforce Online includes a detailed study of best practice in choosing and using suppliers of temporary (or "contingent") staff. Nowadays, these will not be only clerical or secretarial people: businesses are levelling out the peaks and troughs of work by bringing in temporary lawyers, software engineers, editors, accountants and other professionals.

Livening up lunch breaks with literature
Reading groups at work, set up under the Orange Talks Books at Work scheme, are bringing unexpected benefits to their members - and to the companies concerned. Some meet in the lunch hour, others after work; all have opened new horizons and helped to break down barriers between levels in the work hierarchy.

Vocational education: study visits
Study visits organised by CEDEFOP allow small groups of vocational training specialists of different nationalities to visit locations that provide insight into the vocational training situation in the host country. The main aim of the programme is to stimulate exchange and reflection among protagonists working at various levels in planning and implementing vocational training policies. Unlike many other information exchange networks, the Study Visits programme is intended primarily for policy-makers and vocational training specialists working in public administrations or social partner organisations. This target group is one of the programme's unique features.

"Branding" HR: why and how to market your image
If you want HR to be perceived as more strategic, more valuable, more credible, more whatever, you need to start thinking like a business with a product and market your overall brand image, says Shari Caudron in this week's Workforce Online.

With or without an office...
Teleworking and hot desking: these working practices are not a gimmick, say the feature writers in The Times. Nor, for much longer, will they be optional. They can make serious contributions to a company's bottom line, enhancing competitiveness in an increasingly competitive world. They would also make a significant contribution to worker satisfaction, which should be near the top of any management agenda.

Hot topics in HRD - and whose responsibility?
A quick survey conducted through the UKHRD discussion list has brought up an interesting mix of "hot topics", or trends in training, as list members perceived them. Following on, the Chair of the Manchester IPD, Wyn Llewellyn, posted some extracts from an IPD report entitled 'Organisational development - Whose responsibility?' There's a close fit between the two sets of findings and the topics of most interest at the IPD Conference last month.


PEOPLE MANAGEMENT : This 3-day programme concentrates on the
practical aspects of achieving results through people. Leadership
activities such as organising, delegation & motivation are included
in a series of unique exercises some of which take place out of
doors, and increase in complexity over the 3 days. All delegates act
as group leader. Delegates incorporate their learning points in
action plans to be implemented on their return to work.
Contact: BMB Management Training Consultants
Tel/Fax: 0181-884-3494

Any Answers?
You can now post your own question direct to Any Answers? by clicking the Post a Question button on the page. All replies are automatically emailed to you. You're virtually guaranteed a reply!.

Here are a selection of new questions:

** Do you know of a network of OD/MD consultants?

** Do you have any ideas about establishing English language as a
corporate standard for organisations working internationally?

** Have you heard of the 'left eye to listen, right eye to remember'

** Do you provide IT inductions to new starters?

** Where can I find invitations to tender?

** What is the true extent of Internet usage and content?

** Do you know of a website for European training suppliers?

** Does anyone run a buddy system for new starters?

** Do you have any information/resources on internal customer service
for Recruitment and Selection?

All the questions and all the answers can be found at


Invitations to Tender
Publish notices about Tendering Opportunities free of charge
until 29 February and place them before thousands of trainers
and consultants searching these pages each week.


WebWatch brings you information about useful and relevant resources from other Internet sites around the world.

Power packed presentations
A stimulating article on the-shelf's website is written by Peggy Forell and gives practical ideas about how to make presentations, particularly those using PowerPoint software more memorable and powerful

Coaching - the Birkman method
In a feature article from the Linkage Inc website, Randy Kirk describes how he used the Birkman method to meet a range of coaching and mentoring challenges in his work as an 'employee development specialist'. He claims the method enabled him to communicate effectively with a range of people undergoing a period of difficult change.


PEOPLE MANAGEMENT : This programme has proved successful at all
levels from directors to potential supervisors and is suitable for
newly appointed people and those with many years "experience".
Current clients using this programme include: B.B.C, Ford,
Macmillan Cancer Relief, Gate Gourment, Castle Cement, Fisher
Rosemount, De Beers and the McLaren Formula One Organisation.
Contact: BMB Management Training Consultants
Tel/Fax: 0181-884-3494

for all the latest product and services reviews

'The Training Handbook' edited by Diane Bailey Asociates and published by Gee is now available on CD-rom with regular updates and is reviewed here by Leslie Rae.

'Networking for Development' by Paul Starkey explores networking practices from the perspective of international development. It's reviewed here by Bruce Britton.


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


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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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