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TrainingZONE LearningWire # 98 – e-cultural shift in attitudes towards learning, job title snobbery, UfI developments, diagnosti


TrainingZONE LearningWIRE - Issue 98
24 April 2000


1. Feature article: Time for an e-cultural shift in attitudes
2. TrainingZONE records 142% growth in four months
3. Job title 'snobbery' is rife among office workers, says survey
4. Recent developments at UfI
5. Do you have experience of online diagnostic tools?


Feature article: Time for an e-cultural shift in attitudes to
by Russell Holt, director or online learning, Sift Group

There's been a lot of noise in the past few weeks about buying and
distributing training online. In the fashionable world of e-learning,
the one stop shop directory is definitely this spring's colour. This
suits the current state of the training market given that open,
instructor led courses are still the norm in many sectors. But what
of the online learning that should be sweeping through the training
world at the moment? In many cases the online courses available are
either not up to scratch or simply not there at all. There are, of
course, a few excellent online learning tools out there but there are
also a large number which simply aren't up to the mark. Just try
going directly to the end of course quiz for a typical (and in this
case fictitious) course on time management. Question 1 of my
fictitious course reads something like:
Which of the following is an example of good time management?
(a) Identifying, listing and prioritising your tasks at the
beginning of each day; or
(b) Undertaking tasks in random order interspersed with no regard
for their importance, size or any other work related issues.
I exaggerate, but not that much. If you can score full marks on
questions without even reading the content then something has gone
awry somewhere - most likely the desire to make a course of universal
appeal rather than a targeted and highly effective learning product.
At the moment, to paraphrase Henry Ford, you can have any colour
course you want so long as it's black.

So what is to be done? Course creators will not want to build
specialist courses for which they feel there is a limited market but
learners will not want to take online courses that spend hours simply
confirming that they have a good deal of common sense. Such courses
will just sit on a server gathering dust. Despite this, there is some
good guidance around to help develop and integrate online training
within a business; the information for the online trainer provided by
the Institute of IT Training ( is one

As providers and deliverers of learning, the challenge is getting the
right content to the right people. And so how do we know what exactly
is the right content? The traditional training tools of needs
assessments and development plans are part of this but count for
little unless there is a genuine feeling among the workforce that
training and learning really is available with real benefits to be
had. This is one thing that certainly cannot be achieved by a
computer - there is no buzzword called 'e-cultural shift in attitudes
to learning'. Indeed, such as shift cannot be achieved by the
training manager alone, after all, they're the ones already committed
to training. The change needs to span the whole business and get the
buy in of those who traditionally feel excluded from training or see
no business case for it. For this reason initiatives such as May
25th's Learning at Work Day and the re-launch of the Investors in
People standard need to be welcomed. Only when a culture of learning
and continuous improvement in the workplace really takes hold will
the training industry reap the benefits of the new developments
taking place online. We need to spend less time at the PC and more
time converting the MD.

Latest News
Send us news for inclusion at

TrainingZONE records 142% growth in four months
As Easter arrives, TrainingZONE has recorded a huge increase in new
members. 12,000 people will receive this issue, up from 4,800 in
December last year. Usage of the website has also almost trebled in
the same period. So, a big welcome to all new users of this
professionals network. We really appreciate the way so many people
recommend TrainingZONE to their colleagues. Our best wishes to you
for an enjoyable Easter break.

Spring Group Plc launch benefits package for contractors
Spring Group Plc have put together a package of financial and
training benefits for temporary and contracted workers employed
through the Spring Group. The service is available to all 2,700
staff employed in the three divisions of Spring and is accessed via
their website. This is thought to be the first time such a package
of benefits has been made available to temporary and contracted staff
in the UK, and reflects the trend towards self-managed careers.

Job title 'snobbery' is rife among office workers, says survey
Office Angels' latest survey reports that envy and competition
are being fueled by snobbery over the relative desirability of job
titles. The survey of 1,500 workers found that job title 'snobbery'
exists both within and outside the workplace, with 70 percent of
respondents also claiming that they were judged on their job title
in social situations.

Recent developments at UfI
The University for Industry (Ufi) has announced that it will be
adopting the Institute of IT Training's quality standards for all of
its technology-based training materials. Learndirect, the on-line
learning network currently being put together by Ufi, is currently
being tested by the first 68 on-line learndirect centres in England.
The Content Foundry, a newly-formed partnership of education and
training companies, is responsible for testing and implementing early
examples of the digital learning materials using the new quality

This week's top jobs
The new jobs area is roaring away with plenty of new postings. Check
them out, and set up your dream job alert at

**Job of the Week**
Management Development Officer
Responsible for the design and delivery of long term management
development programmes for Chamberlains in the West Midlands.
Assessment Centre involvement. Salary: GBP 18k-26k

and a selection of other adverts from the past few days:
- Associate trainer in Handling the Media
- Sales Trainer
- Training Consultants
- HR Manager
- Director of Studies / Administrator
- HR Projects Manager - startup

Struggle to answer the question "What have you got that's DIFFERENT?"
Interested in a proven resource that can be used at ANY level, in ANY
industry? LIBERATION is all of this and more. And it's absolutely
FREE to evaluate -
Read the independent TrainingZONE review on this British resource at:
Our advertising is now audited by ABC. To reach our audience, see:

A selection of the recent invitations to tender to be found at

** Freelance Training Associates (North West)
** Workshop leader needed for conference on 'responding to
children's feelings' in London on 20th May
** Trainer(s) required for major roll-out of keyboard skills
training to meet health and safety requirements
** Course/events online listings directory supplier for TrainingZONE

FastTrack Associates Limited
FastTrack are pleased to announce the publication of their new Centre
Support Materials for S/NVQs in MCI Management Level 3 and Processing
Information Using Telecommunications Level 2. Shortly to become
available are: The latest Information Technology Level 1, soon to be
followed by Levels 2 and 3 and Telesales Level 3 Mandatory Units,
soon to be followed by the Optional Units. For our range of subjects
and further information, prices and/or sample pages please t:01529
414915, f:01529 413144 and visit

Any Answers?
Can you answer any of the questions at

* Question of the Week *:
Do you have experience of on-line diagnostic tools?
If anyone has experience of devising or using on-line diagnostic
tools for the delivery of flexible vocational learning packages, I
would be keen to hear from you. If you have a diagnostic tool, e.g.
questionnaire based on standards being delivered through the
materials, or on a different form of evaluation, could you send me
the web address where I could look at it.
Ruth Churchill

And here are just a few of the other questions posted this week:
- Where can I source a fun/interesting/motivating icebreaker to be
used in a induction course?
- A request for information on designing competencies for lawyers
- Help please on effective appraisal practices
- Where can I get information on telesales training?

Use the Comments facility to send your response to the questioner.

A new one day course to improve learning skills for ALL
professionals, qualified and students. This course adds to
illumine's unique portfolio of courses in thinking, learning and
creativity. Visit
mailto:[email protected] to discuss your requirements.

We scan the web to bring you interesting sites and resources at

ntl offer 'free' internet calls
From April 17th, ntl start the bidding war for free internet calls
across the UK.

Consultancy portal created
A group of Management Consultants in the South-West have launched a
new portal for their services

New IT training portal launches
A new IT training portal was launched yesterday by SkillsCo.
It contains information on training schedules for the 20 largest
Microsoft, Novell and Lotus authorised training companies in the UK.

Caliper UK offers 360 degree appraisal online
Caliper UK are offering a service for 360 degree feedback on the web.

Teleworking tips from IOSH
The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has some
useful information online

And finally:
These tips seem to have popped up in a few places recently, but in
case you've yet to read these pearls of wisdom, here are five 'tips
for bosses from staff' which may strike a chord:

1. Never give me work in the morning. Always wait until 4pm. The
challenge of a deadline is refreshing.
2. If it's a 'rush job', interrupt me every ten minutes to inquire
how it's going.
3. Do your best to keep me late. I like the office and have nowhere
else to go.
4. If you have special instructions for a job, don't write them down.
In fact, save them until the job is almost done.
5. If a job I do pleases you, keep it a secret.


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Copyright (c) 2000 Sift Group plc. All rights reserved.
May be reproduced in any medium for non-commercial purposes as
long as attribution is given.

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