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Online learning makes inroads


first_imgThe CIPD show, Europe’s largest management exhibition, has its fair share oftraining-related exhibitors and events this year. More than 100 of the 330 companies exhibiting in five halls at the Harrogateshow are involved in some form of training, ranging from e-learning andtraining-needs software to outdoor development, business schools and executivecoaching. As well as the exhibition and conference, there will be a free programme offringe sessions covering topics such as drama-based training, strategiclearning and coaching to achieve behavioural change. And in keeping with the times, the exhibition is witnessing a significantincrease in e-learning providers. “I’ve noticed a big increase in exhibitors covering areas likee-learning and online recruitment, and there is always a hard core ofmanagement consultancies, psychometrics companies and so on,” says JaneO’Hara, PR manager at Academee, which is launching a new e-learning programmebut also provides face-to-face training. O’Hara believes the economic uncertainties will put pressure on trainingbudgets, but that e-learning could benefit. “It often has cost benefits compared with face-to-face training and isan effective way of offering retraining to people made redundant,” shesays. Integrated Approach But it is important that organisations do not regard e-learning as a replacementfor other programmes, she argues. “It should be part of an integratedtraining approach, including face-to-face learning.” Other e-learning exhibitors include Go MAD, which is launching an onlinelearning and assessment product, and Citizen Connect, whose partners includethe University for Industry, for which it is providing an online learning andcareer management programme for adults. As well as online delivery of training, new technology has also led todevelopments in areas like training needs analysis, which is reflected in theexhibitors. For example, Cascaid will be launching a training needs analysis softwareprogramme aimed specifically at the retail sector. “TNA is becoming more accessible for companies with the move away from time-consumingpaper-based systems to TNA software,” says spokesman Leo Kendall. Assessing training needs is becoming more critical for organisations, agreesRoy Davis, head of communications at another exhibitor, SHL. “Particularly in the current downturn, when training budgets are likelyto come under a lot of pressure, it’s essential that organisations areconvinced of the value of their training programmes.” At the other learning extreme from PC-based training is outdoor development.Exhibitors include Derwent Hill, in the Lake District, and Brookfield Manor,which has recently installed a ropes challenge course at its centre. But here too providers expect a growing focus by clients on value for money.John Driscoll, marketing manager at the Lake District-based Dove Nest Group,says clients are increasingly finding it hard to visit for longer courses andso the trend has been to squeeze as much training into a shorter period. “There’s been a big move in recent years away from five- or evenseven-day courses to shorter ones,” he says, adding that this reflects theincreasing time pressures on managers. The company has tackled this demand by shortening some courses to threedays, but building in more training during the pre-course visit to the client andfollow-up sessions. “That allows us to cover some of the material that has been cut fromthe original course,” he says. As well as the more traditional training providers, there are a number ofexhibitors focusing on more esoteric approaches, such as EIUK, a specialistcentre for the measurement of individual and team emotional intelligencecoaching and development. It’s the company’s third visit to the exhibition and founder Geetu Ormesays, “There’s been a fair amount of scepticism in previous years aboutemotional intelligence as a form of development but now we’re seeing a lot morepeople interested.” She cites clients such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ford Europe and thecharity Scope as illustrating the growing interest in the subject. Exhibitors say there has been an evolution in the kind of delegatesattending the show in recent years, with a move away from HR director level totheir representatives, as well as an increase in non-HR managers. Roy Davis of SHL says the change is a reflection of the changing nature ofHR. “HR directors are now operating at a more strategic level so it’squestionable whether Harrogate still appeals to them as much. You’re morelikely to find staff on a ‘go fetch’ mission, where they know what they needbut want to look at the different products.” He has also noticed a growing number of non-HR specialists visiting theexhibition. “Line managers are finding it harder to hide behind HR when itcomes to learning and development and so we’re seeing more of them coming toHarrogate to see what’s on the market,” he says. Academee’s Jane O’Hara also welcomes the attendance of more non-HR managers,saying, “We’re meeting people from areas like sales and marketing, whichis good because it shows those people are now training people developmentseriously.” Alongside the exhibition will be a series of free fringe events, includingseveral in the training and development field. Ian Hardie, associate dean ofexecutive education at the London Business School, will be presenting oneseminar on “What do traditional business schools have to offer corporateuniversities?” Hardie says, “Corporate universities are becoming increasinglyimportant in executive development and one key theme is how business schoolsimplement training and development with corporate universities.” He will also be looking at the various models of corporate universities,from virtual universities to the bricks and mortar approach. The LBS has helped set up corporate universities such as US energy companyConnoco and financial services company Old Mutual. In another fringe seminar, firm of business psychologists the GrayPartnership will be examining how training can contribute to behaviouraldifferences in organisations. Managing director Annie Gray says too many organisations do not properlyevaluate whether training achieves the required behavioural differences. “Delegates on courses only retain 30 per cent of what they learn, onaverage, and too many organisations restrict their evaluation to superficial issues,such as whether delegates enjoyed the lunch, instead of examining severalmonths later whether behavioural differences have occurred.” She adds that a key point of the interactive seminar will explore howorganisations can improve the individual’s motivation to learn. The drama-based training company Steps will be highlighting diversityissues, such as disability, ageism and race, at another fringe event. Other training-related seminars include Maple Consulting’s look at howindividuals can stimulate thinking about their own career development andQTAB’s seminar on the benefits that strategic learning can bring toorganisational development. Training provider ASE will present a seminar on measuring approaches toproblem solving. The company will present data on how a “cognitive processprofile”, which uses innovations in psychometrics and computer technology,can help solve problems. Talk showSpeakers to listen out for include: – Don Tapscott, one of the world’s leading cyber gurus, is oneof the conference keynote speakers and he will be looking at lifelongorganisational learning in his talk on The New Economy on 26 October. Tapscott,author of Digital Capital, argues that in the new economy an organisation willonly be competitive if it can learn faster than its rivals.– On Thursday, speakers including Andrew Kakabadse of CranfieldSchool of Management and Tim Lewis, assistant chief constable of the RoyalUlster Constabulary, will discuss Leadership development and the top team. Onthe same day Prof Michael West of Aston Business School is among the speakerson Building leadership capability: a psychological perspective.– Also on Thursday, David Clutterbuck, chairman of the ITEMGroup, and Peter Matthews, partner in charge of business development at Ernst &Young, will speak on Coaching for leadership.– Friday’s events include a seminar on e-learning. Speakers areAlison Walker of British Airways, Gilly Salmon of the Open University BusinessSchool and John O’Connor of telecoms company Hutchison3G.– And on Friday, Prof Adrian Furnham of University College,London, and David Fairhurst, HR director at Tesco, discuss Managing culturechange, in a seminar chaired by Nottingham County Council chief executive PeterHousden.Getting there– Rail – go to York or Leeds to change for Harrogate– Road – the M1, M5, M6 and A1 motorways are close toHarrogate. – Air – Leeds/Bradford airport is 30 minutes’ drive Further details can be accessed from the CIPD website at www.cipd.co.ukTimes and datesThe conference and exhibition are held at the HarrogateInternational Centre and run from Wednesday 24 to Friday 26 October. Openingtimes are 10.30am to 6pm on Wednesday, 9.30am to 6pm on Thursday and 9.30am to3pm on Friday.The fringe programme, which is open to everyone on afirst-come, first-served basis, will run from 6.30 to 7.30pm on Wednesday, 8 to9am, 1 to 2pm and 6.30 to 7.30pm on Thursday and 8 to 9am on Friday.For details of the fringe programme and other details visit www.cipd.co.uk/nationalconference Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Online learning makes inroadsOn 1 Oct 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img

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