Strategy formation is the topic of discussion at our Masterclass: E-Learning Journeys

The latest in our series of Masterclasses took place in Glasgow last week. Learning and development, training and HR professionals from over 30 Scottish organisations gathered to explore how to get the best out of learning technologies and blended classroom practice.

In this post, we give an overview of presentations from our keynote speakers, the topics discussed and useful tips from our recent Masterclass: E-Learning Journeys #ELJ13.

Masterclass: E-Learning Journeys Glasgow

The purpose of our Masterclasses is to provide an open forum for learning and development professionals to discuss how to make E-Learning as effective as possible.

The theme of our Masterclass was E-learning Journeys and topics discussed during the interactive session included:

  • Mobile learning
  • Tin Can API
  • E-Learning trends and insights 

Attendees also benefited from ‘real life’ case studies from The Gleneagles Hotel and Action for Children who shared their experiences and journey to date of E-Learning.

With attendees involved in E-Learning at varying levels, some new to it and others more accustomed, there was one prevalent topic at the Masterclass – strategy formation, knowing where to start an E-Learning journey and why it’s important to get the basics right. In the rush towards adoption of the latest trends, it is easy to lose sight of what the actual aims and objectives of implementing E-Learning are. Throughout the Masterclass, attendees heard why it is important to understand what the needs and challenges are within the organisation and ensure that the proper structures and technology are in place beforehand.

Mary Scott, Learning and Development Manager at The Gleneagles Hotel was first to present and discussed how the world-famous 5 Star Luxury resort is using E-Learning as part of a blended learning strategy to improve the delivery, flexibility and consistency of employee learning and training. Although The Gleneagles Hotel have just started on their E-Learning journey, this was an interesting insight and shows that using E-Learning can have a great impact no matter what type of industry you are in.

Next to share his E-Learning journey and highlight the great work carried out by one of the UK’s leading children’s charities was Learning and Development Consultant, Andy Napier from Action for Children. Throughout his presentation, Andy shared some great insights with the room and showed how far the leading children’s charity has come in a short period of time.  Andy also shared the details of the charity’s E-Learning Journey, the challenges they faced and how they were able to overcome them. Like The Gleneagles Hotel before him, Alan was keen to emphasise the benefits of getting Aurion Learning on board to help guide them through their E-Learning challenges.

Andy Napier discussing how far Action for Children have come on their E-Learning journey

Andy Napier discussing how far Action for Children have come on their E-Learning journey in a short time.

E-Learning trends and insights were next on the agenda, with our very own E-Learning Strategist and Managing Director Dr. Maureen Murphy, discussing what impact digital technology will have on learning and development strategies in the future.

With discussions on content curation, increase in virtual classrooms, social learning and the need for further integrated talent management, Maureen also shared her fascinating vision and experience of how stories can be used for learning.

After a caffeine boost, attendees were able to mingle with like-minded professionals to discuss how they are using E-Learning within their organisations.

Mobile Learning and Technology was next on the agenda with Liam Butler, EMEA General Manager at NetDimensions, a global provider of performance, knowledge and learning management systems, sharing global industry insights and discussing the impact of mobile learning and advancing technologies.  With digital technology changing the world we live in on a daily basis and learners looking for information immediately and on the go, attendees were eagerly absorbing the nuggets of information from Liam who talked about mobile options that are available today and the type of content that works well on mobile.

What was interesting to discover is that 12 months from now, it is likely that mobile learning will look completely different. Whilst many organisations have been slow to adopt mobile learning on a large-scale; Liam discussed how mobile learning is starting to come into its own and shared the innovative ways that NetDimensions is delivering mobile learning solutions.  Of note, Liam noted that technology isn’t hanging around and that technology road maps have changed from 12 to six months.  As more people pursue to use personal devices to learn, it’s time to start considering the mobile learner and ensure their user experience is a good one.

Attendees then took part in one of three hands on E-Learning clinics:

  1. Building Internal Capacity     
  2. Managing Learning Beyond the Technology    
  3. Using Stories for Learning
Storytelling for learning clinic

One of the hands-on E-Learning clinics in action.

During the sessions, attendees were able to delve deeper into the barriers and challenges that they are currently facing in their organisation, discuss the strategies to overcome them and at the same time gain actionable tips and strategies to improve learning and development.  The morning was quickly drawing to a close when the panel discussion got underway and attendees asked the panel what were the most pressing issues in learning and development and how best to overcome them. Tips from the panel included:

  • Involve IT from the start of your e-learning journey – prepare key stakeholders within your organisation – help them structure your approach/get buy-in/use subject matter experts within your organisation.
  • Be aware that different e-learning models can be used for different/various stages within your organisation

There were plenty of questions at the end with many attendees extremely interested in finding out more about topics like Tin Can API, managing learning and simply finding out where the best place is to start.

Planning for our 2014 E-Learning events is already underway. If you have any suggestions for things you’d like to see, please do let us know.

Presentations and resources shared during the Masterclass are now available to view and download. Visit Aurion Learning’s website.