PRESS INFORMATION ISSUED ON BEHALF OF:
The eLearning Network
c/o Thrift Cottage, Common Road, HADLOW, TN11 0JE
tel 01732 850650; email
Tips on prospering in the downturn from the eLearning Network
The eLearning Network (eLN) - a non-profit organisation run by the
e-learning community for the e-learning community - is giving away its
best advice: on how to prosper during the economic downturn.
The advice - based on a presentation at the recent Learning
Technologies event in London by the eLNs chairman, Clive Shepherd - is
freely available on the organisations website
It is available in two formats: as a narrated presentation and in text
Shepherd said: "Last year, Jay Cross warned us to ‘be aware that the
magnitude of the financial meltdown is almost beyond comprehension. I
can foresee training departments being eliminated almost entirely.
"Todays evidence is undeniable that training budgets are being cut and
that, as a result, jobs are being lost," he added.
"Anyone who works in learning and development needs to be doing all
they can to ensure that they come through this period relatively
unscathed - hopefully with their job intact - and still providing a
valuable service to their employer or customers. Thats why the eLN is
publishing its guidelines for success in these difficult times."
The eLN recommends that you:
1. Engage with the technology because technology:
travel, saving tons of money and the planet as well
people with ideas and other people
accessibility and flexibility
‘Generation Y wants and expects
the language of business because employers interested in
performance, not learning. Your job is to convince the holders of the
purse strings that the learning interventions that you offer are likely
to generate increased performance - more so, perhaps, than investing
the same money elsewhere.
3. Promote your brand inside and outside your organisation. You
credibility to your professional status by touting your membership of
associations and professional bodies - such as the eLN.
your qualifications. As far as e-learning is concerned, in the UK you
can take a masters course, obtain a certificate from providers such as
the CIPD or Training Foundation or take one of the short courses now
proactive in coming up with solutions that will help your
organisation get through the current crisis. If you leave it to senior
management, theyll make daft decisions because theyre not the experts
on learning and development: you are.
As Jay Cross warns: "Survivors must write new agendas while they still
have desks to write on."
5. Learn from others - watching out for good ideas that you can
adapt to your own interventions. A good source of case studies is the
eLNs one-day events and webinars.
In addition, you could check out the Towards Maturity website, where
there are case studies of successful projects. These will be shared
even more widely through the Next Generation Learning at Work
initiative, which has been launched this year by Becta.
6. Take advantage of bargains
To keep busy, suppliers will be more willing than usual to cut margins
- but you need to ask.
Theres also an increasingly impressive array of free and open source
tools. In particular, check out Jane Harts Centre for Learning and
Performance Technologies website.
7. Become more efficient
Efficiency is about doing more for less. The first step is to get rid
of those nice-to-have interventions, which have been running for years
but which may not anymore be addressing a current need.
The best way to do this is to budget from the bottom-up. Start with
nothing and build up, focusing on the value that each intervention
brings to the organisation.
If you develop e-learning content, question whether you have too
elaborate and slow a process. Think about more agile, rapid processes,
which get a solution out there in days not months.
Make sure you exploit every asset - whether thats an image, an
animation, a video or a 3D model - as fully as possible, by reusing it
in multiple online courses, as well as in the classroom and for
8. Maintain quality
If you put out a poor quality product, then you may put your learners
off - permanently.
But remember that quality is about fitness for purpose. As long as an
intervention is relevant, timely and does the job, then ‘good enough
is a reasonable level at which to aim.
9. Harness people power
There have always been informal learning processes in place to meet
organisational learning and development needs. Now, however, we have
software - such as social networks, wikis and forums - that makes it
easier for expertise to be shared within an organisation.
Just give people the tools to help themselves. And remember that, with
informal learning, what Harold Jarche calls the ‘ABC rule applies -
thats ‘Anything But Courses.
10. Get networked
George Siemens explains the benefits of networking: "Instead of the
individual having to evaluate and process every bit of information,
s/he creates a personal network of trusted nodes: people and content,
enhanced by technology. The act of knowledge is offloaded onto the
The days when you had to try and know everything relating to your area
of expertise are long past. Besides, theres too much to know and its
changing too quickly.
Networking gets you in touch with trusted sources of information that
you can call upon when you need it - whether those sources are human or
"The eLN exists purely to enable those working in e-learning, whether
users or suppliers, to interact with each other and to enrich their
personal networks," said Shepherd. "Its not-for-profit and run by
volunteers working part-time.
"If youre interested in e-learning, wed love to have you in our
For further details of the eLN visit
Notes for Editors:
About the eLearning Network
Formed - as The Association for Computer Based Training (TACT) in 1987
- the eLearning Network (eLN), which adopted this title in 2000, is the
UK's foremost professional association of users and developers of all
forms of e-learning. It is a non-profit making body that exists to
promote information and best practice among all those who are involved
in the e-learning world, as well as act as a networking medium for its
For more information about the eLN and eLN events, call 01992 634244 or
Further information from:
Clive Shepherd, The eLearning Network, +44 (0)1273 561714
Bob Little, Bob Little Press & PR, 01727 860405