Finding the right blend

Blended learning is a preoccupation for speakers and exhibitors at Training
Solutions 2002

Training Solutions opens its doors at Birmingham’s NEC on 19 and 20 June
with a brand new format designed to give the best deal to visitors and
exhibitors alike.

Taking the increasingly important topic of blended learning as its theme,
the two-day conference offers a total of 20 sessions, held in two separate

Speakers include leading industry figures and experts who will deliver
up-to-the-minute information on the latest trends in training. Keynote speeches
come from Ian MacDonald, assistant chief constable, National Police Training;
Dave Simonds, director of education at SAP (UK) Ltd, the world’s largest
enterprise software company; Dave Snowden, director (EMEA and AP) of the
Institute for Knowledge Management, IBM Global Services, and Paul Kearns of
Personnel Works, an expert on how to maximise return on investment in training.

Case study presentations will show how major companies have used innovative
approaches to tackle training challenges in a variety of industries.

Organised by Brintex – with sponsors including leading HR consultants, The
Hay Group; e-learning software specialists, Trainersoft; and learndirect – the
event includes a free exhibition, displaying the latest training products and

A full programme of happenings takes place in the ‘ActivZones’, where
visitors can see new products in action and try them out.

Day one

Day one of the conference kicks off in Room 1 with a keynote speech from
Dave Simonds, director of education SAP UK, Ireland and South Africa, member of
SAP’s Global Education Steering Committee. Simonds will step outside the
current main focus of e-learning on improving knowledge and performance of
internal staff to cover the use of e-learning, e-education and technologies,
such as learning management systems, in the broader context of the
collaborative business and extended enterprise resource planning.

His address is aptly followed by Stuart Hornsey of John Matchett Ltd.
Entitled What no LMS? Manage your blended learning the right way! Hornsey’s
session aims to help delegates discover what blended learning is really about
and find out why a learning management system could be the answer to trainers’
blended learning prayers. Hornsey promises to explain the terminology and what
the available technology has to offer today, and tomorrow.

"A cynic is someone who knows the price of everything and the value of
nothing," says Paul Kearns, quoting Oscar Wilde. The author of Maximising
your ROI in Training delivers the afternoon keynote speech on showing the real
value of learning in improving organisational performance.

Kearns starts from the premise that most managers would accept that training
is important but would be hard pushed to put an actual value on it. His session
will show how a real monetary value can be put on training, demonstrate how
training strategy can make direct connections between training and business
performance, and suggest how trainers have to change their role to ‘performance

Day two

Keynote speakers switch to Room 2 on day two, when Ian MacDonald, assistant
chief constable, National Police Training, shares his experience of strategic
command training.

Each year, National Police Training takes 50 to 60 carefully selected police
officers, from across the globe, to prepare them for rapid advancement to the
highest ranks in the service. This task has caused the old notion of ‘sending
them on a course’ to be abandoned in favour of a varied programme accredited to
Masters level.

MacDonald will cover, in depth, this fascinating programme, acclaimed as an
outstanding model of blended adult learning.

Dave Snowden, European director, Institute for Knowledge Management at IBM
Global Services, takes the afternoon keynote slot with his address entitled
Learning ecologies: the art of achieving complexity through simplicity.
"We know that organisations with strong networks share knowledge more
effectively than those with formal systems," says Snowden. Social network
stimulation recognises that a network of informal contacts is vital to any
individual’s effective operation within an organisation. Narrative databases
allow us to record, capture and access the stories that people tell in the
field, ensuring that the learning and experiences of key events are fresh.
Snowden will explain how to create a social network and look at the creation of
learning environments through narrative databases.

Blended learning

The theme of blended learning is explored in a variety of sessions over the
two days. In his session Getting the blend right, Gareth Jones, head of new
media innovation and learning, BBC Training and Development, takes a look at
the BBC’s own experience of developing blended learning within the broader
context of the UK’s changing learning culture. He will suggest why it offers a
practical solution for both trainers and trainees.

A range of businesses and external partners demonstrate their approaches in
case study presentations. AXA Sun Life Services plc and e-learning specialist
BYG Systems, present an alternative viewpoint of how a blended induction
programme should be structured, stressing that blended learning is not about
sticking together a series of disparate learning events.

Delegates can learn how blended learning can be successfully implemented in
a large financial organisation by listening to the session presented by AdVal
Group plc and the Royal Bank of Scotland, while Great North Eastern Railways
(GNER) mounts a joint presentation with Adacel Simulation Learning. This case
study looks at how it was possible to combine simulation learning with
traditional classroom training to implement a coaching culture throughout GNER.

Blended learning cannot be fully examined without looking at the contribution
of e-learning. But why is so much e-learning so bad, and how do you make it

That is the theme of the input from Henry Stewart of Happy Computers, IT
Training Company of the Year 2001. He promises a highly interactive – and
slightly controversial session aiming to get delegates to discover what makes
e-learning great.

One2One, with help from emergeSmart, will present its e-learning solution
for the training and development of customer service staff in call centres.
Halifax plc and Bourne Training will pass on their experiences of developing
and implementing a blended e-learning solution across the retail network of
20,000 staff to implement Halifax’s new mortgage sales process. And
KnowledgePool teams-up with the Forum for Technology and Training to analyse
the results of a ground-breaking e-learning pilot to deliver an NVQ for the
polymer industry. Adding to the rich mix of sessions outside the central theme,
contributions include a discussion led by The Leadership Trust which asks: Does
executive education really improve business performance? It will present
evidence to show it believes it can, and suggest why sometimes it does not.

Meanwhile, Octavius Black, managing director, The Mind Gym Ltd, contends
that much training remains stuck in a bygone era and it is time to catch up. He
will paint his picture of the future of learning at work and lay out the
challenges for all those involved in the world of learning.

Sunday Times columnist Helen Vandevelde and former war correspondent Giles
Trendle are to run an interactive session on business agility in a
fast-changing world.

They will underline the importance of deploying the right mindset to survive
and thrive amid change and deliver a specially-devised questionnaire to help
participants measure their own agility potential.

Graham David, managing director of Blue Beetle, asks: Does my bum look big
in this? when he looks at some of the practicalities, problems and pleasures of
presenting a training course.

Amazing energisers and wonderful warm-ups are in store – the sort that
trainers will be able to use in their own sessions.

Trainers can also learn from Sue Froggatt, of Voice Value, about the impact
on the voice of working in a role which requires regular and extended periods
of talking.

She will outline what can be done by an organisation to minimise the risks
of damage and what practical steps the individual can take.

Rounding off the conference, Barry Tomalin, of Culture Shock, identifies the
key pressure points where cultural awareness can make a difference in business
and presents 10 key things you should know about training in an international

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