Insight for novice managers

Readers try out the latest products and courses

Susan Clarkson reviews: Managing for the First Time From: KnowledgePool
Format: CD-Rom
Price: £499 for an unlimited user licence
Tel: 01273 827777

While it is accepted that e-learning is fast becoming a widely-used media,
one of the major issues from a trainee’s perspective is that it can be a rather
lonely experience and not always the most appropriate method of delivering a
learning experience.

Having undergone some extremely dry and lonely e-learning as part of a
recent management development programme, I somewhat reluctantly accepted the
task of evaluating this Management Skills CD-Rom from KnowledgePool. I must
say, however, that it changed my views somewhat on the e-learning experience.

The programme is aimed at first-time managers and ideally should be
completed before they are ‘let loose’ on unsuspecting subordinates. It covers
the main themes you would find in any management development programme, from
establishing your credibility as a manager, to dealing with conflict, how to
motivate your team and so on.

The programme is delivered in a simple but effective way, making use of
video clips and audio commentary to enliven what could be an extremely tedious
90 minutes. It is interactive in that you are asked questions all the way
through the course, as well as having to complete a short quiz at the end which
tests your learning throughout the programme. It means you can’t nod off and
just keep clicking ‘next’.

Nor can you cheat in the quiz, as you are only able to print off certain
pages throughout the programme – you actually have to absorb the course to be
able to answer the questions. You are also able to look at some quite difficult
issues in a non-threatening environment (no-one is there to criticise you other
than yourself) and, therefore, be a bit more experimental in choosing the

I would still say, however, that this method of learning needs to complement
a traditional training programme with an instructor or trainer and more than
one delegate. This CD-Rom could quite easily be used as a tool throughout a
more traditional tutor-led programme in much the same way as videos have been
used. Individuals can then take the CD away to reinforce learning on their own.

Susan Clarkson is HR manager at Esteem Systems Plc

Comments are closed.