Delegates at the European e-learning Summit, organised by Learning Light with support from learndirect and Creativesheffield and held in Sheffield (17th to 19th November) have agreed to pursue dialogue with national governments to establish a single, independent and impartial body representing the corporate e-learning sector.
The key messages coming from the Summit delegates were:
The use of technology to develop, deliver, store and manage training (a definition of e-learning) is core to the whole training sector.
The e-learning industry needs a single, independent and impartial (in terms of e-learning producers) national voice to promote the industry to Government. This is true not just in terms of the UK Government but also true for all European Governments.
This is not just a case of coming together to lobby Government but also banding together to source contracts collaboratively – both as individual contracts with smaller customers and as consortia to fulfil large contracts placed by, for example, global businesses and Government departments.
E-learning needs to be seen as being about transforming business performance (helping users sell more; deliver compliance for less; reduce costs and increase profits) rather than just another tool for the HR learning and development armoury.
In addition, delegates raised concerns over:
e-learning’s name, credibility and visibility among business leaders.
the apparent dearth of certified instructional or learning designers – and the mechanism for developing them to a consistent standard.
The Summit delegates, drawn from the private and public sectors as well as academia, came from as far afield as Italy, Greece, the Czech Republic and even, in an observer capacity, Australia. Their discussions were informed by, among other things, ‘The UK e-learning market 2010’, a report by Learning Light, an organisation which focuses on promoting the use of e-learning and learning technologies.
Speakers at the Summit included not only David Patterson, of Learning Light, but also Carin Martell, Business Development Manager at the leading learning content management (LCMS) and digital repository (DR) solution provider, eXact learning solutions; Kirstie Donnelly, director of service design and development at learndirect, and Piers Lea, the managing director of LINE Communications and a member of the European Learning Industry Group (ELIG).
“We were delighted to be able to host the European e-learning Summit,” said Creativesheffield’s chief executive, Paul Firth. “Holding such an event in this city helps cement Sheffield’s recently won accolade of being the UK’s ‘e-learning capital’.”
“It was clear that the Summit presented a dynamic opportunity to discuss key issues of mutual value,” said David Kay, of Sero Consulting and the chairman of Learning Light. “We’re delighted to have helped to provide the industry with that opportunity.”