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Get aquainted with our extensive bank of research, case studies, articles and interviews.

Training Quality Standard

The Training Quality Standard: what is it? TQS helps training providers deliver learning solutions that make an impact on an employer’s business. It is an accredited Quality Mark but the real benefit is that it drives a dialogue between a provider and an employer. This was clear from a CFE event for training providers delivered in London on 28th April 2009.

Exploring e-learning

In this interview, Brian Runciman, Managing Editor from the BCS interviews Laura Overton, Towards Maturity and Clive Shepherd, chair of the eLearning Network to find out answers to questions that everyone new to e-learning wants to know:

Towards Maturity – 1 year old

Towards Maturity was launched on the 29th of April 2008 – an independent, not for profit organisation with a passion for helping others to improve the impact of learning technologies at work. This week we are a year old and what a year it has been!

Unmissable e-learning events this summer

Two of the key areas holding many organisations back from realising the full potential from their e-learning investment is are lack of awareness amongst learning and development professionals and poor skills to manage and implement

Comparing attitudes of staff and training professionals

We announced that Siôn Simon MP, Minister for Further Education,at the Department for Innovation, University and Skills (DIUS) wants to hear directly from you about what FE & Skills delivery needs to look like moving forward on a new social networking site- http://altogethernow.ning.com/.

The Dental Channel webinar, better and cheaper delivery

Dental professionals must remain up to date with the latest developments in dentistry; in this as in many other professions the pace and change of innovation is high. How do busy professionals find the time to invest in learning and save an estimated 1/4 million pounds across the profession. The answer is a webinar programme run by the Dental Channel.

The Learning value of questions

The third most popular technology for implementing e-learning is Surveys and Questionnaires; perhaps more true to say third equal!  82% of respondent to the 2008 Towards Maturity selected this as a tool they used, exceeded only by the 86% of respondents who selected electronic content and the 86% who selected web resources. The use of questions and surveys in e-learning is one that gets relatively little press.

Introducing Virtual Worlds

Have you experienced a second life? Increasingly people have, and for learning purposes. Mystified by what it means. Thanks to Saffron Interactive you can read a short paper by Clive Shepherd which demystifies virtual worlds and their role in learning. 

Brush up your Blended learning skills

Our Driving Business Benefits research has highlighted that we are expecting so much more from our investment in learning technologies during difficult times but the biggest barriers to success are our lack of skills in developing appropriate solutions – knowing how to create the right blends of learning technologies and interventions that deliver results. Yet less than 1 in 5 organisations provide any training on how to do this.

Serious virtual worlds and immersive learning

In Driving Business Benefits (the Towards Maturity research published earlier this year) we saw that just under 20% of the research participants were using some form of games or complex simulations in their e-learning offering and just under 10% used virtual worlds.

BT Dares to Share

One of the first organisations to benchmark with Towards Maturity, BT have always been at the forefront of innovation when it comes to learning technologies.

Learning engagement at Diageo

Over the years Diageo had deployed a number of e-learning courses to individual markets and in 2007 decided to invest in a centralised training portal named the Diageo Academy to allow all employees globally to access e-Learning, classroom training, virtual classroom, and self development learning materials in a central location.

Generator – for FE & Skills providers

Generator, the technology improvement leadership tool for FE and Skills was launched on the 5 March 2009. This new online tool is available free of charge to all colleges and learning providers in the FE and Skills sector.

Building Business Performance with Social Media

The latest Towards Maturity benchmark report showed that new media such as podcasting , blogs and wikis are on the increase but what real business benefits are they bringing? With so many new tools and so little time available, how can we get started?

NCALT – award winning e-learning

In the 2008 e-learning Awards the National Centre of Applied Learning Technologies (NCALT) achieved unprecedented success as winner of the ‘e-learning industry award for outstanding achievement – corporate’, Gold Winner for ‘Excellence in the Production of Learning Content’ and earning ‘Special Mention’ in the ‘Best e-learning project securing widespread adoption’.

Improving the Take up of e-Learning in Local Authorities

This practical guide was created with the input of 25 Local Authorities at a series of Learning Pool Showcase Events in autumn 08. All local authorities face the same challenges of needing to meet the training and development needs of all their staff in a timely, cost effective way.

Royal Shakespeare Company Enter E-learning with compliance

An example of starting in e-learning with generic content and compliance. An excellent way on to the stage of e-learning. RSC worked with a supplier to introduce a customised learning product that achieved their business goals, ensured the right attitude to Health and Safety and made sure employees were comfortable with computors.

Games in the Military

With the military struggling with recruitment they turned their attentions to their current training methods, searching for ways in which it can be changed, even transformed. This article investigates the issue and how they approached a solution – drawing on research from from Caspian Learning looking at the application on games in learning in the military.

Essential Learning – the employee perspective

In October this year, SkillSoft published their first global benchmark study– in which they compared and contrasted employee attitudes towards learning and development across the US, the UK and Europe.

Driving change at Toyota Motor Europe

Toyota Motor Europe NV/SA (TME) oversees the wholesale sales and marketing of Toyota and Lexus vehicles, parts and accessories, and Toyota’s European manufacturing and engineering operations.

GAME stores Xcite retail staff to boost sales

This case study  (provided by Grass Roots) hightlights how the Games Stores Group Ltd ( specialist retailers in PC and Video games) used a blended learning approach in store to help boost sales.

Fully accessible e-learning at BT

After assessing line-of-business requirements and capabilities, L&D at BT decided to implement a collaborative system for authoring, managing and deploying learning content.

Announcing the e-learning award winners 08

We congratulate all those who won prestigious awards at the ceremony for the e-learning awards 2008. The quality of the entries this year were exceptional and we look forward to sharing their stories on Towards Maturity for others to be inspired over the next 12 months.

Recession beating tips

With job cuts perhaps on the way and a drive to cut costs here are eight ways trainers can preserve the one and deliver the other. 

Hints and tips for demonstrating value

What gets your work noticed by stakeholders and peers back at work? What helps you increase engagement? What helps secure your budget in times of turmoil? The ability to demonstrate value!

Effective Blends for Busy Managers

Last year, the Chartered Management Institute published their first research looking at how blended learning approaches can support managment development.

Professional Institute (IRRV) improves Local Authority and DWP staff skills

A partnership between an employer (A local authority), a professional Institute (the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (IRRV) and a supplier (Nelson Croom) leads to the creation of a nationally available, always up to date, functional, accurate, flexible, effective and easy to use online training programme; well liked by users.

Environment Agency – Pollution control

This case study explores how an innovative package simulates a farm visit to help inspectors gain confidence and expertise more rapidly than before.in a deeply complex and technical environment.

Events in September and October

If you are looking to get under the skin of how learning technologies can really make a difference in the workplace then we would highly recommend that you try to get along to 2 events taking place in September and October:

7 Lessons on FE leadership

The Centre for Excellence in Leadership has a task to transform the provision of learning through the Further Education and Skills sector.  One of their strategic projects is to help leaders in FE manage and lead the new technology agenda in learning.

Learning technologies in the IT sector

At the end of January , e-skills UK released their latest research reports looking at the key trends, opportunities and challenges facing IT & Telecoms in the UK. It highlights that fully exploiting technology is the single most important step the UK can take to improve productivity across the economy. The results could generate an additional £35 bn  for the UK economy over the coming 5 -7 years – interesting evidence for those wanting to demonstrate that skills add value!

Part 3 – Aligning Learning to business, Balls in the Air!

In part 2 –  Before, During and After, we explored the need to increase your business analysis efforts before and after the learning intervention.  In this article, we explore some of the key things you need to manage or influence to ensure successful delivery of your learning or learning technology strategy.  You will get much greater value if you read part 1 and part 2 first.

Transforming Customer Service at Johnson Controls

This fascinating case study provides insight on a shared transformation plan between Johnson Controls (JCI) and Barclays Bank using QuickWins from Relay Consultants that has transformed Customer Service and driven innovation through a unique Change Management process.

e-learning benefits lessons from Higher education

Last year 16 higher education institutions worked  together on the challenge of providing evidence of e-learning success that will help influence academic sceptics and reflect the considerable changes that have taken place in the first few years of the 21st century.

To Buy or Build Survey

The Towards Maturity research http://www.towardsmaturity.org/article/2007/02/06/towards-maturity-technology-boosts-workplace-skill/ published in February 2007 included interviews with more than 200 organisations across all sectors as well as 1,000 individuals

Meeting the needs of 21st Century Employers

‘How has the world of a child changed in the last 150 years?” And the answer is, “It’s hard to imagine any way in which it hasn’t changed. But if you look at school today versus 100 years ago, it is more similar than dissimilar.”

Part 1 – Setting a Strategy for Learning and Development

Towards Maturity: Do we want to achieve measurable business results from our learning interventions? As we move “towards maturity” those tanglible results are more likely to be acheived if your organisation has a proper Learning and Development Strategy aligned to the needs of the organisation.

More practical tips for engaging learners and managers

Our research has shown that learners and managers are the most critical stakeholders for success but are the toughest to engage. I recently took part in a workshop for the Learning and Skills group to see how we can improve engagement with these audiences and this article covers a few of the practical ideas that were discussed on the day and additional resources available.

Building effective learning communities

The e-learning network event on ‘Building learning Communities’ on the 18th of April provided a fascinating insight into the practicalities of using technology to bring communities of adults together to learn.  The day provided useful advice for all types  of programmes and in all walks of life.

Share your story

We love to hear a good story. Particularly from organisations and businesses (large and small)

e-skills UK invites input to new strategic plan

e-skills UK today released a consultation for its five year strategic plan for England and is now seeking input from employers, educationalists and other stakeholders with an interest in the UK’s IT & Telecoms skills base.

CIPD annual research

Results of the 10th Annual CIPD survey were released in April and their findings on the use of e-learning at work provide some useful insights on perceptions of e-learning.

Superquinn – new skills for Irish supermarket staff

In 2007 Irish supermarket chain Superquinn took on the challenge of implementing training via e-learning throughout its stores. As winners of best e-learning project securing widespread adoption, we look at how e-learning became such a success for the business.

e-induction @ Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

There are numerous examples of how e-learning is being applied to learning & development across all private & public sectors, often from those who’ve learnt over time how to apply technology to deliver real business benefits, but what of those who have no track record of e-learning and are looking to start?

Collaborative learning at work

The collaborative properties of that web 2.0 offers to learning have great potential for learning and many learning practitioners are talking about it but how many are doing it and what do learners think?

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