E-Learning Trends on Agenda at Global Conference

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Almost 100 leaders in the areas of training and online learning from the USA, UK, Australia and South Africa, have been discussing the industry's key trends and issues.

Organised by global e-learning producer TATA Interactive Systems (TIS), the conference looked at trends in learning.

Elaborating on the role of online universities in supporting workforce development, Brian Mueller, CEO of the University of Phoenix Online, argued that the delivery of learning will become increasingly mobile; while the upcoming generation of workers will show a marked preference for learning via problem solving simulations and gaming.

Mueller felt that learning's dependence on high quality instructional design. He told delegates: "If content is king, instructional design is the genius in learning."

Vicki Morris, Vice President of Marketing at Human Capital Management specialists, Saba, focussed on business issues. "We can continue to lower the cost of training but are we training the right people in the right way?" she asked. "Failing to align and develop individual effort with business strategy is a pervasive problem in organisations today."

Sanjaya Sharma, CEO of TIS, identified some major characteristics of the modern world of learning as:
• Increasingly, many training managers are being expected to rollout learning programmes globally - which indicates the growing globalisation of business.
• Outsourcing both HR activities and the production of training/learning materials is also increasing rapidly.
• E-learning is set to play a key part in competency development, performance support and 'imagineering' (via simulations).

Other issues covered, included the effective measurement of the value of e-learning to an organisation; the use of games to facilitate learning, and developing an electronic performance support system that works.

"Hearing their competitors and colleagues outlining not only their challenges within the learning function but also how they have overcome them has been a valuable experience for all the TLF delegates - including those of us from TIS", said Manoj Kutty, TIS's Worldwide President of Sales and Marketing. "In sharing our solutions to problems and combining to map out the trends in the e-learning world over then next year or so, we have all benefited."

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