Taking their own medicine: how Lotus is using LearningSpace

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Lotus Development is a leading edge knowledge management company. Its range of products and services helps organisations all over the world to work and learn together more effectively. Lotus is also committed to utilising the power of its own innovations, such as LearningSpace, to enable its people and its business to grow and develop.

"We use LearningSpace to help us deliver our knowledge management strategy," says Pete Floyd, Head of LotusU, the corporate university. "It’s such an adaptable tool that it can deliver a huge part of our training and development, more effectively and more cheaply than more traditional methods. And, on LearningSpace, the learning is captured and never lost."

LearningSpace can be an integral part of any learning programme. "70% of any training and development is about imparting new knowledge," says Pete. "There’s no need to do this in a classroom situation. In fact, a classroom situation is rarely the best way. Using LearningSpace for this means that individuals can learn when it suits them. They don’t have to spend time away from the office, which saves money. They have control over their learning environment. They also have the opportunity to engage in online discussion and debate with others in their learning group." This is a great way of delivering pre-knowledge, prior to the group meeting up face to face on an experiential learning event. They are more prepared and they already have experience of collaborating with each other through LearningSpace. "It helps people to move from theory to application to change – changing beliefs, values and skills, which ultimately impacts on business performance."

For LotusU, the impact its learning programmes have on business performance is key, so it can demonstrate the value it is adding within the organisation as a whole. Budget holders across Lotus are not obliged to buy from LotusU – they are free to consider other providers. So it’s important that LotusU can demonstrate the tangible benefits of its programmes.

Lotus is a geographically diverse organisation. It has a lot of virtual teams, with team members spread across several different countries. "LearningSpace helps these teams collaborate," says Pete.

LearningSpace is also informing salespeople of product launches. "We have 3,000 salespeople worldwide," says Pete. "Now we can instantly update them with new product information. LearningSpace also enables them to share customer feedback and sales success across the globe. Capturing these experiences enhances our organisational learning."

In addition, LearningSpace is proving an invaluable tool for training new managers. "In the past, a person would get promoted and then might have to wait six months before attending a management training programme. These days, they don’t have to wait. Training is available through LearningSpace on a needs-must basis. An individual can begin the training programme prior to Taking on the new role, so they are better prepared. We’re finding this very effective."

"Online learning used to be all about CD-ROMs," says Pete. "A CD-ROM has the advantage of offering self-paced learning. But it’s also very linear and inflexible. It can be boring and it’s not always effective. LearningSpace takes online learning into a new dimension. It’s the future of learning."

About Lotus LearningSpace

Ellis Hayward is using LearningSpace to enable large groups of people to reap the benefits of online learning to help develop themselves as individuals and create change in their organisations.

LearningSpace is a genuinely leading edge, innovative development. It is extremely flexible and adaptable. Groups of people can learn online together, discussing specific topics and sharing best practice. Individuals can communicate on a one to one basis, student to student or student to tutor. Or individuals can work off-line – typically when completing an assignment or reading course material. It’s also a great knowledge management tool – the learning is never lost. LearningSpace is uniquely adapted to the type of working patterns we see emerging today: it is ideal for teams of people working together across different countries and different time zones. Or for people who travel a lot. Or for people who work unusual hours.

LearningSpace can help create a real learning community – the adaptability, flexibility and excitement of people learning together in a team balanced with the individual choice LearningSpace offers – the opportunity to work online, offline, at your desktop, on the road with your laptop or at your home computer.

Schedule
A road map to guide you through the course, setting objectives and expectations, and linking you to assignments, quizzes, surveys and self-assessments.

MediaCenter
A shared knowledge base which can contain a range of media formats, from plain text to CD-ROM based training material to live website links to streamed video.

CourseRoom
An interactive, facilitated environment that enables teams to work collaboratively on assignments or one to one with the tutor.

Profiles
Helps create the online community by displaying individual profiles, and also houses individual portfolios of graded assessments and assignments.

Assessment Manager
An ‘instructor only’ tool for creating and reviewing surveys, self-assessments and tests as well as managing the grading process.

For more information, please contact Jane O'Hara at Ellis Hayward:
[email protected]
+44 (0)1625 540540

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