Member Since: 22nd Aug 2012
I help Trainers maintain and develop their skills to ensure they are always providing the best learning solutions to their delegates.
I’ve specialised in Learning and Development for over 16 years now and during that time I’ve had the pleasure of working across many industries in both the public and private sectors. I’ve developed, designed a wide range of learning solutions which have been delivered to a very diverse range of delegates (including Senior Managers, Admin Staff, Supervisors, NHS Consultants, Finance Professionals, Scientists, Customer Facing Personnel and IT Specialists).
Throughout my career I noticed that often people with expert knowledge would be asked to teach others without any development or support in how to actually do about this. Whereas those of us who have lots of experience in learning and development often became like cobblers children and weren't actually able to continually develop our own skills and knowledge.
So when I got the chance to take voluntary severance following the birth of my second child, I grabbed the chance and founded The Trainers CPD Club (delivered through my own training business Zostera Ltd) to provide accredited CPD for trainers and facilitators in a flexible and cost-effective way. We focus on a different topic each month, with content being delivered online in small bite-sized chunks, allowing members to work through the material at a pace that suits them.
Members of the Club also get full membership to The Material Bank, Zostera's bank of ready-to-run training material.
Learning Consultant & Coach Zostera Ltd
6th Nov 2013
I think you make an really interesting point about the attitudes of some people towards learning in developed parts of the world - I think this will/does effect the success of MOOCs or other similar method of delivery as they require people to have a high level of self-motivation, determination and an ability to be self-directed in mane cases.
I think you are spot on when you say that MOOC's can open opportunities for education to grousp which are currently not able to participate (for a number of reasons).
Your post reminded me of this article which I read a number of weeks ago and I thought it might be of interest to you. You may have already seen it, but I think it raises some valid concerns regarding MOOC's. http://www.elearning-africa.com/eLA_Newsportal/the-underlying-inequality...
I'd be interested to hear what you think,
4th Nov 2013
Many thanks for your comment and for taking the time to read the post.
You are absolutely right, MOOC's are already happening, as I mentioned I implemented one in my last employed post, which was well over a year ago.
I guess my wonderings with MOOC's were not so much whether they had mileage as a learning solution, they clearly do, but whether they will really be as huge as they are predicted to be whilst still retaining some of the core components (i.e. being free for the learner, being virtually delivered and being delivered on mass).
it will absolutely be an interesting journey to watch.
8th Oct 2013
Following on from your post above, which I think is right, I read an interesting article recently which basically said that public praise did more harm than good. It true, this is another factor we need to consider when giving feedback (positive and negative) or teaching others how to give feedback.
You can read the whole article here: http://bit.ly/17QQUdB
8th Oct 2013
I've taught feedback skills for many years (as I'm sure many others have who use this site!) and I've come across many techniques for making the process of giving feedback easier, more straightforward and more effective.
This is the first time I've heard to suggested that the words "you" or "your" shouldn't be used - it's an interesting technique. Like Roger, I am initially wondering what the impact is of depersonalising feedback. I'm sure it does make it easier to hear, but does it also make it easier to avoid or ignore?
It is a technique I think I probably will try as you suggested in a low-risk environment, but I'm not convinced!
Watch this space - I will report back.
3rd Oct 2013
What an enjoyable read this post is! And very valuable content - I'm sure we could all improve our skills in this area on any given day!
17th Sep 2013
Another really good post.
Like you, I think MOOC's will play a role in the future of learning and development but they still have some way to go before they can truly integrate into the world of corporate learning.
One of the issues you highlighted right at the start of the post was that they "claim to offer equality" and I think that is a really big issue. At the moment, it's only a claim. On the face of things, they do appear to make learning more accessible for all. However, as outlined in this article http://t.co/Qnari2BjdN by eLearning Africa there are many other issues involved which should be considered, such as internet connection, speed of connection (which affects both the access a learner can have and the type of content you can offer), availability of hardware... and those are just the tangible issues. And I think some of the same issues apply here in the UK and across other developed nations.
I guess we watch this space and see how things develop.
29th Aug 2013
I can relate entirely to the premise that working alongside other trainers sparks ideas and drives productivity.
One of the things I've done is to set up a local group of freelance trainers - it's great for us as we normally all work on our own. Getting together for a morning allows us to bounce ideas off each other, as we all would have done when employed in a team. It's also a great way for us to develop associate relationships.
I'd highly recommend it. :)
20th Aug 2013
I find the areas of MOOC's fascinating. The principle's behind MOOC's are sound - who can argue with free access to education? However, I think translating it into a useful learning mode for organisations is a really tough ask.
From my own experience, I designed a course which was delivered via the company's moodle platform. As it was a pilot, it only targeted 15 people and it was really difficult to get them to engage and complete the course.
Similar situations have been seen by many of the companies (such as ALISON) which provide free access MOOC's currently - they have high take up figures, but low completition rates, people just drop off/out.
If these free MOOC's were to be accessed by companies for their own staff there would need to be some way of ensuring that they actually undertook the learning, even if it wasn't assessed - or perhaps the in-house L&D team could develop an appropriate assessment for individuals to undertake following the course?
I was also interested to read that employers are favouring applicants with completed MOOC's on their CV. Is this over candidates who have a traditional university qualification or candidates who have no qualifications? I wonder why this is the case - it is because employers see it as evidence of a candidates ability to self-direct, self-manage and self-motivate? Two strong attributes for any employer.
I really interested to see how they develop from here into the workplace, which I'm sure they will in the not too distant future.
13th Aug 2013
As someone who helps learning departments revitalise their approach to learning, I agree with much of what you said regarding informal learning and think the book sounds like a useful tool for L&D professionals.
In my experience, much of the reason we hold onto formal learning (and for this purpose I would include e-learning in that bracket as it is still a structured learning programme) is because it is what we are familiar with. By 'delivering' something, we know exactly what the learner has experienced and therefore what we would have expected them to learn.
However, as you know these methods aren't necessarily the most effect way to ensure an individuals performance actually changes back in their job.
I'll be adding this book to my Amazon Wish List I think.
Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts,
13th Aug 2013
I think this is a really interesting post. For years, we have all been told that 'clear desks' allow for greater productivity as things can be more easily found (I remember on statistic quoted in The Times back in 2002 which stated that the average London office worker lost 17.5 days each year looking for papers and documents which where somewhere in their office), however, it is much harder to measure creativity.
For me personally, I can't get creative at a cluttered desk. It reminds me of all the other things that are sitting waiting for my attention. But when 'creating' I do work in a cluttered way - using post-it's and having flipcharts on the wall for example.
To add to your list of suggestions for stimulating creativity I also like to use a set of Creative Whack cards when I'm struggling to get the creative juices following. If you've not heard of them, I'd highly recommend them. It's a set of 64 cards (like playing cards) each which has it's own thinking strategy on it to help prompt you to think about an issue differently. I've used it in facilitated workshops, small discussions with my own team and individually.