Coming together

first_img Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Collaboration is the blueprint for e-learning success but it will onlyhappen in the public sector, says martin BakerSix UK charities are currently working together in a consortium to share thecost and benefits of e-learning. This alliance has benefits that are applicableto all organisations. But let’s be honest – the private sector will ignore thepotential. A consortium is effectively a specific user group for a specific industrysector. Consortium members gain obvious advantages: they can pool resources,spread risk and gain access to a wider range of suppliers and e-learningcourseware. For some organisations, such as charities, the consortium idea provides acost-effective entry route into e-learning. By joining together, members havegreater buying power. They also create a common e-learning community, whichmeans they can share best practice and run regular tailored workshopshighlighting issues such as the internal marketing of e-learning and evaluationof the return on investment. These benefits will be shunned by private sector companies as competitiverivalries will always prevent them from sharing information that would be ofmutual value. This is a shame as the Government has stressed the need toimprove the skills base of UK plc. The consortium approach offers a verypractical solution, which could provide a broad range of high-quality,consistent training. However, there is nothing to stop public sector organisations – such asgovernment departments and agencies, local authorities, NHS trusts, healthcareteams and emergency service providers – from taking the consortium plunge. All they need to do is hook up with relevant suppliers that can provide theappropriate range of IT and business skills resources that meet the needs ofthe combined target audience. These resources should be made available througha hosted learning management system, flexible enough to allow each organisationto have their own personalised e-learning web portal. Consortium members do not need to have the technical infrastructure in placeto support e-learning because the e-learning content is hosted externally.Instead, users access e-learning resources via the internet. Those that manage to set up effective links with like-minded firms will soonnotice the benefits: an improvement in the skills and motivation of individualswho are able to learn online at their own time and pace; a saving in the timeand travel costs of face-to-face training and an improvement in the performanceof the organisation. The private sector’s loss could be the public sector’sgain. Martin Baker is a director of e-learning provider Jenison InteractiveTraining, which instigated the charity consortium for e-learning. www.jenison.co.uk Coming togetherOn 1 May 2003 in Personnel Todaylast_img

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