Games and simulations; performance support; measuring e-learning effectively, and implementing e-learning throughout large organisations were the key themes of this year’s Tata Interactive Learning Forum (TLF), held in London, on 6th April.
“Learning is not a ‘soft issue’. It’s a priority at every point in the business cycle in order to create and sustain competitive advantage,” stated Terry Lehmann, director of training and development at the Houston, Texas-based oil products giant Baker Hughes, who outlined how to prevent ‘random acts of training’ of varying quality within a large organisation.
His fellow American, Gary Dickelman, of EPSS Central, based in Annandale, Virginia, examined ways to improve business performance through human performance – notably through the adoption of performance support systems. He commented that these systems have not only enabled people to become competent in their jobs in ‘minimal time’ but also eliminated the need for up to 80 per cent of formal training activities – including e-learning programmes.
Keynote speakers, drawn from across the world, included Terry Lehmann and Gary Dickelman, as well as Christiane Zimmer, Germany’s leading business simulations specialist and Charles Jennings, head of global learning for Reuters. They were supported by a panel of e-learning experts comprising:
• Toby Thompson, of the Centre for Executive Development at the Cranfield School of Management, part of Cranfield University
• Andy Tucker, of Standard Life
• Jane Knight, head of research, organisational learning technologies at Learning Light, a non-profit organisation that helps to build relationships between learning technology researchers, suppliers, buyers and learners
• Alison Walker, an e-learning consultant, formerly of British Airways
• Christina Humphrey-Evans, an e-learning consultant, formerly of BT
• Paul Landers, training programs product manager at Ericsson
• Tony Weatherhead, of NFU Mutual
• Laura Overton, of e-Skills UK and the UK’s official ‘e-learning champion’
• David Wilson, of corporate learning analysts, Elearnity
• Sean Ramgoolam, divisional training manager with Vodafone
• Judith Christian-Carter, a director of both Effective Learning Solutions and the British Learning Association
• Steve Rayson, of research specialists and market analysts, Kineo
“Each of the conference’s four main topics challenge corporate assumptions on how learning and e-learning will be delivered in the future,” commented David Wilson of Elearnity. “I feel that the event was both challenging and stimulating.”
Jane Knight, of Learning Light, said: “This was an excellent opportunity both for networking and to hear of new developments in the e-learning world. The issues discussed are all key issues – especially performance support and measuring the value of e-learning – and the TLF provided new and valuable insights into all of them.”
Other speakers included Sanjaya Sharma, Tata Interactive Systems (TIS)’s chief executive officer, and Manoj Kutty, TIS’s worldwide president of sales and marketing.
Later that evening, the 100 or so delegates to the TLF – drawn from the leading users of e-learning in the UK and Europe – had time for reflection on what they had learnt, as well as relaxation, at a dinner held at the Bombay Brasserie, one of London’s top restaurants.
London’s TLF is one of a series of similar conferences being held regularly around the world – in the USA, UK and Australia - to bring together thought leaders in the fields of training and online learning. These events are organised by TIS, the global e-learning producer, and attendance is by invitation only.
Delegates to these events around the world have access to a TLF website, which helps to build an online community of best practice through enabling members to network, sharing their knowledge and discussing key learning issues. The online community is an extension of the ‘on-ground’ event and enables the members to interact with each other through the year.
Notes for editors
About Tata Interactive Systems (TIS)
Tata Interactive Systems (TIS) is a global pioneer in e-learning, with more than 15 years of experience in designing and developing innovative and cutting-edge e-learning solutions. TIS is a part of the $18 billion Tata Group – one of the largest and most trusted business conglomerates in India.
TIS employs a global team of over 900 multi-disciplinary specialists – a unique mix of project managers, software engineers, instructional designers, content developers, visual designers and animators. Its service bouquet includes Simulations, Systems Training, New Hire Training, Business Processes and Skills Training, Regulatory and Compliance Training, Sales and Customer Service Training, Adaptive Assessments, Story-based Learning Objects, M-Learning and EPSS. TIS also has a K12 maths practice and a K12 content practice, as well as having substantial experience in developing learning content and tools across keystages and subject areas.
Powered by creative talent, sound processes and technological excellence, TIS has developed e-learning solutions for more than 300 clients – including 50 Fortune 500 companies – across the US, the UK, Australia, Mainland Europe, Japan, UAE, Canada and India. Its client roster includes leading corporations, renowned educational institutions and government bodies such as American Airlines, British Airways, Citibank, Colgate-Palmolive, ExxonMobil, GE, GlaxoSmithKline, HP, McGraw-Hill, ntl, Orange, Pearson Education, Qantas, Qwest, Royal Mail, Swiss Re, UNICEF, University of Phoenix, University of Maryland and Vodafone, along with Hodder, Oxford University Press, Granada Learning, Nelson Thornes, Research Machines PLC, Compass Learning, Florida Virtual School, Harcourt, Prentice Hall and, in the government sector, BECTA, UFI and DODEA.
Apart from holding ISO 9001 certification, TIS is the only e-learning organisation in the world to be assessed at Level 5 in both the SEI-CMM and P-CMM frameworks. TIS’s quest for excellence is reflected in numerous prestigious industry awards, including a Silver Brandon Hall Excellence in Learning Award 2005 and 2004, APEX 2005 Award of Excellence, BETT 2004 Best Product Award, and two Business World–NID Design Excellence awards.
About the Tata Group
The Tata Group, established in 1904 by the great visionary Jamsetji Tata, is one of India’s largest and most trusted business houses. The group pioneered the industrial revolution in India by founding the first steel plant, power plant and chain of luxury hotels, to name but a few.
The Group employs more than 220,000 people in 93 companies across diversified industry sectors including steel, automobiles, cement, telecom and IT. Generating revenues to the tune of $18 billion per year – 2.9 % of India’s total GDP – it is recognised as a leader in several industry segments such as such as steel, power, software exports and chemicals. It is also the parent company to Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Asia’s largest software producer.
Further information from:
Alan Samuel, Tata Interactive Systems, +44 20 7905 0156