The Training Foundation to train local authority employees in e-Learning development skills

The Training Foundation to train local authority employees in e-Learning development skills

The Training Foundation is working with the Improvement and Development Agency for Local Government (IDeA) to increase the number of trained e-Learning developers within Local Authorities through IDeA Learning Pool, a major initiative that will enable every local council and their employees to create, pool and exchange e-Learning materials and other training resources.

The training programme for Learning Pool will take the form of interactive workshops run both in London and at the headquarters of The Training Foundation in Coventry during the summer of 2003.

The workshops are aimed at authority employees seeking to design and develop e-Learning, either as an separate unit or part of a 'blended' solution that includes other delivery methods. Learners discover how to distinguish between effective and ineffective instructional design, whether they are evaluating an existing product or designing their own. They follow an appropriate design and development methodology and also assess those used by external e-Learning providers. Finally they design an effective e-Learning module and practice using the Learning Pool software to develop, share and support this.

As part of a further initiative funded and centrally administered by IDeA, a group of IDeA and Local Authority employees drawn from across the country have now enrolled on fully certificated on-line courses within The Training Foundation's Certified e-Learning Professional (CeLP) programme (note to reader: CeLP was integrated with the TAP Learning System in Jan 2006). Once they have completed the necessary assessments these individuals will become fully certified as e-Learning Developers, e-Learning Tutors, e-Learning Trainers, e-Learning Managers and e-Learning Consultants.

Emma Goss, Project Manager for the IDeA explained the drivers behind the project: "Improvements in IT-literacy will obviously be required to achieve e-Government targets and e-Learning can provide improved access to end-user training together with increasing familiarity with e-enabled services. An increasing volume of training will be required to support this modernisation agenda, and it is unlikely that classroom-based delivery alone will provide sufficient capacity to respond."

Goss is keen to stress that e-Learning offers effective use of resources but is not a simple economy measure: "Claims that e-Learning is an intrinsically 'cheaper' form of training delivery can be misleading. Initial development costs for e-Learning can actually be significant but these are rapidly offset by reductions in training related expenses such as travel, accommodation and facilities. It can also provide authorities with economies of scale at higher learner volumes. E-Learning delivers best value by providing additional capacity within budgetary constraints."