L&D Question Time: Experts debate on key issues

A panel of industry experts recently gathered together for a live debate on current L&D issues and trends during the two-day Learning Live conference.

Question master Nigel Paine, who has been involved in corporate learning for over twenty years, put questions from the members of the public to the panellists on Wednesday, 9th September.

Speakers included: Mark Taggart, founder and managing director of Create Learning, Marc Zao-Sanders, co-founder of Filtered.com, David Perring, Director of Research at Fossway, Sarah Lindsell, Director of Global & UK Learning Technology & Transformation at PWC and Dom Mcphee, Plan Academy Manager at Plan International.

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Perring emphasised the importance of moving away from traditional learning methods to encourage self-directed learning. He said: “We can promote through the way we encourage our people to interact and lead in organisations. We can create a culture of self-directed learning by encouraging people to speak at our meetings about things they learn and where they are solving problems around real business initiatives. We can also measure their contribution and think about ways of rewarding that.”

Lindsell agreed that self-directed learning was very important for people’s career and aspirations and suggested employers to implement personalisation in their approach.

She said: “It comes to a few things once you have stable technology and the tools and mobile learning available to you  I think it comes down to culture and how learning is valued within your organisations. I think it comes down to how you deliver it and whether it is relevant and a lot about personalised and having it personalised to me.”

The panellist explained why Visual learning as well as offering a combination of digital technology and self-directed learning methods. McPhee commented on the challenge of combining self-directed and structured learning into organisations and the use of technology. 

He said: “We give learners the choice of the way they learn, all our courses and modules are offered face to face, online or self-directed, I think we are all self-directed in our lives I think the challenge is how do we bring self-directed learning into structured learning into organisations and technology is an issue with that.”

The question of whether effective learning could be implemented on a small training budget attracted some interesting opinions. Taggart explained that he started Create Learning to make training cost effective, less time consuming as well as making it fun and engaging for users.  

He said: “What we tried to do is to make leaning available both offline and online across any platform anywhere and anytime. I think it’s really part of the technical challenge and that’s what we have been focusing on solving and the frustration of being able to buy that sort of technology in the past. When people can learn on their smartphones and not using a platform that is really constrained and using devices that they know and love then it’s easier to get engagement.”

While Paine explained why it was important to create curious staff and build curiosity within organisations,”Curiosity means you ask questions, you get engaged.”

In response to the question of what the future looked like for Massive Open Online Course (MOOCs), McPhee said that his company preferred e-learning. 

However, Marc Zao-Sanders​ felt more positive about this learning approach and added: “As a provider, we don’t come across them that often. However, I think potentially there is a future for MOOCS within corporates if they did what they were supposed to do, such as providing a personalised learning experience.”










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