This year marks the eLearning Network’s 30th birthday and as industry partners, we were delighted to take part in the celebrations and head down to the annual conference.

As a volunteer-run organisation the eLN do a sterling job at giving elearning professionals the opportunity to share good practice, debate the important topics and meet our peers. As expected ELNConnect17 did an excellent job of all three!

Nick Shackleton-Jones’ keynote on ‘Your Future as a Learning Eliminator’ was one of the stand-out highlights. He provided a firm reminder to put your audience at the core of your learning design, and use this to validate whether training is actually going to solve the challenge in the first place.

Nick also advocates the use of learning experiences that simulate real-life challenges, after all, if your intervention is not changing actual habits/performance/behaviour, then could it simply be a vanity project? We often recommend to our partners to get ‘under the skin’ of their students (and the organisation they’re part of) to make sure the solution is going to help them overcome the issues they are facing.

Lesley Price has an intriguing project going on at Learn Appeal. She’s managed to get a Raspberry Pi to serve up elearning content without the internet. This could be a game-changing in terms of providing access to learning resources in remote communities

Virtual reality was in action in Peter Riber’s talk, and I have to say it was remarkable to see how quickly the participants picked it up! We certainly think VR has a huge part to play in the future of learning, in particular in those areas where it is difficult to practice without significant real-life implications (piloting a plane, or performing keyhole surgery are good examples of this). Alternatively, when it costs Siemens £100k a day for every missed deadline, it’s certainly cost-effective to develop a VR environment to help staff get up to practice the processes and get accustomed to new environments before doing it for real!

Final mention goes to Gerry Griffin, with our favourite quote of the day… “compliance training is like prison food!”

Keep your eyes peeled for the next eLearning network event in Leeds that we’ll be helping to organise soon. Looking forward to catching up with the local elearning community again in the new year!

 

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