Six top topics from visitors to Learning Technologies exhibition

The Forum Partnership and its subsidiary, CloudQast, reported high levels of interest in their offerings at the recent Learning Technologies event, in London.


“This interest focused around six topics,” revealed Damian Gaskin, a director of both companies.


In order of ‘popularity’ with visitors to the Learning Technologies event, these topics were:

  1. The most effective and efficient ways of publishing these visitors’ own learning materials.
  2. Using professional actors in face-to-face role play, especially for sales and management development activities.
  3. Finding – and using – effective online interactive video for learning and development (L&D) activities.
  4. Finding personalised video for learning, and learning management, purposes.
  5. Reaching remote workers effectively – via online learning materials
  6. Wanting help with the entire video-based learning process.


“Those looking for the most effective and efficient ways of publishing their own learning materials, included L&D specialists from the corporate world but there were also individual consultants enquiring about this,” revealed Damian. “Everyone who talked to us about this topic said that they’ll need help in recording and distributing these learning materials – which, thankfully for them, we can provide.”


“The Forum Partnership and CloudQast can help with all these six key topics,” added Damian’s fellow director, Lindsey Mack.


“It was interesting that the topic of face-to-face role play was the second most important topic for visitors to our stands at the show,” he said. “Maybe this shows that L&D professionals value a blend of learning delivery methods – not just using online learning technologies to deliver learning.


“The Forum Partnership and CloudQast has a well-established business in running complex training programmes involving casting and scripting role-plays,” Lindsey continued. “One of the benefits of using immersive role play is that, once a role play is ended, the ‘clients’ come out of character to give the delegates detailed feedback on how they felt that things went – and CloudQast can also film the sessions to help in analysing the delegates’ performance.”


“From our point of view, it was encouraging that personalising video is a key topic for L&D professionals – since that’s a key feature of the CloudQast platform,” observed Damian. “The platform not only personalises learning videos for individual learners, it also notes which people have watched which parts of the video – which, in particular, can help with compliance and regulatory learning.”


The Forum Partnership helps its clients develop effective communication skills – by creating co-ordinated, immersive, team-based educational experiences. This can involve combining actors, video, live streaming, coaching, feedback, challenging case material and realistic scenarios in an award-winning venue.


Its subsidiary, CloudQast helps those wanting to use learning technologies to develop and deliver fast, authentic, precise and inspiring effective leadership communication, along with other L&D topics – especially, in the fields of compliance and regulation. CloudQast provides solutions for leaders to share their ‘voice, mind and vision’ and, so, engage and inspire their people.


Damian Gaskin (left) and Lindsey Mack.

Learning analysis, design and delivery are still key, say L&D professionals

Learning analysis, design, delivery, and related software solutions, are key issues for visitors to the recent Learning Technologies exhibition, in London.


That’s the view of learning and development consultancy, Explosive Learning Solutions (ELS), based on its analysis of the enquiries it received on its stand at this year’s Learning Technologies event. The event, which attracts some 7,000 visitors each year – mostly human resources and learning and development (L&D) professionals – took place at London’s Olympia, in February.


Cath Convery, ELS’s Head of Operations, said, “Visitors also asked us about the properties of the ELS learning content management system (LCMS), provided by IBM – especially its capabilities where it provides governance and management of learning content, as well as its efficient reuse capability which allows content administrators to design or refresh learning material. IBM chose ELS as one of its Channel Partners because of its knowledge of the sector and its own use of IBM’s software – rather than simply being a software reseller.”


Cath Convery.


Cath added that visitors to the ELS stand at Learning Technologies also enquired about the company’s survey tool – developed by Formic – which can accommodate data gathered electronically as well as ‘on paper’. Cath said, “Particularly popular with visitors was the tool’s dashboard which was linked to the demonstration of a short survey.”


According to John Morley, Formic’s CEO, “ELS’s strong track record in delivering solutions that optimise training environments means that ELS can maximise the value that its clients derive from using Formic’s software for evaluations, assessments and exams.”


Cath commented, “From the conversations that our staff had with visitors to the exhibition, we’ve learned that L&D professionals are returning to face-to-face learning delivery, using technology to create efficiencies in administration. In other words, they’re favouring a blended approach to support learning delivery, only using technology to deliver learning where appropriate.”


Yet the most-asked questions on the ELS stand involved how to analyse organisational learning needs efficiently and effectively.


Cath commented, “These queries reflect the findings of the most recent Towards Maturity Benchmarking Report – ‘Unlocking Potential’. Indeed, the Towards Maturity – a benchmarking research company that provides independent expert advice and support to help organisations use learning technologies to accelerate business performance – promotes a model based on defining need, understanding learners and putting their needs into a work context.


“All of this comes under the category of ‘analysis’ and, in our view as well as Towards Maturity’s, it’s an essential first step in the L&D process. This then moves into the design and delivery phases, involving building capacity, ensuring learner engagement and, then, demonstrating value – to the learner and the learner’s organisation.


“ELS customers – drawn from the public, private and business sectors worldwide – tell us that our programmes, covering the fields of organisational design and development, education, training design and delivery, enable them to demonstrate that added value,” Cath added. “Hopefully, that’s something that the visitors to our stand at Learning Technologies who were new to ELS will soon be experiencing for themselves.”


Founded in 2005, Explosive Learning Solutions (ELS) is a learning and development (L&D) consultancy that believes in using original and challenging solutions to inspire, enthuse and empower people to meet its clients’ needs. Working with clients in the public, private and business sectors worldwide, ELS focuses on organisation-oriented needs analysis; leadership and management; training and development – applying a systems approach to training methodology; learning technology; education; coaching and mentoring; HR development, as well as specialist expertise in the public sector including in defence issues.


Cath Convery, of ELS.

Evidence emerges that the European market is waking up to the benefits of an LCMS

Visitors to its booth at Learning Technologies in London raised five key issues with the digital learning content management business solutions producer, eXact learning solutions.


“Overall, the Learning Technologies event in London’s Olympia, attracted its usual crop of several thousand visitors – mostly from around Europe – and our records show that many of them visited the eXact learning solutions’ booth,” said Valerio Torda, the company’s managing director.


Valerio Torda.


According to eXact learning solutions’ records, the five most frequently raised issues by visitors to the booth were:

  • What features, functionality and business benefits does a learning content management system (LCMS) offer to users and learning administrators?
  • How user-friendly is the eXact learning solutions’ authoring tool that is associated with its LCMS?
  • How easily can the ‘look and feel’ of the LCMS be customised?
  • How can learning content be ‘tagged’ within the LCMS for cataloguing and re-use?
  • What is an LCMS – and how does it differ from a learning management system (LMS)?


“Having recently won some large contracts in the USA for the exact learning solutions’ LCMS, it’s interesting – and encouraging – to see the increase in interest in LCMSs on this other side of the Atlantic,” Valerio commented.


“The market in the USA needs no convincing of the value of an LCMS – especially in large firms, where there can be several LMSs employed in various parts of the organisation. It’s here that an LCMS can provide economies and efficiencies which impact positively on an organisation’s bottom line – as well as keeping that organisation’s workforce increasingly knowledgeable, skilled and competitive.


“From the evidence of those visiting the eXact learning solutions’ booth at the recent Learning Technologies event, it would seem that European organisations are waking up to these business and learning benefits – and, so, to the added value that an LCMS can bring them,” he said.

Unique leadership communications specialists debut at Learning Technologies event

Two unique leadership communications specialists are making their debuts at this year’s Learning Technologies event, in London.


The Forum Partnership helps its clients develop effective communication skills – by creating co-ordinated, immersive, team-based educational experiences. This can involve combining actors, video, live streaming, coaching, feedback, challenging case material and realistic scenarios in an award-winning venue.


With clients in the worlds of business, the professions and the public sector, The Forum Partnership – established 20 years ago – helps clients gain bottom-line benefits from greater staff engagement, more focused messaging and reduced waste. It does this via such things as:

•        helping them to practise sales pitches and key one-on-one conversations

•        supporting key management functions and developing high flyers’ client experience via improvised scenarios

•        improving change management effectiveness by ensuring staff appreciate key messages


“We give clients all the ammunition they need, so they can be successful when they have the toughest learning and development (L&D) conversations,” explained Lindsey Mack, one of the directors of The Forum Partnership. “We help them clear their head, order their thoughts, speak with focus and adopt winning behaviours.”


“Whether you feel bamboozled by suppliers, undermined by your own IT department or not given the same recognition as other professionals in your organisation, The Forum Partnership will help you develop ways to skilfully, calmly and assertively gain the upper hand,” he added.


“So come to stand R1 at Learning Technologies, in London’s Olympia on 1st and 2nd February, and talk to us about these ‘Transformational Conversations’.”


For those wanting to use learning technologies to develop and deliver fast, authentic, precise and inspiring effective leadership communication, along with other L&D topics – especially, in the fields of compliance and regulation – The Forum Partnership works with its subsidiary, CloudQast. Working with companies around the world, primarily – but not exclusively – via Cloud-based, interactive video, CloudQast provides creative, intelligent and flexible solutions for leaders to share their ‘voice, mind and vision’ and, so, engage and inspire their people.


“Visit CloudQast – on stand R1 – for everything you need to know about learning technologies such as mobile, interactive and video,” said CloudQast director, Damian Gaskin. “Alternatively, call at the CloudQast stand and we’ll share with you the funniest anecdote you’re going to hear at this event!”


Damian Gaskin (left) and Lindsey Mack, of The Forum Partnership - and CloudQast.

Leading edge updates help LCMS facilitate microlearning requirements

The digital learning content management business solutions producer, eXact learning solutions, has announced its largest ever presence at a Learning Technologies event. Attracting over 7,500 visitors from around the world, this year’s show – which includes a conference, seminars and an exhibition – is being held in London’s Olympia on 1st and 2nd February 2017.


In addition to exhibiting at the event – on stand E1 – eXact learning solutions’ products will also be featured in one of the event’s seminars, entitled ‘Making Microlearning a reality without ever leaving your LCMS’. Taking place on 2nd February, in Theatre 2, from 12.30 to 13.00, the free-to-attend seminar is led by Bryan Eldridge, eXact learning solutions’ Director of Professional Services, North America.


Bryan Eldridge.


“Microlearning – the learning strategy that focuses on delivering training and performance support in small, focused chunks – has been a concept for over 15 years but a key obstacle to its adoption has been confusion around how to manage it within a traditional learning management system (LMS) implementation,” explained Bryan. “Technology advances now mean that this confusion can be overcome – by using a modern learning content management system (LCMS).”


Bryan’s presentation includes:

• Strategies for using organizational learning transformation initiatives to introduce microlearning

• How to use common LCMS features to support role-based microlearning offerings

• A pedagogical framework for disambiguating between learning modalities and content chunk sizes for learning offerings

• A sample decision framework to determine what types of content can, or should, be delivered directly from the LCMS/Digital Repository

• Cases showing how xAPI (‘Tin Can’) can play a role in maximising the value of microlearning


“Our biggest-ever presence at a Learning Technologies show enables us to display some new, really cool things – especially from a user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) perspective,” commented Valerio Torda, eXact learning solutions’ Managing Director.


“We’ll also be able to show visitors to our stand some of the improvements we’re making to our LCMS – notably to make navigation simpler and tasks quicker,” he added. “Our marketing focus groups tell us that the LCMS’s new, leading edge styling should prove popular – with visitors to our stand and with the LCMS’s users.”

Valerio Torda.

CloudQast makes corporate communications and learning easier and more efficient for Scott Bader

The global chemical company, Scott Bader, is making its corporate communications and learning & development (L&D) activities easier and more efficient than ever. Scott Bader is achieving this through using video-based learning materials produced by the leadership communications specialist, CloudQast.


Initially engaged to produce learning materials – in various languages – for Scott Bader’s 670 people in 14 countries on important anti-bribery legislation, CloudQast has gone on to develop a range of further communications and learning materials. All of these – along with a number of Scott Bader-produced health and safety related learning products, as well as corporate communications messages – are all available via Scott Bader’s dedicated Cloud-based CloudQast platform.


Encouraged by the effectiveness of CloudQast’s products and platform, Scott Bader also commissioned CloudQast directors Damian Gaskin and Lindsey Mack to make a film telling Scott Bader’s story. The result – called ‘Keeping Good Company’ – was produced in 2015.


So far, according to Richard Thomas, Scott Bader’s Group People and Organisational Development Director, CloudQast produces the online learning materials the company needs, “in the relevant languages, to a high quality and within a tight budget.”


Richard Thomas, of Scott Bader.


“In terms of compliance, the CloudQast platform allows us to deploy learning materials and also generate reports detailing who’s completed the learning – and the assessment scores they obtained,” said Caroline Lewis, Scott Bader’s Group Learning and Development Manager.


“Moreover, in terms of corporate communications, the platform enables us to check how many people – and which individuals – have accessed which materials on the platform. Indeed, 500 of our 670 colleagues around the world are registered on the platform and have access to all of the material on there. They access the materials for formal L&D purposes as well as for informal learning – about corporate strategy and product updates, for example.


“The CloudQast platform is an efficient and highly cost-effective way of conducting worldwide corporate communications, along with L&D – and of ensuring our colleagues are aware of their responsibilities under national and international legislation, such as the Bribery Act,” concluded Caroline.


Caroline Lewis, of Scott Bader.


To read more about CloudQast’s work with Scott Bader, visit:


Established in 2010, CloudQast addresses organisations’ needs for fast, authentic, precise and inspiring communication – especially in the fields of leadership as well as compliance, along with learning and development. Working with companies around the world, primarily – but not exclusively – via Cloud-based, interactive video, CloudQast provides creative, intelligent and flexible solutions for leaders to share their ‘voice, mind and vision’ and, so, engage and inspire their people.


CloudQast helps global law firm develop its junior lawyers’ skills

The leadership communications specialist, CloudQast, has completed running a ten-day complex training programme for a global law firm.


The programme – the 11th such programme that CloudQast has delivered for the firm – involves CloudQast directors Lindsey Mack and Damian Gaskin casting and delivering a series of legal role-plays for junior members of the firm. CloudQast’s Lindsey Mack explained, “All the ‘clients’ with whom they deal are simulated and the delegates are entirely ‘on their own’ but, of course, in a completely commercially ‘safe’ environment.”


The programme focuses on scenarios relevant to the firm’s actual work for its clients, and seeks to enhance the junior lawyers’ ability to deal effectively and productively with influential people and organisations facing complex legal challenges.


“One of the benefits of using immersive role play in this way is that, once a role play is ended, the ‘clients’ come out of character to give the delegates detailed feedback on how they felt that things went,” said Lindsey. “CloudQast also films the sessions – to help in analysing the delegates’ performance.


“By the end of the programme, these junior lawyers have a much better idea of what clients really care about,” he added. “The delegates also gain some valuable insights into their own skill levels, as well as best practice – and, of course, they develop their self-awareness.”


Lindsey’s fellow CloudQast director, Damian Gaskin, commented, “The programme  - one of the range of consultancy services that CloudQast offers – contributes to achieving our client’s aim of being exceptional and passionate about helping its clients achieve their goals, however ambitious those are. CloudQast is both proud and pleased to continue to be able to help this firm to achieve these ambitions through developing its junior staff’s knowledge, skills and experience.”


Damian Gaskin (left) and Lindsey Mack, of CloudQast.


Established in 2010, CloudQast addresses organisations’ needs for fast, authentic, precise and inspiring communication – especially in the fields of leadership as well as compliance, along with learning and development. Working with companies around the world, primarily – but not exclusively – via Cloud-based, interactive video, CloudQast provides creative, intelligent and flexible solutions for leaders to share their ‘voice, mind and vision’ and, so, engage and inspire their people.

Digital Learning Consultancy takes its expertise to Hong Kong

Training and digital learning consultancy Hewlett Rand is making its mark in Hong Kong having secured a contract with the Hong Kong Institute of Bankers (HKIB).


The Bristol based consultancy has developed a new e-learning strategy for the organisation which is now being rolled out to all its members.


Richard Lowe, Director of Training and Digital Learning, said, “HKIB are responsible for the professional development of Bankers in the region and we’ve developed a digital learning strategy to support their member’s professional development as well as expand their online capability to a global banking community.


Richard Lowe, of Hewlett Rand.


“The first stage has been to help them source and launch their e-learning portal with over 500 financial services courses. The next phase is to evolve their digital learning offering with production capabilities to distribute a richer variety on media content.


“This contract provides a great introduction to the financial services market in Hong Kong and, as we now have a local representative, we’re well placed to see what other training and digital learning opportunities we can support.”


Hewlett Rand’s journey to export was given a boost by the support offered by the Department of International Trade (DIT) and its Exporting is Great campaign, a Government initiative to consolidate the export support available to businesses.


Richard said, “Working with DIT and taking part in a number of its trade missions helped us gain a better understanding of the China market. They’ve been vital allies in our effort to gain traction in the market, providing valuable information and support here and in Hong Kong.”


Richard is keen to encourage other businesses to take the plunge into export, but is quick to point out that their success has not happened overnight.


He said, “Starting to think on a global scale requires commitment and a significant investment of time, energy and resource. It’s really worth taking the time to identify not only the best market for your business but also which particular skills and services will work best for export.


“I took part in several missions to mainland China and Hong Kong and carried out extensive research before concluding that Hong Kong was the best place to focus our efforts. It then took time to make the right contacts and build relationships before we finally secured our first contract.”


Hewlett Rand has benefited from membership of the Bristol and West of England China Bureau, which was established in 1998 to help businesses in the region foster a closer relationship with China.


Richard continued: “I’ve been a member of the Bristol and West of England China Bureau for several years. It provides a great deal of local know how and connections to China.


“It brings together all those interested in making links with China, providing an opportunity to network with other local exporters and share knowledge, experience and contacts.  The Bureau has built up extremely strong links with key regions in China, particularly Guangdong Province, which is helping to stimulate trade flows between the UK and China.”


Hewlett Rand continues to focus on developing its UK and export opportunities supporting businesses with training and digital learning needs to develop multi-site organisations and due to launch its bespoke video training production service in November.


Heidi Cheung, DIT Education and Training adviser, DIT said, “We’re delighted to see Hewlett Rand’s hard work come to fruition. Its commitment to its export strategy is extremely impressive – and Richard’s willingness to travel regularly between the UK and Hong Kong to build trusted client relationships is a vital ingredient in Hewlett Rand’s success so far.  We’re looking forward to continuing to work with Hewlett Rand in the next stage of the company’s export journey.”


The Department for International Trade is responsible for promoting British trade across the world and ensuring the UK takes advantage of the huge opportunities open to UK businesses. The department is a new, specialised body with significant new trade negotiating capacity, specifically designed to drive forward trade and investment policy. Exporting is GREAT partners with major UK businesses, to enable companies to seize thousands of current export opportunities available around the world. At, UK businesses can search and apply for opportunities, access expert advice, trade services, training and events.

CloudQast adds features to its video-based learning platform

The ethical leadership communications specialist, CloudQast, has upgraded the features of its video-based learning platform.


According to CloudQast directors, Lindsey Mack and Damian Gaskin, these improvements include:

  • Administrators can now tell who has watched how much of each video on the system – so they can know if learners have really watched all of it. This can be useful information when it comes to compliance and regulatory training.
  • Users can watch all the videos on the system at the ‘correct’ speed, or at one-and-a-quarter and one-and-a-half speeds. This allows time-poor learners to ‘speed watch-and-learn’ – and to speed through familiar passages to get to the sections of the video they need to revise.
  • As is possible with videos on such platforms as YouTube, as CloudQast users scroll through a video, they can see thumbnail images – to enable them to find the desired section.
  • CloudQast users who’re required to watch a video but who leave the page – hoping to let it play in the background while appearing to fulfil this obligation – will find that the CloudQast platform pauses the video until they return to it.
  • CloudQast, one of the first producers to bring interactivity to modern learning videos, has a special solution to ensure that a user who selects a different language from the closed caption options also sees all the interactive menus in their chosen language – for a seamless user experience. One added benefit of this is that, culturally, it shows that a CloudQast client really values all their employees in different parts of the world.


Damian Gaskin (left) and Lindsey Mack, of ethical communications leadership specialists, CloudQast.

CloudQast’s Damian Gaskin explained, “In terms of interactivity, videos can have menus, chapters and hotspots linking to external urls or other parts of the same video.  The videos can be personalised to the viewer and can feature quizzes within the videos themselves.  Interaction with the video also generates advanced analytics.”


Damian continued, “The increasing demand for CloudQast’s video-based learning platform – with its growing ability to offer interactive video to aid the learning experience – is encouraging.


“This continuing growth in the platform’s usage – particularly over the past five months or so – makes easier the decision to ramp up investment in cutting edge techniques and features for the system.


“From CloudQast’s experience, learners – and the organisations that employ them – are showing an increasing preference for learning via video, often delivered to mobile devices.”


Damian Gaskin.

CloudQast’s programmes and platform for England and Wales’ Magistrates

Magistrates in England and Wales can now access video-based online learning programmes, including guides on managing yourself, teamworking and making judicial decisions. Most of these programmes, commissioned by The Magistrates Association (MA), are the work of the leadership communications specialist, CloudQast, which has also provided the platform where these programmes reside.


While working with the Judicial College – which is responsible for arrangements for training the courts’ judiciary, including magistrates, in England and Wales – the MA, an independent, national charity, supports its 17,000 members in administering the law. It also educates people in the role of magistracy in England and Wales.


The MA’s Chief Executive, Chris Brace JP, explained, “Since magistrates have to retire when they reach the age of 70, this means that around a third of the country’s stock of magistrates will retire over the next few years. This large turnover in the number of magistrates is likely to result in a training requirement – and subsequent on-going continuing professional development (CPD) requirement – that would be time-consuming, resources-heavy and costly to meet via traditional, instructor-led training alone.


Chris Brace JP, of The Magistrates Association.


“Video-based learning materials, delivered online to a range of devices provide a standardised, convenient and easily accessible solution,” he added.


“Moreover, the CloudQast platform – along with CloudQast’s creative expertise in creating the videos for this platform – gives every indication of being highly cost-effective. In addition, these videos help to engage and motivate learners – which, given the many other calls on our members’ lives, increases the chances that they’ll be used.


“That state of affairs can only benefit our members – and the judicial system they serve.”


Some two years ago, the MA began exploring the idea of standardising its training and making it available online. Not only did this promise to reduce on-going training costs but it also made possible the option of magistrates throughout England and Wales carrying out their CPD activities online – when it’s convenient for them to do so, bearing in mind that most magistrates have to juggle the demands of a full-time job, a family, along with other hobbies and interests, in addition to the duties and responsibilities of being a magistrate.


The Association’s researches led it to CloudQast, which specialises in addressing organisations’ needs for fast, authentic, precise and inspiring communication – especially in the fields of leadership as well as compliance, along with learning and development.


CloudQast’s platform now includes a number of videos of the Association’s seminars, as well as some CloudQast-written materials featuring CloudQast directors, Lindsey Mack and Damian Gaskin.


CloudQast's Damian Gaskin (left) and Lindsey Mack.


Giving evidence to the Justice Committee in the Palace of Westminster, in June 2016, the Magistrates Association’s Chair, Malcolm Richardson JP, and the Deputy Chair, Sheena Jowett JP, explained that it’s important to give magistrates the option to learn online.


Malcolm Richardson JP, Chairman of the Magistrates Association.


Sheena Jowett JP, Deputy Chairman of The Magistrates Association.

They explained that, while the Judicial College provides all the learning materials for subjects that are mandated and essential for magistrates to learn, most magistrates are interested in taking their understanding beyond this core of knowledge. That’s where the MA’s CloudQast-provided platform comes into its own – offering programmes focusing on awareness and familiarisation training to help magistrates do their job more effectively.


To read more about how CloudQast is helping the Magistrates Association, visit


The Magistrates Association is a national charity governed by its members which aims to provide a voice for magistrates, support for its members in administering the law and to educate people in the role of magistracy in England and Wales. It’s the independent voice of the 17,000 active magistrates in England and Wales. These magistrates deal with over 90% of criminal cases and comprise 85% of all judicial office holders.


The Magistrates Association – founded in 1920 – operates under a Royal Charter, which was granted in 1962 and updated in 2013. It’s established and incorporated to promote the sound administration of the law, including, but not restricted to, educating and instructing magistrates and others in the law, the administration of justice, the treatment of offenders and the prevention of crime. It also aims to educate the public about the role of magistrates. The Association has 58 branches throughout England and Wales. It doesn’t operate in Scotland and Northern Ireland – which operate different legal frameworks from that in England and Wales.