Badging and transitioning from e-Reading to e-Everything – a look into the future of e-learning

Bryan Eldridge, Senior Business Consultant with the global learning company, eXact learning solutions, is speaking at EDULEARN16, in Spain, in July.


Looking critically into the future of e-learning, the titles of Bryan’s two sessions are: ‘E-learning 2.0: is your organization ready to transition from e-Reading to e-Everything?’ and ‘lessons learned for creating an organizational digital badging strategy’.


Bryan advocates that organizations develop a Model of Instruction (MOI) – the conceptual representation, via templates and activities, of an instructional strategy intended to effectively support a given learning outcome or competency within a specific context across both formal and formal contexts.


“An MOI approach provides a systematic strategy to ensure that the organizations’ overarching learning and training goals are integrated regardless of the components,” said Bryan. “It helps the organization to move from an ‘e-Reading’ to an ‘e-Everything’ model – and provides a framework for incorporating and supporting both formal and informal activities.”


Bryan’s second presentation focuses on the importance of badges within e-learning paths and processes.


EDULEARN, the eighth annual International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, is being held in Barcelona, Spain, from 4th to 6th July. Those unable to be present at EDULEARN to hear Bryan’s radical and forward-looking views on the future of online learning, can obtain a precis of his views by contacting eXact learning solutions.


EDULEARN is one of the largest international education conferences for lecturers, researchers, technologists and professionals from the educational sector. After eight years, it has become a reference event where more than 700 experts from 80 countries gather to present their projects and share their knowledge on teaching and learning methodologies, as well as educational innovations.

eXact learning solutions releases the latest version of its LCMS

The global learning company, eXact learning solutions, is releasing a new version of its learning content management system (LCMS).


This new version – known as ‘M16’ – includes some major upgrades and brings important changes to the Project Management area of the platform. The new version of the LCMS includes fully interactive Gantt chart software, enabling project managers to manage a project directly from the dashboard – including assigning tasks, setting deadlines and so on.


M16 also features major updates to the LCMS’s Online Editor. These bring the Online Editor closer the company’s authoring tool, eXact learning Packager, by offering, among other things, full support for interactions, along with theme personalization.


eXact learning Packager offers users HTML5 templates to make creating screens and courses merely a matter of dragging and dropping raw assets (audio, images, video and so on) into a visual tree structure representing the template.


“M16 also offers users enhanced graphics, including a new set of icons for greater usability, as well as the relocation of some buttons and panels for easier navigation,” commented Fabrizio Giorgini, eXact learning solutions’ R&D Manager.


Fabrizio Giorgini, of eXact learning solutions.


To help explain the new technology involved in M16 to users and potential users of its LCMS, eXact learning solutions is staging a webinar on 29th June. The webinar is the first of the company’s summer series, called ‘eXactly on Wednesdays’.


Federico Dondero, of eXact learning solutions, said: “While the focus of the session is on M16, the webinar – eXactly on Wednesdays: M16 – will also explain some of the contemporary features of eXact learning solutions’ authoring tools.”


Those wanting to know more about M16 can attend the webinar, being held on Wednesday 29th June at 17.00 to 17.45 CET (16.00 – 16.45 BST, 11.00 – 11.45 EDT and 08.00 – 08.45 PDT). To register for this event, visit:

E-learning is key to the future of education and learning, claims Create eLearning

The mobile-friendly e-learning portal producer, Create eLearning, has published an e-book outlining, ‘12 Reasons why the future of education and learning rests with eLearning’.


Citing research that states that 54 per cent of employees now consider L&D programmes to be of greater importance than annual salary when it comes to choosing a job, the e-book acknowledges that, ‘education and learning have become the cornerstone of any successful career’. It adds that, ‘as technology moves forward and the world shrinks, education becomes more and more global’.


Arguing that education and learning need to make use of the technology that is increasingly pervading every aspect of everybody’s lives, the e-book’s authors put forward 12 reasons for the continued rise of e-learning. These include that e-learning:

  • Is affordable
  • Content is easy to create and deliver
  • Content can be distributed to almost anyone, almost anywhere at almost anytime
  • Encourages user-generated content
  • Is ‘more informal’ and certainly encourages informal learning


The book also points out that:

  • Mobile learning is becoming popular,
  • Social learning is here to stay and
  • More learning is needed more frequently by workers in today’s fast-paced workplace


The e-book is available – free – from


“Moreover, the ability to track learning activities with experience API (xAPI) features is a game changer,” said Mark Taggart, Create eLearning’s CEO. “xAPIs are e-learning software features that allow learning content and learning management systems (LCMSs/ LMSs) to communicate with each other in such a way that helps record and track all kinds of learning experiences.


Mark Taggart.


“This quantifiable, sharable and trackable information helps you know whether or not the learning was effective – and that makes LMSs the best friend of e-learning.”


Mark added, “The sheer number of LMSs currently on the market – there are some 700 of them – can confuse buyers.


“However, the Create eLearning system supports many API standards and can integrate with many HR, ERP, CRM platforms via Single Sign On, Active Directory, LDAP, SAML, web services and so on. This enables the automated sending of user and training metadata to third party systems.”


Create eLearning ensures that its platform is HTML5 compliant. It’s built with PHP on a Zend Framework and hosted by Amazon Web Services in the US, EU and Asia Regions.


Mark formulated the concept for Create eLearning’s multi-layered training platform having worked in the heavily-regulated Clinical Trials industry, where his clients needed to train thousands of patients, doctors and nurses, via some 67 languages, across all time zones.


A fan of Apple and Netflix, Mark feels that the Create eLearning platform is like Netflix for training, with the added advantage of allowing working offline on low-cost devices. He commented, “This is an important consideration, particularly for the developing world where affordable education and training is needed.”

Create eLearning is re-confirmed as meeting the ISO 9001 quality standard

The mobile-friendly e-learning portal producer, Create eLearning, has passed its ISO 9001 surveillance audit. ISO 9001 is a quality management standard that helps organisations demonstrate that they deliver a consistent high level of service.


In addition, Create eLearning has Investors in People (IIP) Silver Standard. It also adheres to IT security standards ISO2701, 21 CFR Part 11, HIPAA, EU Privacy Directive and Safe Harbor.


Carol-Ann Stevenson, Head of the Customer Success Team at Create eLearning, commented, “The recent ISO 9001 audit checked that the company is still complaint with the standard, following its initial accreditation was issued last year. The auditor was more than happy with our internal processes and decided that we are adhering fully to the standard.”


Carol-Ann Stevenson, of Create eLearning.


In addition to meeting these standards as a company, Create eLearning ensures that its platform is HTML5 compliant. It’s built with PHP on a Zend Framework and hosted by Amazon Web Services in the US, EU and Asia Regions.


Its AWS, Elasti-Cloud, media management, storage buckets, automated load balancing, mirroring and auto-failover ensure:

  • Rapid server response times
  • The intelligent compression of content makes playback on poor connections or going offline possible
  • Increased redundancy, scalability, security, and ability to invoke Disaster Recovery automatically


Create eLearning’s managing director, Mark Taggart, said, “The system supports many API standards and can integrate with many HR, ERP, CRM platforms via Single Sign On, Active Directory, LDAP, SAML, web services and so on. This enables the automated sending of user and training metadata to third party systems.”


Mark formulated the concept for Create eLearning’s multi-layered training platform having worked for many years in the heavily-regulated Clinical Trials industry. His clients needed to train thousands of patients, doctors and nurses, in as many as 67 languages, across all time zones, on how to use data capture and patient compliance technologies to remain Good Clinical Practice Compliant (GCP).


Mark’s problem was that the existing LMS and eLearning Course building tools:

  • Were unaffordable and/or hard to use/deploy
  • Did not support the many time-zones, languages or fonts that clients needed
  • Would not work on mobile devices or offline where internet connectivity was slow or non-existent
  • Would not integrate with the master system to give users a single sign on, and/or
  • Were unable to meet the stringent security needs of the FDA and EMA for standards, such as HIPAA, 21 CFR Part 11, EU Privacy Directive and Safe Harbor


So, in 2010, he raised capital to build what became Create eLearning – an intuitive, easy, fast, multi-cultural platform designed to make training technology available for all, in a number of languages.


A fan of Apple and Netflix, Mark feels that the Create eLearning platform is like Netflix for training, with the added obvious advantage of allowing working offline on low- cost devices. He added, “This is an important consideration, particularly for the developing world where affordable education and training is needed.”

Sepsis eLearning materials showcased to Britain’s legislators at Westminster

The mobile-friendly e-learning portal producer, Create eLearning, has created e-learning materials – including a ‘Sepsis Savvy’ course – for The UK Sepsis Trust.


The UK Sepsis Trust, which also uses the Create eLearning learning management system (LMS) to manage and monitor its courses, is making these e-learning materials available to help educate healthcare professionals, as well as members of the public.


In particular, at the end of April, The UK Sepsis Trust launched the Sepsis Savvy e-learning materials at an event in the Palace of Westminster. The audience included members of both Houses of Parliament, including the international businessman and former Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party, Lord Ashcroft.


Founded in 2012 by a world leader in Sepsis, NHS consultant Dr Ron Daniels, The UK Sepsis Trust seeks to save lives and improve outcomes for survivors of Sepsis by instigating political change, educating healthcare professionals, raising public awareness and providing support for those affected by this devastating condition. The UK Sepsis Trust‘s expertise is based in the charity’s grassroots origins – its doctors and nurses have frontline, first-hand experience of the Sepsis problem and their passion is born of a comprehensive understanding of what needs to be done.


Create eLearning’s managing director, Mark Taggart, commented, “The Sepsis Trust does some really important work – and it’s gratifying that, to help it achieve its goals, the Trust has chosen to use Create eLearning’s expertise, both to produce its e-learning materials and to manage and monitor the materials’ use, via the Create eLearning platform.”


Incorporating a number of state-of-the-art advances in LMS technology, Create eLearning’s LMS is a hybrid platform that caters for coaching, mentoring, online and face-to-face training/ learning. Moreover, users can configure it to deliver learning materials anywhere in the world, in any language and on any delivery device.


“The platform’s offline, off-grid e-learning capabilities enables users to learn anywhere at any time – on trains and planes among other things – without the need for an internet connection or even a corporate email account,” said Mark Taggart. “The results of their learning activities can be uploaded to the LMS the next time they log on to the internet.”

Karen Daly-Gherabi becomes Managing Director of The Springboard Consultancy

Karen Daly-Gherabi has become Managing Director of The Springboard Consultancy, a UK-based international training company specialising in women’s development issues.


Karen Daly-Gherabi.


After a successful career as a senior officer in the British Army, promoting excellence, development, achievement, and diversity, Karen spent 12 years working  for The British Council, creating international opportunities, building trust and engagement through education, training and cultural relations. She succeeds the company’s founding joint CEOs, Liz Willis OBE and Jenny Daisley OBE.


Liz Willis commented, “Jenny and I are delighted with Karen’s appointment and wish her every success. She’s already familiar with the company and, as a client, has been an enthusiastic advocate of our programmes.”


Through the British Council, Karen introduced the award-winning Springboard Women’s Development Programme into the Middle East. Indeed, Karen has first-hand experience of the positive impact the Springboard programme has had on more than 17,000 women, along with the network of trainers, across the Middle East and North Africa.


The Springboard Consultancy’s Springboard Women’s Development programme enables women to identify the clear, practical and realistic steps that they want to take to make a better world for themselves at work and home, while building the practical skills and confidence to take these steps. The programme is delivered – currently in 45 countries – over a three month period, through an extensive network of licensed local trainers and, so far, has been used by over 240,000 women around the world.


According to Karen, who took up her new post on 3rd May, “The Springboard Consultancy is a fantastic company which promotes diversity in personal development – especially for women but including both genders – with a range of products that covers the complete work lifecycle, from pre-work to the end of working life. It’s wonderful to be part of such transformational development, which enables people to take control of their own futures.”


The Springboard Consultancy (SBC) is an international training company, with a proven track record in work and personal development training, particularly addressing women’s development issues. Its core business is training and licensing trainers to deliver award-winning development courses – to people of all genders and all ages – via an international network of professional licensed trainers in locations around the world.


SBC has developed a reputation for creativity, innovation and quality, balanced with down-to-earth pragmatism and good value. It believes that everyone is ‘born to shine’ and that life circumstances and lack of skills and opportunities often prevent that happening, to the detriment of all. It uses training to enable everyone, especially women, to develop themselves further – benefitting the person, their employer, family and wider community.

Latest version of Create eLearning LMS on show at CIPD’s Olympia event

Visitors to the CIPD Learning and Development Show can find the latest advances in learning management system (LMS) technology at the Create eLearning stand.


The latest version of the Create eLearning platform will be available on the Create eLearning stand – number 522. According to Mark Taggart, Create eLearning’s managing director, this version – version 5 – incorporates a number of state-of-the-art advances in LMS technology.


Create eLearning’s LMS is a hybrid platform that caters for coaching, mentoring, online and face-to-face training/ learning. Moreover, users can configure it to deliver learning materials anywhere in the world, in any language and on any delivery device.


The Create eLearning platform can deliver learning in any language, including Arabic.


“At the show, we’ll also be demonstrating the platform’s offline, off-grid e-learning capabilities,” he added.


“This means that users can learn anywhere at any time – on trains and planes among other things –without the need for an internet connection or even a corporate email account. The results of their learning activities can be uploaded to the LMS the next time they log on to the internet.”


Create eLearning will also be showing its continuing support for the UK Sepsis Trust by continuing to give away a copy of its platform to winners of its quarterly Prize Draws.


The platform that Create eLearning is donating is worth £25,000 and includes a fully implemented e-learning solution and a custom-designed Oculus Rift training pack. The winners receive all of this completely free of charge but, in return, they are expected to donate between £5,000 and £25,000 to the Sepsis Trust.


Mark Taggart, Create eLearning’s managing director, explained, “This should help raise £100,000 for charity in 2016 – as part of this company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) commitment.


Mark Taggart, of Create eLearning.


“The Sepsis Trust does some important work – as has been highlighted recentlyand it uses the Create eLearning platform in its training programmes,” said Mark. “Every penny donated to the Trust is valuable in helping it achieve its goals.”


Covering topics such as learning and talent management, leadership and coaching, training and technology, the CIPD event – being held at London’s Olympia, on May 11 and 12 – incorporates a conference and exhibition. In addition, exhibition visitors can also attend over 50 free learning sessions being run in the exhibition area – amid the 125 or so suppliers that are exhibiting there.


Visitors to the Create eLearning stand can also get free coffees, individually handmade especially for them by a top class Barista.


To take part in the Create eLearning quarterly Prize Draws – whether you are visiting the CIPD Learning and Development Show or not – visit or email:

Austrian hospitality – and artistry

The recent concert tour of the UK by the Bruckner Orchestra Linz was made even more memorable for a favoured few who were invited to a reception at The Austrian Residence, in London’s Belgrave Square, at the end of April.


In the presence of the Austrian Ambassador to the UK, Dr Martin Eichtinger, the Director of the Bruckner Orchestra Linz, Uwe Schmitz-Gielsdorf, and Georg Steiner, the Managing Director of the Linz Tourist Board, there was time for presentations on Linz and the orchestra’s repertoire, a (live) sample of chamber music from some of its members, and then some refreshments. By 7pm, it was time to embark on the short – but rainy – walk from the Residence to The Cadogan Hall, for the second of the Bruckner Orchestra Linz’s two concerts at that venue.


The previous evening’s concert had featured Anton Bruckner’s Sixth Symphony, Gluck-Wagner’s Overture to Iphigénie en Aulide, and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 23 – with the renowned Melvyn Tan as soloist. This time, the programme comprised Beethoven’s Overture to King Stephen (opus 117), Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 4 and Philip Glass’ Symphony No 9.


The pianist engaged to play the Beethoven Piano Concerto – Ingolf Wunder, a former winner of the Warsaw International Chopin Competition – was indisposed, so Melvyn Tan deputised most ably. He gave a suitably vigorous, demonstrative and even, at times, flamboyant performance that was also sensitive and sincere, maintaining a playful dialogue with the orchestra – which was conducted by the Ohio-born, Dennis Russell Davies.


Mr Davies has been principal conductor of the Bruckner Orchestra Linz since 2002, as well as being a professor at the Mozarteum Saltzburg since 1997. The Bruckner Orchestra Linz, under Dennis Russell Davies, has recorded all ten of Philip Glass’ symphonies – and the recording was released on 22nd April.

A definitive guide to e-learning press releases

There are some books – including e-books – on subjects relating to e-learning and online learning technologies that I would hesitate to mention in this blog, for reasons varying between humility and disinterest.


The recently published e-book on writing e-learning press releases, however, is one which is close both to my heart and to my experience over many years.


It was a long time ago now – in May 1990 – that, with a triumph of optimism over experience (and, at that time, skill), I embarked on a career in business-to-business specialist public relations. Almost immediately, I began working for companies in what was then known as the ‘computer based training’ industry. It became the ‘e-learning’ world in the late 1990s and, subsequently, has adopted the alternative title of ‘online learning technologies’ – and now ‘learntech’ – to take account of the many systems and tools that go to make up this fascinating sector.


More than a quarter of a century later, I now know most of the rules, fashions and fancies that combine to enable would-be publicists to promote their products and services around the world. Of course, not only is there always more to learn (hence this e-book, among others) but there are also changes – in technologies as well as fashion – that enable the publicity and promotions world to progress.


Nonetheless, the key way of gaining publicity for vendors and suppliers to the corporate learning world has always been – and will always be – via a ‘press release’. It’s the bedrock upon which all other PR promotional activity is based.


This is because, as yet, no vendor or supplier in this sector has become – nor, given the standing of ‘HR’ and ‘L&D in society at large, is likely to become – a ‘household name’.


When your organisation is a household name, the media will often come to you to ask for stories. It’s certainly easier for household names to make their products, services, actions and views known via the media. It may also be more difficult to disguise their peccadillos – but that’s another matter.


Once your organisation is a household name, you can afford to be reactive in terms of PR, publicity and promotion.


Until that happens, the only way you can get ‘in the news’ and be ‘noticed’ is to be proactive in generating publicity. That includes – however you produce it and however you distribute it – generating press releases.


In recent years – as ‘hard copy’ trade magazines and newspapers have given way to internet-based news sites and distributors – it has become easier to publish these press releases. These days, it is possible to guarantee publication somewhere of almost any press release.


Nonetheless, it is still important for your press release to be of the highest quality possible – in order for it to provide some value to its readers and, hopefully, get them to think and/or behave positively towards you or your organisation.


This means that, primarily, any press release must be:

•             Newsworthy

•             Relevant

•             Well-written

•             Well-presented

•             Traceable to its author


All of these issues – and more – are covered in the (downloadable for free) e-book, ‘The Definitive Guide to eLearning Press Releases’ from the eLearning Industry stable.


Moreover, once you have your press release, you need to decide where it can be the most effective that it can be. There are many distribution services that promise to send your press release to hundreds – even thousands – of recipients. Yet these recipients may not find your press release to be relevant to them or to their needs.


If you can’t put your press release in front of the maximum relevant audience, you’re wasting a proportion – maybe even a significant proportion – of the money you’ve spent on generating and then distributing the story.


In deciding to read the eLearning Industry e-book, you will have already made a worthwhile decision because you will have realised that press releases are the foundation for any and every successful marketing and PR initiative. I hope that the e-book’s wisdom encourages and empowers you to become not just a more competent communicator but also a prolific producer of professional press releases.


Bob Little - admittedly greyer but more skilled and experienced than he was in May 1990.

Wesley Lever appointed head of ME Construction’s Specialised Works division


ME Construction, the London-based specialist construction company, has appointed Wesley Lever as Head of its Specialised Works division.


Wesley Lever.

Until taking up his new role in the company, Wesley had been working as a surveyor in ME Construction’s main works section for the last six years or so. Before that, Wesley worked as a surveyor for Bam Construction.


“The Specialised Works division takes on a wide range of projects – each of which has its own particular requirements and challenges,” said Wesley. “Current projects range from refurbishing a medical practice to carrying out external works for a large estate management firm.


“No two days – or projects – are the same,” he added. “That’s a challenge and a responsibility that I’m really looking forward to experiencing.”


ME Construction’s Operations Director, Dennis Barnard, commented, “As part of our continued development as an organisation, ME Construction has – now under Wesley’s management – formed a Specialised Works division to focus on projects with values ranging from £5,000 to £250,000.”


“ME Construction’s Specialised Works division delivers projects in the commercial, residential, healthcare, education, conservation, retail and leisure sectors, ensuring our clients obtain the same level of professional service provided by the business on larger value projects,” said Paul Driver, ME Construction’s Business Development Director. “Having identified a more effective and efficient approach to these projects, Wesley’s Specialised Works team can provide a client with a highly competitive service while maintaining the high level of quality that’s synonymous with the ME Construction brand.”


ME Construction – a specialist refurbishment contractor, active in London and the surrounding areas – was founded in 2007 to deliver high quality projects in a professional manner normally associated with the larger industry PLCs. It concentrates on the delivery of small to medium-sized projects – typically, not exceeding £4.5m.