Training Press Releases » Clive Shepherd and Laura Overton explain what every learning and development professional needs to know about e-learning. 

Towards Maturity Enterprises Ltd announces the launch of a booklet designed to provide all learning and development professionals with the information they need if they are to engage with new learning technologies. 
Technology has already transformed our personal and business lives, but its impact on learning and development has been patchy. Yes, e-learning has grown steadily, but only a few of its possibilities have been exploited and far too few trainers feel they have any role to play in its usage. Towards Maturity Enterprises Ltd has launched a new booklet, What every learning and development professional needs to know about e-learning, to help remedy this situation. The free 20-page booklet, helps trainers to understand just how extraordinary the opportunities are for improving the impact, accessibility, flexibility, timeliness, cost-effectiveness and environmental friendliness of learning and development interventions. And most importantly of all, it shows trainers how they can play a vital role in bringing this all about. 

The booklet has been written by Clive Shepherd, one of the UK's most prominent thinkers on learning and development and currently chair of the eLearning Network, and Laura Overton, Managing Director of Towards Maturity CIC and perhaps the UK's leading expert on the successful implementation of e-learning in the workplace. 
Laura commented: "Our research over the years has shown that technology can make a considerable impact on learning in the workplace when it is applied effectively to business problems from the start. Our aim with this booklet is to provide a dynamic resource for trainers who are looking to take their first step but want to make it count. By providing easy access to independent information and real-life case studies, we hope this simple resource will help l&d professionals to build confidence and save time!" 

The booklet has received wide support from within the Learning and Development community, as these quotes show: 

Donald H Taylor, Chair of Learning and Skills Group: "The Learning and Skills Group, along with the Learning Technologies and Learning and Skills events, is delighted to support the 'what every l&d professional needs to know about e-learning' booklet. We feel this is an invaluable contribution to our profession's understanding of this increasingly important aspect to learning at work." 

Verity Gough, Editor, TrainingZone.co.uk: "We are excited to be supporting the 'What every l&d professional needs to know about e-learning' booklet. With technology changing so fast, it can be daunting trying to keep up with the times. This booklet will help even the most ardent technophobe get to grips with all the latest developments." 

Barry Wilding-Webb at Devon County Council: "I have been involved in learning and development in the public sector for 25 years. During that time I have been continually looking for new and exciting ways to engage adult learners in learning. While I enjoy and fully appreciate the value of face-to-face training and facilitation, there are pressures on professional trainers to be innovative in different areas now - those areas of cost benefit and value for money - while not sacrificing the quality of the learning experience. The 'what every l&d professional needs to know about e-learning' booklet illustrates how a variety of organisations can embrace the technology that can support their learning and development strategy, and the case studies are real examples of this and show what can be done. I would recommend this publication to any learning professional looking to implement blended learning within their organisation." 
This booklet has been created to support Next Generation Learning in the workplace, a national initiative , lead by Becta to improve the awareness of the benefits of adopting technology in learning. The booklet is initially available as a PDF download through TrainingZone.co.uk, Towards Maturity CIC and Learning and Skills group, and then subsequently in print form as an insert with Learning Technologies magazine. End 

Notes to editors: 

Booklet can be downloaded at the following links: 





'What every learning and development professional needs to know about e-learning' provides an introduction to self-paced e-learning, live online sessions, online distance learning, knowledge sharing, simulations and virtual worlds and Computers in the classroom. 
Illustrative case studies include  NCALT, BT, Pfizer, ACS, Dental Channel and the Royal Navy. New case studies and resources will be added on via the dynamic links within each chapter for those registered to receive them at www.towardsmaturityenterprises.com/contact

About the authors: 

Clive Shepherd is widely acknowledged as one of the UK's foremost experts in learning technologies. He is a prolific author and blogger, and speaks regularly at major international conferences. He was formerly Director, Training and Creative Services for American Express and a co-founder of Epic Group plc. He was recognised for his Outstanding Contribution to the Training Industry at the World of Learning Conference in 2004. 

Laura Overton is the MD of Towards Maturity CIC and has been at the forefront of research with UK businesses to capture and share good practice around effective e-learning implementation in the workplace. She is a regular industry commentator and international conference speaker. 

She has over 2 decades of implementation experience and now works with government to represent employer interests. 
In Driving Business Benefits, a report published by Towards Maturity in January 2009, a lack of knowledge about the potential use and implementation of e-learning was cited by more than 65% of respondents as a major barrier to the successful implementation of new learning technologies. A lack of skills to implement and manage e-learning was cited by more than 50%. (see http://tinyurl.com/TMDBBresearch for more information). 

For more information about Becta, the government agency leading Next Generation Learning, a national drive to ensure the effective and innovative use of technology throughout learning, visit  www.becta.org.uk and www.nextgenerationlearning.org.uk/work
About Towards Maturity Enterprises 
Technology has a critical role to play in helping learning and development professionals respond to rapidly changing business needs but it has not always delivered the results expected. Towards Maturity CIC has provided free online resources, research and case studies to help organisations in this field since April 2008. Towards Maturity Enterprises Ltd works in partnership with Towards Maturity CIC and others to provide additional support to organisations wanting to improve the impact of learning technologies in the workplace through their First Steps and Next Steps workshops, and bespoke research and advice. 
For more information about Towards Maturity Enterprises Ltd: 

For more information about Towards Maturity CIC: 


About Towards Maturity 
Towards Maturity is an independent not for profit organisation supporting a community of companies and individuals interested in improving the impact of learning technologies in the workplace. The founders' original research ('Towards Maturity' published by e-skills UK in Jan 07) highlights how organisations more mature in their use of learning technologies report increased benefits. Towards Maturity now looks to provide ongoing research and resources to organisations looking to grow in maturity and improve the way they use and provide learning technologies in the workplace. 

The web site www.towardsmaturity.org contains the following: 

- Latest industry research 
- Case studies 
- Interviews 
- White papers 
- Updates and commentary from leading industry thinkers 

Towards Maturity co-ordinates the national Next Generation Learning @ Work campaign on behalf of the Learning and Development community. More information: www.towardsmaturity.org