Posts Tagged ‘Learn Skills’

eLearning Partnership announced with City of Galway VEC

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

City of Galway Vocational Education Committee, (CGVEC), has engaged with a global elearning provider Learn Skills in a strategic partnership to create and implement a strategy to develop and establish a lifelong learning culture in Galway City. Learn Skills will provide its significant technical and pedagogical assets, with the CGVEC leading the engagement of the local education community, encouraging the embracing of the lifelong learning programme offering through its own teaching network and via its various involvements through the wider community. Learn Skills is an innovative learning solutions provider, founded by an experienced group of on-line learning specialists, and driven by a mission to deliver the best technology-based solutions for learning. Learn Skills is headquartered in Ireland and is building on the experience and successes of the Irish e-learning industry to develop a commanding global presence.

It is a company founded on the belief that at the heart of any successful organization, you’ll find a unique combination of excellence, openness and innovation; and most importantly, people that are passionate about learning and delivering value to the end-user. At Learn Skills you will find dedicated and talented individuals that are steadfastly building a leading learning technology solutions provider.

Learn Skills was born out of the belief that in a Knowledge Society, organisational and individual effectiveness depends on the consistent application of learning and a committment to continuous personal development and lifelong learning. We believe our most valuable asset is our people and our goal is to help everyone learn better, faster and smarter through the use of technology enhanced learning tools and products.

The challenges presented by the Knowledge Society demand even greater collaboration between academia and industry. Consequently, Learn Skills is based at the National University of Ireland in Galway, at the heart of a technology innovation hub. There, the  company benefits from the research & development capacity of a leading international University and research institution.

Learn Skills expands into Retail and Hospitality training with Didasko partnership

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

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23/01/2009 – Ireland – Learn Skills is delighted to annouce it’s latest partnership with Didasko, the Australia innovative learning solutions provider of engaging interactive multimedia resources.  For 11 years, Didasko has been a leading developer of high quality Learner and Trainer resources for the vocational, education and training industry.
They specialise in the service sectors of Hospitality, Retail and Asset Maintenance and their comprehensive resources and systems for the training provider, teachers and students delivers superior learning, operational and marketing outcomes.  Didasko Learning Resources currently provides resources to leading international universities, domestic and international colleges, training organisations, hospitality and retail groups, corporate sector and secondary schools with vocational programs.

Learn Skills shall spearhead Didasko’s expansions plans into Europe focused on both Retails and Hospitality Unit.  This comprehensive range of courses shall be made available both on-line and also when required in CD-Rom format.  With over 100 on-line courses each supported by both a Learner Guide and Training Delivery Guide to deliver the first complete solution for Retail and Hospitality education and training in Europe. These comprehensive resources and systems for training providers, teachers and students deliver superior learning outcomes and improved operational and marketing effectiveness.

For Education and Training providers:
• The full package – from curriculum to delivery and assessment
• Tailored ordering and packaging for each student
• Low flat rate / unit
• Customised branding of the materials
• Distribution options – CD-ROM, PDF, USB, on-line
• Easy online ordering 24/7
• Just in Time delivery – all orders despatched within 48 hours

For Teachers and Trainers:

• Comprehensive tools support teacher compliance and learner
management :
(Training and Assessment plans, Learner contact logs, Competency
Assessment Matrix, Employability Self Assessment, Skills Demonstration
Training record)
• Use of multiple “adult learning” principles
• Greater focus on delivery and student centric

For Students:

• Tailored customised packaging of learner units
• Engaging interactive multimedia (text, graphics, animation, sound,
video and self assessments)
• Underpinning knowledge is gained
• Extensive glossaries and recipe files within the units
• Self evaluation worksheets
• Supports all student learning categories – ESL or learning difficulties

Accounting Basics

Saturday, October 18th, 2008

Accounting — often called the language of business — is the process of recording, classifying, reporting and analysing financial data. And while the accounting requirements of every business vary, all organisations need a way to keep track of their money.

Unfortunately, there’s very little that’s intuitive about accounting. Many small businesses hire accountants to set up and keep their books. Other companies use accounting software like QuickBooks, CheckMark Multi-Ledger and M.Y.O.B. Accounting and keep their accounting functions in house.

It’s All about Balance
Using a system of debits and credits, called double-entry accounting, accountants use a general ledger to track money as it flows in and out of a business. They record each financial transaction on a balance sheet, which provides a snapshot of a business’s financial condition. Accountants record every financial transaction in a way that keeps the following equation balanced:

Assets = Liabilities + Owner’s Equity (Capital)

The Accounting Cycle
Accounting is based on the periodic reporting of financial data. The basic accounting cycle includes:

  • Recording business transactions. Businesses keep a daily record of transactions in sales journals, cash-receipt journals or cash-disbursement journals.
  • Posting debits and credits to a general ledger. A general ledger is a summary of all business journals. An up-to-date general ledger shows current information about accounts payable, accounts receivable, owners’ equity and other accounts.
  • Making adjustments to the general ledger. General-ledger adjustments let businesses account for items that don’t get recorded in daily journals, such as bad debts, and accrued interest or taxes. By adjusting entries, businesses can match revenues with expenses within each accounting period.
  • Closing the books. After all revenues and expenses are accounted for, any net profit gets posted in the owners’ equity account. Revenue and expense accounts are always brought to a zero balance before a new accounting cycle begins.
  • Preparing financial statements. At the end of a period, businesses prepare financial reports — income statements, statements of capital, balance sheets, cash-flow statements and other reports — that summarize all of the financial activity for that period.

The Importance of Financial Statements
At the end of a period — either annually or more frequently, depending on the length of a business’s accounting cycle — accountants create financial statements that show the financial health (or decline) of a business.

Many people inside and outside a company use the information found in financial statements. Business owners and managers use the data in financial statements to chart the course of their companies, project revenues and expenses, monitor cash flow, keep tabs on costs and plan for the future. Present and prospective employees also want to see their employers’ financial performance.

Stockholders and investors closely examine financial statements to check a company’s performance. They want to compare a business’s financial statements with those of other companies to guide their investment choices. Bankers look at a company’s most recent financial statements when they make lending decisions.

Financial statements also make it easier to for accountants to prepare tax returns and report financial information to the Internal Revenue Service. In fact, so many business partners, investors, and other interested parties rely on your these documents that it’s important to get a handle on all the common financial reports your business will be expected to produce.

If you are interested in learning more about Accounting Basics and developing an understanding and appreciation of the importance of record keeping, check out our web-based course Accounting Basics.

Reference: AllBusiness

Learn New Skills

Monday, October 13th, 2008

It’s been a crazy few months between banks and stock markets and the big recession that is slowly gripping the world.  In an atmosphere like this it is up to everyone to improve their employability and career prospects by learning new skills and upskilling.  You don’t need to wait until your employer arranges this or even leave it so late that your social welfare officer arranges it.  Take the initiative and seek out the training that can make a difference for you.  If you want to keep up with the times, your old skills must be continually sharpened and new ones must be acquired.

Always keep in mind the following:

  • There is no such thing as “Finished Learning.” One who stops learning, stops growing.  Work hard towards sharpening your Foundation and Transferable skills.  It pays to spend some time sharpening your axe before attempting to fell a tree.
  • Keep an eye open for new skills and master them. At the same time, improve the ones you already have.
  • Do some research to find out what skills are and will always be most valued in your industry.  Two sites that may help you here are ‘A Career Guide to Industries’ and ‘Tomorrow’s Jobs’.

Issues that people typically have include the following:

What can I do? – You can do whatever you want to. Right from cooking to eating, you will find information pertaining to any interest that you may have.

Where to look? – Keep your eyes and ears open. There’ll always be something happening in your locality to match your interest.

Universities/Colleges: – Usually, universities and colleges have clubs, societies and student groups which bring together students with similar interests. You can be sure to fit into at least one of them and learn from those who have more experience than you and build networks.

Leisure Centers & Gyms: – These are places where you will find people who like physical activity like hiking, swimming and traveling.

Evening Classes: – Collect details of all evening courses conducted in your area. Learn a language you don’t know, or get trained to do creative things like sewing or origami.

Volunteering: – Though not as glamorous as a lot of other things, the feel-good factor is immensely high! Giving something back to society is an amazing way to boost your morale. And of course, it looks impressive on your CV too and can be used to reinforce your skills and validate new ones.

Distance and Online Learning: – If you prefer to spend more time at home and if that’s the only hindrance you are facing to learning new skills, this is perfect for you. Learn Skills is one of the places where you can start hunting for relevant information about courses and as for online courses, it is the best place to start looking for what you want with a very comprehensive range of courses that cover both skills and compliance based training.  If you have any specific needs you can contact Learn Skills.

Source: CvTips.com article “Learn New Skills”.

E-learning helps USA retailers dump classrooms for the anywhere, anytime Internet

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

By Elizabeth Gardner

USA – 1st March, 2008 – Walk into a City Furniture store in Florida on a slow morning and you’re likely to find a store associate at his computer. It may look like he’s web surfing, but he’s probably brushing up on his knowledge of couch construction or crib safety standards using the retailer’s e-learning system. For the past year, the 15-store chain has been moving its employee training away from classrooms and paper manuals and onto the Internet.

With stores all over south Florida, City Furniture’s 1,100 employees are far flung. “Imagine how challenging it is to get people to come an hour north, or two hours south, or an hour west, for a full-day training session,” says Janet Wincko, director of recruiting and learning. “Every moment they’re driving here and sitting in a class, they’re not selling.” And for employees in the 24/7 distribution center, scheduling classroom training to fit everyone’s odd hours is an additional challenge.

With e-learning, employees can complete little chunks of training; anything from five minutes for a quick briefing on a new product to a 20-minute module on store procedures, whenever they have a spare moment. Their reward is anything from lavish praise to bonuses or promotions. City Furniture’s reward is more training completed at less expense and potentially lower employee turnover and higher sales.

Internet-based e-learning is transforming how stores train their employees, whether it’s how to fold a sweater, how to deal with an angry customer or how to work the point-of-sale system. And sometimes that point-of-sale screen carries the lesson of the day.

“First-tier retailers: those with more than $2 billion in annual sales, all have embraced e-learning”, says Sunita Gupta, executive vice president at the LakeWest Group, a retail consulting firm. It recently completed a survey of 100 top retailers, and more than 70% said better training of store personnel was their top priority.

“Among second tier retailers: those with $500 million to $2 billion in sales, adoption of e-learning varies, and it’s most often used to introduce new technologies or programs”, Gupta adds.

Because e-learning systems are often available as a hosted solution and companies can pay per user, retailers of any size can potentially benefit, says Don Cook, senior vice president of marketing at Learn.com Inc., which includes about 30 retailers, including City Furniture, among its 500 e-learning clients. “We target the mid-market, between 10,000 and 30,000 employees is our sweet spot, but our biggest growth area is companies with less than 1,000,” he says. “Small companies should take training seriously. When you have three stores, it’s easier to develop a training system than if you wait until you have 50 or 100.”

Computer-based training has been around since all screens were black with green letters. The rise of the commercial Internet has made networked computers ubiquitous and inexpensive, giving retailers the ability to easily link trainees with centralized training. And the evolution of Internet technology has spawned a toolbox of presentation techniques as useful for developing training materials as they are for creating flashy web sites. Course developers can choose online video, Internet gaming techniques and other tools that appeal to the young people who form the backbone of many retailers’ sales forces. And those forces can take their training at any Internet-connected computer whenever it’s convenient, whether during a lull at the store or at home in their jammies.

“Retailers realize that e-learning offers a better toolset than traditional training,” Gupta says. “It’s interactive. They can add remedial sections if someone is taking longer than usual to understand something. They can be creative with learning protocols. And they can test as they go to gauge a person’s progress.”

Last year, Hudson’s Bay Co., one of Canada’s largest retailers with more than 580 locations and 50,000 to 70,000 employees depending on the season, realized a two-fold increase in the number of online training courses completed by employees, says Jason Hubbard, senior manager of e-learning and virtual classroom.

His in-house staff of five has produced dozens of e-learning courses over the past four years, not only on specific products and store procedures but also on personal growth topics like dealing with stress and improving language skills. Each course takes about three weeks to create and 15 to 20 minutes for a learner to complete. Hudson’s Bay employees completed more than 160,000 courses in 2007.

And often they revisit those courses for a refresher. “Any trainer will tell you that when someone gets training for a whole day, they’re overwhelmed and don’t remember everything they’ve learned,” Hubbard says. “With this system, you can go online to review specific things. If I do a spreadsheet once a month and I’ve forgotten how to do a PivotTable, I can use the Excel course as a reference tool.”

The courses run on a learning management system from GeoLearning Inc. GeoLearning hosts the system, which provides a platform not only for delivering the courses but for tracking participation and assessing the overall “skill health” of individual employees. The learning management system can serve as a general employee development tool for human resources departments, says Will Hipwell, GeoLearning’s senior vice president of product development.

E-learning can help geographically dispersed organizations develop a common corporate identity, says Angela Vazquez, director of instructional design at AMC Theatres, which operates 300 movie theaters throughout the U.S. and Canada. The company has been using e-learning for about four years. Its system provides courses for about 2,700 employees, including line managers at theaters. Vazquez plans to roll out courses this year for the 20,000 crew-level employees, the ones who pop the popcorn and clean between the seats.

“Having a centralized training function at the home office really helps us standardize and share our culture with remote locations,” Vazquez says. Each course uses the same branded template to give a consistent look and feel.

Face to face?

However, some subjects are still best taught in person, especially if they involve role-playing or lots of personal interaction, says Hudson’s Bay’s Hubbard. But even then, e-learning can streamline the process.

“A class that might have run a full day before can now run half a day because you can play around with the material a little bit online before the course and do follow-up online,” he says. City Furniture, Hudson’s Bay and AMC all use some classroom training in addition to e-learning for a blended approach.

Costs for e-learning vary widely, and the return on investment is sometimes difficult to identify, especially in the first few years when a company is incurring substantial expenses to set up a system and develop courses.

When City Furniture’s Janet Wincko was selling management on e-learning, she stayed away from squishy projections on increased sales or reduced turnover and stuck to the obvious. “Paying a dollar to an instructional designer is comparable to paying a dollar to an instructor,” she says. “But I have to pay the instructor every time he teaches a class, and I only have to pay the designer once.”

For Hudson’s Bay, direct return on its overall e-learning investment isn’t a primary concern, Hubbard says. Sales and management staff have to be trained one way or another, and his most important metric is successful course completions (defined as not only being exposed to the course, but passing the post-course test with an 80% score or better). Nonetheless, he can point to cases where introducing a course on a specific product: for example, digital cameras has resulted in increased sales. “Associates are much more likely to sell something when they’re knowledgeable about the product.”

In general, benefits from e-learning are significant, especially when viewed enterprisewide, some experts say.

“It’s hard to measure what you get back from having sales associates who can actually assist customers,” says LakeWest Group’s Gupta. “But many corporate initiatives fail because the execution doesn’t happen at the store level.”

Source: InternetRetailer.com

Elizabeth Gardner is a Riverside, Ill.-based freelance business writer.

Learn Skills aims to have a comprehensive range of essential skills and compliance training for the Retail Sector available soon, for both individuals and large groups of employees and learners.

Learn Skills announces content partnership with nursing content factory MedSenses

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008
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Courseware BY nurses FOR nurses

Ireland – 6th October, 2008 – Learn Skills is pleased to announce its latest content partnership with MedSenses, an elite nursing content factory based in Canada, focused on building courseware BY nurses FOR nurses.

MedSenses, having researched maximum learner retention strategies, add custom design elements such as 3-D animations, medical illustrations, case scenarios, and clinical expertise – making all of their courses come alive with color and interactivity. Learn Skills through its partnership with MedSenses is pleased to offer one-stop shopping for any healthcare-related corporation in meeting the emerging need for high quality, relevant, and cost-effective training.

Learn Skills can now offer a variety of titles in the following sectors: Medical-Surgical, Cardiac, Critical Care, Compliance, Pediatrics, Newborn, Neonatal, Emergency, Ground Transport, and Flight Transport, offering a curriculum of over 400 contact hours through our Learn Skills LMS.  Healthcare organizations can now offer a high quality, cost-effective solution for their continuing-education programs – all while offering their nursing staff their annual CE credits!

Whether you are an individual nurse looking to upskill or a group of employees spread across numerous location, we have a solution for you and also you need to is Contact Us about your individual requirements.

The Prime Directives for an e-Portfolio

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

UK – R J Tolley 21-Feb-08 – Recently I was reading an interesting article by Ray Tolley, who is a major advocate for an e-portfolio system.  In this article he outlines the main characteristics of an e-portfolio, many of which are evident in the Learn Skills e-portfolio system.

The key characteristics of an e-portfolio are:

1. It is portable: It cannot be located in any one institution or embedded within a proprietary VLE.

2. It is personal: It is ‘owned’ by the user and is customisable to the user’s age, stage and style.

3. It is generic: It is not modelled on any particular curriculum delivery system nor content.

4. It is Web2.0: It should be compliant with all generic formats within the application.

5. It is MIS-free: It is not ‘hard-wired’ to any institution’s MIS infrastructure.

6. It is ‘lite’: It is not a permanent repository of all of a user’s files, rather a ‘transit camp’.

7. It is lifelong: Ownership must be maintainable as a continuity, ‘5-95’.

8. It is lifewide: It is capable of being used by all ages and abilities through a wide range of assistive templates.

9. It is accessible: It must recognise common standards of accessibility in terms of both outputs and inputs.

10. It is credible: Evidence of any Summative Assessment must be linked to a secure repository ie the awarding body or a central MIAP/Minerva archive.

You can read the full article by clicking “The Prime Directives for an e-Portfolio” and also follow this by reading “Who’s hijacking our e-portfolios?” by Ray Trolley also to learn even more about e-Portfolios

New online service offers free and impartial IT advice to start-ups and small businesses

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

UK – 14th January, 2008 – A free service to help start-ups and small businesses increase their productivity and competitiveness through technology is now available to companies based in Yorkshire & Humber, the South East and the South West regions of England.

The Business IT Guide was developed by e-skills UK in collaboration with market leaders such as Oracle, EDS, IBM, Accenture, Cisco, Microsoft, HP, Smart421 and BT, and has been tested extensively with small businesses.

The Guide is a user friendly online tool that helps businesses access a wide range of high quality, independent advice to help them fully exploit technology.  Advice includes:

  • everything a new business needs to know – from complying with legislation to security;
  • where to go for trusted information;
  • how to properly introduce and manage technology;
  • how to deal with the resource implications: cost, training, time; and
  • how to plan for growth and changing needs.

There are five separate routes to advice and information via the Guide:

  1. a self help tool – designed to help those unsure of their ICT needs;
  2. facts – designed to encourage people to take action;
  3. hot tips – designed to have an immediate impact;
  4. The Guide library – with all 72 Business IT Guides listed; and
  5. search facilities.

Keri-Ann Davies, Business Adviser for the Welsh Assembly Government, said:

“In the past I have made use of the Business Link website and found the best practice IT advice very useful.  The Business IT Guide seems to provide more advanced information than was previously available through Business Link, and also includes the built in search facilities and links.  I found it extremely informative.”

“e-Learning can also greatly enhance a small businesses acquisition of skills and delivery of training”, said Sean Griffin, Co-Founder of Learn Skills, the web-based skills and compliance training company, “and it is for that reason that we are developing training programs tailored to the needs of both SMEs and new start-ups.”

Source: e-skills Passport Winter newsletter

Becta says Learning with technology gets the right results

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Becta, the education technology agency, is urging schools to improve the way they use technology to support learning, as evidence continues to build around the positive impact on GCSE results and grades.

Research reveals that schools that embrace technology see a significant improvement in GCSE results compared with those that do not. Key findings from six years of research by Becta include:

* school ‘e-maturity’ – where technology is integrated across the curriculum and wider school life – is statistically linked to lower absence rates and higher points and percentage A*-C grades at GCSE

* in GCSE science, the average gain from ICT use is 0.56 of a grade (in 2002, 52,484 pupils moved from grade D to C as a result of using technology in their learning)

* schools making good use of broadband and connectivity demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in the percentage of pupils gaining 5+ A-Cs at GCSE in the year after broadband introduction

* a study of young people’s ICT use in the home showed a significant positive association between pupils’ home use of ICT for educational purposes and improved attainment in national tests for maths and English GCSE

* the introduction of interactive whiteboards results in pupils’ performance in national tests in English (particularly for low-achieving pupils and for writing), maths and science, improving more than that of pupils in schools without interactive whiteboards.

Stephen Crowne, Chief Executive of Becta said:
“The evidence is clear; when schools use technology effectively, it can have a direct impact on pupil attainment and results. As pupils across the country find out their GCSE results, schools need to think about whether grades could be improved even further by better use of technology. We know that currently only 20 per cent of schools are using technology effectively right across the curriculum, which means there is real potential out there to improve results and raise grades if schools take full advantage of the benefits technology can bring.

“Schools should make the most of the Internet, mobile phones, interactive whiteboards, school radio stations, blogs, podcasts and video conferencing, helping to create a stimulating and engaging environment for their students.”

It’s not just pupils that see the benefits of better use of technology. The majority of teachers feel that technology in the classroom has a positive impact on the engagement, motivation and achievement of their learners. Technology also has the potential to provide parents with more timely information about their children’s work and progress, for example via secure on-line access, so they can in turn support their children.

The research cited in this PublicTechnology.Net press release comes from the following evaluations and research studies on the impact of ICT use in schools:

* Butt, S and Cebulla, A (2006), E-maturity and school performance – A secondary analysis of COL evaluation data. London: National Centre for Social Research

* Harrison, C et al (2002), ImpaCT2: The Impact of Information and Communication Technologies on Pupils Learning and Attainment. ICT in Schools Research and Evaluation Series No.7

* Somekh, B et al (2007), Evaluation of the Primary Schools Whiteboard Expansion Project

* Underwood, J et al. (2005), The Impact of Broadband in Schools.

* Valentine, G, Marsh, J and Pattie, C (2005), Children and Young Peoples Home Use of ICT for Educational Purposes: The impact on attainment at key stages 1-4, DfES

“This research highlight the need to embrace technology in Education and also training to enhance performance and training outcomes”, said Sean Griffin, Co-Founder of Learn Skills, the web-based skills and compliance training company.

Learn Skills Partners With ILX Group plc

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

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Galway, Ireland – 30th August, 2008 – Learn Skills, the web-based skills and compliance training company is delight to now partner with the English-based company ILX Group, a major player in the UK market with offices in the UK and USA. The ILX Group is an AIM-quoted company delivering multimedia and classroom courses in ITIL, PRINCE, MSP and APM areas.

In particular this partnership is focus on delivering to the Irish market the award winning multimedia training courses developed by ILX Group, with a particular focus on Business Basics for SME managers, which is aimed at improving managers financial awareness and understanding.

ILX Group Best Practice is an Accredited Training Organisation (ATO) and an Accredited Consulting Organisation (ACO) delivering accredited training and consultancy services in the following areas:

  • Programme and Project Management (PRINCE2™, MSP™, APM, ISEB)
  • IT Service Management (ITIL®)
  • Risk Management (M_o_R)
  • Business Finance (Finance for Non-Financial Managers)

ILX Group is the first company to present a worldwide multimedia course in ITIL version 3.0. The course can be delivered via CD-ROM, Network, Internet or Intranet, allowing the user flexibility to study at their own time and pace.  Using the interactive e-Learning method costs are significantly reduced and pass rates are increased compared to classroom training. “We’re really glad that ILX Group decided to collaborate with our company to deliver in Ireland their advanced training solutions; the quality of the ILX’s training courses is so high and extensive that the benefits of this courseware will soon be felt right across the Irish market amongst all levels of business leader”, said Sean Griffin, Co-Founder of Learn Skills.

These courses shall be available both on an individual basis or as part of a bundle purchase for large numbers of users and courses via the Learn Skills LMS.