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Training the Class of 2007: SkillSoft Offers Five Tips for Delivering a Dynamic, Engaging Learning Experience

Developing and Honing the Skills of Graduates Entering the Workforce Requires a New Approach to Training and Development

Nashua, N.H., June 5, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- With a new crop of graduates around the country entering the workforce for the first time, SkillSoft PLC (Nasdaq: SKIL), a leading provider of e-learning and performance support solutions for global enterprises, government, education and small to medium-sized businesses, today outlined five tips for effectively training the Class of 2007.

The learning styles and habits of this generation have been strongly affected by a number of factors, including their vast experience using technology, their constant bombardment by rich, multimedia content and the seemingly effortless way in which they multitask while using a diverse range of digital media. As a result, in order to build the necessary foundation in job skill proficiency, while successfully cultivating the leaders of tomorrow, SkillSoft recommends that businesses provide the Class of 2007 with learning experiences that are:

  1. "Multiple-media"-driven - Because the Class of 2007 grew up with televisions, computers, video games, DVDs and personal music devices, their brains are wired to receive visual and audio stimulation, often coming from multiple sources simultaneously. Raised on the sophisticated programming techniques of television and video games, they have high expectations for all forms of communication and expect highly produced, entertaining experiences. While not all training can or should be created with entertainment value as a primary objective, it is a good practice to intersperse multimedia learning and training resources that incorporate graphics, audio and video in addition to standard text.

  2. Interactive - Recent graduates entering the workforce expect interactivity as part of their learning experiences, whether it takes place in the classroom or online. As a result, static PowerPoint presentations, packets of handouts and lectures no longer are the best way to deliver information/learning. Companies that want to engage their young employees should supplement static training with simulations and other forms of learning that require active participation. Multi-path gaming techniques, for instance, put learners in control, enabling them to freely navigate a simulated workplace (complete with virtual colleagues, ringing telephones and documents on the desktop) to analyze and solve business problems. Virtual classroom sessions can also be used to bring together groups of learners to interact and discuss topics that have been covered in online self-study.

  3. On-Demand - At their peak while multitasking, this generation doesn't have the interest or attention span to sit through an entire course from beginning to end. Instead, they prefer to learn by consuming small, digestible bits of information - a section of an e-learning course, a specific chapter within a reference work or a two- to three- minute video. Organizations can cater to their comfort by making these various learning assets available on-demand. Supported by strong search functionality, employees can easily pinpoint exactly the information they need, precisely at the moment they need it.

  4. Integrated - While classroom training will always have a role in professional development, learning, for the most part, should not be a discrete event that removes employees from the workplace. Rather, organizations should bring learning to the learners, making it an inherent part of the workday that is easily accessible via the corporate intranet or portal. This affords employees the flexibility to pick and choose, cafeteria style, the exact combination of information resources they need for the work at hand, ensuring greater retention, productivity and improved performance.

  5. Mobile - Constantly on the go, this generation is reliant upon portable devices like cell phones, Blackberry(R) and Treo(R) to do everything from making phone calls and checking email to browsing the internet and playing games. Organizations can take advantage of the growing ubiquity of portable devices to make learning assets that were traditionally only available at the office accessible to workers, regardless of their location, so that they can capitalize on downtime to develop new competencies or hone existing skills. In addition, podcasts provide another effective mechanism for learning on the go, as information on business issues, trends and initiatives can be downloaded to laptops, iPods and other MP3 players for quick, easy consumption.

"We congratulate the Class of 2007 for all of their hard work and accomplishments," said John Ambrose, Senior Vice President of Strategy, Corporate Development and Emerging Business. "As these graduates enter the workforce and begin the next chapter of their lives, learning will play an even more critical role in their continued development and success. Recognizing the unique learning needs and preferences of this generation, SkillSoft continues to develop innovative new products and an extensive library of rich learning assets, enabling businesses to provide employees at all levels with dynamic, engaging learning experiences."

About SkillSoft

SkillSoft PLC (Nasdaq: SKIL) is a leading provider of e-learning and performance support solutions for global enterprises, government, education and small to medium-sized businesses. SkillSoft enables business organizations to maximize business performance through a combination of comprehensive e- learning content, online information resources, flexible learning technologies and support services.

Content offerings include business, IT, desktop, compliance and consumer/SMB courseware collections, as well as complementary content assets such as Leadership Development Channel video products, KnowledgeCenter(TM) portals, virtual instructor-led training services and online mentoring services. The Books24x7(R) division offers online access to more than 15,000 digitized IT and business books, as well as book summaries and executive reports. Technology offerings include the SkillPort(R) learning management system, Search-and-Learn(R)(R), SkillSoft(R)(R) Dialogue(TM) virtual classroom, and SkillView(R) competency management software.

SkillSoft courseware content described herein is for information purposes only and is subject to change without notice. SkillSoft has no obligation or commitment to develop or deliver any future release, upgrade, feature, enhancement or function described in this press release except as specifically set forth in a written agreement.

SkillSoft, the SkillSoft logo, SkillPort, Search-and-Learn, SkillChoice, Books24x7, ITPro, BusinessPro, OfficeEssentials, GovEssentials, EngineeringPro, FinancePro, AnalystPerspectives ExecSummaries, ExecBlueprints, Express Guide and Dialogue are trademarks or registered trademarks of SkillSoft PLC in the United States and certain other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

    Contacts:
    Donna Keenan                   Ed Hadley
    SkillSoft                      PAN Communications, Inc.
    603.821.3211                   978.474.1900
    Donna_Keenan@SkillSoft.com     SkillSoft@pancomm.com