Press Releases & Coverage

SkillSoft Seminar Series Expands on Blended Learning;
Focuses on Best Practices for Structuring Successful Programs and Proving Results

Free Seminars in 40 U.S. and Canadian Cities Incorporates Research and Case Studies Supporting Value of Formal and Informal Learning

Nashua, NH – September 24, 2003 – SkillSoft PLC (Nasdaq: SKIL), a leading provider of e-learning courseware and referenceware for business and IT professionals, today announced a seminar series designed to assist human resources and training executives in the development of successful blended learning curricula and in proving the business value of learning programs. The seminar series, “Key Strategies for Implementing Blended Learning,” will be delivered in 40 major cities throughout the United States and Canada from October through December.

“Too often blended learning is viewed as some kind of hastily mixed ‘learning stew,’” said Dorman Woodall, director of e-learning strategies for SkillSoft. “Many companies create a potluck combination of instructor-led classes, self-study courses, library resources, and various seminars and expect it to work. And often it does. But, chances are the successes aren’t as great as they could be if companies used a more methodological approach to developing blended learning programs.

“We’ve found that the companies with greatest success in blended learning are those that take a structured, methodical approach to creating defined curricula,” Woodall continued. “These companies analyze the strengths and weaknesses of various learning activities in the context of a blended learning environment and build the curricula accordingly. They also know in advance how results and associated value will be measured. ”

SkillSoft sees blended learning -- encompassing both formal and informal learning activities – as a primary way to help companies address both types of employee learning, while maximizing training investments and achieving measurable productivity gains. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 70% of workplace learning occurs informally – through books and articles, fellow employees, “water cooler” discussions, and even trial and error. Only 30% of employee learning takes place through formal activities such as leader-led classes, seminars, or structured courses. However, most corporate training initiatives focus their efforts and their budgets on formal training.

The current seminar series expands on the concepts introduced in SkillSoft’s first series on blended learning. In fact, study materials will be available to those attendees who need to familiarize themselves with the information presented previously. In this series, attendees will learn the success factors required for structuring, implementing, and supporting blended learning programs, as well as methods for building solid business cases for proposed programs and determining value through the use of cost and performance measurements.

Each seminar will include three workshop activities:

  • Stage-by-stage planning that outlines specific actions to obtain learner buy in and management commitment and support, as well as to conduct on-going marketing.
  • Blended learning implementation that includes simple to complex models for blended programs, potential changes in staff roles and skills, use of technology, and creation of a support infrastructure.
  • Program evaluation incorporating usage information, learner feedback, various ROI measurements, and investment and cost data.

The free seminars will also include case studies of blended learning programs at BellSouth Large Business, Wachovia, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. All seminar attendees will receive supplemental resources, including an index of articles, books, and other research on blended learning.

Seminar Schedule

On-site registration for the free seminars is from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. The seminar program begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends at noon. To make reservations and get details on specific seminar locations, call 800 327 6960, extension 4283.

About SkillSoft

SkillSoft is a leading global provider of comprehensive e-learning content and software products for business and IT professionals. Multi-modal learning (MML) solutions support and enhance the speed and effectiveness of both formal and informal learning processes and integrate SkillSoft's in-depth courseware, learning management platform technology and support services.

SkillSoft focuses on a variety of IT, professional effectiveness and business topics that represent the critical skills required of employees in increasingly dynamic and complex work environments. SkillSoft partners with other technology leaders to develop sound, standardized content that delivers rich, comprehensive learning and performance support experiences.

Content offerings include SkillSoft’s Business Skills Library and IT Skills and Certification Library; Books24x7’s ITPro, BusinessPro, and FinancePro Referenceware; and GoTrain’s health and safety compliance courseware. For more information, visit www.skillsoft.com.
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