Press Releases & Coverage

SkillSoft Survey Reveals Virtual Learning Just As Effective as Face-to-Face Instructor-Led Training

Vast Majority of Respondents Say Virtual Instructor-Led Training Preferable to Traditional ILT, Effective Prep for Certification Exams

NASHUA, N.H.-- September 9, 2009 -- SkillSoft PLC (Nasdaq: SKIL), a leading SaaS provider of on demand e-learning and performance support solutions for global enterprises, government, education and small to medium-sized businesses, today announced the results of a survey which underscores the effectiveness of Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT) compared with traditional in-person Instructor Led Training (ILT). The survey shows that the vast majority of learners consider SkillSoft's Live Learning VILT to be just as effective as conventional instructor-led training. Supporting this subjective sentiment, the SkillSoft survey also confirmed the training effectiveness of VILT, with 91 percent of respondents who participated in Live Learning and later taking a certification exam passing that exam on their first attempt.

These results came to light in a June 2009 survey in which SkillSoft randomly polled approximately 1,800 learners who previously attended a SkillSoft Live Learning course within the prior year. Seven out of 10 respondents said VILT is either about the same, better, or much better than ILT – without taking costs into consideration. When costs were factored into their assessment, 86 percent of respondents said Live Learning offered similar or better value than ILT.

"Virtual ILT has come of age as enabling technologies have matured and learner acceptance levels of technology-enabled learning are growing," said John Ambrose, Senior Vice President of Strategy, Corporate Development & Emerging Business for SkillSoft. "Our survey results align with conclusions in a recent U.S. Department of Education study that reviewed research comparing online and face-to-face instruction. That study concluded ‘… on average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction'. We at SkillSoft are pleased, but not surprised by these important findings by the U.S. Department of Education."

SkillSoft has led the way in VILT with the Live Learning solution by providing training in a more flexible, convenient format while also reducing costs. SkillSoft Live Learning is a live (internet-delivered) instructor-led course product embellished with a broad range of supplemental assets (labs, practice tests, student guides, etc.) utilized by learners in a self-directed fashion. SkillSoft offers a robust schedule of live online classes taught by world-class instructors in high-demand certification areas such as Project Management, Cisco, Microsoft and CompTIA.

Live classes are taught by two instructors; offering a lively contrast in styles, perspectives and technical insight. With a small central pool of instructors teaching literally around the world via the internet, SkillSoft can consistently bring higher-grade teaching talent to every class. Where in-person providers often have less-experienced instructors teaching entry-level classes, every SkillSoft Live Learning class is taught by a seasoned professional.

Live Learning sessions are scheduled in a staggered college-style (adult learning) format in two 3-hour online sessions per week. Lectures are also recorded and available on-demand, 24x7, for instances when a student misses a live class, or simply wants a refresher view of the material. Access to materials and classes is for up to one year, where face-to-face training takes place only once.

SkillSoft's survey confirmed that Live Learning courses are well-accepted by learners and deliver outstanding certification exam pass-rate results; all at lower cost than comparable face-to-face training. The SkillSoft survey combined with the U.S. Department of Education's own findings that online learners outperform face-to-face learners offer compelling reasons to consider SkillSoft Live Learning.

About SkillSoft

SkillSoft PLC (Nasdaq: SKIL) is a leading SaaS provider of on-demand 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, and compliance courseware collections, as well as complementary content assets such as Leadership Development Channel™ video products, KnowledgeCenter™ portals, virtual instructor-led training services and online mentoring services. SkillSoft’s Books24x7® product offering includes access to more than 20,000 digitized IT and business books, as well as book summaries and executive reports. Technology offerings include the SkillPort® learning management system, Search & Learn(R), and SkillSoft® Dialogue™ virtual classroom.

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 & -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, countries.

Source: SkillSoft

Donna Keenan, 603-821-3211
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