Friday, 27 February 2009

The Seven Pillars

My latest article, The Seven Pillars of the Corporate University, has just been published on the EPD website. Link.

I chose the “seven pillars” imagery, a blatant steal from Lawrence of Arabia, because of the happy coincidence of there being seven factors to consider, and because I liked the idea of the factors, or pillars, supporting the edifice. The association of Lawrence’s original usage with wisdom helps the metaphor.

I’m finding an upsurge of interest in corporate universities. The American market may have become saturated a long time ago, but the concept has been much slower to catch on in Europe and the rest of the world. Perhaps that’s because the academic universities of the old world have a different gravitas, derived from their longer histories, or perhaps in Britain the legal meaning of the word university has been an impediment. There may be other explanations.

I prefer to believe it is because the latest incarnations of corporate universities offer much more than was conceived in the pioneering US institutions like Walt Disney, or later Motorola. The most popular current model is more like Hilton University, with its new emphasis on digital learning.

As always, happy to discuss.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Discussing my book

Readers interested in my new book on e-learning may want to know more than the usual publisher’s blurb that appears on Amazon and elsewhere. The book sets out to demonstrate a strategic approach to considering and implementing e-learning, and includes features like: a foreword contributed by Bill McGrath of Scottish Enterprise; an introduction that places modern learning in the context of how digital technology is increasingly dominating our lives; a “virtual round table” discussion; an illustrative project; a glossary of technical terms; consideration of how to evaluate e-learning; an annotated bibliography; and a look at what the future may hold. All of this is relatively straightforward.

However, there are a number of issues raised in the book that I would expect to be more controversial, including:

1. A new way of understanding e-learning, as an approach that encompasses all new methods of learning utilising digital technology.
2. Identification of five distinct models of e-learning – and there may be more.
3. A matrix for considering the impact of different kinds of e-learning.
4. A call for more strategic thinking about e-learning.
5. Condemnation of techies for overuse of misleading jargon.
6. Condemnation of e-learning vendors for misleading clients and “vandalising the market”.
7. Dismissal of e-learning technology standards as largely irrelevant.
8. A new model for e-learning design – the “route map”.

I look forward to discovering how reviewers regard these issues. In the meantime, you can contribute to the discussion by adding comments here.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Publication date

I’m pleased to announce the publication date of my forthcoming book, Delivering E-learning: a complete strategy for design, application and assessment.

It will be available in exactly eight weeks, on 3 April 2009.

You can place an advance order with Amazon, or direct with the publisher, Kogan Page.



And I promise plenty of opportunities to discuss the book here.

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