In its last year as an unincorporated body and with a new membership structure including free associate membership, the eLN saw its membership rise tenfold and, now that it is a community interest company (CIC), its membership stands at over 2,000.
“This rapid growth in our membership reflects not just the increase in interest in all things to do with e-learning but also illustrates how technology-delivered learning is touching more and more aspects of our economy – throughout the private and public sectors as well as in academia,” commented Clive Shepherd, Chair of the CIC and a widely respected e-learning consultant and commentator.
At the Learning Technologies event, in London’s Olympia – on 28th January – Clive Shepherd will be leading a free-to-attend seminar exploring the elearning skills gap.
Shepherd commented: “Recent surveys have shown how e-learning is progressing in terms of usage in the UK, but they also demonstrate just how much organisations are being held back because of a lack of skills and knowledge relating to e-learning.
“I’ll be describing the areas in which skills are most needed, notably strategic management, curriculum development, content creation and facilitation. Most importantly, I’ll be discussing the various steps that organisations can take to bridge the skills gap.”
In addition to running this seminar for visitors to the Learning Technologies event, the eLN will have a stand at the accompanying exhibition where visitors can find out more about the organisation’s networking services, webinars and programme of one-day conferences throughout the year. Each conference focuses on a key issue for learning professionals and offers practical tips and guidance for delegates, as well as providing networking opportunities.
“In addition, eLN members have access to the company’s website,” said Pat Straughan, the eLN’s company secretary. “This provides up-to-the-minute news and views on e-learning as well as opportunities to network with other members.”
Shepherd added: “We’re delighted that more and more people are discovering the benefits of being part of the eLN. Shaping our programme of events as well as the services provided for the user, designer and vendor special interest groups, is the responsibility of our new Board of Directors, elected annually by members, according to our constitution.”
The resulting twelve-strong Board shows two changes from the committee that ran the ‘old’ eLN: Mike Alcock (of Atlantic Link) and Neil Lasher (of Trainer1) have retired and been replaced by Katherine Chapman of Capita – National Strategies, and Matt Brewer of Chubb Insurance Company of Europe.
Katherine said: “My interest is in bridging the gap between what technologists think people need and what people really need to help them perform differently.”
Matt commented: “I've been involved in training since 1995 and, while I still enjoy providing training via any medium, I am also responsible for our learning management system (LMS) and online learning development. I want this to be relevant and enjoyable for the learners, and to use new methods and collaboration where we can identify a need.”
The other Board members of the eLN CIC for 2010 are: Clive Shepherd (Fastrak Consulting Ltd); Barry Sampson (Web Based Thinking); Carole Bower (Edvantage group); Claire Line (Lovells LLP); Fae Longman (CMS Cameron McKenna LLP); Joe Quilter (PSP Group); Rob Hubbard (Learning Age Solutions); Seb Schmoller (Association for Learning Technology); Viv Cole (REDTRAY); and Wendy Stubbs (British Airways). The management team is completed by Pat Straughan, the company secretary.
About Community Interest Companies (CICs)
Community Interest Companies (CICS) are limited companies, with special additional features, created for the use of people who want to conduct a business or other activity for community benefit, and not purely for private advantage. This is achieved by a ‘community interest test’ and ‘asset lock’, which ensure that the CIC is established for community purposes and the assets and profits are dedicated to these purposes. Registration of a company as a CIC has to be approved by the Regulator, who also has a continuing monitoring and enforcement role.
A CIC is designed for social enterprises that want to use their profits and assets for the public good. CICs have all the flexibility and certainty of the company form, but with some special features to ensure they are working for the benefit of the community. Social enterprises are diverse. They include local community enterprises, social firms, mutual organisations such as co-operatives, as well as large-scale organisations operating nationally or internationally. There is no single legal model for social enterprise. They include companies limited by guarantee, industrial and provident societies and companies limited by shares. Some organisations are unincorporated and others are registered charities.
About Learning Technologies
Now in its 11th year, Learning Technologies claims to be Europe's leading showcase of organisational learning and the technology used to support learning at work. The Learning Technologies 2010 conference and exhibition takes place on 27th and 28th January 2010 at Olympia 2, in London.
About the eLN CIC
The eLN CIC (elearningnetwork.org) is a non-profit organisation run by the elearning community for the e-learning community. The eLN CIC is the number one source for guidance on best practice and future trends in technology-based learning and development at work, with more than 2,000 members in the UK and beyond.
For more information about the eLN CIC and eLN CIC events, call +44 (0)1273 561714.