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Home > News > August 2006 > 31 August 2006

UK rail forum discusses blended learning

HR and training professionals from the rail industry discussed how to make blended learning relevant to the sector at an event held in London last week.

The event, facilitated by e-learning provider Tata Interactive Systems (TIS), featured David Mapp, commercial director of the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), who provided a keynote address on the challenges facing the rail industry and train operating companies (TOCs).

During his address, Mapp outlined the 'Just the Ticket' e-learning programme that ATOC developed and rolled out to some 6,000 ticket selling staff from March last year. The programme won a 'Railway Industry Innovation Award' for innovation in people development.

Jackie Lawlor, head of workplace learning at Royal Mail, presented two case studies involving the design, development and application of blended learning for Royal Mail staff and Alison Walker, formerly of British Airways and now an independent e-learning consultant explored 'the challenges of deploying learning' within large organisations and drew parallels between the aviation industry and the transport and logistics sector.

Alan Samuel, head of TIS's UK operations, concluded the day's discussion by stressing that whatever form learning materials take - be it blended learning, e-learning, classroom-delivered learning, simulations, games, stories and so on - they must always be appropriate to the learners' needs and be able to be shown to be contributing to the organisation's goals.

TIS's Rohit Sharma said: "This event was designed to bring together people - particularly those from the railways sector - to discuss key industry issues, such as making e- and blended learning relevant to business. The aim was to explore and define best practice within e-learning and so help organisations to maximise the effectiveness of that learning."

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