Training materials Open Learning Sampler

Jeff Gold (Leeds Business School, Leeds, UK)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 1 April 1998



Gold, J. (1998), "Training materials Open Learning Sampler", Career Development International, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 94-94.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited

Both these CD‐ROM resources offer the potential purchaser of open learning and training materials the opportunity to browse through materials without leaving their desk.

The new NEC Open Learning Sampler CD‐ROM gives access to details and samples of over 200 NEC learning resources. Developed as part of a European Union funded project between the NEC and Park Lane College, Leeds the sample is designed to assist tutors and advisers to find the right material for open learning programmes. Students can also test out different materials before deciding which course or study programme to enroll on.

The sampler is a “hypertext catalogue” and offers over 2,000 sample pages of NEC learning resources. An indexing system enables users to search the CD in a number of ways:

  1. 1.

    subject or category ‐ e.g. accounting, languages, counselling

  2. 2.

    education area ‐ e.g. general education, vocational training

  3. 3.

    education level ‐ e.g. GCSE, NVQ, GNVQ

  4. 4.

    NEC publication title.

Automatic hypertext links then take users straight through to the resources in order to view on‐screen sections from the chosen material.

The NEC materials are text based. In contrast the demonstration disc from Training Direct includes interactive video material. This catalogue includes a range of skills development courses and for each of these a short demonstration sequence can be accessed. These do give a flavour of the training available and how multimedia is being put to use to create interactive learning. The disc also includes sections on “What is Multimedia?” and “Getting the most from CD‐ROM” but these are very superficial. Once or twice my PC “locked up” while playing the video sequences which was incredibly frustrating as the only way out appeared to be to switch off and start all over again. It is to be hoped the real thing does not cause similar problems.

If, like me, you object to paying anything for a catalogue, however sophisticated, you may feel £25 for the NEC materials is excessive. Nevertheless, in an ever increasingly competitive market for training materials this is a good use of technology and should lead to more informed purchases.

For more details on the Open Learning sampler Tel: 01223 450213 and for the Training Direct disc Tel: 01279 623927.

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