White paper – best ways to spend your budget

8 ways to best spend your online learning budget 

Your guide to the most effective learning investments

To help you make the right choices in learning technology, content and tools, we’ve created a guide to selecting the most appropriate solutions for your needs.  We call it our ‘top tips – 8 ways to best spend your online learning budget‘ – recommended ways to spend your precious budget to create future proof learning solutions that deliver maximum impact.

From investing in L&D CPD, how communities fit in delivering an effective learning strategy and how to make more of the content and resources you already have, our white paper will help you target your time, budget and resources on the things that really matter.

As a complete online learning and knowledge company, we provide content, platform and consultancy to solve even the most challenging online learning challenges. 

Contact us today to find out how we can help 

Copyright © 2015 Willow Learning Limited, All rights reserved.

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LPi Webinar reminder July 2015

Join us today for our latest LPi webinar


Rewarding the whole journey: What learning designers can learn from positive psychology LPi Webinar Series

Date: 15 July 2015
Starts: 10.00am

Register Today

Traditional models of psychology suggested that success deliver happiness – it’s why techniques such as gamification have been adopted as a way to engage and motivate learners online and keep them coming back. However, our neurological understanding of happiness, drawn from the research into the field of positive psychology is challenging the order of this process. It asserts that in order to succeed and develop new insights and skills, a positive mindset and environment needs to be the starting point.

In this webinar, Lisa Minogue-White, Head of Learning Design at WillowDNA will explore some of the key principles of positive psychology and how they can be applied to online learning strategy and design.

If you are looking for a new perspective on online learning and a development house that will create the most engaging and effective content, contact us today for a free review.

Copyright © 2015 Willow Learning Limited, All rights reserved.

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ELN Bristol event sponsored by WillowDNA

eLearning Network Event – New Directions In Learning


Venue: Bristol and Bath Science Park
Time: 10am – 4pm

The event explores some of the latest developments in eLearning and explores where it’s going in 2015 and beyond.

The agenda includes:

  • What Does Blended Learning Look Like in 2015 – Lisa Minogue White
  • Designing Effective Responsive eLearning – Lindsey Coode
  • Learning Technologies: Butterfly Hunting – Mark Berthelemy
  • Agile: More Than Just A Buzz Word – Owen Ferguson
  • Where Is eLearning Heading – Open Space Session

Click here to view the full agenda now

To register for your free place at this event, you need to be a full eLN member. If you are not already a member, join now for just £29 and you’ll have free access to this and other ELN workshops Click here to view full member benefits and join today.

We look forward to seeing you there and if you require any extra details, call 01732 850650 or email admin@elearningnetwork.org.





Copyright © 2015 Willow Learning Limited, All rights reserved.
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WillowDNA June Newsletter

June Round Up

Each month we take a look at some of the most interesting research and articles on online learning, social learning and technology.  

E-learning in healthcare: benefits, challenges and limitations – a panel debate

The Guardian hosted a discussion last month on the current and future state of e-learning in health. The panel discussed a range of issues, from benefits to health trusts and staff to some of the challenges involved in implementation, rollout and investment.

We’d love to hear what you think, as the panel limit their view to e-learning content, when a whole range of online learning techniques can be hugely effective in developing critical skills.

The next age of the MOOC – the bridge between further and higher ed

BBC Education recently reported on a new MOOC from FutureLearn designed to support students in the transition from sixth form to university. Sheffield University has also developed a similar offering to support the transition from education to employment.  

Using MOOCs to support learners through key transition periods has real application for corporate learning challenges, such as graduate on-boarding, first time managers and during major change programmes.  For professional bodies, they can also support key career transitions through an industry.

We were also intrigued to see the debate generated from this year’s Collective Intelligence Conference, Santa Clara CA on the emergence of MOOR – Massive Open Online Research.  For learning challenges where knowledge is emergent or dispersed, this creation/curation approach is very attractive.  In organisations, it’s the space communities can fill – a topic WillowDNA will be exploring in more detail at this year’s DevLearn conference at MGM Grand, Las Vegas 30 Sept – 2 Oct.

Towards Maturity launch the 2015 L&D Benchmarking Survey

Following on from the Spring publication of the CIPD’s annual L&D survey, Towards Maturity has launched a call to members to take part in their annual benchmarking study.  Now in its 12th year, it attracts over 3500 organisations to participate, with their results culminating in an analysis of performance against 12 KPIs regarded as crucial in developing engagement with the business and alignment of learning to business outcomes.

To take part, visit the benchmarking section of the Towards Maturity website.

Product highlight

This month, we shine the spotlight on one of our core products – the L&D skills academy  

Our complete L&D academy will help your team understand how to unlock the subject matter expertise in your organisation and take it online.

Our subject areas include:

  • Community facilitation workshop and toolset
  • Online learning design  – creating effective blended learning
  • Articulate Storyline
  • Designing and commissioning online learning academies
  • Evaluation and measurement

Contact us to explore how we can support your L&D team through our L&D skills academy

WillowDNA commissions a major learner survey to explore the expectations, challenges and aspirations of today’s online learners

This summer Suzanne Jones, Operations Manager at WillowDNA will be launching a survey project, which will explore in depth learner’s real experience of online learning.   Look out for the results next month. 

Learning Live 2015 – Head of Learning Solutions at WillowDNA announced as conference speaker on Personalisation

In the lead up to the Autumn event, Lisa was invited to contribute to the LPI’s L&D Question Time, where she answers what is the most exciting innovation in learning and what the world of L&D will look like in 2020.


ELN event – What Does Blending Learning Look Like in 2015?

8th July at The Bristol and Bath Science Park

WillowDNA is delighted to sponsor the next ELN event, which is free for ELN members and if you haven’t already joined, its only £29 to join. Register for the event today as spaces are limited.

LPi Webinar – Rewarding the whole journey: What learning designers can learn from positive psychology

15 July 2015 10am

In this webinar, Lisa Minogue-White from WillowDNA will explore some of the key principles of positive psychology and how they can be applied to online learning strategy and design.  To register for the event, visit the LPi, where you can also find the recording from our recent webinar on Learning Ecosystems


This month’s video – our report from the CIPD L&D Show




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Join our #learningisthebusiness campaign

This week, we’ve got posting using #learningisthebusiness to encourage L&D professionals from around the world to share their insights to help ensure learning earns its rightful place on the strategic roadmap, as well as the power behind it.iStock_000017354272Small We’ve started tweeting our thoughts and will continue to share advice, resources and great articles we hope will help.  We’ll also recommend people to follow who have some great things to say on the topic.  So pop over to Twitter now and follow #learningisthebusiness.

DevLearn – reflections from the New Learning Universe

As a break from the norm, I’ve decided to dispense with the written narrative and become reporter in the field. With the hottest talking points including corporate MOOCs, learning ecosystems, xAPI and the changing skill-set of L&D, it was a thought provoking and vibrant conference.   Here’s my round up from DevLearn 2014 and as an added bonus, you can download the slides from my presentation on What Corporates Can Learn From The MOOC Experience. Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 12.14.05 WillowDNA DevLearn VodCast 2014

Countdown to DevLearn – WillowDNA explore the New Learning Universe

DevLearn simple It’s less than 6 weeks to DevLearn, one of the most important conferences and exhibitions in the learning calendar.  So it’s incredibly exciting to be presenting WillowDNA and the UK learning community at such a prestigious event.  Over the past 12 months, corporate MOOCs and online academies have dominated in conversations and engagements with our customers and during our webinars. So it’s fantastic to continue this over the other side of the Atlantic.  As well as speaking on the MOOCs stream in the DevLearn conference, we’ll also be keen to pick up on the trends, debate and new developments being showcased over the 3 days in Las Vegas as learning experts from all over the world explore ‘The New Learning Universe’. So in the lead up to this exciting event, myself and the team will be sharing our reflections on the New Learning Universe.  From the stakeholder view through to new entrants fresh out of formal education, we’ll be looking at the challenges, opportunities and predictions we expect to dominate the learning landscape over the coming 12 months.  We’ll be kicking off with Emily Cox, who’ll be exploring the new learning skill-set and what the New Learning Universe means to the instructional design community.  So check back in a couple of days for the first in our series.  

Slides from our ‘online academies’ webinar available

lamp bulb tulipsMany thanks to everyone who came along to the webinar this morning – online academies certainly lived up to it’s hot topic billing.  From creating an effective learning ecosystem through to adding context through great content and community activity, it’s a rich subject that we’ll explore further in our autumn webinar series. We’ll be taking a summer break from our webinar programme but the blog will still be very much active, so check back regularly for new posts and papers on academies.  We’ll be back on the webinar circuit on 17th September at 10am UK time with our friends at the Learning and Performance Institute for a webinar on Taking Leadership Programmes Online, where we’ll be building on the ideas and concepts explored today. You can download today’s presentation here.

WillowDNA shortlisted for 2012 e-Learning Awards

We are delighted to announce that WillowDNA have been shortlisted for this year’s e-Learning Awards 2012 for best online distance learning programme for our work with the IPA.  As finalist in this year’s Peer Awards sponsored by The Independent already, it’s incredibly exciting for us for our work to continue to be recognised.   Next week, we’ll be publishing an article on some of the lessons learnt from the IPA Foundation certificate and more generally, how professional bodies can extend their reach with world class distance learning.

New Entrants in the provision of University degrees: Education on the cheap or the biggest shake-up for higher education in our lifetimes?

The traditional route to a University degree has never been more expensive for the student with the recent rise in tuition fees to £9000 per year. This market is now seeing an unprecedented increase in different providers offering degrees. And with this rise comes new ways of delivering degrees. The recent rise in tuition fees to £9,000 per annum has opened the market to private university colleges, challenging the traditional approach to a university education. With the option to fast track degrees over a two year rather than a three year period, the attractive reduction in the cost of a degree makes considerable sense to students as well as to their parents. As a parent myself to two more potential university candidates in the coming years, I am especially interested in how this is all shaping up. I was delighted to have my company chosen as the digital partner in the provision of a new distance degree due to be launched this Autumn. We have always prided ourselves on dealing with pretty complex material for professional learners. This was a natural next step for us. But as a parent, I wonder what choices my two young sons will have available to them in the next few years. Quite a few years ago, I took my post grad. conversion to IT through the Open University. One of the striking comparisons I made at the time was the much higher quality of materials provided by the OU compared to my recent university experience. Universities have been using VLEs (Virtual learning Environments) for quite some years and the open source platform, Moodle, tends to be ubiquitously used for academic supply of learning content for students. The use of the VLE under these circumstances though, tends to be very much in the hands of the individual tutor and there is frequently little consistency across the campus. Distance learning though, is a different environment. There is no teacher in the classroom, so the materials have to speak for themselves. The OU knew this from their earliest days. With the advent of new technologies the expectation of students who have only known the PC and internet age, for whom social collaboration is norm, is very high. The University colleges of the future who can meet this challenge, plus cut the costs of a degree will be way ahead. The prospect of my two boys entering their adulthood with debts of £27,000 in tuition fees alone is not too appetising.  The educational establishment that manages to pull off lower fees with potentially fast tracked routes will be hugely attractive. And it would not have to be distance learning v. campus learning.  For the educationalist to fast track your student, you will need to be able to compliment your traditional tutoring and lecturing with online access to extra tuition time. Another variation on that theme will be the mostly distance provision with much lower attendance but far more intensive tuition. I recall all too well the relatively low number of timed lectures for my degree. Today though, the very short terms plus almost non-existent lectures for my stepson is an eye-opener in comparison. Is this the result of the cuts in higher education? The biggest challenge of all though will be with perception. Can the new entrants truly challenge Oxbridge and the Russell Group? Or will they be seen as degrees on the cheap by students and employers? I hope not. For my children’s sake I hope this is the opportunity to break into new territory and give the traditional route to a valued and valuable higher education a much needed shake-up!