Europe’s top e-learning strategists, content and systems developers will gather in Sheffield on 17th and 18th November for the first European e-learning Summit to be held in the UK. Delegates are coming to the Summit from as far afield as Italy, Greece and Eastern Europe, including the Czech Republic. One delegate/observer is coming from Australia.


The delegates – drawn from the private and public sectors as well as academia – will discuss the European and world markets for e-learning, identify industry trends and the key issues in e-learning today. These issues are likely to include the growing trend towards the use of rapid authoring tools in-house as well as the move towards the personalisation and contextualisation of all forms of online learning.


“Holding the European e-learning Summit in Sheffield sends a number of signals to both Government and industry,” said David Patterson, operations director of Learning Light, the Sheffield-based company which focuses on promoting the use of e-learning and learning technologies and which has organised the Summit, with support from learndirect – the e-learning provider which is one of the largest contributors to the UK government’s skills targets – and from Creativesheffield, a city development company, charged with delivering Sheffield’s economic transformation.


“It’s important that Government decision makers realise the key role that corporate e-learning plays in supporting change and helping to maintain competitive advantage, as well as promoting increased worker efficiency and effectiveness in difficult economic times. We hope that the results of the Summit will help to promote such a realisation,” Patterson continued. “We want to send a message to organisations in all sectors of the economy: that e-learning can make a difference to their performance – not just in terms of saving money from the learning and development budget but also in terms of increasing worker efficiency and profitability.”


In addition to the discussions taking place at the Summit, Learning Light will also be revealing to delegates its latest – third – definitive report into the UK e-learning sector. The report will complement Learning Light’s reports of 2007 and 2009 – the most recent of which suggested that the annual size of the UK e-learning industry is between £300m and £450m and forecast growth rates for 2010 of between 6.7% and 8%.


Comment: No doubt more details – both of the Summit’s deliberations and the new Learning Light report – will emerge soon.