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Saffron is accredited by the LPI for the sixth year

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Saffron was the first company to achieve Learning Technologies Accreditation in 2009. ‘We This month Saffron Interactive, leading innovator in the digital learning sector, has been re-accredited by the Learning and Performance Institute (formerly the Institute of IT Training) for the sixth year running. The rigorous accreditation process requires that vendors demonstrate consistently excellent performance and give evidence of strategic transformation and innovation.

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Writing for the reader: banishing the business speak and energising your e-learning

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Original published 2009). Writing for the reader: banishing the business speak and energising your e-learning. Stephanie Dedhar. Learning Consultant at BP. Recently I wrote a post for the Spicy Learning Blog about banishing business speak from e-learning.1

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Season’s greetings from the Spicy Learning Blog

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To all our readers and contributors during 2009, Merry Christmas and very best wishes for the new year! Thanks for reading and we look forward to seeing you again in 2010. From everyone at the Spicy Learning Blog.

Saffron has been shortlisted!

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We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve been shortlisted for the 2009 E-Learning Award for Excellence in the production of learning content - private sector. We’re particularly proud of this achievement as only seven entries have been shortlisted out of 24 entries. You can find out more about the awards on the E-Learning Awards website - and watch this space!

Top five tips for creating a look and feel for a new client

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Design work for a new client can be exciting and difficult at the same time. The novelty of working with a new brand and identity comes hand in hand with the challenge of unfamiliar ground. We’ve found the steps below really worthwhile at the start of the design process for a new client, so read on for our top tips for success! Get to know them.

Top ten tips for kicking off a project

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Whether it’s a new client or one you’ve worked with before, the way you begin a project sets the tone for the rest of the project. Here are our top tips for ensuring every project starts with a bang! Research your client before you meet them. Make a good impression by researching the client, their company culture and history, their competitors and the industry before you meet with them. Arrange the kick off at the client’s offices.

Are you brightdancing? How about bright learning?

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It may sound harsh to say that the best thing about X Factor is the ad breaks, but that’s the conclusion I’ve started to reach recently. To be fair, it hasn’t just been Jedward’s tuneless pogoing or the stress of Deadlock that has me urging on the commercials, but rather the innovative ‘brightdancing’ spots for TalkTalk which bookend the ad breaks.

TED says ‘an idea worth spreading’

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I encountered TED last year when my colleague Ali suggested: ‘Hey, check out how the octopus camouflages in this video on TED. Pretty cool!’ It was jaw-droppingly cool. In this video, David Gallo shows footage of sea creatures camouflaging themselves in spectacular ways, shifting colours and radiating neon lights in the blackest depths of the ocean. It was my first encounter with the marvellous source of knowledge and inspiration that goes under the name of TED.

Top tips for managing an e-learning project

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Effective project management is often the deciding factor when it comes to e-learning project success. Here are our top ten tips for making sure that you always deliver! Have a formal project kick off. Before you start the project, make sure you understand the learning objectives, the client’s expectations, the timelines and the risks. Also make sure that the client understands the approach that you are going to take. Start with the end in mind.

Turning good e-learning into great e-learning

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With rapid development techniques and easy to use content authoring tools, it’s never been easier to produce e-learning materials. Some of them are even quite good. But how do you make them great? Stephanie Dedhar, one of our senior instructional designers, will be presenting a Learning and Skills Group webinar this Thursday on the topic of turning good e-learning into great e-learning.

The fun theory

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Volkswagen recently launched a website, www.thefuntheory.com , built around the idea that by adding fun into the equation it’s easier to change people’s behaviour for the better. In their own words… “This site is dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better.

Saffron’s in the running for Training Company of the Year!

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We’re delighted to announce that Saffron Interactive has been shortlisted in the Training Company of the Year category for the IT Training Awards 2010!This This is a huge achievement and is testament to the great people that make up the Saffron team and the great work that they produce together. You can find out more about the awards by visiting the IT Training Awards website. The results will be announced in February - so watch this space!

We’ve done it again- shortlisted for another award!

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We’re thrilled to announce that one of our instructional designers; Stephanie Dedhar has been shortlisted for an IT Training Award in the category of Instructional Designer of the Year 2010! Once again, this is a great achievement which we’re very proud of. The results will be announced in February, but you can find out more in the meantime by visiting the IT Training Awards website. Fingers crossed!

Staying on track

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One of the biggest challenges with any project is sticking to the original plan. There’s often so much to do, often within tight timescales, and no project runs exactly as planned. There are always unexpected events that occur and throw things a little off course, which can cause delay to your project. It can take a long time to figure out your project plan, and you’ll inevitably be keen to hit all the milestones you’ve so carefully put in place.

Top ten tips for building lasting client relationships

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Part of the secret behind Saffron’s success is that we go beyond simple client and supplier relationships and instead build lasting partnerships. Here are our top ten tips for building relationships that last. Be prepared. Before the project initiation meeting, find out all there is to know about the client and why they want to use e-learning. Familiarise yourself with any material provided, prepare some key questions and greet the client with a smile! Listen and learn.

Saffron increases Diageo’s Brand Through Profit

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Saffron Interactive, one of Europe’s leading e-learning, mobile and blended learning companies, is proud to announce the launch of the Brand Through Profit (BTP) bespoke e-learning course at Diageo. . This is the first collaboration between Saffron and Diageo, the world’s leading premium drinks business and represents a great achievement for both organisations. . BTP is one of six work streams within the Diageo’s Making People’s Lives Easier (MAPLE) programme.

Top five tips for designing engaging graphics for e-learning

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Creating original graphics for an e-learning course can be a challenging task, particularly when anything that’s created has to comply with strict branding guidelines. An engaging graphic environment is essential for an interesting and successful learning experience. Read on for our top five tips for achieving this. Work on the concept. A strong concept is a must for any design. An interesting theme that runs throughout the course can help keep learners focused and engaged in the content.

Show your mouse the finger

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In 1999 director Steven Spielberg assembled a team of 15 of the world’s leading futurologists and scientists and tasked them with creating a plausible vision of what life would be like in the year 2054. The best ideas were picked and used in the film Minority Report.

Top five tips for running a successful photo shoot

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If it’s not your day job, setting up and running a photography session can seem daunting, but it’s not as difficult as you might think. A few pieces of equipment, the appropriate preparation and a small dose of confidence are the keys for success. Here are our top five tips to make your next photo shoot go swimmingly. Do your preparation.

BuzzWord: Adobe’s online word processor

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A couple of years ago Adobe acquired an online word processor called BuzzWord from a company called Virtual Ubiquity in order to further enhance their collection of online applications. The web-based word processor was built using the Flex framework which is part of the Adobe product line and targeted at creating rich internet applications (RIAs) that can be deployed to the web or desktop through the Flash and AIR runtime environments.

Top tips for running a successful video shoot

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Many clients want to include video in their e-learning courses meaning that we need to become film directors as part of our day job too. But it’s not just about having a director’s chair with your name on the back. Follow these tips to ensure your video shoot runs like clockwork. Get sign-off from your client.

Thinking inside the box

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I hate telling someone I studied languages at university and then having them say ‘ooh, say something in French’ There’s nothing worse than being put on the spot and there’s no surer way to scare all the fancy French words from my head and leave my mind blank. It’s the same with creativity.

Top five tips for writing XML for beginners

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XML can be a great tool when used correctly, but it does sometimes suffer from being a development buzzword. The trick to understanding how best to use XML is to remember that its focus is to provide an independent structure for a collection of data. What happens with that data is a problem for other programming languages that need to work with it. Create a stylesheet.

Instructional design - pah, who needs it?

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The recent turmoil in the financial markets and the resulting chaos in all of our businesses have both intensified our desire to be ‘rapid’ We want things faster and cheaper. We want minimal fuss and we just want to get on with it. We’re practical people, we get things done and we want to prove this to the world. Music to the ears of anyone selling a rapid development tool but what about instructional designers (IDs)? Where do they fit in? Pah, I hear you say. Who needs an ID?

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Top five tips for managing resources

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The project has been signed off and requirements gathered - now for the planning! To plan a project’s resources, you’ll need to have a really clear idea of the number and types of resources needed to spring the project into action. Without efficient resource planning things can start to fail rather quickly. Here are our top five tips to avoid that happening. Define resources - who and what.

Getting the spring of ideas flowing

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We are all eager for fresh and creative ideas to make our courses innovative, effective and engaging for the end user. But we can’t simply rely on random activities, chance or some creative ‘greater providence’ though. It is actually a solid and well structured approach that we need in order to generate and flourish brilliant ideas.

Swine questions!

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Early last week I suddenly began to feel feverish and aching and suspected I might have been struck down by the dreaded disease of the moment, swine flu. After leaving work early and trying to sleep it off at home I decided that it was pointless waiting for the symptoms to get worse, instead I should call the wonderful government hotline and get an official diagnosis.

Top five tips for creating great systems training

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All too often, a systems training course becomes a glorified user manual because it tries to train learners on everything that there is to know about the system! Read on for Saffron’s top five tips for creating great systems training that focuses on what learners need to know. Define the objectives and learning outcomes. Like with all online training, the first step to creating effective systems training is to define the objectives and learning outcomes.

First impressions of Microsoft Expression Blend 3

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At Saffron, we are always excited by new technologies which can be used as tools to enhance learning and usability. One of the many interesting projects I am currently involved in is the development of a RIA (rich internet application) product, using Microsoft’s Silverlight platform. In this project, I used Expression Blend to recreate a user interface, based on the original Photoshop graphics, which was then passed on to our developers.

Top ten tips for accessibility

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An inaccessible e-learning course risks non compliance, frustration, anxiety and lost productivity. Our top ten tips will help you avoid all that and build something accessible, usable and ultimately more effective. Revise your definition of ‘accessibility’. Yes, accessibility is about catering for users with disabilities. But it pays to take a broader view: accessibility is about usability.

Where does Santa Claus come from?

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Taking a step closer to British citizenship is an important event in my life. The process of applying for indefinite leave to remain involves taking the Life in the UK test which, if I pass, will supposedly show that I have the necessary grasp of the English language and understanding of UK life that one requires for citizenship. Like anyone eager to pass, I bought the Handbook and Q&A pack for a value price of £12.99 and wrote up a timetable to study for 30 minutes every night after work.

Learning from a fox!

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I have always been fascinated by the way in which children learn. We know that the majority of children’s learning is done without them even knowing, almost by accident, and this learning is simply part of growing up and watching others around you. You don’t need to sit a child down and teach them the English language or how to walk or talk, for example. Nevertheless, I think that we underestimate the strength of this implicit learning.

Thank you for registering!

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Thank you for registering for the Assessment Workbench tool. You will receive an email with downloading instructions shortly. Please check your email and follow the link provided. Check out the demo. Take the Workbench for a test drive with our fun online quiz. Contact. Get in touch. If you do have any questions, you can always check the FAQs section. If that doesn’t answer your query, why not send us an email workbench@saffroninteractive.com and let us know how we can help. Workbench features.

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