I’m Laura Layton-James, LauraLJ or LJ as I’m also fondly referred to by friends and colleagues. I have over 25 years’ experience in L&D and since 2006 in digital learning. I have always been fascinated at how technology can help us do things more quickly and, way back in 1995, I embraced this new worldwide connectivity. There were things I learned that I couldn’t possibly have learned as easily or quickly. There were people I connected with and learned from, whom I never met. What potential we were on the brink of – even though it was on dial-up and excruciatingly slow.
My ethos and vision
I am passionate about putting people at the heart of online learning (well, all learning in reality). My mission is to help people experience great online learning and change their perceptions that it’s not as good as classroom. We can learn effectively using digital tools if we use evidence-informed learning practices and make the right tools choices. Learning will be as effective, if not more effective, than classroom – we just have to think differently.
My career timeline
The early years in the NHS
I began by training life in the NHS. One of my roles was running the medical library part time alongside the administration of the postgraduate education for junior doctors.
This was the time when this new-fangled internet box thing found its way into the medical library; it was down to me to teach the medical staff how to use the online medical databases and to critically appraise the material they found. I didn’t have any formal training at the time apart from a ‘train the trainer’ workshop by the Regional Libraries Service.
I studied the psychology of how we communicate and relate to one another as part of my Library and Information Science qualification. I was more interested in this than that of managing the library books – perhaps a clue what my future career may have involved?
I was bitten by the training bug and from there went on to another NHS as a full-time IT trainer and had my first proper development in how to train others.
I became accredited through the IITT (now the LPI) with a TAP (Training Accreditation Programme) qualification by The Training Foundation (now TAP Learning and part of QA).
Learning consultant: The Training Foundation
In August 2006, I joined the The Training Foundation designing and delivering professional L&D qualification for their Training Accreditation Programme (TAP Qualifications). I soon found my niche in the digital learning team where I created new TAP qualification online and classroom courses, bespoke courses for clients and carried out consultancy.
Learning Architect, LJ Learning Ltd
2020 gave me the opportunity to spread my wings and do what I’ve wanted to do for some time and that’s where we are today; the LJ of LJ Learning Ltd.
Drawing on my many years’ experience especially in the online learning world, I now work with L&D teams to apply evidence-informed learning practices to develop their own great online learning. Hop over to my services page to find out more about what I do.
- Live online learning (synchronous)
- Self-paced learning (asynchronous)
- Coaching and mentoring
- Workplace learning
- Effective content writing
- Moodle course design and management
- Visual communication for learning
- Experience design
- eLearning design
Organsations I’ve worked with
Below is a list of just some of the many industries and organisations I’ve worked with or delivered training to:
Automotive: VW, Jaguar Landrover, Autoglass, BMW, Rolls-Royce
Construction: Jewson, Travis Perkins, Interserve
Defence: MoD, Bae, Babcock, AWE, NATS
Energy: E.ON, GE, MAERSK (Total), Centrica, Severn Trent
Financial: Admiral, Barclays, Legal & General, HSBC, NatWest, Experian, AXA, Zurich
Government: British Transport Police, PSNI, CNC, Probation Service, various local councils, Ministry of Justice
Health: NHS, Covidien (Medtronics), ZOLL, GSK, Baxter, Almac Group
Legal: LexisNexis, Burgess Salmon, Latham & Watkins LLP, BLP Law,
Media: Sky, BT, Talk Talk
Retail: Primark, Co-op, Homebase, Dyson, Specsavers
Technology: Adobe, Aveva, Ricoh, Sage, Riberbed
Training & Education: GP Strategies, Southampton University, Open University, Leeds University, Oxford University, Virgin Media
Travel & Transport: Virgin Atlantic, Transport for London, RAC, Network Rail
Miscellaneous: The Royal Family (staff), Financial Times, Rentokil