Interview | 08 Apr 2020

David Marshall, Founder of Marshall E-Learning

Posted in Learning, Interview, Client,

This month we spoke with client member David Marshall, founder of Marshall E-Learning. David has worked with a number of our freelancer members to provide support in animation, social media and marketing.

At a time where we find ourselves digitally reliant, E-Learning resources are all the more relevant and having supported businesses during this period of uncertainty, we wanted to speak to David to find out, how and why these courses can benefit companies.

We also talk to David about working with freelancers and how they have helped him build the business he has today.

At a time where the vast majority are working from home and have had to become digitally adept, how do you think that this will change people’s attitudes when it comes to e-learning resources?

The digital learning industry is thriving, I particularly see millennials being really proactive about learning new skills online and valuing developing more marketable skills. Rather than being a necessary evil, I believe people look forward to seeing the next course coming out now. Previously e-learning was different from any other media in that people were mandated to complete it, now courses need the users to find it engaging in order to drive them to completion.

Your experts offer companies essential information around the fields of diversity, recruitment, professional development and safeguarding. How have you seen these courses benefit your clients?

Often these training courses make people aware of their micro behaviours. Think of someone asking their manager for time in their diary. To one person they say of course; please get time in my diary via my PA, to another they say of course lets go for a coffee now. Our courses help people think about their behaviour in small ways. One thing is for sure, you can be a member of an “in-group” and simply not know it, but as soon as you are in the out group you know it straight away. Understanding how discrimination has a real impact in the workplace, not only being the law, is very helpful for clients. Across all our topics being able to have users discreetly test out their knowledge on different topics, we can ultimately change behaviour.

How does E-Learning support colleagues and help everyone keep up with mandatory training?

We think our e-learning courses help clients with the sheer logistics of how to make sure everyone has up to date training. It frees up their in-house facilitators to have more interactive classroom sessions as the e-learning has brought everyone up to a certain standard. We hope our courses are just a gateway to the topic which will facilitate further research and training. Recently we have found global organisations have hugely valued being able to reach their whole organisation and it has become very cost effective to translate courses into different languages.

What is the story behind Marshall E-Learning? How did it become what it is today?

It started out being asked to work with ACAS on a diversity e-learning course, I thought I would go on to do a variety of e-learning topics. However people kept asking for variations of the diversity training course… soon I had to hire staff. Our breakthrough was working with universities where as well as diversity they asked us to develop a whole range of courses for the whole sector. It was tough at the start, I bought the “Training Managers Yearbook 2002” and cold called every training manager in local government. I still remember Dorset County Council being the first to get back to me, saying “this is good, how much does it cost?” and I wasn’t sure of the answer!  In the last few years we have seen corporate organisations get very committed to equality diversity inclusion, this saw us grow and now we have a community of 300 corporate clients.

How does Marshall E-Learning work with freelancers and how has The Work Crowd supported you in finding the right people for the job?

Right from the start I needed freelancers, starting with a virtual PA. We use freelancers for creative work as we need to make sure our work looks compelling. We also want to get better at telling more people about our work and The Work Crowd have been excellent in providing us with a whole range of experts to help us tell our story.