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Our aim in writing this report has been to draw up a picture of current in-house use of learning-technologies in adult professional learning in companies and administrations in Switzerland. This has been done with the intent to pin-point specific tendencies and problems in such a way as to contribute to the constructive on-going debate about the implementation of life-long learning.

In order to do so, we contacted training departments of some thirty large companies[1] and a number of federal-level administrations. This report has consequently no pretensions to completeness. In some cases, companies were solely providers of educational material for third parties, but in most cases they were both users and their own providers. Training department management were questioned about in-house educational culture and context, wherever appropriate, as well as about specific goals, choices, requirements and evaluation of the use of learning-technology. A brief description of a selection of those companies is presented in this report. The choice of companies to be presented was made according to what we perceived as the significance of one or several aspects of their educational context or their use of learning technologies.

We would also have liked to explore the situation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Available time was unfortunately limited. We did however contact a number of Chambers of Commerce and SME organisations. These discussions lead us to a preliminary and perhaps somewhat hasty conclusion that little use was being made of leading-edge learning technologies by SMEs other than those directly working in the field.

In reading the following descriptions of the use of learning technology in companies in Switzerland, one should bear in mind the forthright comment of Hewlett Packard's Richard Hill[2] who said that certain aspects of in-house training were considered a source of competitive advantage and as such could not be disclosed.

Before describing the use of learning technologies in companies and administrations, we feel it is important to set the scene by a brief description of the Swiss context including a short excursion into the use of learning technologies in higher education.

[1] One of our starting points for contacting firms was the list of members of CBT Switzerland (Computer Based Training) and the Swiss Interactive Multimedia Association (SIMA).

[2] Those quotes containing no specific reference to a published document have been taken from interviews carried out with the person mentioned.

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