Archive for the ‘learning management systems’ Category

Open Letter To E-Learning/ Training Pros

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Open Letter To E-Learning/ Training Pros

So the other day I was conducting a live demo of the eLeaP LMS tool and got a question that made me sit up and take notice. Many of us in the e-learning space throw out buzz words and ‘cool’ phrases which while useful in certain settings, are a total distraction in others.

Terminology like SCORM, LMS, mobile learning, synchronous versus asynchronous, API, Single Signon, Gamification and many others might be make for super geeky conversation among the elites but are totally unhelpful when one is trying to assist a new customer or potential customer navigate the treacherous waters of vendor research, selection and implementation.

So what can be done?

  1. All of us need to use simple straight-forward descriptors of our goals, needs, features and requirements. Believe me, trying to appear knowledgeable in front of your colleagues by using buzz words which are incorrect only exposes one’s hubris.
  2. Spell it out. My best demonstrations or phone meetings are conducted when the client sends in a list of questions, requirements, features or just goals. This way we can go step by step covering what is important to that customer. With systems like eLeaP, you can pretty much get everything you need done, but I don’t want to bore you with a detail treatise about the minimum time setup for lessons if that is not something you particularly care about.
  3. Don’t just tell; show … I like to be able to take a potential customer through a simulation of actual needs and goals. If the idea is to create a training program with different multimedia presentations and which might also involve completing an assessment as well as submitting a feedback form and conclude with a discussion around pertinent issues, then guess what? I will actually try to show the client how all this will come together by doing a live demonstration. We go through questions and answers and if time permits, even letting the client try their hands on a few activities – all from the comfort of their offices.
  4. Trust the customer to know what do to do after all what is the worst that can happen? ‘Break’ something? Mistakenly delete a file? It can be recovered. My personal philosophy is to have the customers take the system for a test drive. If they have a particular presentation that they want to get uploaded to see how it will work, we go ahead and take care of that – no charge, no questions asked. Why you ask? Because we at eLeaP believe ultimately, we are judged by how well we treat our customers. We believe respecting customers and performing little acts of kindness here and there, well it just might brighten someone’s busy day. Heck they might even come out looking pretty smart to their colleagues for finding and implementing a system like eLeaP.

If you have questions (any question) on business training or e-learning, call us 877-624-7226. We actually like talking to people.

And to my colleagues in the e-learning space, a little humility goes a long way. Let’s remember we are in the learning industry – not the ‘show-off’ industry.

Sincerely,

Don Weobong

President, Telania | eLeaP | Azimio

Exciting new features in eLeaP

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

We have been hard at work. I am excited to introduce some of the new features in the system.

  1. We have increased the number of languages in eLeaP so that you can have the choice of your preferred language: Spanish, French, Chinese, Portuguese, and German.
  2. We added an option for your users to ‘hide completed’ courses so they can focus on pertinent, up coming training deadlines.
  3. For users, a quick and easy way to download their training completion records right from their home page. Now all they have to do is to click on “Download Completion Report”.
  4. For Admins, you can easily file employee records by downloading comprehensive individual user records in Excel. Save time and make sure your compliance records are up to date

Other new features:

How to set Non-Completion alerts:

This enables account Admins to set an automatic email notification to email addresses they specify which will indicate which of their users have not completed their assigned course(s) as of the deadline date

This feature is critical if you have any audits or compliance requirements for users to complete their courses and trainings by a specific date. The system sets and monitors the deadline and an email summary is sent to emails the admin sets. This is a great time savor and increases your training and legal compliance needs. Learn more >>

How to set Quiz Retry options:

We have upgraded the eLeaP quiz tool to now include a new feature which prevents users from checking their answers in between retries. For example, you have a multiple choice quiz question which has 2 retry opportunities. Previously, users could simply submit their attempts, make note of the right or wrong quiz answer, and try to use that information to ‘guess’ the right answer in their next attempt. While we don’t believe this behavior is widespread, we at eLeaP are continually working to make sure the integrity of our online training system is maintained and the authenticity of quiz results is enhanced. This upgrade now ensures that users who submit quiz answers during retries are not able to decipher that quiz scoring is till their final submission. Learn more >How to set Feedback as Required:

This feature enables you to set the feedback form as a required component before eLeaP can release a certificate of completion to a user. The feedback form is a survey tool built into your course. To enable feedback, make sure your course details (click ‘edit course details’) indicate Active Feedback as YES

Next, click on [Feedback] within your course and add your feedback forms. Once satisfied with the feedback form questions, click [Advanced Settings] and make sure ‘Require Feedback’ is set to ‘YES’. Once set, eLeaP will then monitor the course completion data to ensure that your users have provided you with feedback by completing the feedback form prior to allowing them download their certificate of completion. If users attempt to download a certificate without providing feedback, eLeaP will remind them to complete the feedback form. Learn more >>

Upgraded Advanced Settings:

We have upgraded the course settings and Advanced settings tabs.

E-learning success is not guaranteed – critical questions on e-learning success

Friday, May 14th, 2010

E-learning success is not guaranteed.

Find out what prevents success in the creation and implementation of an e-learning system.

 

What are the key challenges preventing e-learning success?

Monday, April 26th, 2010

What prevents success in the creation and implementation of an e-learning system?  While there are numerous obstacles preventing the success of any endeavor, the e-learning systems, because they are relatively new and somewhat unknown, certainly create their share of pitfalls, and then some.  Obstacles can often be found in every aspect of e-learning…from content development through delivery to effectiveness.

Let’s examine the issue, then, as a body of mistakes:

  1. Wrong approach to content development:  Although desired outcomes are the same for traditional training and e-learning, instructional design methods often fail to account for this. In simple terms, to be effective, e-learning must find new ways to involve the student in the learning process. The material will be ineffective if delivered simply as a textbook. It must become totally interactive so that we can replace (to some extent) the classroom instructor with increased student involvement. This means relying more heavily on exercises, quizzes, simulations and assignments than we would in a traditional environment; we need to duplicate to the extent possible the “see, do” method of training, allowing the student an opportunity to practice the new learning. And we need to do this frequently throughout the course.
  2. Wrong authoring tools: The tools you use to create e-learning must align with your training objectives. Authoring tools enable instructors or designers to build courses and supporting materials such as quizzes and simulations. Consider: Do you really want to propose training your current instructors in the use of Captivate? How about Flash?Remember, too, that today virtually all software packages that are used to create
    e-learning courseware require licensing. A relatively simple program that converts PowerPoint to a SCORM compliant Flash package, such as Articulate Presenter, can cost upward of $1,400. And that’s  per seat!  This feature is built into the eLeaP system and is free.

Authoring programs that are platform specific (e.g., Windows XP) will require maintenance in order to keep them current with new technology. This, of course, is generally not free; unless, that is, you are using a hosted e-learning platform that is essentially “rented” (such as eLeaP), and includes upgrades and maintenance. Programs such as these are often known today as Software as a Service, or SAAS (and sometimes simply SAS).

However, there are going to be occasions where you may require specialized training tools, for example if you are training students in the use of a particular software package. In this case, you can use programs such as Captivate or Camtasia that simulate the actual working environment and allow users to develop skills without affecting “live” data. If you lack the resources in house for doing this, a third party contractor might be a good choice. Or even better, if you are using a system such as eLeaP, you can find specific expertise through its customization capabilities.

  1. Wrong system employed for training: The systems you use for courseware development, delivery, learning management and assessment must integrate with one another. Think of them as tools. But remember, to a hammer, everything is a nail.


You must, therefore, choose a Learning Management System with the flexibility to host a variety of courseware types…from interactive simulations to Flash video to real-time problem solving. For example, have a look at eLeaP’s Learning Management System (www.eleapsoftware.com). It has the flexibility to host virtually any type of courseware that is SCORM compliant. A lack of this flexibility will severely limit the materials that can be delivered to the student.

You must also consider the system’s ease of use. As with the eLeaP system, students must be able to gain easy access and find an intuitive interface that requires little or no training. The system must work on virtually all platforms using any standard web browser. It must operate flawlessly so that, from the learners’ perspective, the fact that the content is being delivered electronically is secondary to the learning process.

  1. Wrong level of investment: There are many systems available today that require virtually no startup funding and that can be deployed in practically no time at all, e.g., the eLeaP LCMS. Why, then, would you want to consider a system that costs upward of $250,000 to start and requires a significant amount of resources to implement?  After all, these are not full-blown ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems that must integrate all organizational functions.

Avoid the heavy sales pitch that uses the scare tactics of systems integration capabilities. Generally speaking, a simple Application Programming Interface (API) can be developed at minimal cost to integrate any LMS into the organization’s Learning and Development recording system. Also keep in mind that many of these complex Learning Management Systems  require a good deal of expensive, specialized technical support and training just to create courseware that is compatible with the delivery system. Again, the fact is that systems such as eLeaP require no programming or startup costs at all, deployment support is free, implementation and online training is free and 24/7 customer support is free.

To download free valuable e-learning white papers, go to http://www.eleapsoftware.com/free-training-resources/. Contact eLeaP LMS & Training software for e-learning and business training questions.