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Choosing an E-learning Vendor? Review this Checklist First

CommLab India

If you have decided to buy your e-learning course or outsource it to a customized e-learning solutions provider, the next step is to choose a reliable e-learning vendor. You have to choose carefully because there are many companies out there claiming to provide quality e-learning. The best way to do this is to focus on some key areas of e-learning development and ask the right questions from a potential e-learning vendor.

How to Write a Winning RFP to Hire the Best E-learning Vendor

CommLab India

Have you, as a training manager or L&D professional, shortlisted e-learning vendors to develop customized learning solutions for your organization? A training manager followed certain e-learning vendor selection criteria and received the following proposals from two different e-learning vendors. The second vendor proposed simulations, videos, and a gamified assessment at a staggering cost of $250,000.

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Course Authoring Tools for eLearning Developers and the masses

eLearning 24-7

Tools these days come in three flavors. Geared toward e-learning developers and instructional designers. Authoring Tools for developers. The biggest problem facing the industry in the past few years are the lack of course authoring tools for e-learning developers and instructional designers. Professional Presenter X – comes with sim tool, assessment, capture tool, documents to flash tool, etc.

Fears of the Course Authoring Tool Market

eLearning 24-7

Its nearly Halloween and with that comes the shocking and fearful excitement or lack thereof of the scariest things on the plane appearing at the movie theaters, in costumes, television and for us, the course authoring tool market. Just in the past two years the per license cost of authoring tools has skyrocketed. Long has tools such as Studio and Captivate been on the higher side, the same can be said for vendors such as Rapid Intake and dominKnow.

The Latest: Rapid Content Authoring Tool Market

eLearning 24-7

The RCAT (rapid content authoring tool) market continues to be healthy with nothing to slow it down – uh, except maybe one thing (more on that later). Yeah, I know we have just jumped into January, but in a review of the past several months, authoring tools continue to follow a similar path amongst themselves with certain feature sets. I am still surprised on how vendors who are offering assessment only tools are staying in the game.

Authoring Tools- The DevLearn Experience

eLearning 24-7

I knew that its core audience would be instructional designers and e-learning developers. . I suspected that the expo would feature a large quantity of rapid content authoring tools. From products that ranged from the latest versions of RCATs to new vendors in the space, including text to speech. . Back in 2000, the knock on rapid content authoring tools were they “pre-template” driven solutions. Other vendors are falling suit.

Rapid Content Authoring Tool Template Comparison- Oranges to Oranges

eLearning 24-7

Here is a template you can use when comparing rapid content authoring tools, and identifying which one will best serve your needs. There are numerous categories, and under each category, I have provided either questions to ask your potential vendor OR examples that can be entered. Unlimited authors, etc.) – Remember what they quote you is a street price. Rapid E-Learning Content Authoring Tool Template. E-Learning 24/7.

Product Review: EasyGenerator Rapid Content Authoring Tool

eLearning 24-7

EasyGenerator is a SaaS based content authoring tool that is like a piece of fine sculpture, with some cracks, but beauty that is hidden within. Extremely feature rich – can compete with Captivate and other authoring tools. Vendor can create a component so you can push directly into your LMS, without having to upload it directly (extra cost). Built in question pool, assessment tool and survey tool. File, Edit, View, Tools and Help.

Rapid Content Authoring Tools Directory

eLearning 24-7

Listed below is the RCAT (Rapid Content Authoring Tools) Directory. Features 102 vendors. Directory does NOT include any free authoring tools, since those are available elsewhere on this blog. Rapid Content Authoring Tools Directory. If vendor does not listing pricing on web site, you will see “Not Available on Site&#. It is in the “Cloud&# on the vendor’s server – everything is done in the cloud.

Rapid Content Authoring Tools: Market, Mayhem and Reality

eLearning 24-7

As the evolution of e-learning continues, the rapid content authoring tools (RCAT) market follows suit. This is a growing market with new vendors showing up, but at the same time, others disappearing. While the assumption would be that all the products are alike, or that fee based tools are superior to their free counterparts, nothing could be farther than the truth. Templates with some learning objects? Open Source Free Content Authoring Tools.

Rapid Content Authoring Tools 2010 – Innovators, Winners and Updated Trends

eLearning 24-7

2010 E-Learning 24/7 Awards (No official icon logo handed out to winners, rather just a “WHOO-HOO&# – uh, you can make that sound to yourself.thank you). You can use either your own 3rd party content authoring tool and upload it into the “Cloud&# and then wherever you are, output either to your LMS, or onto Moodle or even WordPress (they have a plug in for that) OR place the course in Facebook or nearly any solution that accepts APIs.

What I am hearing and seeing in E-Learning

eLearning 24-7

It comes from fellow readers who send me e-mails or talk to me via social media. It comes from me talking to vendors, buyers, monitoring the industry all the while taking notes and seeing the trends/patterns appear right before my eyes. What has always amazed me are number of e-learning vendor web sites whose design looks like it came from 1995 when Netscape ruled the land. The same for authoring tools. Upside Learning. Authoring tools.

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Less Time? Less Money? Think ELearning Authoring Tools

CommLab India

In this case, it is e-learning or online training. Online courses can be created quickly with the help of rapid authoring tools. What are rapid authoring tools? Rapid authoring tools are software packages that provide a skeletal structure that enable you to jump start creating an online course. All these form the raw material for developing your e-learning course. Which authoring tool is right for me and where can I get it?

HTML5 Fans Rejoice – Adobe Ditches Flash Player on Mobile Devices

eLearning 24-7

This will only empower folks in the e-learning industry who were pro-HTML5 and believed as I do, that it is the better route to go. Right now, at m-learning vendor locations around the world, especially in the RCAT space, they should be scheduling meetings and coming up with a new perspective and approach to their products. For LMS vendors, adding “HTML5 feature sets makes sense – especially if they are adding mobile learning components in their system.

Latest E-Learning News and Notes

eLearning 24-7

So that a more constant date is set each week for this blog, the topic “Latest Content Authoring Tools Trends&# will be posted Tuesday morning, July 19th. This month’s news and notes includes details on the E-Learning 24/7 Course Authoring Tool Shootut, A new Content Authoring Tool Directory along with interesting data points, LMS Info and final tidbits. Three Judges: Two from E-Learning TV and myself will judge the results.

Product Review: Articulate Storyline

eLearning 24-7

For my instructional designers and e-learning developers, they loved creating courses. The first time I have had fun creating courses via a course authoring tool in 15 years. Layers and Conditions – if you have experience with Photoshop or similar products that use layers, then your learning curve is less. Learn more – great idea, but they failed at this too (more in a sec). Audio recorder/editor/capture tool. E-Learning 24/7.

E-Learning End Users Have Spoken – time for the industry to listen

eLearning 24-7

Recently, I conducted an emerging technology survey related to e-learning and the results show that end users are utilizing technology more then ever before and are seeking product features that LMS and content authoring tools, do not offer at this current time. With an increase in e-learning sales a, projections of 7.1 billion dollars (USD) by 2015 and an increase in competition in the space, it is time for vendors to act. E-Learning 24/7.

Articulate, Captivate and Lectora – Do they deserve your praise?

eLearning 24-7

What I found was an extensive group of people hungry for anything e-learning. Hungry to learn as much as they could and hungry to see what was in the space. My sense of it all, was that regardless of the location the buzz is all e-learning. I wasn’t surprised on the e-learning excitement. When people think authoring tools, three products typically come to mind. It is easy to use and once you learn it, easy to push out content.

Latest LMS Trends – The Truth is No Longer a Stranger

eLearning 24-7

The LMS/LCMS/Learning Portal market continues to be strong. In my latest directory, 393 LMS vendors – global, of which 34 or so are open source systems. In a market this size, and with so many vendors overly focused on the U.S. and not necessarily worldwide (which should be the case), there is bound to be those vendors who are seeking new opportunities. Acquiring another LMS or e-learning vendor. Extended Enterprise & E-Commerce.

5 E-Learning Forecasts for 2012

eLearning 24-7

They involved talent management, “hello and goodbye” with vendors, social learning, upswing in mobile learning, new feature sets in the authoring tool space, flat lining in web conferencing and standalone platforms. LMSs/LCMS/CMS/learning platforms in commercial and open space continued their presence. I have seen continued interest and downloads for open source AR tool kits. For the mobile learning space – it is a necessity.

Review of ASTD International Trade Expo

eLearning 24-7

Lots of vendors, lots of potential. There were vendors that had nice LMSs and cool features. It just wasn’t me thinking this, I heard it from attendees and even other vendors who were trolling the floor. E-Learning has been minimal. I would estimate that there was a 60-40 split, still instructor led driven, but even a significant number of the ILT vendors were offering subsets or capabilities to turn their ILT into online via webinars or online courses.

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Latest E-Learning Trends – Some good, some bad

eLearning 24-7

I mean ever&# , from a senior executive at a mid to large size vendor that has been in the market for several years. Across the board, a large number of vendors (from small to large) saw increases in their quarter numbers. Especially, when vendors released their 2010 final numbers and saw big increases from the previous year. A trend that is happening in the LMS market more so than in the other e-learning markets, is the failure to follow their path of success.

Break it down! (No it’s not Hammer Time! Yet)

eLearning 24-7

I’ve also learned firsthand, how to make it work in any vertical and any industry. Authoring Tools. Learning Management Systems. Mobile learning platforms. Social learning platforms. Do I need an authoring tool if I have a LMS? Do I need to get an authoring tool that is SCORM or can it just be proprietary? If you want to track in a learning management system or learning platform that supports SCORM then you want it.

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Evolving the E-Learning Experience for the 21st Century

eLearning 24-7

What always stuns me are vendors who state they know what their learners want, but in reality have no clue, because they themselves do not see the technology and its usage among the masses. E-Mail. The growing number of businesses leaving Microsoft Outlook to Internet e-mail is amazing. I see this as one of the most important features for any learning management system, open source or commercial. Innovation drives the market (regardless if it is e-learning or not).

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E-Learning News and Notes

eLearning 24-7

Standalone Quiz/Assessment Tools. I love Questionmark, its a wonderful product and it can use a “connector” to integrate into your learning platform or system. However, times are continuing to change in regards to the overall standalone quiz/assessment tools market. Greater increase in the number of learning management systems offering quiz/assessment tools. The same can be said for survey tools. Collaborative Learning Systems.

This is not (fill in the blank)

eLearning 24-7

This same contradiction is now happening in the e-learning world at a frightening pace. The people who suffer the most from this contradiction are the consumers and a vast majority of vendors. While mobile learning is moving at an incredible speed, faster than anticipated by some of my colleagues, it does not come without a cost. The assumption is that the product can output to HTML5, yet this is hardly true for the vast majority of authoring tools.

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Product Review Raptivity

eLearning 24-7

Raptivity is an interaction tool. Its target audience is the rapid content authoring tool market, but while it tries to hit it, it also misses at many levels. Raptivity calls their product an interaction tool with templates, games, simulations, etc. Interaction views and selections include “Bloom Taxonomy, Gagne Nine Events, Kellers ARCS model, Experimental Learning. Oh yeah, it is one of the learning models. Experimental Learning.

E-Learning Early Indicators

eLearning 24-7

That smartphones were the answer to mobile learning. Vendors were saying, lets “wait on those&# or “our customers are not requesting them, so we are holding off&#. Social learning? Apparently, the potential customers and even clients are speaking and those vendors are listening. Not just a few vendors, the industry as a whole. A significant number of vendors, reported higher revenue and sales numbers in 2010, then in 2009. 2 Mobile Learning.

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May Edition: E-Learning News and Notes

eLearning 24-7

The partner approach works this way: vendor A integrates Vendor B’s solution into their product. Some times, it is nothing more than a link – hidden from the end user – the screen shows a popup or goes to the “page” but in reality the end user is now in the other vendor’s solution. One of the best known is eLearning Brothers. One of eLearning Brothers’ products is showing up in other rapid content authoring tools.

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E-Learning Takeaways

eLearning 24-7

For the rest of us, it isn’t, unless you see the latest takeaways as examples of what is to come or more importantly what hasn’t – which is really a could be doomsday to many vendors – unless they wake up! Authoring Tools. In my newest directory, I have 138 vendors. 37 support m-learning. 11 desktop authoring tools work with Mac OS. 4 desktop authoring tool vendors work with Windows 8. E-Learning Apps.

E-Learning Innovative Products – They are Out There

eLearning 24-7

I especially love it when it happens in the e-learning industry. Innovators and Risk Takers – emerging technology integrated, new ideas, pushing the envelope in what is possible in e-learning/social learning/m-learning, coming up with something that has never been done before – risk takers. When they hit stride, other vendors take notice and soon, the lemming revolution begins. An e-learning marketplace. E-Learning 24/7.

Social Learning – What’s the Point? Time to turn the tables on the naysayers

eLearning 24-7

That is what one senior exec said to me, the other day when it came to social learning. I shot off the usual reasons, the benefits, the gains and then found myself expanding into the next possibilities of where a system and content authoring tool had to go. For vendors, they could make it happen and generate revenue. Even with slideshare, you can actually post e-books and other documents, so it follows suit in a system. E-Learning 24/7.

Y R Some Vendors confused about e-learning?

eLearning 24-7

Are there vendors in the e-learning space who lack basic understanding around e-learning? Lastly, if the vendors, organizations and firms whose whole background, expertise and existence is tied to e-learning and they themselves are not fully understanding it, does this bode well for the industry as a whole? (I’ll E-Learning is E-Learning and not some magical dust. Hello, it fits under e-learning.

E-Learning Trade Shows + Product Reviews 4 #TK11

eLearning 24-7

What I like about conferences is the ability to see the latest products and hear the pitches from the vendors. Yet, for all that do it, their are equal number of vendors who do not. E-Learning Trade Shows. Vendors who do not have anyone in their booth, during expo times – I see this at all shows, regardless of the product or market; but at e-learning/training shows you see it a lot OR you see them eating in their booth. E-Learning 24/7.

5 Trends to Watch 4 n 2011

eLearning 24-7

They are similar to what you see in your standard LMS, course content, learning paths, reporting – but it is not as robust (which is fine for some end users). One vendor with 750 users, priced out at nearly 24K a year; another close to 11.5K – thus depends on users is a factor. If you are an e-learning vendor exploring the SBM do not take them lightly, a few are slowly entering my 2nd trend. Social Learning and M-Learning.

DevLearn Day 2

eLearning 24-7

One of the wonderful things I love about attending expos is the ability to see new products and new vendors. For example, there were several vendors making their debut – as in their solution – at DevLearn. Not only does it show that this industry, i.e. e-learning is continuing to grow an enhance, it also shows the naysayers – we are not going anywhere – so go after the ILT people and leave us alone. E-Learning 24/7.

User Friendly or Hype?

eLearning 24-7

The number one reason people leave their current system or purchase a different e-learning product? Authoring tools whose interface either looks like to was written in 1997 (thus outdated) or is so confusing, that the premise of rapid, just is not possible. Quiz assessment tools and systems, that assume everyone wants to do T/F and M/C or Short Answer and T/F only. Learning Management Systems, LCMS, Learning Portals. E-Learning 24/7.

On Fire in 2013 – What’s going to be hot in e-learning

eLearning 24-7

For each of these items in e-learning. Authoring Tools. In 2012 it has been all about collaborative/peer review with authoring products, and it still will be in 2013, but the avatars/actors with/without backgrounds are going to be in “fuego” Where can it go? One vendor already offers it in 2012, and knowing this industry – if something takes off and works, others will follow. E-Learning in General. M-Learning.

When is a LMS not a LMS?

eLearning 24-7

Next Gen Lite Learning Management Systems. A learning management system is a heavy pancake. If I am not really looking for a learning management system but want some basic things, I’d consider that route. But make no mistake about it, they are learning management systems with a twist. They are the next generation of lite learning management systems and not the anti-establishment of such systems. Built in authoring tool – very very common.

E-learning News September 2010

eLearning 24-7

911 E-Learning Webinar Series Kicks Off. EST. Social Learning – C the New, the Possible, the Evolution – to register, click Social Learning Webinar. There will never be a charge to the 911 E-Learning Webinar Series, and questions are encouraged. Unison allows e-learning developers to build, test, review and publish Flash-based courses in minutes, from any computer connected to the internet. Social Learning – Collection.