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.

Does Your Custom E-learning Vendor Cater to Your Product Sales Training Needs?

CommLab India

Finding an eLearning vendor who can take care of your product training needs is a task in itself, because when you begin to explore the eLearning market, you will find dozens who will claim to know just what you need, but just a handful really know what you need and how to deliver it. In this scenario, how can you identify genuine, experienced learning partners? If you already have an eLearning vendor for product sales training, does his training provide all of the above?

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Y R Some Vendors confused about e-learning?

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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.

LMS vendors: R u hearing us?

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We are extremely interested in SAAS based solutions, but we have expectations that align to the entire LMS industry. LMS Vendors. 30% vendors offer at least one type of social media – from my latest LMS directory. Dozens of LMS vendors, had typos on their web pages, zero screens of the system, links that went nowhere and two kicked up my Firewall warning of possible privacy collection and one had a Trojan Horse (I use a hardcore firewall and A/V).

The Latest LMS Insight

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Every E-Learning vendor should want your business and treat you as they would want to be treated. Every LMS vendor should have a standard regarding response times, when they receive an inquiry via the internet. I know of one vendor who responds within 30 minutes of receiving an inquiry. Oh, and for added value – ask if the person (respondee) wants to receive information initially via e-mail or via the phone. . E-Learning 24/7.

SAAS LMSs and Vendor Client Lists Questions

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The bottom line without getting technical or overly detailed, the solution is hosted on your vendor’s servers and not hosted on your internal servers. So in the case of a LMS/LCMS, it is hosted on your vendor’s servers and can be accessed anywhere there is an internet connection and a browser (that they support), anywhere in the world. With a hosted solution, the vendor’s servers are able to tested to withstand scenarios like this. E-Learning 24/7.

LMS Ghost stories – The truth will scare you

eLearning 24-7

But what you rarely hear, is something I have often been hearing, which isn’t going from any spirit, rather it is coming from some LMS vendors. It is a sound so unbearable, a phrase or two so strange and misleading, you would think you were hearing it from… the salesperson’s mouth (or via e-mail). Any vendor who sees you as a potential customer, should go to your web site and grab the banner/header or colors and place it in your demo before you begin.

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LMS Nightmares

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In this scary version, the LMS vendor is holding off implementing the Tin Can API until they see how it plays out. This is the same fear mind you, of two years ago, when you asked vendors if they were going to focus on mobile learning with tablets. ” Here are some reasons I think why vendors are holding off: Time. Whether you see that as good, bad or indifferent, the reality is that you (vendor) has to listen and pay attention to what is happening in the space.

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DevLearn Day 2

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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.

How to choose the right LMS

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The same thing applies to the learning management system market. The minus: vendors come out of the woodwork to tell you their system meets those needs. I mean if you say you need “e-commerce for 500 users, certificates, ability to add users to groups for courses”, that would cover about 550 systems. No vendor could say honestly that their system is the best for you, because they are missing a lot of information. Whichever sticks – is your vendor.

SAAS (Hosted) LMS and Vendor Questions

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The bottom line without getting technical or overly detailed, the solution is hosted on your vendor’s servers and not hosted on your internal servers. So in the case of a LMS/LCMS, it is hosted on your vendor’s servers and can be accessed anywhere there is an internet connection and a browser (that they support), anywhere in the world. With a hosted solution, the vendor’s servers are able to tested to withstand scenarios like this. E-Learning 24/7.

A Look Back at E-Learning in 2012

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Mobile Learning. LMSs – Finally vendors took notice. Sadly though many still are in the dark on true mobile learning – i.e. not accessing their platform via a mobile web browser. Authoring Tools – With only a small sample of vendors that are SaaS based, pickings are slim. Those who aren’t are either offering native apps with online/offline synch or performing the shell game via the mobile web browser and calling it mobile learning.

What I am hearing and seeing in E-Learning

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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. Upside Learning. This is an exciting time to be in the e-learning space.

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Latest Trends in E-Learning

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Twice a year I will be providing some trends that I am seeing in the e-learning market. This one trend really is an irritation to me, because the term “training” is showing up rather than “learning”, which is the standard term as it relates to online learning (see it already?). We call online learning, e-learning, not e-training, but some vendors will have you believe that “training” is the appropriate term, rather than learning.

How to Buy a LMS

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The industry uses a lot of jargon and it is easy to become confused. LMS – Learning Management System – most commonly sought out by folks. LCMS – Learning Content Management System – going the way of the dodo bird. M-Learning- Mobile Learning. E-Learning – Online Learning. This is a product where you build e-learning courses. Geared towards ID and e-learning developer folks.

E-Learning: Did you know.

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I love going to LMS sites and seeing a list of clients that the vendor lists. Especially the LMS vendors who also create custom content/development. That some vendors who provide a list of clients may not be clients of their LMS, rather they are current or past clients of custom course development. Yep, you read that right, and best or worst of all, they (vendor) never tells you, unless you inquiry. For the vendor to achieve success in the demo.

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

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For each of these items in e-learning. One vendor already offers it in 2012, and knowing this industry – if something takes off and works, others will follow. Right now, you have to upload the course as you would with your SCORM wrapper, where you self-upload or use the course within an online mobile platform from your authoring tool vendor. E-Learning in General. As a whole this is a lemming industry. M-Learning.

When your LMS BFF is no longer

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The big elephant in the room that we hear so many times and vendors love to pitch (to get you to their system), but rarely the vendors themselves will admit to – many have only themselves to blame. Sometimes, it is the client’s fault and sometimes it is the vendor’s fault. I know, I know it is never your fault (client) – its those nasty LMS vendors, but as with the failure to recognize, often more than not it is duality, at least at some level.

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The 5 most common LMS complaints from end users

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Write it on a piece of paper and say to themselves, I will e-mail/call support later. E-mail support and hope someone responds. I remember seeing some pricing online by a LMS vendor and then when I got the contract it had different pricing on it. E-commerce – especially those who charge a yearly price. ” There are some vendors who will only deal with clients who have over 10,000 employees – so this quick qualifier will streamline the process.

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September E-Learning Trends

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Thankfully, the latest trends in e-learning should solve your soon to be fall foliage dilemma. As you all know, I monitor the entire e-learning industry and with that comes out some interesting trends. No surprise that some vendors are also waiting to see what happens. M-Learning with a native app – slowly trucking along, but I am hearing quite a few vendors who are either in development or getting going in 2014. E-Learning 24/7.

5 E-Learning Forecasts for 2012

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Every year, I identify five trends that I am seeing in the industry as a whole, and forecast on where they will be heading throughout the year. 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.

Course Authoring Tools for eLearning Developers and the masses

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Geared toward e-learning developers and instructional designers. 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. elearning maker - another product form e-doceo; screenwriting, storyboards, media inserts, selection and moving of elements plus more; a beginner could use some of the features, but a developer has some additional capabilities and flexibilities.

E-Learning Zombie Edition – includes trends and duds

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Looking into everything that is e-learning and I’ve seen a lot. Social Learning Platform. Just last week, I saw the best social learning platform ever. From a social learning standpoint. Can be also a standalone and/or interfaced with any learning management system or learning platform. Learning Management Systems. Benefit: Reduces calls to administrator and training/learning person who oversees the system and department.

#10 to #1 LMSs of 2012

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10 eLogic Learning - Essential LMS. surveys/assessments, e-commerce, transcripts, ad-hoc reporting and the other standards in the industry (90/10). Pay for only active users (becoming more popular in the industry). TinCan support with mobile learning, however no on/off synch. Mobile learning support, but no TinCan nor on/off synch. In fact, recent surveys are showing that college students prefer SMS over e-mail notifications. Social learning.

HTML5 Fans Rejoice – Adobe Ditches Flash Player on Mobile Devices

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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. I know if I was a RCAT vendor I would. I showed this last year at a conference I was speaking at on HTML5 and e-learning.

Q&A from Blog Readers on E-Learning

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Every e-learning consulting/research firm, etc. My latest take on those three vendors (plus one) are: Cornerstone On Demand – I have seen the new UI and I like what I saw. While the learning cloud and extended enterprise cloud are purchased by folks, I still see the platform – assuming you get all the modules as a HCM. That said, they are in my top 40 for learning/extended enterprise cloud. Any vendor will do that – regardless of setup fees.

Halftime! LMS trends though July

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When you need a fix, then the LMS vendor must work with you either remote to solve it or if it is big nasty fix, go on site. SaaS and LMS vendors. Mind you, there is nothing wrong with doing so, and there are some nice advantages to it – mainly one stop shop, but if you are a LMS vendor who does not have an authoring tool built-in, it will not cause your demise. From a LMS vendor perspective there are a lot of pluses. E-Learning 24/7.

Authoring Tool Market – What I am seeing

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Because the industry as a whole is a lemming, I expect more vendors to come on board. If you are an e-learning developer or instructional designer this has always been a favorite feature of authoring tools. In just the past month, I have seen quite a few vendors add this capability in their product – and for the most part they are all RCAT products. Well some vendors have more than 15 come with their product. E-Learning 24/7.

#ASTDTK14 Review

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ASTDTK14 zoomed into Vegas last week with about 60 vendors (est.) On the expo side, and I know ASTD Events are going to disagree with me (err, they already have via Linkedin), I wasn’t overly impressed on the number of vendors’ booths. Authoring tools vendors – pickings were slim, Adobe was present, so was Allen Interactions (Zebra Zapps), but no Articulate? Mobile specific tools or m-learning spin tools – were not as extensive as I was expecting.

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Low Cost LMSs – Yes, u can find one for under 10K

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Low cost systems are typically SaaS based (then again, the LMS industry as a whole is more SaaS based than hosted on your servers). Some systems in this space include e-commerce at no additional charge. Any vendor, who includes a set storage fee, should be able to provide you a range of number of courses – with examples and video/audio files – if you plan to use them. Many vendors’ sites do not state this information in their pricing. E-Learning 24/7.

State of the LMS 2012

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For the past month, I have been conducting a survey on learning platforms and specifically learning management systems. . The data shows that what many vendors assume end users want is far from accurate. Too many vendors are focusing on talent/performance management as the next feature/component in their systems. Do you have a LMS/LCMS/Learning Platform. Today, however more and more learning management systems are bringing into content management features, inc.

How to Sell a LMS

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Yet, it continues to amaze me at the number of people in this industry who fail such a basic concept. ” Customer: We are seeking a system that offers curriculum paths, ability to group learners to take x course or courses, e-mail notification, blah blah. I would always tell them up front before jumping into what I was seeking, my knowledge of e-learning and systems, so we could move past that. You have contacted the vendor to inquire about their system.

#25 to #11 LMSs of 2012

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It is the holiday season and for those who see me as the grinch (okay a few vendors do, but I digress) here is a special post. Next week, 12-12-12, will be #10 to #1 learning management systems for 2012. New features include m-learning on the iPad with native app (no on/off synch), integrates with Yammer, themes, custom URL, assessment tool, the authoring tool is the key component, help and feedback tab. Video learning platforms. 20 Saba Learning Suite.

What consumers want in a LMS – can you say WOW?

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With this knowledge comes the avalanche of hyper sales, vendors are exploring ways to gain your attention. Perhaps the biggest challenge facing the industry is the lack of WOW despite consumers repeatedly asking for it. Thus is should be a concern to every vendor who shows off a system that is stripped off its looks to entice buyers. The most common responses I hear from vendors are. E-Learning 24/7.

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E-Learning Screen recording and video solutions – Should b simple, so why isn’t it?

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There are more vendors who do not offer the ability to post – i.e. add audio afterwards it is quite amazing. Again, simple and yet again arguably with many vendors difficult to do. There are dozens of free audio plugins available on the net, so why aren’t screen capturing/recording vendors offering the ability for the end user to add them? Another issue I have with many vendors who offer effects – again, I like that – is that they fail to mention.

What’s hurting the LMS market

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Make no mistake, there are plenty of vendors out there who believe in the concept of focusing on features and forgetting about usability, under the guise that people would rather have lots of cool blinky things rather than usability. While this is a great concept for party decorations, it is not for a learning platform. There are a plethora of vendors out there, with blinders on. . Yet, many vendors are doing exactly that. E-Learning 24/7.

Trade Show Circuit 2013

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In just one month, the e-learning trade show season will be upon us. Too many e-learning shows. Vendors are assessing as well. The show is solely focused on e-learning and the vendors come from all over the world. On the vendor side, nice set to select from although on the freebie side – always is lame. Vendor Angle. A must for any e-learning vendor. Learning Solutions. Vendor Angle.

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