How Do E-learning Vendors Price Their Services

CommLab India

You have heard about e-learning and are looking to contact vendors for a quote. But before doing that, it is a good idea to understand the typical services e-learning vendors provide and how they price those services. Services provided by e-learning vendors and how they are priced. Established e-learning companies typically provide the following services: 1. E-learning design and development.

Open Source Web Conferencing Solutions – FREE

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I have a real issue with vendors who charge extra – via a license with their “partner&# or otherwise for a web conferencing – and thus ability to offer webinars, in their solution. Hence: Below are products that are either open source free or free or free with limited functionality. Open Meetings - based on Google code. Bosco’s Screen Share - just a screen share program, open source.

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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.

LMS Nightmares

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One of my favorite ghost stories is the one with the guy who has a hook and the teenagers are chilling in their car (you know – wink, wink) and then a screeching sound and it is not hook guy opening a can of tuna. 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.

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ASTD International Conference Day 1 Wrap-Up

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It was an exciting first day, with lots of vendors hitting the entire training spectrum. You can track number of times people open it, use it and even add folks to it. Here are my favorites: Numerous vendors were unhappy that they had to pay $700 a day for Wi-Fi, that didn’t work most of the time or was slow. One vendor who spent $5,000 on their booth, thought the $700 a day fee was obscene and declined. Other vendors weren’t so lucky.

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LMS Ghost stories – The truth will scare you

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Most people I know would probably make a B-line right out the door, the moment they heard chatting their bathroom door slam and the windows are not open. 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).

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Top 10 LMSs for 2013

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Back again to bring this first in a series of rankings for the top ten learning management systems for 2013. Vendors can move up, down or out of the rankings – after all it is on-going. I’m not a lead gen for the vendors listed – rather the goal is to provide you with vendors that meet numerous criteria including UI, features, support/service, mobile, feedback from current and past clients and future game plans. Support of the iPad, thus mobile learning.

Video Learning Platforms

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People who bought HD-DVD players – learn that they make great flying objects out of five story buildings. 2013 - LMSs are not the only learning system in town. The new kids of the block (please no jokes here) are Video Learning Platforms. Video in e-learning means something quite different than video in its usual term. Other options – depends on the vendor. M-Learning support – all devices including iPad and other tablets.

#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). 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. Jam – which is their social learning and collaboration tool. 4 IMC-AG Clix Learning Suite.

ET and E-Learning

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Emerging technology that has I believe the potential to do wonders in the e-learning space. E-Mail. E-Learning and Emerging Technology. While you can easily put a lot of things in here, I am going to talk about four emerging technologies I see as real powerhouses in the possibilities and capabilities in e-learning. But – you say – what about learning/education and training? Kinect + Kinect = Immersion E-Learning.

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LMS Ecosystems – The next big thing

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When you think of a learning management system you immediately focus on the features, ease of use (ideally) and more importantly how it ties directly to what you want to do in the short and long term as related to learning or learning/performance management. Maybe you see it as a component within a blended learning environment. Because the one stop shops are now appearing in learning management systems, for the better. E-Learning 24/7.

When is a LMS not a LMS?

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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. E-Learning 24/7.

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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Education learning management system trends

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Many in the education market are still in love with open source systems, such as Moodle. Mobile Learning. This is one of the most shocking trends in the space – the significant lack of mobile learning in these systems. So why the delay in using mobile learning, especially with tablets in education focused LMSs? The irony of course, is that systems are heavily focused on e-mail notifications and built-in email systems for students. Social Learning.

5 E-Learning Forecasts for 2012

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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

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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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Features that are must haves in any LMS

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Learning environment. Assign x users to one group, assign “y” to another group – with each group having different courses, learning content, etc. The problem though is what should be universal standards – and for the vast majority are – there are still learning management systems that just fail to grasp that concept. Super Bonus – Great for retail locations where stores may not have e-mail, SMS removes that. Learning Environment.

2010 LMS Products of the Year

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I include Learning Portals, LCMSs, as part of the mix. Open Source Systems – That have to be 100% free to be considered. Extended Enterprise – System must have e-comm, multi-tenet – fully skinnable, additional functionality. That said, across the board for all Big Dog systems, their social learning functionality was weak. Open Source LMS of the Year. You can also sell your Jackdraw courses in the e-comm marketplace. E-Learning 24/7.

Evolving the E-Learning Experience for the 21st Century

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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. A greater number of people, worldwide are using SaaS then ever before, mobile products, tablets – especially the iPad – is growing at a feverish pace, people are using online storage, beyond just placing photos and media, and open source is continuing expansion. E-Mail.

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#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.

Authoring Tool Market – What I am seeing

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Have you ever opened up a fortune cookie and said to yourself, “How did it know that about me?” 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.

How to Buy a LMS

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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. Many people confuse the term thinking it means electronic learning and thus will boost that they were doing e-learning 20 years ago or even longer. LRS – Learning Record Stores.

E-Learning Takeaways

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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! In my newest directory, I have 138 vendors. 37 support m-learning. 4 desktop authoring tool vendors work with Windows 8. Desktop authoring tool vendors who realized this thing was fast approaching are: Articulate. E-Learning Apps.

ASTD International trade show wrap up day 2

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In this amazing episode we find out that not all mobile devices are really mobile (according to a vendor), the new six letter word is Tin Can, mobile only products still exist, my game is your game and ASTD did not offer a breakfast for us. While they are portable, they are mobile and the primary reason why mobile learning has taken off in the marketplace. What makes TRTs even more unique is their approach to get that reinforced learning option to you. 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.

Dispelling the LMS Myth

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He was recognized throughout the e-learning and learning communities. I live it, perhaps too much, yet the other day I came across a learning blog informing its readers that in order for the LMS to survive: Must become modular. E-Commerce. Customized skinning – albeit in today’s market there are some vendors who charge for skins – disgusting! Excluding the above, there are vendors out there who charge extra for. E-Learning 24/7.

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. . True, people are selecting open source systems, and for the majority of them, it is Moodle.

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

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That is what one senior exec said to me, the other day when it came to social learning. I believe this is very possible, because regardless of the generation, people want easy, they want fast and if they could do a lot of things in a system for example, rather than having multiple windows open, they would do it. 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.

Product Review: Lectora Snap! Empower

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When you enter the product for the first time you see an opening screen offering you to select any of the sample projects or jump right in. Going forward – as in each time you open up Empower – you can continue to see the screen or select “don’t show it again” The first time, I went right with one of the project templates. Eyeball open – element is viewable on the page. E-Learning 24/7.

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

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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.

Product Review: Articulate Storyline

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For my instructional designers and e-learning developers, they loved creating courses. 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). Then you have to click another link within the article to learn how do it. Desktop – The e-learning market is moving to SaaS – you aren’t.

APIs and Mashups r ur new ABCs for E-Learning

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Unfortunately, too many vendors in the e-learning space have failed to see the power and potential of this capability, and have decided to ignore them. Open Architecture. APIs are open source code, so that developers (inc. Google code is open source code, so you can manipulate. However there are vendors who sell their API solution wrapped in a piece of software. Hmm, mobile learning pushed to the next level? Social Learning?

The Latest: Rapid Content Authoring Tool Market

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I am still surprised on how vendors who are offering assessment only tools are staying in the game. This will become one of the biggest features in 2012 – especially with people wanting to create simulations without being an e-learning developer. Some vendors push heavily on PPT, implying that a great WBT is really a PPT converted to Flash. Over 98% of the LMS/LCMS/learning platform have at least one compliance standard, so why use a RCAT that doesn’t?

Product Review: Totara

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Vendors in this space include Docebo, eFront, Litmos and of course Totara. My Learning tab – shows alerts, recent learning, upcoming events. Graphical progress bar – basically less text or funky icons that only the vendor knows what is – example, a recall one vendor using a floppy disk to represent an online course. My Learning. Recent Learning – Course title, progress bar. Learning Plans. E-Learning 24/7.

May Edition: E-Learning News and Notes

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In the past it was build it yourself (pricey) or find open source and customize it (could be pricey, but cheaper then complete build). 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. E-Learning 24/7.

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Attention LMSs – I’m mad as…

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I’m tired of telling people that it is better to buy 3rd party courses through you even though they can get a better deal by going straight to the 3rd party vendor. #5 I explicitly told HSwidget in an e-mail not to call me, but rather send me an e-mail. Then he sent me an e-mail asking that I call him. Three days later, I again followed up with an e-mail stating my particulars and that I prefer setting up demos via e-mail. E-Learning 24/7.

Times are changing – trends in the content authoring tool market

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You work online via the servers of your vendor. I had thought that this trend would be dying out, but it is amazing at the number of vendors who are entering the space and still focused on the desktop approach. Despite the overwhelmingly number of vendors who have a “desktop only&# solution, based on what I am seeing- a result of new feature sets – this will change. Mobile Learning. Hmm, oh yeah mobile learning. Vendors to Watch.