How to Give a Better Design Briefing to Your E-learning Vendor

Learnnovators

This isn’t about getting to know a vendor’s capabilities in general. This is for when you’ve got a training problem or requirement on your hands and you’re about to speak to training vendors. Really, the same dynamic should apply when speaking to a training vendor.

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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.

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Learning System Buyer’s Guide

eLearning 24-7

The problem today is when you surf the web, you see all these guides written by content marketers, not experts in L&D or training or learning systems or even e-learning. Always check out the learning system, ask the right questions (which is in this guide), drill them.

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Open Source Web Conferencing Solutions – FREE

eLearning 24-7

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

eLearning 24-7

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.

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LMS Ghost stories – The truth will scare you

eLearning 24-7

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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ASTD International Conference Day 1 Wrap-Up

eLearning 24-7

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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#10 to #1 LMSs of 2012

eLearning 24-7

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.

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Top 10 LMSs for 2013

eLearning 24-7

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.

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When your LMS BFF is no longer

eLearning 24-7

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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Video Learning Platforms

eLearning 24-7

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.

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Analysis of ASTD International Conference and Expo 2013

eLearning 24-7

to the expo vendors who forgot to bring any type of product example to the show – this event will go down in history! For those of you who did not attend – the only place open in the morning at the convention center was Starbucks. Even though there signs to various food courts, none were open – although I did find one who was selling muffins that you wouldn’t want to eat. I was enthralled to see more e-learning products than in past shows.

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ET and E-Learning

eLearning 24-7

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

eLearning 24-7

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.

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2010 LMS Products of the Year

eLearning 24-7

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.

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

eLearning 24-7

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.

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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! 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.

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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. E-Learning 24/7.

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Features that are must haves in any LMS

eLearning 24-7

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.

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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.

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ASTD International trade show wrap up day 2

eLearning 24-7

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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Authoring Tool Market – What I am seeing

eLearning 24-7

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.

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APIs and Mashups r ur new ABCs for E-Learning

eLearning 24-7

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?

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Dispelling the LMS Myth

eLearning 24-7

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.

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Education learning management system trends

eLearning 24-7

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.

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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. 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

eLearning 24-7

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.

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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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Product Review: Lectora Snap! Empower

eLearning 24-7

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.

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How to Buy a LMS

eLearning 24-7

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.

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May Edition: E-Learning News and Notes

eLearning 24-7

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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Product Review: Totara

eLearning 24-7

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.

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Attention LMSs – I’m mad as…

eLearning 24-7

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.

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Bridge over troubled authoring tool waters

eLearning 24-7

Why are some vendors making it impossible? Why are some vendors treating you as a spy or something sinister when you just want to try out the product? You would think that with over 140 authoring tools on the market, vendors would want you to try out their product before dropping any type of cash. While there are plenty of vendors who offer trials, without you having to contact them first or register, there are plenty who do not. Less than 10 vendors.

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Product Review: Articulate Storyline

eLearning 24-7

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.

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Halftime! LMS trends though July

eLearning 24-7

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. Even one time open source systems are starting to offer hosting for an additional cost. 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.

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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.

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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. Regardless of whatever e-learning product you are using that states the ability to view and take assessments, courses, etc.

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Upgraded LMS Directory- More Vendors, New Add-ons!

eLearning 24-7

My latest LMS/LCMS directory provides a wealth of new information on 242 vendors. New columns – Does the vendor offer a trial? What social media platforms does the vendor use? If the vendor offers a trial, it will identify if known the length of the trial. If the vendor uses any social media, the name is listed (example: Twitter, Facebook, etc). List does not include Open Source – FREE LMS vendors which are posted elsewhere on the site.

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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.

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