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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Web Conferencing 101 – The Basics

eLearning 24-7

Web conferercing continues to be hot, but it is not as easy as just selecting vendor x or y, rather to find the best solution, it is important to identify certain items and features before moving forward. . event management, e-commerce (if available), audio conferencing and how it works with web conferencing vendors, who is in the tablet space, and my personal picks. For the vendors who offer this option, they go about it in a couple of ways.

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Web Conferencing 201

eLearning 24-7

This is the 2nd part of the web conferencing post, web conferencing 101. Audio In Web Conferencing. The bridge has to be installed and integrated into the computer – web conferencing vendors should and some do, recommend that the bridge setup is handled by IT/IS personnel. I know of vendors who offer the capability of editing the audio, before it is posted, regardless if they are using VOIP or not. Web Conferencing and LMSs. E-Learning 24/7.

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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. Mikogo - online meetings, web conferencing, webinars, etc. Ekiga – VOIP and Web Conferencing, HD Quality – nice! Communiclique – right now for free, video and web con. however it is easy to dl and free, will work with a web cam.

"Don't Touch/Wet Paint!" - "E"-Learning Vendors Try to Go "M"

mLearning Trends

A linked feature story in the update that immediately caught my eye was titled " Best Practices for Creating Mobile Learning Content " and clicking that link shuttled me over to SumTotal's corporate web site where I registered to download their latest mobile-related white paper. And I'm willing to "put up or shut up" too -- click here to see what a real white paper on mobile learning looks like!

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. Web site stinks = product stinks. 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. E-Learning 24/7.

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Q&A from Blog Readers on E-Learning

eLearning 24-7

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. Q: We use WebEx as our web conferencing tool.

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. web site: [link]. E-Learning 24/7.

Web Conferencing: Features U must Have and Nice Options

eLearning 24-7

Must have features for your webinar web conferencing solution. It used to be that every WC vendor went the seats route. Typically with licenses - a lot of vendors do not enable you to have the multiple rooms at the same time – i.e. the multiple seminars going on at the same time offer. However, M2Ms are easier to pull out of – if u are unhappy with their service, compared to a vendor that you purchased licenses. I had it with one vendor and rarely used it.

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New E-Learning Rankings: Authoring Tools

eLearning 24-7

best products that work under water (summer time) and from the e-learning prospective – the best authoring tools. 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. 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.

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. 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. SumTotal – Get ready for a new UI for the learning module. E-Learning 24/7.

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

eLearning 24-7

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. M-Learning. Integrated web conferencing. M-Learning with tablets.

Best of the Best – Extended Enterprise or multi-tenant LMSs

eLearning 24-7

Just because a system lists itself as an extended enterprise does not mean it comes with multiple domains (which with some vendors includes customized) nor with multiple portals or my preferable term – “multi-tenant” You may see an “extended enterprise” which not only refers to the company’s employees, but also their customers and channel partners. E xpertus One ($$$-$$$$)- Still the best multi-tenant platform in the market. E-Learning 24/7.

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. Screen recording and capture – often seen in demos or software or web tutorials. Other options – depends on the vendor.

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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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! Photo ID required when you got your badge, especially when you had your e-mail with you and their bar scan – which didn’t work me and apparently more than a few others. An additional fee of $700 per day for vendors who wanted to use Wi-Fi, which some vendors found to be spotty at best. E-Learning 24/7. EXTRA! EXTRA!

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Course Authoring Tools for eLearning Developers and the masses

eLearning 24-7

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.

Fears of the Course Authoring Tool Market

eLearning 24-7

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. Because other vendors are getting into the act as well. There are more vendors in the LMS space under 10K then in the past – thus meeting the markets’ needs yet the authoring tool space is seeing a spike in prices. Captivate 6 – $899 (per license), you want the full e-learning suite? E-Learning 24/7.

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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E-Learning: Did you know.

eLearning 24-7

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.

September E-Learning Trends

eLearning 24-7

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

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. For the mobile learning space – it is a necessity. Smaller size vendors are now entering the foray. Social Learning.

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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The 5 most common LMS complaints from end users

eLearning 24-7

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. You see they had items you needed but they did not mention it on their web site. E-commerce – especially those who charge a yearly price. Or there are vendors who only work in certain industries/verticals.

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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. Discovery Education Web 2.0

E-Learning Zombie Edition – includes trends and duds

eLearning 24-7

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.

Education learning management system trends

eLearning 24-7

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? An even more disturbing trend is the lack of SMS (text messaging) in education systems, even though numerous reports have found that students of all ages are using text messaging more than e-mail. . Social Learning. Integrated e-mail.

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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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.

New Authoring tool rankings #11 to #20

eLearning 24-7

However, in the past week, I have received over 500 e-mails from readers requesting a list of the top twenty (rather than top then). No reason, I just love saying that) Mzinga shows up with a true social learning authoring tool. A few vendors say “social learning” but it is often far from it. I’m always amazed at some of the names vendors come up with for authoring tools. 1st vendor to have online/offline mobile synch. E-Learning 24/7.

Authoring Tool Market – What I am seeing

eLearning 24-7

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. Video recording, web cam recording.

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

eLearning 24-7

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. Some 50K or more systems could learn from the top low cost systems on some things. E-Learning 24/7.

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.

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.

#ASTDTK14 Review

eLearning 24-7

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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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. Web conferencing or chat rooms – I know it might come as a shock but WebEx was alive and in full mode in 2000 and so was Centra – remember them? E-Commerce. Web conferencing module. E-Learning 24/7.

Recap of ASTD TechKnowledge 2013: Day 1

eLearning 24-7

It can be embed into your web site, added to your LMS, but to me the real awesomeness is the ability to add into any authoring tool. Learn a foreign language software. Follows a conversational approach to learning – which is so much better than hearing the word and then repeating it, with zero idea on what it means and more importantly, how to use it in general conversation. I see it not only as a standalone but also as a course or courses within a learning platform.

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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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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.