Tuesday, 27 December 2016

How To Find Out If Your Corporate Learning Management System Really Works?

Corporate learning management system provides a platform for an organization’s online learning environment by enabling the management, delivery and tracking of blended learning for employees, stakeholders and even, customers. Modern corporate learning management system, also works as a learning content management system in the organization and aggregate all learning material within one common platform.

From an operational point of view, the LMS and its key components namely content management, user administration and system administration should completely Web-deployable, requiring no additional client applications. As with any enterprise application, the more a software is customized, the harder it is to maintain, upgrade and expand. In the past, a lot of companies over-engineered their e-learning solutions, spending a lot of money on consulting and customizing their applications. Because of changing business needs, educational goals and targets changed and organizations were stuck with legacy solutions with limited flexibility and scale.

Thus, it is important to evaluate learning management systems thoroughly before investing in the new system as most LMS system entail a lot of investments.

• LMS must be available to learners at all times and robust enough to handle concurrent traffic from learners, administrators, content builders and instructors simultaneously. It should provide a platform for learning – as per needs of end-users.

• Scalability: LMS infrastructure should be flexible and be able to meet future growth, both in terms of volume of hosted content and number of learners.

• Usability: LMS should also have different options for usability to provide personalized learning. It should also be easy-to-use and highly intuitive.

• Interoperability: To support content from different sources and multiple vendors' hardware/software solutions, the LMS should be based on open industry standards for Web deployments (XML, SOAP or AQ) and support major learning standards (AICC, SCORM, IMS and IEEE).

• Stability: LMS infrastructure can reliably and effectively manage a large enterprise implementation running 24x7.

• Security: As with any outward-facing collaborative solution, the LMS can selectively limit and control access to online content, resources and back-end functions, both internally and externally, for its diverse user community.

• Assessments systems: An assessment engine with built-in testing and evaluation capabilities is critical to monitoring, tracking and rating e-learning initiatives. The system should support time limits for self-administered tests, limit the number of attempts allowed and impose a time delay between attempts. By tracking the learning process, learning officers and management can evaluate the effectiveness of the courses and accurately gauge the knowledge and skill levels of their workforce.

To choose the right corporate learning managementsystem it is important to map the company's technical capabilities and needs. There is no one-size-fits-all LMS solution, and learning management system vendors usually have different licensing options to choose from. Ultimately, it is the organization’s decision whether or not to have the enabling infrastructure hosted or installed. Equally important, once they make a choice, e LMS vendor should provide the flexibility to e-work it over time. As e-learning needs change and grow, organizations do not want to be locked into what originally fit. The LMS should be able to scale and support new and emerging learning modes, technologies and tools.

Source and suggested further reading: Assessing Learning Management Systems by John Hall

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Creating E-Content Faster With Rapid e-Learning Development

Training and Learning is a continuous process in the corporate environment considering the immense pressure to be at par with the latest developments across all industries. This explains the increasing demand for online learning. Rapid Authoring is often the preferred route for e-learning development to save time, effort and money managers and cater to the ever-increasing need for customized content.

In a bid to utilize existing content, presentations created in PowerPoint can be transformed into interactive e-learning – with very little effort with the help of rapid -learning tools. Since Microsoft PowerPoint is a very popular tool, Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) can themselves create e-content – cutting the development time considerably. In addition to converting the entire content with ease, rapid authoring tools also help build interactivity into courses. Attractive graphics, audio as well as video can be added to the course to make it multimedia rich and hence, more impactful to the learner. And all this at a fraction of time, compared to traditional e-learning development cycle.

How to convert PowerPoint presentation into an E-course:

  • Chunk sections from the presentation to create ‘chapters’ for the e-course. 
  • Since an e-course is not the same as a presentation, create an e-course with 5 or less number of chapters. For detailed or extensive course material, develop multiple courses and avoid presenting the learner a lengthy course. Short courses are more effective and do not alarm or overwhelm the learners. 
  • For web-based e-course, keep in mind that web pages can be of any size. Therefore 2 or more slides can be consolidated into one page to decrease course length. 
  • Since e-courses have to be more detailed than presentation where the speaker also has a chance to explain in detail, avoid using phrases or one-word descriptions and use full sentences instead.
  • The ‘notes’ section of a PowerPoint slide can be utilized to include external links, optional exercises or step-by-step detailed instructions. By giving these extra details, the learner as the choice to approach the subject in detail or skip through the basics- as per need. 
  • To make the e-course effective, it is necessary to include tests regularly through the course. A wide range of tests can be created including multiple-choice, true-false, text or numeric fill in the blank or even drag-drop picture images. 

Rapid Authoring Tools like Adobe Presenter, Presenter 09 and Presenter 09 can be used to convert PowerPoint Presentations into E-Courses. Most e-learning developers have a keen interest in the field of rapid e-learning and by utilizing existing material the process of content development can definitely be more efficient.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Installed Versus Cloud based Learning Management System

For the modern workplace, Training and Learning are very important. Employees need to acquire newer skills and knowledge on a continuous basis to be effective and attain professional success. This is the reason why most of the organizations take the process of training with apt seriousness and implement the Learning Management Systems, or LMSs, to provide learners with the opportunity to learn as per their own needs and pace. The adoption of eLearning software does however, me with its own sets of needs and overheads. Organizations need to devote certain amount of time and finances to manage an learning management system. Even if the organization has a dedicated team to handle the change in management that comes along the implementation of an LMS, most find it difficult to ensure widespread adoption and user satisfaction.

Compared to the installed legacy LMSs, there are many benefits of implementing a Cloud learning management system, especially for the smaller organizations who do not have the necessary support staff to manage or maintain the learning management system. 

  • Smaller organizations have limited budgets and with cloud learning management system, you can make significant cost savings, especially at the initial investments level. Smaller organizations often do not have the necessary infrastructure or the in-house expertise to deploy and run an installed LMS. They do not have the freedom to carry heavy overheads in the ever changing market situation. For them the pay-as-you-go mode of a Cloud learning management system makes more sense, as it allows them to reap the benefits of training without incurring any overhead costs.

  • LMS have to be installed at each and every office premise of an organization. However, the technological infrastructure might not be appropriate across different offices, making it difficult to train the employees in remote locations, or those on the move. With Cloud learning management system, the learners can connect with the internet through the device of their choice, be it a desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet. The learners also need internet connection, which is available even in remote locations. But if in any case the connection is inconsistent, the learners’ progress can be saved and the courses taken up from the section last read.

  • Integrating a Cloud learning management system is also simpler than an installed LMS, and can be done in a remote manner. This makes sure that LMS data is synched with data from other systems across the organization, especially with HR database that controls and maintains user access of the learning system. Learners can be assigned courses with ease and the administrators can chart their progress without logging in and out of different systems.
Cloud-based solutions are with gradual pace, being accepted by organizations across the world due to the scalability, flexibility, and cost savings it provides. It makes sense, as it is easy to deploy, implement, and maintain. Cloud learning management system provideshassle-free learning, as compared to install on premise LMS.

Monday, 26 September 2016

The Success Of Mobile Learning In Corporate Sector

Mobile Learning or mLearning has emerged as the platform for learning to new age corporate learners. Mobile devices are now easily available and affordable for all. In addition to e-courses, corporate organizations are making use of this ubiquitous platform to deliver learning to their learners – anytime and anywhere.

E-Learning developers are including mobile learning within their repertoire of e-learning services. Newer technologies are also ensuring that mlearning development is more streamlined, standardized as well as budget-friendly.

Success of m-learning in the corporate world has been due to several factors.
  • Users are getting accustomed to the mobile platform: Modern learners have a variety of online activities that include social networking, shopping and paying bills. They also watch a lot of videos and listen to music on their handheld devices. Accessing learning content on mobile devices thus comes naturally to them – especially if the content is aligned to suit the medium as discussed in the next section.
  • The development of mobile-friendly content: Creating mobile content is not just making e-content available on mobile devices. Just as converting classroom presentations into e-format does not deliver impactful e-learning, converting e-courses into mobile learning also does not reap results.  The content developed for mobile learning has to align itself to its strengths and keep its limitations in mind. Small bursts of learning work best for the mobile platform – with minimum text and prominent media inclusion like graphics, audio and video.
  • Creating mobile learning is not overly expensive: There are many ways of reducing mobile learning costs. Previously, separate modules of mobile learning and e-learning used to be developed to cater to the needs of the two platforms. But by using modern development technology like HTML5, content can be created for delivery across multiple devices – laptop, mobile or tablets. Also if you have existing e-content, a lot of material like graphics, videos, animations and audio can be reused when creating mlearning content – thus making cost and time savings.
  • Rapid authoring tools for Mobile Learning: By using rapid authoring tools, mobile learning content can be created quickly and within tight budgets. Many rapid authoring tools provide ready templates for mobile delivery of content. Media assets from e-courses can also be included in these templates to increase the visual appeal and interactivity.
  • mLearning can be interesting and interactive: Mobile learning is not always linear and unimaginative. Mobile platform supports a lot of interactivity – the most popular being audio and video. Learners can utilize these elements very well and find them easier to assimilate than boring text.  Other interactivities like quizzes and mobile games can also be built in to entice the learner and make learning fun. The level of interactivity depends on available technologies, the compatibilities of the learner devices and available budgets for mlearning development.
  • Uniform user experience: Mobile learning technology is fast evolving and now it is possible for all users to access mobile learning content on different devices but have the same superior viewing experience. Web responsive technology is being utilized to create mobile learning content that aligns itself as per the specifications of the viewing device. The user does not have to scroll or pan in/pan out unnecessarily to view the content. This ensures a uniform learning experience for all –irrespective of the viewing device. 
Mobile platform is still evolving and newer ways of mobile content creation as well as delivery are being explored. As a platform, it has found tremendous success in the corporate world and with the new wave of emerging mobile technologies this success is bound to scale new heights.

Monday, 29 August 2016

How To Make Your Learners Accept LMS

Different people have varied perceptions about the worth of e-learning software.  A learning portal becomes successful when learners utilize it with effectiveness.

To accomplish this, it is important to make the learners aware about the Learning Management System and the content to reap maximum advantages from the learning opportunity. If you want your learners to love your solutions, then you need to first market the Learning Management System among the learners.

Here are some strategies to sell your LMS solutions within the organization:

1)      Though a significant amount of budget is invested to implement learning management system and provide useful content to the learners, it is equally important to invest some bugs in training and educating the learners about its procedures, features, efficiency, the content it shares and the method to extract the learning material from the solutions. This training is suggested to be provided to both ‘the managers’, as well as, ‘the learners’. To encourage early adopters to train other less efficient mates on the technicalities is add on strategy to get maximum benefits of the LMS.
2)      A support resource should be there for the learners so that they can get quick assistance while accessing the learning management system. This would be more helpful during the early days. This resource could be from LMS provider side, or can be arranged within the organization. Learner can either call, or message or IM to list their problem and the support resource would be able to give the solution with minimum turnaround time.
3)      For your learners to accept the LMS, foremost thing is to sell the learning management system to the managers and departmental heads, because these are the leaders who can encourage their team members to accept this new mode of learning and solutions. If manager accepts the LMS, then entire team will accept it without much ado the learning management system.
4)      Learner dashboards are very successful in encouraging learners to utilize and score well, while learning from LMS. Dashboards display the scores of individual learners with the highest learning consumption, and the rewards netted by the learners. Our clients have seen incredible success in utilizing the dashboards to inspire their employees to learn more during the initial months after the LMS implementation.
5)      Use examples to explain different benefits of using learning management system to the learners. With the amplified flow of learning material, learners can decide upon their pace and refresh their learning anytime. This will increase the knowledge, and in turn, their work performance. Also, LMS will give fair analysis of learner scores and performance through unbiased reports and dashboards.

With the help of the aforementioned strategies, organizations can make the acceptance of LMS solutions easy for the learners and the management; this can make the experience of learning more effective and successful.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Asynchronous Learning - A Preferred Type Of E-learning by Learners And Organizations

Asynchronous learning is a student-centered eLearning technique in which online resources are used to take the course anytime and anywhere, at the preferred schedule. Another type of  eLearning, which is Synchronous learning, requires both instructor and learner to be online at the same time. Both of these solutions have their own benefits and drawbacks. However, Asynchronous learning is preferred by the learners, as well as the organizations.

Synchronous learning is beneficial for the learners who want to experience real-time class while studying online. But most of the learners prefer Asynchronous learning because it is more effective in the corporate scenario due to following reasons:

1)      Discussion Boards, Emails and Blogs: Asynchronous learning through LMS solutions allows more assessments, and unbiased learning. E-mail can be used as a tool for asking questions, sending reminders, information, updates, and assessments. This is one of the most preferred modes of communication between instructors and learners. Discussion boards are also used for sharing documents and links with the learners. A fair judgment can be made on the basis of responses given by learners on assessments, discussions, emails, etc.

2)      Instructional material including PPTs/Video’s/ Graphics/Podcasts: LMS solutions with responsive design allows the learners to use mobile devices, and access the virtual repositories like videos, PPTs, etc., to have an instant knowledge. So, Learners do not have to spend more time on screens and can study at their flexible time schedules.

3)      Customized Learning is possible: LMScan analyze the audience with regard to their roles and skills, and define learning path for them. Then, a suitable course can be assigned to each learner, based on their roles and skills. This is how customized learning can be imparted to the learners.

4)      Interactive: Asynchronous learning allows the learners to interact with their peers and instructor at any time from any location through emails, discussion boards, etc.

5)      Social Networking: Social networking is easy and possible because learning management systems can have built-in social networking programs through embedded HTML scripts. Most often used social networking programs are twitter, Facebook, wikis, Flickr, etc.

6)      Collaborative documents: Learners can edit each other’s work and collaborate with each other through collaborative documents. Learners enjoy this as they exchange thoughts and ideas with each other.

While choosing eLearning solutions, it is important to analyze the audience and then choose the most effective type of e-Learning. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of both, Synchronous and Asynchronous learning, can help you to determine which is more appropriate for your learning needs, but Asynchronous learning can certainly be more beneficial in developing engaging, memorable, and effective eLearning solution.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

How to Plan Your ELearning Program

E-Learning is becoming increasingly popular today. Almost 50% of the global fortune 500 companies are using eLearning for training and development of their workforce via custom eLearning, game based learning, simulation based learning etc. Even in institutions, schools and colleges the shift of learning is moving from traditional classroom to virtual learning. It is essential to create, design and develop eLearning courses that will help learners engage themselves and achieve their learning goals. 

Here are few strategies to create, design and develop effective, immersive and successful custom eLearning program:
  1. Know your audience: Before actually starting the eLearning designing process, it is important to know your audience. Your eLearning approach will differ as per your audience. For young online learners there will be a different approach while on the other hand if your audience is experienced, senior professionals then your methodology would be different.
  2. Content should be concise, clear and engaging: Content is the heart and soul of any eLearning course because content adds a lot of value to it. For custom eLearning it is necessary that content should be effective and relevant as per the needs of learners. It should include real time examples about the subject they are trained for.
  3. Accountability Standards: Instructors should be well trained to follow best practices and should be from a range of backgrounds to complement the course.
  4. A Good learning management system: To make eLearning course engaging and interactive, you need to keep up with the trends of new technologies. A good learning management system can give audience different learning methods to better understand the coursework. Learning management system can also help set a platform for bookkeeping issues such as assessments, quizzes, grades, homework etc.
In addition to these strategies, end results of the eLearning program should also be highlighted. What learners should learn, what certificate they will get on completion of the course and how they can implement the knowledge in their day to day work, improve their performance and achieve their goals. Although there is a lot of effort and cost included in designing an eLearning course, all of these strategies have the authority to produce meaningful and memorable eLearning experiences.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

How To Make Online Learning Courses Effective For Learners

In recent years, most of the companies prefer online learning for their organizational trainings. One may wonder the reason behind its growing popularity.
There are numerous reasons but the foremost is the fact that online learning courses give flexibility to learners to study and learn on “my time”. Though this flexibility might result in the deviation of learners from the learning process leading to poor performance, a key factor to the student success is “self-direction”.

Learners can become self-directed if they are motivated and have a sense of confidence. Here are few tips for online learners to make their online learning course more effective:
  1. Know what all to study: Modules or content is a critical resource of any training. You must know the modules you need to study in order to successfully complete your online learning course within a time frame. You also need to be organized. So it is important to have a list of assignments, assessments or discussions to be taken during the course in your calendar with their due dates so that you do not miss them. A great idea would be to review instructions of the assignments and discuss with your mentor for any constraints. In case you think you will not be able to complete any of the assignments as per the due date then inform your instructor about the same.
  2. Create a schedule: You must have a predictable schedule to allocate time for your online learning course. Pace yourself so that you don’t procrastinate. Plan a study time for each week allotting fixed number of hours.
  3. Connect with your fellow learners: Be a part of the learning community and be an active part of discussion forums – in addition to completing the e-course. Use social platforms to connect with your fellow learners. You can have discussions with them on assignments and share documents with each other. Enjoy learning by teaching others what you're learning.  You'll retain the most important topics. This helps learners to learn from each other during the discussions and build up relationships with fellow learners.
  4. Ask as many questions as possible: The more you ask, the more you will learn. Successful learners ask more questions during the classroom sessions which may follow, or any other platform of communication with the instructor. Be clear about your question, communicate it to the instructor properly and get clarification on all your doubts about the course concepts.
Organizations have an equal contribution to making online learning effective for their learners. Below are few tips for the organizations to increase the success rate of their learners:

  1. Organizations should clearly state its expectations for learners from the online learning course. This will create a sense of responsibility in learners and they will be able to perform better.
  2. Instructors should respond to student’s queries promptly. This will encourage them to ask more and more questions and make them understand the modules properly.
  3. There may be cases when learners do not know how to be self-directed.  Give them understanding on the resources that supports them in developing self-direction.
I conclude by saying that making online learning effective is a challenge for both learners and organizations. However, if both overcome these challenges by following these simple steps using the available resources appropriately, then online learning is a reward for both learners and instructors. Like Donna J. Abernathy says, "Online learning is not the next big thing; it is the now big thing.”

Monday, 11 April 2016

Creating Interactive E-Learning with Rapid Authoring Tools

To keep up with the increasing demands of the training and learning vertical, organizations often get bogged. Continuous e-Learning development as a process takes considerable effort and time. To save up on costs as well as time, developers now use Rapid authoring tools to develop custom e-learning solutions. As a trend, this has been for many years now. Most developers depend on popular e-learning authoring tools like Articulate Storyline and Lectora. These tools have evolved over the past few years to different types of e-learning platforms – including the mobile platform as well.
There are many benefits of using rapid authoring tools – for developers as well as users.

  • The biggest advantage of using rapid authoring tools is that you save time, effort and training budget. E-Learning solutions can be developed for multiple platforms and cross-platform functionalities work for all popular delivery devices – desktops, pc, smartphones and tablets. For users it provides the opportunity to access learning as per their convenience, anytime, anywhere. For developers, it saves a lot of time, effort and moneys. So, it’s a win-win for everyone!

  • The e-learning courses created with rapid authoring tools are ready for Web delivery. They can also be accessed on popular mobile browsers for learners who prefer to access learning on the go. Rapid authoring tools now also support HTML5 – to have greater interactivity and appeal for the learners

  • With rapid authoring tool, custom e-learning courses automatically fit as per the the screen size and resolutions of the user device. Navigation Buttons, Seek bar, Menu, Volume On/Off and other Shell features are supported with no additional changes or coding required.

  • E-courses developed with rapid authoring tools are also very lightweight. Thus they take up very little space and bandwidth at the learners’ device.

  • Many interactivities can be easily built in the courses, without any extra efforts. Existing material like content, images and graphics can be used as-is. The positions can be assigned and the courses are rendered accordingly – as per the specifications of the user device. The interactivities include simple ones like transitions, illustrations, scrolling panels and so on. Higher level interactivities like Drag and Drop, Surveys and Text/Data entry fields can also be created as per the needs of the client and users.

  • The courses can also be made downloadable so that the learners can take up courses when internet connectivity is not available or even take print outs to carry when needed.

  • The courses created with Rapid Authoring tools are compliant to industry standards - SCORM and AICC. This ensures that user progress can be easily tracked on the LMS where the e-courses reside.

  • Even if the user accesses the e-courses through multiple devices, the progress is tracked synchronously.  Thus the learner can access the course through multiple channels of delivery – online, offline or mobile. This does not affect the final progress report that is generated for each user

There are many other benefits of utilizing rapid authoring tools for e-learning development. With the entry of more tools with a wider array of features, this is fast becoming the chosen way for most developers to create impactful custom content for technology-aided delivery.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Mobile Learning For Modern Learners

Mobile devices are now extensively for learning, in addition to the traditional use of making voice-calls. With internet connectivity, mobile learning provides modern users with access to learning – anywhere and anytime. These devices can connect with each other and allow learners learn collaboratively in groups. There are various ways that mobile learning is being utilized – and one of the most common is by creating mobile-based learning game.

Here are a few ways that games can be an effective tool for mobile learning:

• The focus of mobile learning games has to be the knowledge or skill it imparts. Corporate learners prefer games which have a clear learning focus and provide multiple opportunities to learn new things within the environment. Learning games can teach new skills, enhance knowledge, provide opportunities for practice and provide feedback on performance as well. This checks all the boxes in the list of expectations that most corporate learners have from workplace learning opportunities.

• While games are very appropriate for the mobile platform and most learners are used to playing popular games on their devices, designing games for mobile devices should take into considerations the screen size and mobile specific capabilities like touch screens Many developers are not very enthusiastic about mobile learning games being touch-screen enabled, due to the simple reason that they want the games to be accessible to the learners on laptops and computers as well – most of which do not have touch screen feature. But this apprehension is beginning to fade as most learners are clearly showing their preferences for mobile learning games – especially the ones that are designed to perform best on mobile devices.

• The biggest benefit of mobile learning is that it provides learning opportunities anywhere and anytime. This benefit is enhanced further for learning games as most learners are willing to try out the game even in their free time, making use of non-productive times like travelling or waiting between jobs and so on. Mobile platform provides an unobtrusive way of learning through games – even when there is no or limited internet access.

• Furthermore gaming is a powerful medium of collaborative learning. Learners can connect with other learners through the game by posting scores or achievements on a ‘leaders’ board’ or sharing tips on a discussion board. Slow learners can ask for help and get it from achievers who have been performing exceptionally. Not only can this boost the morale of the learner’s group but also boost the spirit for a healthy competition. Collaborative tools built within the games like a comments section can be the collaborative ground for discussions and learning. It can also give helpful tips to developers who want to understand what works best for learners and align learning content as per the preferences of the learners.

Mobile devices and games make a great combination, not just for entertainment but for learning too. With the evolution of gaming technology and better mobile devices, the experience of game-based learning is becoming more impactful than ever.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

How Can Different e-Learning Companies Contribute To The Cause of Corporate Learning?

Over the last few decades, information and communication technologies are increasingly used for training and learning purposes. In addition, the widespread use of network technologies has also caused e-learning practices to evolve significantly. This enabled many IT companies to specialize in the field of technology-aided learning. There are various types of e-learning companies that provide one or myriads of e-learning services to cater to the training needs of organizations, whether big or small. Listed below are a few prominent types of e-learning companies that exist in the industry today.
  • Content specialists: These types of e-learning companies have access to the services of Subject-Matter Experts (SMEs) from different industries. They create stringent processes of SME interactions and extract the pertinent knowledge to create the required e-course. They also empower SMEs to provide information in a manner that hastens the delivery of the final output through popular e-learning templates. Once the SME information has been gathered, the team prepares to present it in an impactful manner with the help of relevant instructional strategies. The quality of the content is checked, and all the technical elements are put to the test through a stringent process. The final output is an e-course aligned to the e-learning standards and easily made available on any Learning Management System the organization chooses to implement. Content specialists create custom e-courses for specific or individual needs of learners within the organizations. Most of them also have a ready library of off-the-shelf courses for common learning needs of organizations.

  • LMS providers: In modern times, the LMS manages the entire training function of an organization, including assigning e-courses, managing classroom training or blended learning, populating useful and regular reports, and assessing learners to lay their future learning paths. Many e-learning companies building specialize in Learning Management Solutions and align them to the needs of the modern learners. LMLS providers create a learning platform that has the following properties:
    • Easy to navigate
    • Easily integrated with the existing systems
    • Searchable catalogue making content accessible
    • Mobile compatible to enable just-in-time learning through multiple devices

  • VCR vendors: Virtual classrooms have emerged as a bridge between classroom-based trainings and self-paced e-learning—bringing together the accessibility and effectiveness of classroom-based trainings, and the ease of use of e-learning. Many e-learning companies specialize in creating VCR-based learning solutions. 
For some time, the virtual classroom remained a luxury available only to large organizations, thanks to the high-tech infrastructure this technology required. Now, with the availability of broadband Internet and the new-age conferencing tools, conducting virtual training sessions is commercially feasible and, therefore, becoming more popular. Modern VCRs have the capability of file sharing, whiteboard, live chat for collaborative learning.

  • One-stop shop for all training needs: Moreover, there are many e-learning companies that develop content, provide the technology platform, implement the LMS, and market the training initiatives of the organization. They also provide mentors and administrators to manage the technology-aided learning within the organization, ensuring the IT team is not responsible for the maintenance of the learning management system and is free to carry on with their other duties. This also makes a sense to the companies that do not have a separate team to manage the LMS.

The benefits of e-learning are many. The growth of a number of organizations in the industry assures that any and every organization can now reap the benefits of technology-aided learning.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Effective e-Learning - Converting Existing Resources To Online Courses

Learning and Development managers and e-learning developers often utilize rapid authoring tools to online learning courses to suit the increasing need of the corporate learners and make it available through online learning management systems. This saves time, moneys and most importantly - effort.
It is important that we realize that knowledge resides within the organization – we need to extract it quickly and convert it to technology-enabled format. PowerPoint Presentations can be transformed into online learning courses – with very little effort with the help of rapid authoring tools. Microsoft PowerPoint as a learning tool is very popular and almost everyone is familiar with it. Knowledge managers or SubjectMatter Experts (SME) can provide the base content using PowerPoint and this can then be quickly transformed into e-content for corporate online learning management systems.

Steps for converting a PowerPoint presentation into an online learning course:

  • Segregate sections from the presentation to create ‘chapters’ for the e- learning course
  • Do not create a course with too many chapters. If the course is too lengthy, it is better to create multiple courses. Creating a lengthy course with a rapid authoring tool defeats the purpose of quickly creating e-content. It also fails to make appropriate impact on the learners.
  • Each chapter of the e-course should then be constructed appropriately – with text as well as graphics.
  • Keeping the e-format in mind, phrases or one-word descriptions should not be used. Since e-courses are mostly self-paced, complete sentences need to be used to describe concepts well.
  • External links, resources or additional study material can be given in the ‘notes’ section at the bottom of the PPT slide. The same can be made interactive with rapid authoring tools, using effects like ‘click to reveal’ or ‘drop-downs’. Not only do they make the courses interactive, they also help reduce on-screen text and learners get to choose and access as per their need.
  • Tools within PowerPoint can be utilized to create impactful Graphics. Graphs, Tables and Images can be used to make the content more powerful as well as reduce on-screen text. Rapid authoring tools can automatically pick up graphics and place them as per the design of the e-learning course.
  • In addition to building interactivities as well as graphics, Rapid authoring tools can also be utilized to create tests and evaluations quickly. SMEs can create questions in the form of multiple–choice or true-false exercises in the notes section of the PowerPoint presentation. From here, the e-learning developers can take up the questions and convert them into e-format by utilizing rapid authoring tools.
Thus the online learning courses created are graphically rich, interactive and also help the learning managers evaluate the learners. Out of the Rapid Authoring Tools thatare popular in the learning industry, many of them can help e-learning developers to convert PowerPoint Presentations into E-Learning Courses – including Adobe Presenter, Lectora Integrator and Presenter 09.