I love the looks I get from people when I tell them what I do for a living. It’s kind of a blank, yet knowing stare, mixed with a head nod that clearly says “Oh! You’re a writer.”
Then, when I add eLearning into the mix I tend to lose them completely. Why? Because in truth most people outside of the eLearning industry have no idea what it really looks like to make a career out of writing content and teaching others via technology.
The other day I had the chance to attend the monthly meeting of a local professional group. This is not a group I belong to, but I know several of the members and they were hoping to learn more about eLearning and how they could utilize it within their organizations. And, since I love getting the chance to share what I do with a captive audience, I was thrilled to volunteer my time and share my heart at their very well catered luncheon.
So, when the time came I hopped up to a smattering of applause and headed up front to give my talk. It went great! The audience was receptive, the questions were thoughtful and you could literally hear a pin drop throughout the room as they listened to every word I had to share. Continue reading Taking Your E-Learning Social
I’ve just read the most recent report from Tagoras regarding Learning Management Systems, and I thought it would be a good way to highlight some of the benefits of the Axis LMS.
The report was based on the responses of 20 LMS vendors, and it has some interesting (and quite honestly, a bit shocking) stats pertaining to average LMS costings that I thought I’d share:
The average first year cost for a Learning Management System ranges from:
- $22,376 for 500 users
- to $70,857 for unlimited usage
Across 3 years the costs averaged out at:
- $43,889 for 500 users
- $165,286 for unlimited usage
I found it interesting to read these statistics and compare them with our own product (Axis LMS) to see where we sit in comparison.
A typical nicely-configured 500-user system currently runs about $10,000/year, making it about $30,000 for a 3-year period (so the Axis LMS is $14,000 less than the 3-year average).
A typical nicely-configured Axis unlimited user LMS system runs under $20,000/year, making it less than $60,000 for a 3-year period (so the Axis LMS is $100,000 less than the 3-year average).
If you are currently shopping for a Learning Management System, I suppose the LMS prices above do not shock you and/or are exactly what you are experiencing as you request price information from potential LMS vendors. However, as someone who doesn’t actively shop for Learning Management Systems, these numbers came as a complete shock to me. I realized that the Axis LMS was more budget-friendly than most other LMS systems, but really had no idea that the difference was so large.
I am hoping that the large savings may encourage you to consider the Axis LMS as a potential fit for your organization if you are currently in the market for an LMS.
Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?
Well not in Osaka, Japan. According to their tourist info site, Osaka is officially Wi-Fi enabled city-wide. It’s funny to think how two non-words linked together can bring us so much joy (especially when preceded by everybody’s favorite word: Free!), but we all know it’s more than just that polysyllabic title that means so much to us: behind the word Wi-Fi is access to the world beyond our own backyard. Continue reading Free Wi-Fi For Everyone!
As most of you may know, I tend to spend a good deal of time making my way around the Internet researching the latest and greatest that E-Learning has to offer. The point is two fold. First, I enjoy it. Second, it allows me to keep up with the industry as a whole while also learning about any key or trending issues. And right now there is a huge issue that is dominating the world of education. Want to know the biggest issue in education?
I bet you can guess.
The way we learn is outdated. There! I said it. Don’t agree with me? Then let’s talk about it.
My personnel argument begins way back in college. (Okay, not toooooo far back, but you get the picture.) There was a psychology class I had to take if I wanted to graduate. Not something I was excited about, but there was no way around it.
So I made out my schedule and soon found myself all lined up with 47 other students who were ready, well maybe not ready but certainly willing, to learn right along with me. Why does the number matter? Because that made a total of 48 of us all spread out over a classroom that often doubled as an auditorium. Continue reading Applying Gameification to E-Learning
The other day I was hanging out at a friend’s house and noticed their high schooler didn’t budge from the kitchen table the entire time I was there. Never having seen any teenager sit still for that long I couldn’t help but go over and see what was going on.
It didn’t take long for me to find the problem. Homework. Bleh.
As soon as I sat down the kid looked up at me with glazed eyes that told me nothing they were reading was sinking in. There was no retention going on. None. In that moment it was all about getting it done as fast as possible so they never had to think about it again. Continue reading Flipping the K-12 Model?
One of the topics we have spent quite a bit of time talking about around here is participants. Namely, learning how to keep your focus on your participants and create initiatives that clearly meet their needs. This sounds great! There’s only one problem.
How do you do it?
How do you find that perfect mix that not only fulfills the needs of the organization, but also matches with what your audience prefers and wants? Tough questions for sure, but I think I may have an answer. Continue reading Participant Analysis: Matching Your Audience in E-Learning
Okay, I have a story to tell. It’s one I’m not particularly proud of, but it’s mine nonetheless and I’m going to own it.
A few weeks ago my niece was begging me to play Monopoly with her. You all know the game. The seemingly never-end game made up of endless trips around the board and ill fated hopes that you can either hit it rich or go ahead and end the misery by landing on Boardwalk and handing everything you own to the player on your left. Continue reading Games Based Learning in the E-Learning World
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to sit down with a brand new client and discuss new training initiatives within their organization.
The goal was to create a training program for their 1st level supervisors to improve leadership skills and increase retention rates for entry level employees.
Sounds fairly straight forward. Right? Continue reading E-Learning … When Does the Lesson Begin?
One of the things that pops up time and time again when talking about E-Learning is the topic of effective writing. Namely, what does effective writing look like?
It seems like a simple question, but the answer is not as easy as one might think. Why? Because the idea of effective is extremely subjective. Not only that, but what may be effective in one situation would be completely inappropriate in another. Continue reading 3 Types of Writing for Effective E-Learning
When I hear the words “mobile learning” my ears instantly perk up. No matter what the conversation, no matter what the topic, all it takes is that one little phrase and suddenly you have my full and complete attention.
For a few reasons. For starters, mobile learning is and will continue to be the next big thing in E-Learning. This is the buzz word of the year and the trend may well continue into next year. We all know this. And this is one of the main reasons why I am always so interested to key into any chatter around the topic. Continue reading Three Top Mobile Learning Resources
Last week I had the chance to partake in one of my favorite parts of my job….meeting with a new client. See, one of the perks of what I do is that everyday has the opportunity to bring something new and different to the table. It’s something I love and something I look forward to.
This particular client wanted to discuss the use of E-Learning and mobile learning to roll out targeted training options for their workforce.
My favorite subject! Continue reading Addressing the Growing Generation Gap in Relation to E-Learning
I have a question. When you sit down to create a new E-Learning initiative, where do you start? At the beginning? Or at the end?
The knee jerk reaction is to say, “of course I start at the beginning!”
But today I want to look at things a bit differently. I want us to start thinking in terms of outcomes, and creating E-Learning initiatives that fulfill business needs. Continue reading Creating Effective E-Learning Outcomes
When we think of mobile learning we tend to get a picture of the commuter working their way through the morning train ride, and while this is accurate, there is so much more to mobile learning.
For the first time ever we have a platform that allows users to maximize their time and find the moments that work best for their own unique needs.
It’s really a simple equation: Continue reading 5 Tips for Effective Mobile Learning
Recently, I was speaking to a colleague who was just about ready to throw in the E-learning towel.
They had, in their own words, done everything “right.” Meaning that their initiative was well thought out, carefully planned in coordination with proven adult learning theories and executed perfectly.
The only problem was that it wasn’t working. Hence the whole “throw in the towel” portion of the conversation.
“Why aren’t they getting it?“ “Why isn’t it working?“ And, my personal favorite, “what did I do wrong?”
All good questions. But, as we soon found out, none of them directly addressed the issue at hand. Continue reading Factoring in Organizational Culture in E-Learning
First off, let me ask you this. Does anyone know what a lemming is? Well, I’d be happy to enlighten you! See a lemming is a small rodent type creature that has a tendency towards mass suicide. It works like this. When the population gets too large, lemmings will throw themselves off cliffs in huge numbers. It just takes one to get things started and then this seemingly never ending wave of tiny rodents voluntarily tosses themselves down into the sea. It’s one of those things that is horrifyingly interesting to watch.
So here’s the question. How could lemmings possibly relate to E-Learning? Continue reading Beware the Lemming: The Most Destructive Trends in E-Learning
I had some time to think recently about what makes learning initiatives, specifically E-Learning, successful.
Is it the content? Is it the presentation? Is it the instructor? Is it all the pretty pictures we throw in there?
I think that yes, it’s a bit of all of these things.
But, I propose that it is also something more. Continue reading Top 3 Signs of a Learning Mind
As part of wrapping things up last year, we looked at some of the best free learning tools out there. A sort of looking back on the year and hitting the high points so to speak.
Now a few months into the new year, I am more than ready to move forward and greet this year with everything I have.
Want to come with me? Awesome! Then let’s go check out what might just be 10 great ways to expand your learning.
We all have our favorite e-learning tools we use (I of course am partial to Atrixware e-learning tools, and I suppose everyone has their own favorite brand). Maybe its something fresh and new, or maybe its something so old that you take extra steps to make sure it works every time you get a new PC.
However, today I want to appeal to you adventurous side, and suggest to you some useful (and free) e-learning tools you may want to try out for size. You just might find that one or two of these are a nice compliment (or maybe even a replacement) to your existing tools.
PowerPoint … the tool we all love to hate.
Well, that might not be exactly fair. I mean, if I’m being completely honest then don’t I have to admit that the problem may lie with the user rather than the tool?
Maybe not in all cases, but I know that my own personal issue with most of the PowerPoint presentations I have had the displeasure of viewing is they are boring.
And not just kinda boring. I mean chin on the desk, prop your eyes open with a pencil, fall asleep sitting up snooze worthy! Continue reading What Makes a PowerPoint Slide Good?
Do you remember your first E-Learning project? You know what I mean, the one that started it all? Some of you are sitting there reading this with a smile on your face as you laugh at the thought of stumbling your way through your first project. We’ve all been there.
And that is what this post is all about.
So, in an effort to ease the pain of new beginnings, I’ve put together a little list. One that I hope will help you on your journey as you get started in the crazy and often frustrating world of E-Learning.
This list certainly doesn’t cover everything – no mere blog post could, but its a great place to start and will hopefully give you a few new things to think about as you put together your own E-Learning new initiative.
As I sit down to write this post I’m thinking back on my long lost college days. Specifically I’m thinking about sitting through Dr. Holland’s endless marketing theory class and his love for all things PowerPoint. See, Dr. Holland (name changed to protect the not so innocent) only taught night classes.
This was both good and bad. Good because you only had to go one night a week. Bad cause you then had to make yourself sit there and pretend to pay attention for the entire 2+ hours that he droned on … and on … and on. Continue reading The Burning E-Learning Question: Does Slide Count Matter?
Weblearning 9.63 will be released this week (end of November 2011) — sort of.
First, we will be putting in on the Demo system (demo.atrixware-online.com) for about a week while we iron out any last remaining bugs.
After that, new sign-ups will get the new build, and those owning an Enterprise/Enterprise Gold/Enterprise Platinum system that host the system on their own servers will be offered access to the new build.
Existing hosted customers without customizations will get their systems migrated one-at-a-time to the new build (and consequently during the migration will be moved to a new and improved server hosted over at liquid-web). This will be a process – likely to take about a month to get every system moved. After these are complete, we will move the customized systems over one-by-one.
Here’s the thing about mobile learning … it’s a buzz word. It’s one that we’ve all heard and probably one that we’ve all said at least a time or two, or a hundred. I can admit that it’s been known to slip out of my own mouth on occasion.
But what does this buzz word actually mean?
And, probably more importantly how can we put it to use in our own little E-Learning world? These are the questions we answer today. We’re going to take a closer look at both the strengths and weaknesses of mobile learning as well as look at the opportunities this new technology will offer us all.
If you have been using Weblearning for any length of time, you are probably used to getting 1 or 2 updates every year with a mixture of new features and interface enhancements.
Our upcoming update (9.63) is due out by the end of this year, and includes dozens of enhancements (and some behind the scenes stuff), and a major rehaul of the admin interface (and probably some new course design changes as well).
We realize that most of you are used to the interface the way it is (it has pretty much been the same for a few years now), so we tried really hard to keep the same workflow, while really beefing up the interface. So, I thought I would show off a hadful of screen shots to give you an idea of what it will look like (I will write another article talking about the new features).
Here is the new Home Screen (what you see when you first log in):
Here is a screen of the Module List – notice that plug-in modules can be managed from here now too:
Here is an example of a Plugin subtab – we moved from list-style to icon-style rendering.
Here is the Account tab (overview). We moved the tab to the right (out of your way since it is most likely the least frequently used tab in your account). This makes room for a future tab-plugin ability.
Each tab and sub-tab you are on also pulls dynamically relevant articles and Q&A from the help section – this should help you along a bit if you are stuck on something (you will see those on the right panel).
Of course, nothing here is finalized (we are still working on it), but what I have shown you is pretty close if not exactly what it will look like when your system gets the update later this year.
I’ll admit, I can be a bit of a pessimist. Not in a “glass is half full” kind of way but more in a “been there, done that, got the t-shirt” kind of way.
It’s just hard to shock me, and even harder to show me something new and different.
Well, I stand here before you today as a changed soul.
Why you ask? Because a good friend managed not only to shock me recently, but to shake me right down to the center of my E-Learning core.
It all started with a phone call. “You’ve got to see this!”
“See what?” I ask as I lean back in my chair, kicking a stray foot up onto the desk in front of me.
“There aren’t words.“ Was the answer I received.
The other day I had a bit of an epiphany of sorts that I would like to share with all my dear friends in the E-Learning world. I was talking with a student when they asked me a very pointed and direct question that I wasn’t expecting. Nor, as it turns out, was I prepared to answer it.
Curious as to what it was?
People ask me all the time about success and what that reality looks like. It seems like a simple question, but think about it for a moment. What does success look like for the typical E-Learning professional?
Is it someone with a full calendar of events and classes? Is it a person who is well thought of? Is it a bit of both? Or is it something else entirely?
The truth is that at the end of the day, success is defined by the individual. What you find successful will differ from the person next to you as you each have your own unique set of goals for your life.
Let’s take a minute to go back … and for some of us I mean way back. All the way back to a time when we sat gathered around our grandparents’ knees as we waited with baited breath to find out what happened next to our favorite characters. Back to the days of storytelling and the magical moments those tales produced.
I’m betting even today you can remember every word. I know I can. I’ve even shared a few with the next generation, taking my place in a tradition that is as old as language itself.
This brings me to the question of the day. When did we forget about the power of the story? When did we forget that stories themselves are powerful teaching tools that can create memories which are both strong and lasting?