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Archive for the ‘Weblearning’ Category

Death by PowerPoint?

623446_21961390.jpgThere is a great debate going on in the world of learning.  Not just E-Learning, but the educational community as a whole.

The argument? That our generation is managing to single-handedly demolish the learning process through the use (or misuse as the case may be!) of a single powerful tool.

The great offender?

No other than our tried and trustworthy friend, PowerPoint.

This debate was brought to my attention in the last week as I sat through a presentation on this very subject.  What struck me as odd (even a bit surreal) about the whole situation was that the presenter of the day was making his argument against PowerPoint….with PowerPoint!  He stood there in front of us spouting off reason after reason as to why we should abandon this tool as a whole even as he himself  was using it to make his point. (more…)

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Weblearning LMS Hosted Plans with SCORM Now Available

scorm1.gifA few weeks ago, we released the Weblearning Enterprise Gold Edition, our first LMS offering that includes the ability to use SCORM content. The Weblearning Enterprise Gold Edition is essentially a Weblearning LMS license for your own server.

This week, we have released two new Weblearning Annual Hosted plans that include SCORM – the Weblearning Ultimate Plan, and Weblearning Server Plan (the Server plan includes a dedicated managed server for high volume e-learning delivery).

You can check out the plans (along with our new plans that don’t include SCORM) on our Weblearning Packages page.

For those of you that don’t know what SCORM is, I will write up a few articles in the near future explaining how it can benefit you and your Weblearning system, but for now, you can read about SCORM here.

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The Weblearning Learning Management System is a powerful, budget-friendly, easy-to-use Online E-Learning System for authoring, managing, and tracking online learning presentations and tests. To try it FREE,  go to the Weblearning E-Learning System Sign-up Form.

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Are You Designing Effective Questions for E-Learning?

centang-check-checklist-equiry-list-poll-task-test-todo-write-icon.pngOver the years we have come to think of tests as necessary bench marks.  Ones that, right, wrong or indifferent are part of the learning process and an indispensable facet of progressing through any type of education.

And, while this may be true, some of us probably are not stopping to think about whether or not we are doing it right.  I mean, sure, the students have to worry about that each and every time they sit down for an exam … but what about us (the teachers/trainers of the world)?

It is our responsibility to share the information, so is it not also our responsibility to also test effectively?  To not just throw out questions, but to test for comprehension?  For true understanding and mastery? (more…)

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Weblearning LMS version 9.62 New Features

whats_new.gifEach time we release an update to Weblearning, we usually include a handful of new features. A typical update will include a dozen or less items.

In this case, there are actually almost 50 Additions, Changes and Bug Fixes in Weblearning version 9.62, which makes it a very large update.

For this article, I had to choose a few of the new features that are likely to be ones that most of you would want to be aware of and/or you are likely to use. All of these are actual feature requests we have received, so I know some of you will be excited to hear about them.

If you are interested in learning about the SCORM compatibility, you can read about that here.

(more…)

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SCORM Now Available in Weblearning Enterprise Gold Edition

scorm1.gifWe have been working very hard this year to bring you SCORM support in our Weblearning LMS.

Finally, I am happy to report that it is ready, and is now available in our newest edition of Weblearning Enterprise – the Weblearning Enterprise Gold Edition.

Although the new Weblearning Enterprise Gold Edition LMS is slightly more expensive than our standard Weblearning Enterprise Edition LMS, it is still thousands (actually tens of thousands) less than other LMS options on the market.

We are also working hard to bring you a hosted monthly and hosted annual options that offer SCORM capabilities as well. Our goal is to offer you the best value for a hosted SCORM solution. We have yet to work out the pricing and implementation details on the hosted plans though (more to come on this in the weeks ahead).

Below, I have posted some screen shots and comments here to give you a sneak peek at what it looks like and what it can do.

(more…)

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Addressing Multi-Generational Users in E-Learning

1189187_thinking_and_smiling.jpgThe other day I was asked by a colleague of mine if I would give a type of information technology guest lecture at one of the local colleges.  As the topic was one that I have worked with extensively, SEO and how to maximize its effectiveness, I agreed, thinking that it would be a nice break from my standard day of logging hours in front of the computer.

It was, but it also brought a few very interesting realizations to light in a very short amount of time.  In fact, you could say that I had an epiphany of sorts as I stood there under the flickering florescent lights enjoying the endless expanses of Berber carpet that boasted a shade somewhere between gray and blue. (more…)

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How To Convert PowerPoint E-Learning Presentations into Movies

movie-1.gifOne of the greatest things about PowerPoint is that they are always working to make it better.  A new version means new changes.  New features and options that give the user more freedom than ever before.  With PowerPoint 2010 those of us in the E-Learning community have even more to be excited about.  Because with this new version we finally have the ability to covert our E-Learning presentations into movies with one simple step.

The reality is that it has always been possible to create a movie from a PowerPoint presentation.  The problem is that up until now the process was long, laborious and complicated.  It also required the use of additional software as well as some level of technical know-how.

Today?  This is no longer the case and I am thrilled!  Now with one simple step you can save your presentation into a movie format that you can use again and again.

What to know how its done?  No problem! (more…)

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Building the Right E-Learning Initiatives for Your Client Base

1185958_74052169.jpgAs I sit down to write to all of you this week, there is one question that keeps flying around in my head. I want to know is how do you, those in charge of both creating and facilitating the E-Learning initiatives for your organizations, choose what those initiatives will be?

Do you make the choice based on what you feel will be the most effective option for your client or participants?

~or~

Do you make the choice based on what you like? (more…)

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How to Edit a Photo Using PowerPoint

I came across this short video which show a fairly easy yet useful way to edit and re-purpose images inside PowerPoint (instead of, for example, having to fire up PhotoShop or some other high-powered image editor).

While certainly not a full replacement for your favorite image editor, once you watch it, I think you may be as surprised as I was to find out this was even possible in PowerPoint:

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The Weblearning Learning Management System is a powerful, budget-friendly, easy-to-use Online E-Learning System for authoring, managing, and tracking online learning presentations and tests (including your PowerPoint Presentations). To try it FREE, go to the Weblearning E-Learning System Sign-up Form.

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Using CSS Tricks in Your Online Quizzes

20_dog_doing_card_tricks.jpgWith the plethora of settings and configurations available to your quizzes inside of your Weblearning LMS account, you may have passed over or discounted the Extra CSS Field.

While it’s not obvious by looking at it (just a big empty white text box), you can do some pretty cool things using it – and I am going to show you a few in this article!

Where the heck is this EXTRA CSS box?
When you edit a quiz ( Learning Modules > List All > Edit [pencil icon] ), click on the (more…)

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Championing Self-Directed Learning

1204276_79348112.jpgWhen we talk about learning, and by this I mean all learning and not just that of the E-Learning variety, we are often spouting off buzz words relevant to our own current time and place.  These words tend to come and go quickly, often falling out of style before the majority of us even know what they really mean.  With that in mind, what if I told you that there was a huge buzzword in the field of adult education that has been hanging around for over a decade?

Unbelievable?  Astounding?  Nope….true!  Because self-directed learning has done just that.

Pretty impressive right?  I’m thinking you might want to know what all the fuss was about!

(more…)

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Flashcards Plugin for Weblearning LMS – Preview

Here is a short video that shows a preview of our new Flashcards plug-in for Weblearning LMS – which should be available very soon (a few weeks). Despite all the fancy animations going on, the Flashcards plug-in is pure HTML, so it is mobile-learning compatible (phones, tablets).

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The Weblearning LMS is a powerful, budget-friendly, easy-to-use Online E-Learning System for authoring, managing, and tracking online learning presentations and tests (including your E-Learning Lessons). To try it FREE,  go to the Weblearning E-Learning System Sign-up Form.

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Leveraging Subject Matter Expertise into Effective E-Learning

1340442_12468964.jpgBuzz words….gotta love them.  They grow and stretch until it seems like they take on a life of their own as they work their way into every day conversation.

But what do they really mean?  Sure, we all use them, they’re catchy and a bit fun, but how often do we really take a deeper look into what we are saying and how these phrases apply to real world situations?

Such as the term, “Subject Matter Expert.”  Have you ever taken the time to sit down and think about what it means to be considered a Subject Matter Expert?  You could start by saying that it means you are good at something; that you have a talent and maybe even a strong skill set in a certain area.  But I think that’s a bit bland if you truly want to label either yourself or even someone else to be an “expert.”

(more…)

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LMS Plug-in Development Inside Look

boring_presentation.jpgThings are extremely busy here at Atrixware E-Learning Solutions these days – across all departments. I thought I’d provide you with a sneak peek into the product development happenings (at the risk of being boring for some), and give you some information on some cool Weblearning LMS plug-ins (currently available plug-ins are here) we are readying for 2011 release.

Flash Cards
This is a new module type that can co-exist with the learning presentations, practice quizzes, and graded quizzes you can already create inside of your Weblearning LMS account. This plug-in will enable you to create online flashcard style learning modules, where users can view questions on the front of a card, and then flip the card to view the answer.

(more…)

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Making Your E-Learning Lessons Meaningful

1338212_30238506.jpgBefore we get started with today’s post, I want to ask one quick question….

How many of you have ever taken the time to ask your friends or colleagues about their experiences with E-Learning?

If the answer is “never,” then I highly recommend that you do just that.

Why?  Well, because chances are good that you will be amazed at their answers.

See, the other day I had this great conversation with a good friend of mine about just this topic.  When he asked me about my E-Learning projects, I excitedly shared all of the different things that I am working on right now.

So imagine my surprise when he responded with an adamant, “I hate when I have to do those things! They are nothing but busy work!(more…)

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Five Ways to Get Users to Your Online Courses

access-cable-connect-internet-network-icon.pngThere are numerous ways you can get users to your Online E-Learning Courses inside the Weblearning E-Learning System. In this article, I will show you 5 ways.

1. Send them an Invitation

The invitation mechanism inside your Weblearning E-Learning System account is very capable. You can use it to both send invitations, and track who has / has not yet been invited. (more…)

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10 Helpful Tips for Using PowerPoint for E-Learning

helpful_tips_image.jpgWe all know that PowerPoint is an amazing tool in the world of E-Learning software.  It allows us to connect directly with users, as well as share our message in a wholly unique and fully customizable way.  But, as with any tool, there are good ways (and therefore not-so-good ways) to use it.

So today, in hopes of helping you to solve the PowerPoint puzzle, I’d like to share a few tips that have worked for me along the way.  Nothing too fancy, just a great place to start when it comes to building presentations of your own!

1. Keep it Simple

Let’s face it…PowerPoint is fun!  It’s packed with all of these happy little features that let you make your slides move, bounce and shimmy to the beat of your favorite music.

The problem with this is that all those extras can detract from your message.  Users will spend their time focused on the fun instead of the lesson you are trying to teach.  Simple slides may seem boring, but they are the best way to deliver a targeted and tailored E-Learning experience.

(more…)

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Great Ways to Prevent Cheating on Online Quizzes

imgres.jpgDelivering Online Quizzes is becoming more and more common, so here are 5 great ways to help prevent cheating and ensure the user answers are their own.

Shuffle the Question Order

This is a no-brain-er. By doing this, you make sure that passing the quiz is not a simple list of letters (like 1-a, 2-c, 3-b, 4-b, etc). Most quiz authoring software (including our Weblearning E-Learning System as well as our Online Quiz Maker System) enable you to do this.

(more…)

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How To Enable Pause and Resume on Your Online Quizzes

One of the benefits of authoring your online quizzes inside your Weblearning E-Learning System (as opposed to using quizzes from some other source) is the ability for your users to pause the online quiz and then resume the quiz at a later date. In this article I’m going to show you how easy it is to enable the Pause/Resume feature on one or all of your online quizzes just by adding one line of CSS.

(more…)

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Create E-Learning with Instant Feedback Questions

A relatively unknown (but useful) feature in the Weblearning Training Management System the ability to include quiz questions (currently multiple-option, true/false and yes/no) inside your authored learning presentations – which adds interactivity to your learning materials.

When you include questions inside presentations however, the operate a bit differently than they do inside of an online quiz.

First, when your user first encounters a question inside a learning presentation, the navigation buttons will be disabled – thereby forcing them to choose an answer to the question.

(more…)

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Add Live Chat to Your Online Courses

image1.jpgThe Chat plug-in for the Weblearning E-Learning System enables you to integrate a live chat room directly into your Weblearning courses where you (the Course Admin or Instructor) can chat in real-time with your users. The chat room itself can be utilized in multiple ways – simply chatting with users, answering question in real time, administering online oral exams, or enhancing the overall distance-learning experience.

In this article I’ll show you how to integrate the most basic form of the chat room plug-in into one of your courses (there are multiple ways to integrate the chat room, for more information on the different methods you can use with this plug-in please refer to the plug-in documentation).

To get started let’s take a look at how you can access the chat plugin in your account that will allow you to chat with your users, configure the chat settings, and view the plug-in documentation.

(more…)

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How to Extract Text from Images so You Can Edit the Text

I can’t tell you how many times I have come across this scenario: Our users have content as a PDF, or as Images, but not the source document so they can edit it. They essentially have to re-enter all the text – yikes!

Well, here is a handy tip to save you (and them) the grief. (more…)

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Importance of Usability in E-Learning

usability.gifUsability is a very important thing to take into account when designing your e-learning content (says ‘captain obvious’). No really, have you looked around? This simple principle has seemingly escaped the attention of many e-learning offerings (I suppose in exchange for the “let’s just get something out there” mentality).

One of the best resources on web usability standards (and you are creating e-learning for the web, right?) is a site called useit.com and I urge anyone interested in this topic to visit this site.

The ultimate goal is to enable the same online learning presentations, online quizzes or study guides to be used by anyone in your target audience. Online learning presentations and online quizzes have to accommodate for this diversity to create a pleasant experience for all users. With mLearning now in the mix, consideration for all kinds of devices (in all shapes and sizes) needs to come into play. (more…)

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Checklist for Choosing the right Learning Management System

checklist.jpgAre you considering purchasing a Learning Management System (LMS) for your company?

Here is a sample RFP you can use:
Click here to download the LMS RFP Sample (PDF) 

Looking for something more basic?

Here are some tips or a “checklist” of things you may want to consider. Please feel free to provide suggestions to add to the list in comments.

#1. Do your “Due Diligence”
More features usually means more complexity – What level of complexity can you handle? Are you technical enough to use the features?
__ Did you identify your core current needs or requirements for your LMS?
__ Did you identify your future needs? (see scalability below)
__ Which features are “need to have” versus “nice to have”? (more…)

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Simple Tips for Designing E-Learning Courses

helpful_tips_image.jpgHere are ten e-learning design tips, in no particular order, that will help you build better, more engaging and more effective e-learning courses and content (and if you have your own suggestion to add to the list, please place in the comments).

There are literally hundreds of tips I can give you (mostly from our Weblearning E-Learning System customers), but I am going to break it up into several articles so each article doesn’t turn into a novel. I have also re-worded some tips (some tips were originally several paragraphs long).

KISS
Keep it simple. Too many bells & whistles will cloud the message you are trying to convey, and also add development and testing time to your schedule.

Keep It Small
If your course is longer than 15 minutes, break it up into 15 minute chunks. (more…)

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Weblearning Design Editor Tips

In the Weblearning E-Learning System, you will see the Design Editor (aka the Rich Text Editor) all over the system – you use it to enter quiz questions and presentation slides, course layout designs, response pages, and more.

Chances are, you have used it to do simple markup such as bold-ing the some text, changing the font size, and perhaps even changing a color or two. However, there is quite a bit more you can do with this editor (actually too much to mention in a single article).

(more…)

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Delivering Quiz Questions in Sequence in Weblearning

Many times, you may shuffle your question order so each learner gets the questions in a different order (or perhaps even randomize the picks so they get different questions, too). This approach goes a long way towards preventing memorization and cheating.

However, there are also times when you may want to make sure you deliver questions (and slides) in a specific order – and that is what I will be discussing in this article.

When you enter in questions or slides into your Weblearning account, each question is given a ‘random’ sequence number (you will not find any ‘sequence number’ data filed on the question entry form).

(more…)

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4 Places to Get Free Images for Your #Elearning Slides

I have been getting a lot of inquiries of late on using images, copyright issues to follow, etc.

There are of course various sites that offer images you can purchase for use with your online elearning content. For those on a budget, there are several places you can go online to get free images.

I am including the 4 we have used.

http://www.sxc.hu/
This is the one we use most often. It has a decent selection of images, and while it won’t give you the wide array of choices you have on pay-per-image sites, more times than not you will find a good image to use.

http://www.iconfinder.com/
We use this site quite a bit. Although it limits you to 128×128 images (which are actually ‘icons’), there are so many here, you will find yourself coming back here over and over again (we do).

Other Honorable Mentions

http://www.freepixels.com/ - used this site a few times when sxc.hu didn’t have what we needed. Worth a look
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/
  - can’t mention images without this one. Lots of clipart here.

The Weblearning E-Learning System is a powerful, budget-friendly, easy-to-use Online E-Learning System for authoring, managing, and tracking online learning presentations and tests. To try it FREE,  go to the Weblearning E-Learning System Sign-up Form.

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Offer Instant Feedback for Your Questions

New in Weblearning 9.6 is the ability to include certain question types (currently multiple-option, true/false and yes/no) inside your authored presentations.

When you include questions inside presentations however, the operate a bit differently than they do inside of a quiz.

First, when a user first encounters a question inside a learning presentation, the navigation buttons will be disabled – thereby forcing them to choose an answer to the question.

Next, the user will receive feedback when they choose an answer:

  • if they choose wrong choice, the will get feedback telling them so, and then have the opportunity to choose another selection
  • if the choose the correct answer, they will get feedback telling them so, and then the navigation button(s) will be re-enabled so they can navigate to the next question or slide

2-6-2010-12-32-50-pm.png

By default, the ‘instant feedback’ displayed to the user is a generic ‘you were correct, you were incorrect’ kind of message. However, you can author into each question a specific feedback for each choice if you choose by doing the following:

  1. edit (or add) a new question (that works inside learning presentations)
  2. click the OPTIONAL tab
  3. scroll down to the IMMEDIATE FEEDBACK RESPONSES section to apply responses

2-6-2010-12-46-37-pm.png

The Weblearning E-Learning System is a powerful, budget-friendly, easy-to-use Online E-Learning System for authoring, managing, and tracking online learning presentations and tests. To try it FREE,  go to the Weblearning E-Learning System Sign-up Form.

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Print Quizzes using Weblearning E-Learning System

It may not happen often, but occasionally you may have a need to print off a quiz (or even a presentation) for a user, or perhaps even for prototyping purposes.

Weblearning 9.6 introduces a new feature to do just that – enable you to easily print off a quiz.

Keep in mind that Weblearning is not designed specifically to create printed quizzes, so you wont have the plethora of options as you do for configuring the quizzes for online delivery.

To access the print function, click on the LEARNING MODULES tab, and then list the learning modules in the LIST ALL tab, and click the EDIT button next to the learning module you would like to print:

3-24-2010-4-08-25-pm.png

This will open the learning module up in edit mode. From here, click the SLIDES tab, and then finally, click the PRINT button to print off the learning module:

3-24-2010-4-10-18-pm.png

Quizzes will print out nice almost every time. Presentations will print out nicely for the most part, but if you have sophisticated layouts the output may not be 100% perfect.

The Weblearning E-Learning System is a powerful, budget-friendly, easy-to-use Online E-Learning System for authoring, managing, and tracking online learning presentations and tests. To try it FREE,  go to the Weblearning E-Learning System Sign-up Form.

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