TRAINING-ONLINE.EU: eLearning Platform Review

Modern educational technology enables companies, schools, and organizations to develop, store, assign, and track the learning progress online. With hundreds if not thousands of vendors out there, choosing an eLearning platform isn’t a simple task. Our clients often ask us for help in finding a good platform to store their eLearning content. This week we had a chance to review a platform that has a potential to become industry’s go-to place for learning content management. Here are some highlights of training-online.eu platform.

  • Full scale LMS capability
  • No upfront costs
  • Mobile-friendly platform
  • Support for multiple languages
  • Privacy and security
  • E-commerce capability
  • Availability of tutorials and forums
  • Ability to add users and new eLearning content
  • Course assignment management
  • Potential for customization
  • Before choosing a Learning Management System, we encourage our clients to consider the type of learning operations that the business or organization is engaged in. A good LMS should support all types of learning content the company is using without having to compromise. We usually advise our clients to determine their goals, needs, and expectations prior to selecting an LMS. Once they identify the key features needed, we work with them to find the best platform that meets the criteria. Last but not least, the price is an important factor. The platform of choice must meet the company’s budget constraints. Systems that don’t require a payment upfront often look more desirable because they allow the companies to evaluate the platforms without making a long-term commitment.

    4 Types of eLearning Solutions to Boost Your Business

    For all types of businesses out there—large and small, startups and companies that have existed for generations, customer-facing and technology-based—one fact always remains unchanged: staff training and development is a cornerstone of the company’s success. Traditionally, companies relied heavily on textbooks and instructor-led trainings to deliver the learning content, while more recently eLearning has emerged as a valuable tool for staff education. eLearning is becoming increasingly popular due to the flexibility and savings in both time and dollars it can offer while providing outstanding training outcomes. Recent statistics shows that a good eLearning program can offer knowledge retention rates as high as 25-60%. These are only some of the reasons why more and more companies turn to eLearning to educate their staff. Another interesting trend that’s been noted in the eLearning industry is that companies have begun to offer eLearning to their customers in addition to staff. While staff training focuses on skills and job competencies, customer training can teach users to interact with and take full advantage of the company’s products. Let’s discuss the four types of eLearning solutions a typical company uses to educate its staff and its customers.

    Product Knowledge Training

    Originally, product knowledge training was mainly aimed at sales people who were required to know the product inside out in order to be able to sell it to the customer. The product knowledge training for sales people focuses on product’s features and benefits, and how these benefits can solve the customers’ needs. While there are many different reasons why a company should offer product knowledge courses to its staff, the main goal of such courses is always to provide relevant information about the company’s products.
    More recently, companies have started offering eLearning to their customers in addition to staff, reasoning that proper training will enable a customer to take full advantage of the product, gain maximum satisfaction from using the product, which in turn can ensure referrals and repeat business. This works especially well for complex and technological products that require a certain amount of learning and adjusting to. Most customers agree that the availability of eLearning that supports the end user can positively influence their buying decisions and promote a favorable attitude towards the product.
    Whether your company is looking for a product training for staff, customers, or both, it’s always a good idea to invest in eLearning development because it can save you money and provide the results you need.

    Software Training

    Almost any company out there is using some kind of software in its operations cycle. We rely on software programs to plan work, communicate, keep track of inventories, maintain accounting records, and perform many other tasks. By partnering with an eLearning company to produce courses to teach your staff to use software properly, you can improve the team’s performance, eliminate errors and mistakes, and minimize downtime. Virtually anyone in your office can benefit from software training—from a receptionist using Microsoft Outlook to an architect working in AutoCAD.
    What’s really great about online software training programs is that you only need to invest in designing it once, and you can then reuse it as many times as you need for as many staff members as you need. This can take care of the training needs for your current staff as well as the future staff members because you will have the training ready and available for anyone who joins the company in the future. Modern advances in software training allow to mimic various software products while guiding the learner through the tasks, capturing the progress, and providing feedback. This provides significant benefits over the traditional training methods such as manuals with screenshots and classroom trainings.

    Compliance Training

    Most business owners from time to time have to deal with ensuring that the staff meets the federal, state or local compliance requirements. Compliance training helps staff to understand the legal boundaries within which your organization operates. It provides the legal framework which assists in enhancing the relationship between employees and employers of an organization. Compliance training should be a key priority for your company as it helps meet the legal obligations and standards. Failing to provide adequate compliance training often results in hefty fines and negative public perception in addition to low employee morale and high turnover. As a business owner, it’s in your best interest to provide a good compliance training to your staff. Luckily, with eLearning you are able to design such training once and reuse it multiple times for any number of staff. When the legislation changes, all you need to do is update the areas of the training that are affected by the change, and you can then keep serving the training program to the employees.

    Skills and Behavior Training

    The success of your business largely depends on your staff’s ability to perform tasks, provide customer service, and manage your company’s operations. It’s very common for employees to have varying levels of skills and knowledge. Typically, the more senior employees who have been of the job for a long time are more knowledgeable than the newer employees. As a business owner, you might be looking for ways to preserve the institutional knowledge your senior employees carry and share this knowledge with the newer staff. eLearning course for specialized and soft skills and behavior can solve this challenge for you. This works especially well for the kind of tasks that don’t change significantly over time because it allows you to reuse the existing courses over longer periods of time without having to spend time and money producing new training materials.

    No matter what kind of business you are in, you will face a need to train staff, customers, or both. Providing eLearning courses will allow you to save time, money, and effort, while delivering outstanding knowledge retention rates and ensuring positive training outcomes. The four types of eLearning you may need are product knowledge training, software training, compliance training, skills/behavior training. Keep in mind these distinct types of solutions when requesting an eLearning price quote. When selecting an eLearning company that will design your training products, make sure that its team knows and understands how to deliver the training appropriate to your expectations that can truly benefit your business.

    Tips for Selecting a Reliable eLearning Company

    eLearning is becoming an increasingly important part of a corporate training and development function in large and small businesses nationwide. However, only about 40% of the companies in the US are currently using eLearning; this means that the other 60% are still yet to discover this amazing tool. If your company belongs to the 40% that are already using eLearning, you probably have already had experience working with an eLearning vendor. If your company is yet to utilize eLearning in your everyday business, then you might expect having to engage with an eLearning production company at some point in the near future. By following our five tips for selecting a qualified eLearning provider you can ensure the success of your eLearning project.

    1. First Impression Matters

    When initially contacting an eLearning company, pay attention to the experience you encounter. Most likely, the experience of communicating with the company for the first time will be indicative of the experience you can expect for the remainder of your engagement with the vendor. Think about the first impression you receive when you visit the company’s website. Does it look clean and modern? Does the content seem up to date? Are there any broken links or missing pages? A company that maintains a good online presence is more likely to have a good variety of resources your future project may need. Next, evaluate your experience reaching out to the company. If you called, how easy was it to speak to a live person? Was someone available on the line right away or did you have to wait? If you left a voice message, how long did it take this eLearning vendor to call you back? Same goes for filling out contact forms online and emailing the vendor. Are you satisfied with the speed they responded to your contact request or email message? Is the response appropriate to the kind of information you requested? The speed and clarity of communication between you and the vendor will play a huge role in the success of your project, therefore it’s in your best interest to pick a company with good communication practices from the get-go.

    2. Knowledge and Expertise

    Once you establish the initial contact with the prospective eLearning provider, take your time to evaluate how knowledgeable the team is. Whether you are new to eLearning or have worked on similar projects in the past, take your time to ask questions about the product, services, process, challenges, technology, and anything else that can potentially impact the project. Watch the vendor’s team respond to your questions and note how adequate their knowledge is. The team should be able to provide answers and clarifications on anything that directly relates to the production process. For those questions that they are not able to answer right away or refer you to another source, try to determine whether this information is truly out of scope of your contact person, or whether it indicates the gaps in knowledge which can negatively impact your project. It’s even more important to speak to the team that will be working on your project, evaluate the team’s experience and previously completed work, understand the strengths and weaknesses of each team member, as well as determine whether these strengths and weaknesses are well balanced for the successful completion of the project. The team’s knowledge and expertise is what’s going to make or break your project. Take them seriously and take your time to properly evaluate them.

    3. Work Samples

    A very important step in the process of finding the right eLearning vendor for your business is checking the work samples. Any respectable company should have a variety of samples they share with the prospective clients. Because no two companies are alike, eLearning products vary greatly from business to business, but don’t let that confuse you. Make sure to check items that stand out in sample’s execution quality, graphics, and functionality. Note positive as well as negative items you come across. While your eLearning product will likely be different, things like poor visuals or recurring bugs tend to stay consistent within the same team. If the team you’re interviewing has shown poor performance in the past, your best bet would be to go elsewhere. Never settle for screenshots of the past products, demand to see the working courses. Screenshots can be screen comps created in Photoshop or even dressed up stock images, you always want to see the actual eLearning course and not an image of one screen. Once you take a look at the work samples, ask yourself: would I be happy if this was the product I was given for the money I’m paying?

    4. Availability

    You want to make sure that the team is available to meet with you whenever the meeting is needed, and that they are capable of producing the eLearning course according to your timeline. If the team is slow to respond or fails to produce deliverables according to the timeline, it may not be giving your project the full attention it deserves. This is particularly important when the company relies of freelance contractors to get the job done. Contractors often work on multiple project for multiple companies at the same time, which limits the amount of time they can spend working on your project. Make sure you do the due diligence on the team’s workload and other commitments before signing a contract. This is especially true for large time-sensitive projects that absolutely have to be completed on time.

    5. Flexibility

    The eLearning vendor you end up working with should offer enough flexibility to meet your project’s most intricate needs. Because it takes time and money to design and develop a good eLearning course, you want to make sure that those time and money will not be wasted by the team’s inability to provide exactly what you are looking for. While any unique software system has its own limitations, modern day technology allows to solve almost any kind of a challenge. You eLearning provider should be flexible enough to deliver the product that performs exactly the way you envision.

    Summary

    Increasingly more companies are relying on eLearning to train their staff and sometimes even customers. If you work in the corporate training and development function, you will most likely face the need to shop for an eLearning vendor at some point in your career. When contacting the vendors, pay attention to the first impressions you get—those provide a good insight of how the vendor treats its clients. A reliable eLearning provider should have the knowledge and expertise required to complete your project, and should be able to support the claims of their knowledge and expertise by completely functioning eLearning samples that you can interact with. Finally, look for the team that can offer the flexibility, reliability, and availability your project requires. By using these tips when shopping for an eLearning vendor you can ensure that your project will be completed successfully, within the planned budget, and on schedule.

    eLearning Statistics Companies Need to Know

    eLearning has become a standard in today’s business. With the help of eLearning, companies increase revenues, minimize downtime, provide accommodations, and engage their workforce. So exactly how big is eLearning? The numbers below provided by eLearning Company can help you answer this question.

  • An employee typically spends 40-60% less time on eLearning compared to traditional learning settings.
  • A good eLearning program can offer retention rates as high as 25-60%.
  • In the same amount of time, eLearning solutions can deliver 5 times more material compared to a classroom setting.
  • 42% of companies attribute the increase in revenue to eLearning.
  • On average, every dollar invested in online training results in $30 in productivity gains.
  • The employee engagement increases by 18% by the use of eLearning solutions.
  • Over 40% of Fortune 500 companies currently use technology for training, and this number will only increase with time.
  • 72% of companies agree that eLearning helps them increase their competitive edge due to its ability to keep up with the changes.
  • eLearning industry has grown 900% since the year 2000.
  • Companies that use eLearning generate on average 26% more revenue per employee.
  • When IBM switched to eLearning, it saved about $200 million.
  • Compared to a face-to-face training, eLearning requires 90% less energy and produces 85% less CO2.
  • References:

    http://info.shiftelearning.com/blog/bid/301248/15-facts-and-stats-that-reveal-the-power-of-elearning

    Custom eLearning as a Marketing Tool

    All successful marketers out there are constantly on the hunt for the next big thing in their field. A tool, an idea, an approach that will make their product stand out from the rest and ultimately result in more sales and better business outcomes. This year, the next big thing came from an unexpected place—education. Online education, or eLearning, to be exact.

    Today’s top marketing organizations aren’t just those that move first to new channels, but those that utilize full spectrum of marketing technologies to blend creativity with data. An interesting trend among marketing powerhouses in the US we’ve been noticing is an unpredicted move to consumer education through custom eLearning solutions such as product knowledge training courses aimed at potential customers who might be interested in the product or service.

    A typical consumer who is not well educated about an advanced product or service tends to focus on the cost, with lower price being the main driver towards a sale. On the other end of the rainbow there is a well-informed potential customer capable to recognize that it’s worth to pay more for better quality, additional features, and higher satisfaction. Instead of trying to sell the product to an uneducated consumer (and with that engaging in price wars with the competitors and undermining own margins), a smart marketer would spend time educating the consumer about the features and benefits of the product and how said features and benefits might justify a higher price. Once an uninformed prospect becomes an informed lead, they are not only much more likely to make a purchase, they are also much more likely to pay higher price for the product as well as enroll in optional premium features. By using eLearning to educate their consumers, marketing organizations create loyal followers and ensure higher customer satisfaction due to the fact that the consumer becomes educated about a product even before the sale occurs, thus knowing exactly what to expect from the product, which minimizes the risk of being unhappy with the purchase.

    Another reason eLearning works so well in marketing is because the attention span of an average consumer is rapidly shrinking, forcing marketers to look for new ways to attract and keep public’s attention. Knowledge is a commodity attractive enough to interest most consumers take the time out of their busy schedules to get to know the product. Many people are motivated by learning and would be willing to sit through a product training if they knew they would acquire new knowledge in the process. Think about it the next time you are creating a marketing campaign. Give your customers the knowledge and you will give them the power to make the right decisions such as spend more money on your product instead of buying a cheaper watered down alternative from a competitor.

    Big ideas are already here. They are right in front of you. They’re about showing what your product and service can do for people, how it helps them, which needs it fulfills, what impact it has. eLearning is capable to communicate exactly that, and do it in the cloud, on demand, and without breaking your marketing budget.

    References:
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/baldwincunningham/2015/10/14/what-one-vc-thinks-are-the-next-big-things-in-marketing-tech/#7296825e6616

    Top eLearning Authoring Software Products

    Our clients often ask us what eLearning authoring software we prefer when it comes to eLearning solutions development. Because each project is different with different goals, requirements, and limitations, there is no simple answer to the question above. However, we do have our 3 favorites. Here’s the software most used here at eLearning Company:

    1. Articulate Storyline

    Why we like it:
    It allows us to deliver interactive courses to every device—without tweaking a thing. We simply create the modules in Articulate Storyline, then click publish. The courses natively play on all devices. In addition, it’s easy to get started with Articulate Storyline right away with an intuitive, simple interface. We can make objects, animations, trigger events, and other elements appear in the right place at the right time with the intuitive visual timeline–everything you need to create custom eLearning on the fly.

    2. Adobe Captivate

    Why we like it:
    Adobe Captivate lets us go seamlessly from storyboarding to responsive eLearning design. It also comes with exclusive 50,000+ assets and is compatible with Adobe Stock that allows to tremendously enrich training content. In addition, Adobe Captivate allows us to import the PowerPoint slides into eLearning projects. We can bring in objects, animations, and multimedia, easily update the content, and keep the PowerPoint and Adobe Captivate projects in sync with the dynamically linked import options.

    3. Trivantis Lectora

    Why we like it:
    Trivantis Lectora publishing feature enables smooth transitions within our courses—for both desktop and mobile—giving the end user a more immersive view of the course. We can easily create scenario-based eLearning with BranchTrack and add scenarios right into our Lectora courses. Another useful feature is that we can have objects maintain their location on the page, even when the view is scrolled. This is perfect for use in mobile courses to anchor logos, headers/footers, navigation controls, images, and videos.

    References:

    http://articulate.com
    http://www.adobe.com/products/captivate.html
    http://trivantis.com/products/inspire-e-learning-software/

    Quizzes Improve Knowledge Retention

    Recent studies have shown that retrieval (a process of accessing certain information in your brain) is critical for robust, durable, long-term learning. Every time a memory is retrieved, that memory becomes better available for access in the future. Not surprisingly, practicing memory retrieval produces more knowledge retention than other effective techniques. From these findings, we understand that the retrieval process has a central role in learning. What’s interesting is that the benefits of repeated retrieval are not isolated to a particular type of learning, and instead appear with a variety of mediums, learning settings and situations including eLearning, online simulations and blended learning programs. Here’s another great fact: retrieval improves learning for a variety of learners ranging from preschoolers to senior citizen.

    Now that we know that retrieval practice is such an important learning approach, we should start encouraging the learners to engage in retrieval to improve their learning in many different settings and situations. Up until now, retrieval was not regarded an important part of the learning process, and unfortunately, we were not encouraging our learners to engage in retrieval as often as we should have. Every eLearning designer should take into consideration the benefits of memory retrieval. Make sure that you provide quizzes, knowledge checks, and assessments with every learning product you develop. This simple step has an enormous potential to greatly improve the training outcomes for your learning population.

    References:
    http://www.apa.org/science/about/psa/2016/06/learning-memory.aspx
    http://com.msu.edu/Students/Academic_Guidance/long_term_retention_recall.pdf

    Generate a Sense of Achievement, This will Ensure Longer Lasting Results

    One big mistake that training and development professionals often make is treating an eLearning course as a boring routine task that only exists to make everyone miserable. No need to say, this approach does not lead to long lasting positive results from the training. We should look at eLearning courses we offer to our learners as series of challenges. The completion of the courses should require some amount of effort and attention. If a learner feels that completing an eLearning course is an achievement, he/she is more likely to apply the knowledge from the course in real life, ensuring you receive a return on your investment, as well as possible higher performance, employee morale, and job satisfaction.

    Don’t be Boring, Plan Your eLearning Course to Excite and Inspire

    Memorable learning experiences lead to higher knowledge transfer and retention. In order to make the learning opportunity memorable, you should focus on adding an element of fun and excitement to your eLearning course. Put yourself in the shoes of your learner. What can make them excited? How can you make the training content less boring? What would you remember after walking away from this training? There are so many great ways for the eLearning module to excite and inspire: use great graphics, provide compelling scenarios, add multimedia content, allow for branching and varied learning paths, and so on. Remember this: the training outcome is much better when the trainee is showing a genuine interest in the content and the training process. The next time you are planning a training, don’t forget to think how to make it memorable, which in turn will have a huge impact on knowledge retention, performance and, ultimately, your bottom line.

    Allow Learners to Fail in eLearning and Use Failure as an Opportunity

    It’s perfectly normal to make an eLearning course challenging. We all learn from our mistakes in real life and the same is true in eLearning. A failure can be used as an opportunity to build memorable learning experiences, learn, and grow. In fact, a huge mistake one can make when planning an eLearning course would be to make the course too easy. Your learners love challenges. If those challenges bring temporary failures (and learning opportunities!) then the course and the content will only be more memorable, which means they will have a longer and more significant impact on the performance outside of the training course.