Tags: Edvance360, Edvance360 LMS-SN, learning mangement system, LMS
The availability of learning management system (LMS) options can seem endless.
According to Market Wired, ”the LMS market is forecasted to be worth $7.83 billion by 2018.”
There are proprietary software options as well as free, and even open source software options. Though remember, price does not dictate quality. Nor does free really mean free.
Selecting an LMS can be a daunting task, but is achievable. It is important to identify your business requirements and then apply them through research to narrow down the search.
Depending on who you ask, business requirements will vary. However, the five Ws: who, what, where, when, and why are a good place to begin.
Here are five broad questions including sub categories to assist in identifying your business requirements.
Who is your target audience?
There are standard LMS features, but certain tools and features cater to different industries. For example one LMS may focus on businesses that want human resource tracking and compliance, where another LMS focuses on delivery of online courses and training. Is your target audience students, employees, or clients?
What is your budget?
Most people start out wanting the “Ferrari” product, but soon realize their budget is more of a “Honda.” Hondas are great products too. However, it is best to determine your budget prior to wasting time on an LMS that is out of the budget range. That said, if your budget is limited do not automatically jump to open source software. Be aware of the hidden costs in “free” solutions including the need for experienced IT people on staff to implement them. Even if your budget is large it is best to identify needs and wants and then select the appropriate LMS that fulfills them, rather than just going for the most popular LMS out there.
Where do you plan to host the software?
Technical requirements are key and can quickly assist in narrowing down options. Most people opt for the software-as-a-service (SaaS) option due the accessibility, reliability, and scalability provided by that model. The SaaS model requires minimal technical support. The LMS provides technical support, maintains the hardware and software and upgrades are as simple as the click of a button. An installed option, however, can offer more customizability and ensure security compliance.
When do you plan on implementing the LMS?
Obviously, it is best to take time to consider your choices and transition from current to new LMS over time, but that is not always an option. If you need to move quickly ensure that the new LMS is able to accommodate a fast transition. Remember to backup all of the data in your current LMS and keep a copy in case you need it later. Only move what you need into the new LMS. Sometimes it is best to begin fresh and build the course from scratch. Implementing a new LMS is an excellent time to revamp or enhance current content.
Why are you searching for an LMS?
The features and tools are typically the main reason people search for a new LMS. Create a survey and poll your instructors and users on their needs, wants, and desires. Analyze the results and determine the frequency to identify commonalities. It is recommended that you identify a key stakeholder from each area and create a committee to assist in the LMS selection process. Here are a few features the committee should consider:
- Video conferencing
After the business requirements are identified and the survey results are analyzed the next step is to research LMS options that meet the criteria.
Schedule demonstrations of the LMS software and request trial accounts for testing. Have your super users setup a course and determine how user-friendly the software is and whether it has the appropriate features and tools. If possible have one of the users review the course and obtain their feedback.
Present the information to the committee and schedule a second demonstration to answer outstanding questions. Obtain LMS pricing and then present the information to the committee for a final review and recommendation.
Finally, begin the implementation process and enjoy your new LMS.
Like this advice? Selecting-an-LMS-Checklist to refer to during your process.
Originally published on Capterra blog.
Tags: Edvance360, Edvance360 LMS-SN, Gamification
Tags: Edvance360, Edvance360 LMS-SN, Gamification
Tags: Edvance360, Edvance360 LMS-SN, Gamification
Tags: Edvance360, Edvance360 LMS_SN, Gamification, Learning Management System
Recently Gamification has become the fad we love to hate, but why? And is it really a fad? If you were to take a poll in your office, you may find people using words like “silly,” “unnecessary,” and “childish,” to describe the use of gamification in your workplace. If this same group was probed further, you may also find that these feelings stem from a direct experience with gamification that left them with a less than desirable taste on their professional palate. Gamification however has been tested and proven to garner a positive return on investment. So, why is this research based concept the cause for so much eye-rolling at the mention of its name? Is it possible that the concept of gamification is not the culprit, but instead the victim?
“Though still an experimental business strategy, gamification is expected to be used by 70% of the world’s 2000 largest companies in some form by 2014 and generate $2.8 billion in consumer spending by 2016.”
These are some pretty lofty numbers and a very quick turnaround. This huge expectation of corporate buy in and return on investment set the stage for the attitude of disappointment that is developing around the use of gamification today. With everyone scrambling to jump on the bandwagon of the next big thing to change the “game,” gamification is falling victim to the adverse effects of supply and demand. More buzz equals more demand. Every tech company on the market now claims to be able to supply gamification tools and features. The more estimated profit that is expected as a result of providing gamification opportunities to employees and customers, translates into the less research being done prior to purchasing these gamification products. Companies do not want to “waste” the time choosing the right mixture of features to fit their specific needs. Plainly put, everyone is just trying not to be left behind and very few have a true vision for the future of gamification in their workplace.
“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” Johnathan Swift
What was and still is invisible to many is the need to find the right fit of tools and features when incorporating gamification into your workplace. One visionary, Yoav Vilner, contributing writer at Entrepreneur and start up expert, believes
“To integrate gamification successfully into the employee training process, it needs to be incorporated into the very core of corporate work-flow. It must become part of the organization’s communication and feedback DNA, rather than some temporary, superficial supplement that sticks out like a sore thumb.”
Just like with any other decision made in the boardroom with the intention of propelling a company forward there must be a plan. In order to successfully infuse the use of gamification into the culture of your workplace this plan should seek to explicitly answer such questions as what, why, how, and who.
What is the goal? Why is the use of gamification necessary to reach this goal? How will gamification help us reach this goal? Who will be directly impacted by the use of gamification? And maybe most important, which features, tools, and product will best fit our needs? By answering these questions you are well on your way to designing a strategic plan for embedding the use of gamification into the culture of your company. Success is on the horizon when you are able to transition employee opinion about the use of gamification in your company from, “let’s see how long this lasts,” to “this is how we do things here.”
Edvance360 offers a variety of tools and features that can be incorporated in your company’s current culture –including proven gamification tools. Our dashboard, collaboration tools and various other features can be customized to flow seamlessly into the fabric of your company’s workflow. If you have questions and/or would like more information please contact the Edvance360 sales team at email@example.com.
Tags: Edvance360, Edvance360 LMS-SN, Learning Management System, MOOC
- Mixing up the questions form one test-taker to the next
This is done by using the “Random block of ___ questions” setting. To set this up for use, create or import your questions into your repository folders, creating a question bank. Then, when creating the test, select the many questions from the question bank you’d like the test to cover. In the test settings, select “Random block of ___ questions” setting and enter the number of questions you want on each test-taker’s test. (You can later select question you want on EACH test, no matter what the rest of the questions are, just FYI. This is especially good for the essay questions.) An example would be to have 100 possible questions in the question bank, then set the number of randomized questions to say, 40. Each test-taker will see 40 questions but each person’s test will be so randomized as to WHEN the question appears and WHICH 40 of the 100 appear, that it makes cheating much more difficult. See screenshot.
- Withholding answers until after all assignments are due
In most cases, the answers are withheld until all students have finished the test, ensuring they can’t share their answers or use this CAMEO method of cheating. In Edvance360, this is done by selecting “Students may review once all students have finished the test” option from the drop-down in the test settings. Additionally, the test-creator can choose to hide the test answers permanently by selecting “No” from the “Display Correct Answers to Students?” drop-down box. See screenshots.
Tags: online courses, Edvance360, discussion forums, Edvance360 LMS-SN
Over the years there has been controversy over the quality of online versus on-campus courses. However, the enrollment of online education continues to grow. According to Grade Level: Tracking Online Education in the United States approximately, 5.3 million students took at least one online course in fall 2013 which is up 3.7 percent from the previous fall. One of the “complaints” is the lack of interaction and human element in online courses. The advancement of technology has removed that hurdle for online education. Learning management systems (LMS) typically provide communication tools such as discussion forums, online chats, and video conferencing. Really, the focus should be on the course design because technology is available to facilitate the rest. Online courses and training can be boring or engaging, just like in person courses and training.
Discussion forums can be used to engage students and encourage interactions among the users. For example, students might be required to respond to the discussion post, include three sources to support their post, and respond to two users. The instructor can moderate the discussion as well as determine whether or not users are understanding the topic. Users are able to share their opinion, but also required to analyze and synthesize information. Discussion forums can be formal where the instructor moderates the discussion or informal where users share information. The online format is familiar to most users since they are accustomed to posting on social media and provides a voice for introverts that would not normally speak up in the traditional classroom setting. Discussion forums allows users to review the information as many times as needed and the debate can occur over the entire length of the course as users learn more and more about the topic. In the corporate setting discussion forums are a great collaboration tool for users that are in various locations. As time progresses the discussion forums can serve as a knowledge-base rather than one or two people holding all the information in email. As long as the moderator is interactive with users discussion forums can be an excellent tool for creating interaction.
Online Chats and Video Conferencing
Online chats and video conferencing provide real-time interaction. It can be difficult to schedule them so that is where discussion forums can be beneficial. However, chat logs and recordings of video conferences can be posted online for users that were not able to attend. In addition, multiple sessions can be scheduled to accommodate various time zones. Online chats and video conferencing provide synchronous tools that engage users that are more extroverted. Dividing people into groups can be helpful to make it easier to keep up with the conversation, but all sessions can be recorded and posted online for others to view. Video conferencing allows users to see body language and adds the “human” touch because you can see and interact with the person rather than just reading and responding to text.
Online courses and training allow users to learn at a time convenient to their schedule as well as accommodating various learning styles. Learning to use collaboration tools also benefits users at work. Discussion forums, online chats, and video conferencing collaboration tools that can be utilized to greatly enhance online courses and training. It is important to consider and utilize the various collaboration tools in course design. Users are continuously connect via their smartphones and tablets therefore this methodology should be incorporated into online courses and training to encourage engagement. Edvance360 LMS-SN provides these collaboration tools and much more to enhance your online courses and training.
Tags: corporate training, Edvance360, Edvance360 LMS-SN, video
The use of videos has increased tremendously over the past few years. According to Statista, there were approximately 192 million unique video views during May 2015. Videos are posted online to social media sites by users as well as by professionals to online new websites. So it is no surprise that videos are being used in online courses and training. It is important to develop a plan before recording videos for online courses and training. Below are five best practices for creating videos:
- Determine target audience
- Create script for videos
- Record brief video segments
- Build interaction into videos
- Ensure video is easily accessible
Determine Target Audience
Prior to recording videos determine the target audience so you can identify your goals. Identifying goals provides focus so you can effectively communicate with your target audience. For example, training employees on policies and procedures may vary by position. The video for managers is probably more detailed than the video for their subordinates.
Create Scripts for Videos
Typically, videos are more professional when reading from a script. Think Facebook versus news videos. Scripts are also beneficial if you plan on providing closed captions. Closed captions are important for 508 compliance and you can expand the audience for people who speak other languages through sub titles.
Record Brief Video Segments
People have limited time and attention spans, so be brief. It is best to record video segments of 5-10 minutes with a maximum of 20 minutes. The length will vary based on your topic.
Build interaction into Videos
The natural progression of creating videos is to use the PowerPoint presentations as the script. Rather than simply reading a script, you can create interaction by using a conversational approach and providing examples or using case studies. As you progress try creating SCORM files with divergent paths, quizzes, and hyperlinks.
Ensure Video is Easily Accessible
Recording high quality video is important, but the video must be accessible from mobile devices too. You also need to consider whether or not the video needs to be accessible offline. Most videos are presented via streaming so the file format does not matter. However, if the videos will be downloaded the file format is important. The mp4 format is probably best because it can be viewed on Apple and Windows computers as well as mobile devices.
Once you have created your videos the next step is posting the videos online. Consider using a learning management system (LMS) to host the videos and provide tools for monitoring and tracking usage. Edvance360 LMS-SN provides all the tools needed to deliver your corporate training program. Learn more.
Video Streaming Services
Screen Capture Software