Jul 31, 2007

Most common reason for not completing courses

This list comes from a Brandon Hall study among 313 learning professionals. It has the common reasons learners do not complete courses:
  • learners get the information the need, then exit
  • learners get interrupted or distracted
  • learners are too busy
  • learners don't have incentives to complete courses
  • the online courses are boring or badly designed
  • the technology doesn't always work right or is confusing

The Indians are coming

Don't panic. They are actually already here :-).
Tata systems announced a new LCMS.

"Global learning solutions provider Tata Interactive Systems (TIS) launched Learning Planet, an enterprise learning content management system (LCMS). The technology includes a core learning management system (LMS), along with tools in the areas of competency management, content management, knowledge management, collaboration and communication, and an assessment engine. "

Jul 30, 2007

What works: strategies for increasing elearning usage

How do you make elearning work? What can you do to promote it, and to make it more effective? According to a Corporate University Exchange study e-learning dropout rates stand at about 70% as compared with 15% for classroom. I believe 30% e-learning dropout is a common figure in corporations. The dropouts don't say whether that is because of the poor learning, because of a mismatch or because the learner found what they needed and quit. Regardless of the reason, here are 9 tips Brandon Hall gives to make e-learning work better:

  1. Talk to your audience - and share the results
  2. Pay attention to culture
  3. Be specific in your marketing
  4. Find e-learning champions
  5. Get learner's managers involved
  6. Brand your program
  7. Don't stop with the launch; keep communicating
  8. Tie e-learning to consequences
  9. Give learners enough time and space to do e-learning

Corporate learning survey

Want to know how your corporate learning compares to that of 'the big ones' or the major players in your sector? Until August 15 companies can freely sign up for participation in the CUX 8th annual benchmarking study on corporate learning and employee development.

Later this year, at the November Online Educa conference, results will be discussed.

Jul 29, 2007

Diversity training

This Checkpoint article talks about the 'Respect Diversity Toolkit', a diversity training package from Aviva. Diversity training is gaining in importance. That is a positive evolution, and it is even more positive companies are sharing their experiences on the topic.

The potential of Jing

Jing is a free beta product that allows you to easily share screenshots or screencasts of your desktop and save them or share them. The makers call it 'visual conversations'. Jing is a project of TechSmith, the makers of the popular commercial snapshot product 'SnagIt', screen video product 'Camtasia' and associated hosting site 'screencast.com'. I don't expect Jing to end up as a free product, but as long as they are in beta you get a pretty good, simplified and easy tool with free hosting on screencast.com. I recommend you give it a shot.

I see a lot of potential for Jing, not at least in the field of learning. It lowers the centre of gravity for expertise because anyone can easily, just-in-time make a small tutorial on how to us a certain feature of an application or where to click, and share it. Help desk people will find this a useful tool. Coaches and remote trainers will love this. And if the makers add tags to it and a home page you get an instant YouTube for 'how-do-I-do-this' screencasts. Very cool indeed.

See full article on the about2findout.com blog.

Jul 25, 2007

The Learning Savings Account

Some days I'm very proud of my company IBM. Like today. IBM is announcing (at least in the US for now) a radical new way to help employees update their skills and learn new things.

Most of training budgets get spent at the beginning of a career, and then you get some days a year for incremental updates along the way but only for what you need for your own daily job. The most productive employees, and probably the employees that could leverage training the most in real life, get the least of it. But at the same time companies expect their workers to keep themselves 'employable' by updating their skill set and keeping it current. Most often, that is at the personal expense of the employee. Besides, hardly any training you get internally will prepare you for a new job aspiration or heaven forbid a career change at another company.

In today's announcement IBM will create kind of saving accounts that can be used for education and training, and adds 50% of what the employee contributes (up to 1000$ a year). It is completely controlled by the employee.

For more information read this article in the NY Times.

Jul 18, 2007

Thomson sells Prometric testing to ETS

Thomson last year sold its e-learning division NETg to SkillSoft. Now they have an agreement to sell the certification division Prometric to one of its major customers ETS (the one from the TOEFL test).

More on http://www.thomson.com/content/pr/corp/acquisitions_divestitures/217831 .

Jul 17, 2007

3D for training

Yet another tool to create 3D avatars for learning.

Vcom3D released Vcommunicator Authoring Suite and
Sign Smith Studio 3.0. The tools are designed to
provide users, regardless of computer animation or
modeling experience, the ability to quickly and
cost-effectively animate 3-D characters for training