Is YouTube the Future of Training?
By David Creelman, HR Voice April 29,2011
If you want to learn how to prune an apple tree you could take out a book from the library, sign up for a course at your local college or spend a few minutes on YouTube watching how it is done. The first two learning methods—reading and instruction—have been with us for millennia; YouTube is new. There has been some use of video in learning, but it was expensive and hard to access. YouTube is universal.
Most of the ‘how to’ videos on YouTube are aimed at people’s personal life. Topics range from how to make a baked Alaska to how to apply mascara to how to check the transmission fluid in your car. But the range of topics is truly mindboggling and also includes management topics like negotiation skills, giving feedback, and business writing.
YouTube is free and fast, easy to use and easy to share. It’s available at your desk or on your smart phone. If employees can meet their training needs using YouTube, why do we need anything else?
What you won’t find on YouTube is a video of how to shelve packages for your warehouse on Victoria Street or how to fill in the XYZ expense form for your particular organization. But that could easily change. Since YouTube is so universal why not encourage employees to create their own training videos about the specific practices of your organization? They can shoot it on their mobile phone and just load it up. If they are ambitious they might ask their teenager to edit the clip on a home computer to improve the production values. In no time you could have hundreds of videos about how to do things at your organisation.
Many training managers and instructional design specialists will absolutely hate this idea. Instead of carefully crafted programs based on an analysis of training needs, definition of clear learning objectives and a scientifically based instruction methodology, you get some high school drop-out in the warehouse spending 15-minutes creating training on how to handle oversize packages.
The issue with YouTube, whether from the masses of videos produced by the world at large or those produced by employees in-house, is that there is little quality control. One might theorize that the lack of quality control would make the whole thing utterly unworkable. Luckily, there is no need to theorize, you can go online and see how bad the problem is; and the finding is that it is not bad at all. People tend to make videos about things they really do know how to do. Furthermore the videos are short and users soon get good at surfing through the available content and finding something that meets their needs.
Tim Seager, CEO of an LMS company called Xerceo, also points out that social media tools for rating and commenting on content already exist. In fact, this sort of thing is built into their own LMS called Feathercap. You do not need to have a department of experts rating and organizing the training videos as users do that themselves.
Another thing organizations will worry about is people creating content that is somehow inappropriate and could damage the reputation of the organization. However, this risk is similar to that which exists if you allow employees to write emails. And in some way the risk is less since people will put more thought into preparing and posting a training video than they would into an email.
Knowledge management guru Euan Semple is frankly a little contemptuous of how some organizations want to utterly control the flow of knowledge in a manner that would make Stalin proud. Semple’s view is that organizations are better off to let the knowledge flow and if embarrassing practices are revealed to fix them quickly.
Again the social media tools Seager talks about are the best way to protect the organization’s reputation. If someone posts a video that is in some way inappropriate other users can flag it or potentially even be given the power to take it offline immediately.
I have skipped over the technology question of whether you want to simply use the public YouTube service or create an in-house alternative behind your firewall. Clearly, there are pros and cons, but there is nothing in the technology issues that upsets the fundamental proposition that YouTube can be a great addition to how training is created and delivered.
YouTube Wins in the End
The advances we have seen in technology really are revolutionary. The fact that just about everyone is walking around with a video camera in their purse or pocket and already knows how to make their films universally available is stunning.
Training produced by learning specialists will still be important, but in many cases nothing produced by an expert will have as much credibility with employees as something done by a peer or senior manager in the organization.
The flood of employee-produced training material is coming; better to get ahead of the game and channel that energy in the most productive way rather than try to fight it.
David Creelman is CEO of Creelman Research, providing writing, research and speaking on human-capital management. He works with a variety of academics, think tanks, consultancies and HR vendors in Canada, the U.S., Japan, Europe and China. David can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As more small businesses attempt to expand market share via social learning and YouTube, it’s likely we’ll see more sell their customized content. Fast forward to some time in the future: Joe the Plumber has a thriving business but wants to expand. Why not sell 2-buck-2 min how-to interactives allowing people to practice fixing a leak (or other basics) to gain a following, build confidence, trust and ultimately…customers.
So how will these businesses administer their pay-for-view learning revenue streams? Buying a complicated downloaded LMS software?
And… another perspective: What cloud-based LMS product is capturing the attention of CLOs in mid-sized to large organizations? Or is the general trend to stick with server-side, fire-walled systems? These questions and more are driving me to research this area. This is the first of what I hope to be several posts on this topic. Look for interviews with providers as well as CLO’s and other learning leaders.
MA: For those who don’t know you or Feathercap, can you briefly share your story and how Feathercap came into being?
Tim: Five years ago, we started a Learning management system company with a very basic SCORM 2004 course player and a lot of big ideas. The course player didn’t do much besides basic reporting and tracking but it was simple to use and customers really liked it. But we wanted to enable everyone; admins, managers and the learners themselves to create and distribute their own learning content. Most LMSs at the time took a top-down approach to training; only the admins decided what a learner would take. The idea of learners creating and picking learning wasn’t popular amongst the HR community, but we thought our “bottom-up” approach to learning would catch on. At the time we were pushed to add more and more features as well as complex integrations. We had success but we had many complex deployments and customizations that made us realize if we didn’t simplify our approach to development and feature enhancements, we would be boiling the ocean of LMS features. As a result two years ago we decided to adopt two main principles for building and maintaining our products:
1) Any customizations had to be useful and be applied to every customer.
2) Make sure everyone can use it without needing training. If it’s not obvious make it so.
MA: I’m intrigued by your product because of the social networking aspects. Social networking is a feature that could potentially move the LMS from standalone system to an integrated building block within the enterprise. How would Feathercap be an integrated building block? And…why would anyone socialize on an LMS when there is SharePoint, WordPress and other platforms? (See B.J. Schone’s great article for more context)
Tim: We see Feathercap and other best of breed solutions used together to solve problems and provide a learning service to platforms like SharePoint, Facebook and others. We don’t want to replace the Facebook “Wall” or SharePoint experience, we want to be excellent at learning delivery, tracking and to tie-in to others so users get the best of all worlds. Just as companies like Zynga have gained huge success by being a game service for Facebook and MySpace users, we are seeing this trend start to emerge in the enterprise / business environment as well. Integration/ API and web service / Web 2.0 single-sign-in standards are enabling this.
MA: How does Feathercap features enable talent management / development?
Tim: We’ve focused purely on LMS/ courseware delivery and tracking right now.
MA: Does Feathercap integrate with SharePoint? How?
Tim: We tie-in to Microsoft AD FS as well as have an API connector from our CMS (we use Apache Jackrabbit) to SharePoint. In this way learners have a single-sign-on experience while also being able to pull content from SharePoint. We then wrap any content we see in SCORM for our LMS to track. Right now to do this we have to locally deploy Feathercap LMS. A goal is to enable remote access from our cloud to the customer’s local SharePoint deployment.
MA: What trends to you see in the LMS industry?
Tim: Many people have been very unhappy with their LMS for a long time. We’ve of course seen the adoption of a social LMS, essentially combining the chat, discussion and Facebook like features with an LMS grow in a big way. We see many LMSs trying to do this, but doing this takes them out of their comfort zone and starts a feature creep path which may be hard to sustain. Building yet another walled garden that is a clone of Linkedin or Facebook may be hard to sustain along with their own LMS offering. Those that take a “best of breed” approach seem to us the most likely to succeed. Vendors that stick to what they do well and make sure their systems play well with other social tools, SharePoint and other CMSs and HR systems seems like a good bet.
MA: What’s next for Feathercap?
Tim: Our next goal is to make learning available via Apple iPad, iphone and android devices. Offering HTML5 learning content as well as Flash is important to get right. Eventually, we would like to expand our functionality to include talent and student portfolio management. LMS/ TMS service in a box that can be deployed on any platform: SharePoint, Facebook, Linkedin, etc.
Thanks so much Tim! Appreciate your time and insights.
What about you? Are you using a learning management cloud-based “app” or learning management client-based “system”? Why? Why not? When do you see moving to an LMS if at all? How do you think about your LMS? Does it have to do it all? Or…does it simply have to play nice with other best-in-breed systems?
My latest LMS/LCMS directory provides a wealth of new information on 242 vendors
- New columns – Does the vendor offer a trial? What social media platforms does the vendor use?
- If the vendor offers a trial, it will identify if known the length of the trial
- If the vendor uses any social media, the name is listed (example: Twitter, Facebook, etc)
- All Links checked and verified – and updated when needed as of 9-29-10
- Added over 25 new listings – from all over the world
- List does not include Open Source – FREE LMS vendors which are posted elsewhere on the site
- 20% offer a trial
- 30% use some form of social media
- 30% use some form of social media
This is by no means an attempt to provide a complete list of all learning technology and services companies. The reason this page was created is because when I'm talkng to clients, I often think of a great company I'd like to recommend - based on someone's specific needs-- and have to go hunting for the information. So, in short, this is my lazy-link page. I thought I'd simply share it with all. I also included some notes about my opinon about best uses, where applicable. These are tools that I have often recommended to clients. Enjoy!
Work in progress
- Saba - locally installed, large scale, enterprise, reasonable cost SaaS for smaller implementations
- Plateau - Enterprise class LMS, excellent for compliance tracking; dominant in pharma, energy, and governement verticals
- Cornerstone OnDemand - SaaS, easy to use, Web 2.0 friendly; just enough built-in LCMS capability for most companies
- SumTotal - Full-featured, robust enterprise system; one of the strong leaders in the LMS space
- Learn.com (now part of Taleo)- quick up time, robust system; one of the best for managing multiple sub-portals/domains; very active company
- GeoLearning (now part of SumTotal)- SaaS based learning management and services
- Meridian - enterprise class LMS leader with focus on pharma and government sectors; speciality in the ability to create offline content that can be synched to the LMS
- NetDimensions - enterprise, pure-play LMS; specialties include strong language support and personalized interfaces for learners; solid system
- TrainingPartner - low cost, excellent service - specialties in state and local government and educational providers; one of the best e-commerce systems in the LMS space
- CertPoint VLS - turnkey, well integrated LMS and LCMS in a single platform
- IntraLearn - low cost, pure play LMS, great for educational providers looking for a default platform to host their own learning content
- SAP LS - SAP's learning module for those who need very deep integration with the rest of the SAP suite of tools
- PeopleSoft ELM - add-on, learning management module for companies using PeopleSoft for integration of learning with back-office, business systems
- SimplyDigi - low cost, quick up time, basic LMS
- Moodle - open-source LMS for organizations that have resources to technically manage and update an LMS on an ongoing basis
- Blackboard - Academic-based, course management system; best used for distance learning delivered by a teacher/professor/instructor
- KnowledgeHub - Element K's LMS solution. Previously considered to be only for those using Element K content, has developed its own recognition as low-cost, SaaS platform with excellent collaboration capabilities
- ePath - web-based, integrated LMS and LCMS (Flash-based content)
- Operitel/LearnFlex - turnkey LMS and LCMS with good interoperability with SharePoint; module (180) makes it a good solution for eduational providers who want to sell their training.
- ShareKnowledge - LMS developed right on top of Microsoft SharePoint framework for corporate LMS users
- SharePoint LMS - LMS based on SharePoint mostly for Academic Users
- Suddenly Smart - For those who want a 100% Flash-based experience, content dev, LMS, and delivery
- Absorb Anywhere - 100% Flash-based LMS; based on site pricing, not per learner. Low-Cost
- ViewCentral - by Rainmaker; an LMS, integrated with sales training tools, for organizaitons that want to establish revenue-generating training for customers, partners, resellers
- WBT Manager - install it yourself, on your own server, low cost LMS with considerable functionality
- Agilix - speciality in creating content that can be consumed offline and synched with LMS - vertical focus is K-12 education and higher ed, but can also be used by corporate with need for offline content
- RISC - very well suited LMS for the Oil & Gas industry; company has internal experise
- Tracker.NET - very low cost LMS that basically launches, tracks and reports e-learning courses only.
- e-Learning Consulting LMS - LMS for $1,000 - $5,000 dollars (up to 2000 learners); very basic, very simple, e-learning only
- Enlightus - ideal as a platform for creating training as a business complete with storefront, LMS, LCMS, authoring and social interaction. Low start up costs.
- Syberworks - Low-cost LMS, with a flat unlimited use license; vertical focus on police, hospitals, Pharma (GXP, validation), and for-profit educational providers.
- Joomla LMS - very low-cost, self installable LMS
- PinPoint - LMS with focus on the Insurance Industry
- LM LESS - low -montly fees priced for under 500 learners, hosted, turnkey LMS with Powerpoint and SCORM upload. Pricing example - $4,800 annually for 500 learners.
- Outstart Evolution - Stand-alone LCMS, good partnerships with most LMS vendors; multiple output formats e-learing, print, instructor-led training
- Xyleme - XML-centric system, great for single source development of multiple output formats e-learning, print, instructor-led training materials, job aides, etc.
- Exact learning suite (formerly Giunti Labs) Content management for e-learning and mobile content, very standards conformant
- Dominknow LCMS - speciality in making e-learning development easy for non-technical developers
- MOS Chorus - great tool for single source development of e-learning, lesson plans for ILT, classroom visuals in a single production pass
- ThinkingCap - XML-based content management system, on a very short list of LCMS capable of true single-source development - elearning, formatted print-based, unique connectivity to Adobe InDesign
- TopClass - WBT System's LCMS with focus on Associations
- OnPoint Digital - LCMS with speciality toward management content for "mobile" delivery
- Gen21 - an LCMS known for its adaptive learning capabilities
- Chalk Media - content management for mobile learning
- Luminosity - an LCMS with strong support for Microsoft Silverlight, also mobile output
- Drupal - open source content management system that can be adapted as an LCMS in an open source environment
- Equella (owned by Pearson) - digital repository designed specifically for use by educators (higher ed, K-12) offering connectivity to academic LMS/CMS tools.
- Kentico - traditional CMS, bank end for web page development, lost cost $2k for single licence; rapid CMS development
- Articulate Presenter - Rapid Development in PowerPoint
- Adobe Captivate - quick desktop tool for software simulations and building interactive learning exercises - best when used in tandem with another tool for creating navigation and framework
- Lectora Publisher - full-featured, desktop authoring within a single framework
- Atlantic Link - Flash based, team authoring platform
- Unision by Rapid Intake - a groupware authoring platform for the creation of Flash-based content
- Adobe Presenter - Rapid Development in PowerPoint, optimized for delivery through Adobe Connect virtual classroom
- Raptivity - tool for creating rich interaction that can be imported into any authoring tool or LCMS
- Zenler Studio - PowerPoint to eLearning and very easy-to-use LMS launch pad for publishing. Up and running in less than 30 minutes.
- Outstart Trainer - desktop authoring tool for general purpose content development
- eActivity.net - web service for creating your own Flash-based interactions (used in other authoring tools)
- ToolBook - desktop authoring tool with widget and scripting capabilities
- Mohive - great groupware authoring platform with collaborative development tools (cross between an authoring too and LCMS)
- Elicitus - Rapid development tool for e-learning
- MindFlash - group authoring in PowerPoint and Word
- ExpressTrain - uniquely positioned as a desktop tool that is capable of creating e-learning, lesson plans, print-based learning, and job aides from a single production pass
- QuestionMark - robust, stand-alone system for testing and assessment
- Articulate QuizMaker - desktop tool for creating quizzes and tests, best suited for use with Articulate Presenter
- Brainshark Presentation Platform - web-based authoring site for converting PowerPoint to e-learning
- Composica - groupware authoring environment that includes games and interactive templates
- Adobe Dreamweaver - for authors who want to create e-learning in HTML and DHTML
- Adobe Flash - some prefer to create Flash content at the source level
- FlyPaper - rapid development tool for creating custom Flash
- ProForm - Rapid Intake's desktop authoring tool
- ReadyGo - Low cost, authoring for very novice developers
- SoftChalk - LessonBuilder tool, designed for novice developers; lots of interactive templates
- TestCraft by Ingenious Group - test/quiz/exam authoring and deliver
- Swish - low-cost tool to create templated Flash content; not necessarily learning oriented, but can be used to create transitions, discovery exercises (mouse over), etc.
- LectureMaker - authoring tool for creating combination lecture and interactive content - extra tools for math symbols, graphing, etc.
Social Learning Platforms
- Mzinga - create communities of practice to share social learning tightly integrated with a robust LMS and Performance Management System
- Digital Ignite - Social learning front-end with embedded LMS, designed for continuing education scenarios (nice blend of functionality moving between open and structured learning)
- Xerceo - social platform with built in e-learning development tools, wikis, blogs...wrapped around an LMS
- Participate by Outstart - integrated wikis, blogs, FAQ boards, catalog of experts, rating conten, etc.
- Instancy - SaaS based, social learning portal technology
- LearningObjects - social learning platform specifically targeting K-12 and Higher Education
- Blue Mango Learning Systems - a platform for easy creation and dissemination of informatin-based learning
- Topyx - organize learning around informal learning communities
- Ning - most common platform for general purpose, social networking sites
- Jive - business platform for community and collaboration
- Lithium - slightly different orientation with focus on development customer communities; combination of CRM and social communities
- JamBok - content-centric, informal learning platform (acquired by SuccessFactors)
Talent Management Solutions
- SuccessFactors - full-range talent management suite, many LMS partners
- Authoria - SaaS-based talent management solution, quick up time
- PeopleMatter - combination talent management and LMS for small-to-medium sized organizations
- Taleo - full-range talent management with special emphasis on talent acquisition
- SumTotal - integrated LMS and Talent Management System (add on)
- Saba - integrated LMS and Talent Management System (add on)
- Cornerstone OnDemand - SaaS-based, integrated LMS and Talent Management System
- Plateau Talent Management - integrated LMS and Talent Management System (add on)
Virtual Classroom (VLE)
- Adobe Connect - Flash-based virtual classroom. You can embed interactive exercises and games that are individually controlled by learners. Very compelling!
- Webex - solid, reliable, mainstream, virtual classroom system
- Elluminate - smart, low-cost alternative for great virtual classroom experiences
- Saba Centra - mature, reliable virtual classroom experience; very integrated with Saba LMS
- GoToTraining - a Training focused version of GoToMeeting by Citrix
- iLinc - reliable virtual classroom and training solution
- Microsoft LiveMeeting - nicely integrated with Office Suite
- TeamViewer - not really a virtual classroom, but great for quick, easy (and free) desktop sharing
- Institute for Simulation and Training (at University of Central Florida) - mlearning development services - Ask for David Metcalf
- MovingKnowledge - mlearning development services (AJ Ripin)
- Hot Lava Mobile from Outstart - authoring tools to create mlearning
- mLearning Studio from Rapid Intake - HTML5 output using templates, quizzing, etc.
- OnPoint Digital - synergy of content management and mobile delivery
- Intuition - platform for mobile learning
- Chalk Media - platform and content development tools for mobile
- VistaCast - Authroing tool and content Server
Custom Courseware Services
NOTE: I like to recommend custom courseware companies that specialize in something specific, such as a vertical market (i.e. Oil & Gas, Pharma, etc.) or are very strong in a horizontal (i.e. Call Center Training, Programming, Leadership) or have a very distinctive format (high touch, very low cost, simulation-based). I tried to list where I see each of these companies meeting a specific need. Companies that are generally good at all types are fine, but why not work with someone who can bring best practices to the development process).
- Agilant Learning - rapid development, interactive, low-cost, cool method for updating content
- Allen Communication - high-quality, engaging, award-winning custom development services
- MediaPro - experienced custom courseware developer, with scalable team for large and small projects
- Allen Interactions - high-touch, innovative, studio for custom development of courseware
- Interactive Design Consultants - lower-cost development, with a good mix of US-based designers who coordinate outsource development outside the country
- Velocity MG - custom development services focused on sales, customer and partner training
- SSE - unique mix of custom courseware development and engineering services to create custom learning software tools
- ViaLearning - special focus on customer, sales, channel, and compliance training
- Red Nucleus - specializes in training for pharmacuetical and healthcare companies
- Adacel - specialized in aviation and homeland security
- Harginger Group - low-cost, outsourced development
- Adayna Agribusiness - specializes in ariculture and food production
- Ardent Learning - specializes in automotive
- Knowlagent - specializes in Call Center training
- Automated Learning - specializes in industrial, manfufacturing and technical skills
- Bluedrop - specializes in custom development for federal government
- EM Assist - specializes in environmental learning content
- Brookwood - specializes in Pharmaceutical, Government and Banking
- Care2Learn - specializes in Healthcare
- Carney Interactive - specializes in Federal Governement development
- Cognitive Arts - a division of NIIT, specializes in very high touch development, simulations, and games
- Creative Channel - specializes in development of channel sales, product knowlege and retail
- Digitec Interactive - specializes in Associations
- Certilearn - specializes in custom content and personalized learning portals for Associations
- Enspire Learning - Award-Winning, Simulation-based courseware
- Simbionix - specialized in medical and healthcare development
- ExperienceBuilders - specializing in scenario-based simulation development
- Formationvirtuelle - specializes in custom development for workforce safety (located in Quebec)
- General Physics - specialized expertise in automotive, pharmaceutical, energy and high tech
- GetThinking - specializes in food services and retail
- Gronstedt Group - specializes in the use of SecondLife as a learning platform
- IC Axon - specializes in Pharmaceutical and healtcare (salesforce training)
- imedial.it - specializes in creating custom government content
- Interactive Alchemy - specializes in airlines and financial services
- Jardon and Howard Technologies - specializes in military custom development
- Omega Performance - specializes in banking and finance
- OptionSix - strong focus on sales and sales performance
- Pinneast - specializes industrial and manufacturing
- Raytheon Professional Services - specializing in automotive, government and industrial
- RWD - well known for custom development around SAP implementations
- Sify Limited - specializations in engineering and high tech
- TechEmpower- strong emphasis and expertise in high tech
- G-Cube - offshore development with posted rates of between $1,500 to $3,500 per finished e-learning hour
Temp Agencies for Instrucitonal Designers, Writers, etc.
- Learning Gurus - Ask for Karen Boyle - she's great at matching the right talent to the job
- E-LearningStaffing.com - Ask for Ronn Rogers; has been around a long time (back to CBT days)
- Clarity Consultants
- Writing Assistance Inc.
Simulation Products and Services
- Enspire Learning - award winning simulation development, excels in soft skills simulations
- Redwood Learning - excellent games and very interactive simulation design and development
- Sealund eLearning - combination of tools for self simulation development and custom services
- Blueline Simulations - business and softskill simulation development
- Humentum - Tools for creating your own troubleshooting, softskills, state-table driven simulations
- NexLearn - Simwriter, easy-to-use tool for creating branching, role-play simulations
- Adobe Captivate - Desktop-based software simulation tool (most widely used) - low cost
- Camtasia Studio - Desktop, software simulation tool, similar to Captivate
- SoftSim - desktop simuilation tool from Outstart
- Kaplan STT Trainer - robust, groupware software simulation tool, multiple simulation outputs with single production pass
- Assima - uses a software "cloning" process for software simulations, as opposed to screen captures; robust software simulation system
- uPerform - from Ancile Solutions; simulation and documentation tool that was orginally created by RWD technologies, but is now offered by Ancile as a product for creating your own software simulations
- Oracle UPK and Tutor - used to be GlobalKnowledge OnDemand; enterprise class tool for creating software simulations and simultaneous documentation
- ExperienceBuilders - online, role-playing simulation tools and services
- SMG - Services for creating scenario-driven business simulations
- SimBuilder from Phasient - role-play simulation tool
- Quandary - Freeware. Tool for creating branching troubleshooting or branching scenarios following choices to their natural conclusion (not SCORM conformant)
- vRetta - business simulations and games; creative use of learning overlays on top of live sofware applications.
Off-the-shelf, online courseware providers (descripton of content specialities)
- Skillsoft - IT Certification, Leadership, Soft Skills, Business, Environmental Health & Safety
- Element K - IT, software, busines skills, and compliance
- Mindleaders - business, compliance, software, IT, Food Safety
- Healthstream - Healthcare, Medical Billing and Coding
- Kaplan Eduneering - Pharmaceutical, biotechnology, healthcare, energy, manufacturing
- Critical Information Network, CiNET - Security, Law Enforcement, Healthcare, Industrial, Manufacturing, Fire & Emergency, Power Utilities, Oil & Gas, Petrochemical, Pulp & Paper, Food Processing, Phamaceutical Operations.
- Kaplan Financial - financial services, securities, insurance licensing
- PureSafety - OSHA compliance
- Enforsys - Law enforcement, Security, Public Safety
- Coastal - Safety, HR compliance, OSHA and some healthcare
- Syntrio - Legal compliance, business skills
- SAI Global - compliance, ethics, ISO standards
- GlobalEnglish - English as a second language
- KESDEE - Banking, Finance, Accounting, Insurance
- MC Strategies - healthcare, nursing, critical care, emergency, Coding
- American Management Association - Management, Project Management, Business, Leadership, Communication, Office and Administrative Support, Time Management, etc.
- Anderson-Davis - Harrassment, Ethics, Leadership, Substance Abuse
- 360Training.com - Vocational Training, Food Safety, Engineering, Electrician, Industrial Skills, Real Estate Licensing, Cosmetology
- TellMeMore - language training
- ESI International - Project Management, IT Project Management, Business Analysis, Contract Management
- Automated Learning Systems - Electronic Assembly, Health & Safety, Manufacturing
- BuildIQ - Construction
- Business Training Library - business, desktop applications, web development, legal compliance, healthcare, customer service, bank compliance
- Vivid Learning Systems - Utilities, Mining, Manufacturing, Healthcare, Food Safety, HR
- Intuition - Financial Services, Healthcare, Business, IT Skills
- Micromash - Auditing, Accounting, Ethics, Taxation, Management, Personal Development
- NIIT - IT Skills
- Sunset Learning Institute - Cisco Certification
- Harvard Business Publishiing - Math for Mangers, Spreadsheet Modeling, Quantitative Methods, Financial Accounting, Finance, IT Concepts
- MedSenses - Nursing
- Richardson - Sales, Customer Service
- Telephone Doctor - Customer Service
- Microsoft Learning - Microsoft Technology, IT Skills
- Ninth House - management, leadership
- Absolutely Learning - Automotive, Financial Services, HR, Health & Safety, Change Management
- BankersEdge - Banking, Credit Union, Call Center
- Corpedia - Employment Law, Business, Finance, Accounting, Information Security, Intellectual Property, Consumer Protection, ES&H, International Trade, Government Contracting, FCPA
- DDI - Six Sigma, Leadership, Sales, Customer Service, Talent Issues
- ELT - Employment Law, Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), Ethics
- Eukleia Training - Financial Crime, Business Conduct, Risk Management
- LOMA Learn Online - Insurance, Communication, Customer Service, Desktop Software, Finance, IT Skills, Legal, Compliance, Ethics, Management, Leadership, Project Management, Sales
- Rosetta Stone - Languages
- Serebra - IT Skills, Desktop Software, Business, Legal
- WeComply - Sexual Harassment, Diversity, Financial Integrity, Business, Data Privacy, Employment Law
- MEDCOM - Nursing, Billing, Coding, Sales
- Atlas Interactive - Oil & Gas
- IHRDC - Oil & Gas
- EnergyU - Power Utility
- BBC Learning - Basic Skills, English, Languages, IT Skils, History, Science, Math, Food Services
- Learning4Business - Productivity, Business, Employment Law (UK), HR, Interpersonal Skills
- Litmus Learning - European/International Computer Driving License (ECDL)
- Kaplan Self Test Software - Certification, Oracle, Microsoft, CCNA, Lotus, SQL
- Video Arts - Communication, Customer Service, Diversity, Sales, Teamwork
- Crisp Publications - Communications, Computer Skills, Customer Service, Personal Improvement, Small Business
- The Cyber Institute - Personal Effectiveness, Finance, Wrting & Presentation Skills, Communication, HR, Sales, Project & Contract Management, Leadership, Computer Skills
- LearnKey - Computer Fundamentals, Office Productivity, Personal Productivity, IT Skills, Database, Web Design, Vocational Training
- Nexient - IT Skills, Business, Leadership
- Banker's Academy - Banking, Finance
- Omega Performance - Banking, Finance, Credit Union, Leadership, Management, Wealth Management
- Trump University - Real Estate Investing, Entrepreneurship, Business Management
- FirstNet Learning - HR, Health & Safety, Business, PC/Desktop, Defensive Driving, Construction, Automotive, OSHA
- 1-Minute Learning - Employment Law, Personal Productivity, Management, Call Center
- American Bankers Association - AIB Certification, Banking, Financial Compliance, Management, Leadership, Sales, Small Business, Wealth Management & Trust, Microsoft Office
- BAI Learning - Banking, Professonal Skills, Sales, Financial Compliance (focus: credit unions)
- BMG University - Six Sigma, Leadership, Innovation & Design
- Clarity Multimedia - safety, HR, healthcare, industrial skills, maintenance training
- CoreMedia - Safety
- DLC Solutions - Healthcare, Pharma
- Global Collaboration Partners - Compliance, OSHA, EH&S
- ILX Group - Banking, Finance
- Huthwaite - Sales (SpinSelling)
- ITC Learning - Electrical Skills, Mechnical Skills, PC/Office
- LearningNexus - Business, Management, Health & Safety, Communication, Diversity, Customer Service, IT Skills
- KeyTrain - Basic Skills
- LawRoom - Employment Law, Anti-Harassment, HR
- Learn.com - Personal Development, Business, IT Skills, Office Applications, Compliance
- Learnscape - Basic Skills, Vocational, GED Prep
- LRN - Legal, Compliance
- McGraw Hill - Business, Economics, Science, Engineering, Math, Social Sciences, Language
- HCCS (Health Care Certification Courses) - Healthcare, Medical Compliance
- MedCom Trainex - Nursing, Home Health, Patient Education, Dental
- PrimeLearning - Communications, Customer Service, Compliance, Management, HR, Project Management, Marketing, Finance, Sales
- QuickCompliance - Pharma, Healthcare
- University of Healthcare - Bioterrorism, Healthcare, HIPAA, OSHA, Pharma, Total Quality in Healthcare
- CE Network - Real Estate, Financial
- Emergency University - CPR, First Aid, Emergency Medical
- Learning Harbor - healthcare compliance, CE credits
- HCPro - Healthcare, Coding, Nursing, Safety
- AcheiveGlobal - Leadership, Sales, Customer Service
- LearnSomething - Pharma, Healthcare, Supermarket, Associations
- RetailTraining.com - Retail - Customer Service, Sales, Management for Retail
- Ossidan - Telecomm, Cellular, Wireless
- BrainBench - Employee pretesting
- Competence Software - Financial, Technology Literacy
- CompuPharma - Biotech, Pharma, Medical Devices
- Englishtown - English as a 2nd Language
- Impact Learning - Customer Service, Telephone Skills, Business Writing, Sales, Technical Support
- Industrial Training Zone - Electrical, Fluid Power, Manufacturing, Mechanical
- International Institute for Learning - Microsoft Office, Lean Six Sigman, Business
- Interskill Learning - Mainframe computer training
- QuicKnowledge - Business, Selling, Writing, Ethics, Management, Personal Development
- Tooling University - Manufacturing (Aerospace, Automotive, Heavy Equipment, Machinery, Medical Parts Manufacturing, Oil & Gas, Energy)
- Vital Learning - Leadership, Sales, Productivity, Customer Service
- Wide Learning - Finance, Diversity, Health & Safety
- Compliance Coach - Compliance, RESPA, HIPPA
- Certilearn - Business, Call Center, Food Safety, Healthcare, HIPPA, HR, Industrial Skills, Supermarket
- Pearson Education - K-12, Higher Ed, Business, Financial, Professional Development, IT Skills
- Entretel - Telephone Skills, Call Center
- Porter Henry - Sales, Customer Service, Pharmaceutical Sales
- CCI Learning Solutions - Microsoft Certification, IC3, Adobe Certification, Accounting
- CE City - Healthcare, Pharmacists
- CRK Interactive - Customer Service, Leadership, Sales
- Knowlagent - Call Center
- TRC Interactive - Bank Teller Training
- CompTIA - IT skills, Networks, Servers, Operating Systems, Certifications
- General Physics - Industrial, Energy, Homeland Security, Emergency, Health, Safety, Sales
- Global Learning Systems - Security, Emergency, Cyber Security, Compliance, Lean Six Sigma, IT Skills
- Keystone Learning Systems - Microsoft Office, PC/Desktop, IT Skillsm Compuer Security
- Global Compliance - Preventing workplace Violence, Ethics, Legal Compliance, General Compliance
- 50 Lessons - Leadership, Talent Management, Sales, HR, Change Management, Entrepreneurship, Customer Service, B2B, B2C
- iLearn Solutions - Managing People, Interpersonal Communication, Projects & Processes, Information Analysis, Personal/Professional Development, Computer & Technical Literacy
- Intermezzon - Sales, Manager Development, Recruiting, Customer Services, Launches
- American Research Institute - Professional Skills, IT Skils, Business, Project Management
- Capstone - Programming Skills in Java, Java EE, Open Source Frameworks, XML, Web Services, WebLogic and JBoss
- Cardinus - Risk Management, Diversity, Driver CPC, Fire, Property Risk, Safety, Security, Stress Management
- Cengage Learning - Healthcare, Police, Security, Emergency Serives, Industrial, Fire
- TTN Learning - Sales, Change Management, Business, Computer Skills, Customer Service
- SmartPros - Accounting, Engineering, Ethics, Compliance, Financial, Legal
- IC Axon - Pharmaceutical, Biopharma, Medical Device
- JB Learning - Emergency, Fire, Medicine, Nuring, Safety, CE credits in Emergency, Medicine and Nursing
- Jedlet.com - Business, HR, Training, Writing
- Marcom Group - Regulatory Compliance, Safety, Lab Safety, HAZWOPER, Construction Safety
- Specialized Solutions - Microsoft Certificate Programs
- New York Institute of Finance - Accounting, Financial, Risk Management
- Gold Cross Safety Corporation - Driver Safety
- Care2Learn - Healthcare
- inmarkets - Financial and Medical Compliance
- Integrity Interactive - Compliance, Ethics, Supply Chain
- Centurion Systems - Retail Learning, Sales, Customer Service
- NXLEvel - Pharmacuetical
- Huthwaite - Sales Performance, Chanage Management - Click here for Huthwaite Australia
- Lexington Interactive - Restaurant, Hotel, Food Services
- Discover Link - Food Services, Restaurant
- eCHIM - hotel management, hospitality
- IGAInstitute - Grocery, Convenience Store
- Rocket Languages - language traning courseware
Training Outsourcing - Full Service (ILT, Training Delivery, Training Administration, etc.)
- Intrepid Learning Solutions
- General Physics
- RWD Technologies- speciality in SAP training
- NIIT - people recognize their brand in the area of custom courseware, but some are still unaware that they also have a big footprint and are well respected in the area of managed services
- ACS Consulting
- Raytheon Professional Services
- The Training Associates - speciality in being able to deliver ILT learning, instructors, etc.
- Lionbridge - mostly known as a translation company, they have a large footprint in ILT delivery and e-learning.
Academic Learning Systems, Content, and Services - K-12 & Higher Education
- Moodle - Open Source LMS, widely used among academic institutions (self insalled and managed)
- Sakai - Open Source LMS - the sysem has great built-in tools for running virtual live sessions, sharing content, etc.
- Blackboard - LMS/CMS (course management system) primarily for managing distance learning classes (instructor-led, virtual)
- Desire2Learn - LMS/CMS, good for both distance learning and elearning delivered courseware
- Pearson LearningSuite & eCollege - LMS/CMS - turnkey sollutions for K-12, college and uniersity platform
- DataTel - student registration system and integration services for learning
- Sungard Higher Education - integration services for higher education learning systems
- Luminis - Open source student registration system
- OLAT - technically advanced, turnkey LMS/LCMS focused on acadmemia
- Teachscape - 10,000+ online learning resources for teacher develpoment - K-12 & Higher Education. Also 360 degree panaromic camera (Reflect) for classroom observation and evaluation
- Agilix - combination content development tool and delivery engine ideal for K-12 and Higher Education. NOTE: This company also build Blackboard's "Backpack" tool to facilitate remote learning
- Epsilen ePortfolio - integrated LMS, course management, ePortfolio and social learning tool
- Campus Pack (Learning Objects) - Social learning platform suited for K-12 and Higher Education
- MoodleRooms - provides hosting services for Moodle implemenations. Adapted Moodle to create Joule (Moodle-based) LMS.
- Embanet - hosting services for higher education using a number of different platforms (both opensource and commercial).
- Microsoft Tools for Teachers - Templates and wizards for Microsoft office that teachers can use to create lesson plans, gradebooks, tests, handouts, etc.
- Instructure - unique, free-form integration of social and formal learning for colleges and universities. Very fluid environment.
- CampusVue. Student information system - higher education
- Equella (owned by Pearson) - digital repository designed specifically for use by educators (higher ed, K-12) offering connectivity to academic LMS/CMS tools.
Project Management (some not learning related, but useful for learning development projects
- BaseCamp - Project-based system with source file storage and notification
- Wrike - Project Management, but also handles revision controls of source documentation
- Review - Tool for managing authoring and subject matter expert reviews during development, works will all popular authoring tools.
Misc, Creative, Innvoative, Unique Learning Solutions and Services
- Learningware - Author your own learning games patterned after Family Fued, Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, Millionaire, etc.
- iContent - Content as a Service Solution. Bottom line: they make sure any content will run on any LMS. Addresses one of the biggest problems with enterprise e-learning today.
- Cameo - automated tool, tracking Kirkpatrick Level 3 through scenario-based email exchange
- SmartPenz - physical devices for recording ILT sessions and interactive with icons in workbooks to capture information.
- SlideManager - enterprise system for tagging, storing, organizing and reusing master PowerPoint slides for use in ILT or as an asset manager for use with Articulate or Adobe Presenter
- Coggno - content service, SaaS content Management and marketplace for learning content
- CommentCatcher - an add-on for Articulate that allows you to embed social learning inside the content
- Moodlerooms - A service provider who will host and customize open-source LMS Moodle for your specific purpose
- Kineo - creative bundling of open-source LMS Moodle and Artciulate for a rapid and inexpensive e-learning platform.
- SupportPoint - platform to manage electronic performance support (EPSS) or just-in-time learning. Also an excellent tool for capturing expert knowlegege about processes and procedures
- Impact Dashboard - a tool that visually respresents learning and business analytics, also does organizational goal analysis against training results from Zeroed-In Technologies. Created by industry expert Chris Moore.
- Enfuse Analytics by Enspark - very cool, stand-alone tool that provides analytics dashboards for e-learning content created using popular authoring tools such as Articulate, Captivate and Lectora (without an LMS)
- Advisor Enterprise from BNH Software - calcualtes ROI of using different training delivery formats and managing budget and resources
- TransPerfect - single stop shopping for multi-lingual voice-overs for e-learning
- The Narrator Files - voice talent for multimedia productions
- JBI Studios - foreign language voice-over talent
- Alpine Testing Solutions - experts at creating validated, reliable tests and exams
- Microsoft Office SCORM Utility - Free utility from Microsoft that converts Microsoft Office documents into SCORM objects.
- Pixetell - integrated tool for webcam and screen recording designed for non-technical users to quickly create training
- Accurate Assessments - products and consulting services specifically targeting assessment, measurement and learning metrics
- The Presentation Company - best practice design of virtual learning experiences
By Tony Karrer
I've been asked numerous times over the past couple of years by various types of people and companies a very similar question:
I plan to or have been conducting and charging for training workshops for clients. I'd like to creating this as self-paced eLearning possibly with other capabilities as well. And I want to charge for this. How can I do that?
Two years ago, after quite a bit of discussion with most people who had this general question, I would figure out that it was going to be relatively easy for them to figure out how to author the eLearning courses, but it was going to be a harder decision on how to get that posted somewhere and available to their existing or new clients.
I was just asked the question again the other day. It's a company that has been offering 3-day workshops and now they want to put some portion of that content online. Ideally, they would offer it both publicly for fee and as well to particular clients.
While there are a lot of different Learning Management Systems with very different features, the requirements in this situation are a bit different. So here are some of the requirements I see for this customer that are a bit different from what you would find in a normal corporate LMS RFP.
To me this is a new kind of system. I'm temporarily calling this a Rapid Learning Management System. It's hosted. It's easy to use. It's a bit like rapid eLearning authoring tools, but aimed at the learning management side of this equation. If you know the right term for this, please let me know.
For their existing customers, they should be able to point them to a system that looks just like their own site.
Company Clients / Groups of Learners
Many of their customers (companies) come in with several learners. They need to be able to have these learners grouped together and provide reporting over those learners. The company will have a single administrative contact. The system should look and act like an individual LMS for that administrator. Also, if they make changes to the LMS overall, the company should inherit those changes.
Marketplace for Content
While they are going to need to take the lead on driving traffic to their courses, the system should allow for individuals and companies to find and sign up for their content.
My impression though is that despite the claims that the marketplace will help you get new customers, you should plan to do the work needed to get people there. Thus, you probably should be thinking about all the normal internet marketing approaches to driving people to sign up. And once they get to your landing page, it should be easy to get them across to the marketplace and have it transact with them.
Instructor, Virtual Classroom and Social Learning Support
In some cases, all that is needed is for the self-paced eLearning to be hosted, but in this case, they also still want to be able to interact with the learners. Instructors will still be there for the companies. And there should be some basic capabilities for asking questions, getting answers. Possibly some forums. In this case, it's limited, but I've run into situations where the plan was for 8 hours of self-paced online and then 1 day of online virtual classroom.
Authoring Support or SCORM?
A lot of the systems on the market seem to start with some kind of basic rapid authoring tool. I personally believe that it would be better for these systems to accept SCORM content from a few of the top authoring tools. Of course, that implies additional cost. However, if you are really authoring several hours of content and are going to take this seriously as a business, it would seem like that should be a good investment. Or maybe you just use an open-source or free. But I'd rather not have to learn all the quirks of one of these platforms. And I'd want my content to be transportable in case the platform goes away.
What am I missing? What other requirements are important in this situation?
I'm currently pointing people to the following rapid learning management systems. I'm not claiming these address all of the above requirements. Rather that they generally are a hosted LMS solution that roughly corresponds to most of the requirements:
- Learn.com Personal Edition
- Articulate Online
- Xerceo TrainingAtom
- Geo On-Demand
- Upside Learning Upside LMS
What other systems should be on the list?