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Archive for the ‘LMS’ Category

February March April Quick Links

Posted by Ellen on April 11, 2012

Yes, aLearning has been distracted these past few months with some non-blog projects… so although a few of these resource items are a little older than a month or two, they’ve been re-vetted and we think they’re still worth your attention.

LMS Resources

The most popular topics on this blog are those on LMSes. They get the most initial hits, and some posts that even date back a few years are still getting a lot of attention.

Having said that, here are a few excellent resources — in no particular order — if you’re trying to decide whether to get an LMS or not.

First, Jon Aleckson blogged on the topic here: http://managingelearning.com/2012/02/10/association-lms-yes-or-no/

And you can get a copy of their free white paper, “When is the Right Time to Adopt an LMS” by filling out a quick form here: http://www.webcourseworks.com/adopting-an-lms-white-paper

DigitecInteractive’s white paper on selecting an LMS includes an example timeline for the process: http://www.knowledgedirectweb.com/company1/content/296/8-Steps-to-Selecting-Your-Association_LMS.pdf

Social Learning

An oldie but goodie: “Social Learning Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Does!” from Jane Hart’s “Learning in the Social Workplace” blog. Moving from “Command and Control” to “Encourage and Engage” is sometimes harder than we think. Her charts contrasting these provide a great checklist: http://www.c4lpt.co.uk/blog/2011/09/12/social-learning-doesnt-mean-what-you-think-it-does/

Wondering why you set up a social learning network but nobody’s participating? Get some help from Mary Arnold’s Learning Solutions article, “The Human Factor: Creating Opportunities to Participate in Social Learning.”  Read it here: http://www.learningsolutionsmag.com/articles/492/the-human-factor-creating-opportunities-to-participate-in-social-learning

Mobile Learning

Kineo has released a terrific white paper on getting started in mobile learning. “Terrific” because it not only provides the “what” you need to know and do, but examples as well — including images of various applications. Go here to download your copy: http://www.kineo.com/us/elearning-reports/mobile-learning-guide-part-1-designing-it-right.html

General Topics

Avectra’s been offering a Book of the Month, delivering excerpts on all kinds of topics. If you’re not getting the alerts about these, here’s where to sign up: http://www.avectra.com/association-management-resources/resources/book-of-the-month.php

Gotta love the idea of using the “speed dating” technique at a conference or workshop for changing up the same-old, same-old format. How would you incorporate it? (Not my idea, I confess… my source was this: http://blog.hansdezwart.info/2012/02/01/speed-dating-at-the-2012-learning-technologies/)

Posted in aLearning Strategies, aLearning Trends, eLearning Resources, LMS, Social Learning | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

How Time Flies…

Posted by Ellen on January 27, 2012

…when you’re having fun, right?!?

And we have been having fun here at the aLearning Blog! Suddenly, it seems, we’re publishing our 250th post and celebrating five years.

Yep, five years. And so much has changed!

When aLearning published its first post back on January 27, 2007:

  • no LMS systems (that we know of at the time) were designed especially to meet the needs of associations and nonprofits
  • few (if any) research endeavors about online learning focused on associations and nonprofits
  • few (if any) organizations bothered to survey association learning leaders to find out what we’re doing in the field and how things were going
  • the number of association-specific blogs could be counted on the fingers of one person’s hands
  • social learning and virtual learning environments were mysterious, hocus-pocus, scary entities

A lot has changed over just five changes of the seasons, hasn’t it?!?

Top 100 aLearning Blog Posts

To celebrate this milestone, we’ve compiled an ebook of our Top 100 aLearning Blog Posts. Just skimming through these selections made us realize how quickly the elearning sands shift, affecting the landscape, even moving the horizon.

At over 200 pages, this compilation brings together in one place the best — and most controversial — writing from the aLearning Blog. We’ve included most comments (the fine print is that we’ve deleted pingpacks, backtracks, and outright sales pitches) and are proud of the attention the aLearning Blog has garnered over the years by elearning and education experts.

To Get Your Copy

We’ve made this e-publication very affordable at just $5. To order, go to www.ellenbooks.com/store.html and click the “Buy Now” PayPal button. You should be able to read this PDF from any device with a PDF reader (such as Adobe Reader).

Special Offer

If you’ve purchased aLearning: A Trail Guide to Association eLearning, we’ll send you a copy of the Top 100 Posts for free. Just send Ellen an e-mail at ellenbehr@aol.com and attach an electronic copy of your Lulu receipt, and we’ll send you the Top 100 Posts by return e-mail. We appreciate your support and are happy to say “thank you” in this small way.

Thank You!

Posted in aLearning Strategies, aLearning Surveys, aLearning Trends, Conferences, eLearning Marketing, eLearning Resources, Financing eLearning, Justifying aLearning, Learning in General, LMS, Measuring Results, Online Learning in General, Social Learning, Webinars | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

January Quick Clicks

Posted by Ellen on January 23, 2012

Whew! It’s been awhile since an aLearning post, but we’ve been working hard behind the scenes on a great new aLearning venture. More on that soon… :)

 

Meanwhile, we’ll make it up to you by providing this edition of Quick Clicks, some links to what we believe are valuable resources, articles, and tools, collected here to help save you the time of tracking them all down.

As always, if you have suggestions for Quick Clicks links, send an e-mail.

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Struggling with Systems Integration?

First, take a look at “Bringing Systems Together” from associationTECH…

Then take in the first installment of their series, this one focusing on AMSes: “Bringing Systems Together: AMS Central”

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MOOCs and Connectivism

Curious about MOOCs (Mass Open Online Courses)? Wonder what the impetus was for the first one in 2008 (yes, they’ve been around more than three years now)? Want to see how Connectivism is at the center of it all?

Read all about it at Stephen Downes’ “Creating the Connectivist Course” at his Half and Hour blog.

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Making the Case (Yet Again) for the Legitimacy of eLearning

Still looking for justifying elearning? Looking for support in your argument that online teaching and learning has been validated? Craig Weiss at the E-Learning 24/7 Blog has captured a bunch of facts with bona fide, respectable sources in hispost, “Online Learning in Education.” The post focuses on elearning in higher ed, but hey, if you can get a legitimate university degree this way, shouldn’t it be fine for our association members?!??

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LMS Help

We’ve mentioned Craig several times here at aLearning (and include him in our pretty exclusive Blogroll) because provides enormous help when it comes to LMSes and other systems… Here’s a list of some of the “Must-Reads” from his blog (noted above):

Interoperability – it works every time..Wrong

LMS – Extended Enterprise Space 

LMS Q and A

What about UR infrastructure? Questions 2 Ask B4 Implementing a LMS http://bit.ly/xrRYpI

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eLearning Strategy Mistakes

Of course, we believe you should start with aLearning: A Trail Guide to Association eLearning when developing a strategy for your learning programs (especially online offerings)… but you would also benefit from Marc Rosenberg’s “Ten Common Mistakes in Building an eLearning Strategy” from his Marc My Words blog. It’s a quick but very valuable read, and you don’t need to be an eLearning Guild member to access it online.

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More on Learning Styles Bunk

Yes, we’re still fighting the “learning styles” myth. Here’s more ammo from Knowledge Factor’s blog.

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Free Image Editors

We all like stuff that’s free, especially when it saves us money and performs a job for us. You can thank Tom Kuhlman at The Rapid E-Learning Blog for a list of five free image editors. Manipulate those clip art images, photos, and other graphics to make your tutorials, newsletters and other documents look the way you want, instead of the way those images are handed to you. Read his post for the full list and links to those editors.

Posted in aLearning Strategies, eLearning Resources, Justifying aLearning, LMS | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Cloudy About ‘The Cloud’?

Posted by Ellen on January 10, 2012

Don’t be. Here’s the easy-sneezy version of what you need to know to help your association or nonprofit.

First, “The Cloud” is just another way of referring to the Web, the Internet, cyberspace. Services “in the cloud” are available via the Web instead of systems having to be installed on your server(s) or applications or programs being installed on your desktop. It means they’re out there — in cyberspace — and you connect to them.

What this means is that the responsibility for maintaining those systems rests on the company providing them, instead of on you.

Yes, this is very good news.

“SaaS” or “Software as a Service” has been around for awhile, and “The Cloud” references have sort of evolved from that.

But here’s the best part. According to TSIA’s October 2011 report, “Understanding the Impact of Consumption Economics on Education Services”:

“Customers no longer have to buy all the complexity. They can buy the capacity, features, and functionality they need, when they need them, and in the amount they need them. The best part for the customer is that huge, up-front payments are replaced by manageable, monthly payments. No longer is the customer held hostage by a product that is too hard to use and too hard to uninstall.”

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Wait! There's more!

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"…[T]here will be constant price pressure as new suppliers enter the marketplace and/or new cloud offerings are promoted."

TSIA anticipates a shift from long-term licensing fees to micro-transactions, which could be pricing per user per month, per feature, per gigabyte of data stored, per content downloaded, or any number of other similar yet singular types of transactions.

We’re already seeing this from some vendors. Charging a $X fee per user per month for up to X number of users is one example.

This is great because we’ll only be charged for the actual number of users in the system and/or for the actual downloads or other access options.

Of Course There’s a Catch

You can get your calculator out and do the math if you want, but the logic is clear: the better the deal is for us (the consumers), the more the vendors will have to work to make the same levels of income.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you’ve decided on ACME LMS. Let’s say you’re just starting with elearning so you’ve chosen their low-end “Basic” option: features A, B, and C, for $5/mo per user.

Let’s also say they have a “Standard” option that includes the features you already have and use, PLUS features D, E, F, G, and H for $10/mo per user.

Even with the same number of users, ACME LMS stands to make more  money from you.

They might not try to get you to opt for the “Standard” bundle at first, but you can bet they’ll be looking to “upsell” you at some point. They have revenue needs, and you’re the way to fill those needs.

I’m not saying don’t take the upsell. But I will tell you to ask for the data.

More Cloudy Benefits

A hidden benefit of a product that sits in the Cloud is that it’s generating a bunch of data on your use of the system. You might be getting that data, you might not. But you can bet the company is sucking as many numbers out of the system as it can get.

That’s not a bad thing.

They can tell you how your members are using the system in ways you probably can’t imagine. It’s to their benefit to do that.

So if they’re suggesting an upgrade to another bundle — let’s say to the Standard option in the example we’ve been using — then ask to see the data. Look at how the features you’d be adding could enhance the learners’ experience in the training you’re giving them. How many users would likely be affected if you incorporated those additional features? Would it be worth the additional cost? Why? Why not?

If you’re not convinced, no need to make the jump. The next “level” of service will be around for awhile. You can make the change whenever your organization is ready, and you can do it pretty quickly compared to the old license-renewal cycles that are measured in years.

Yes, there are terrific benefits when you let your elearning programs live in the Cloud rather than on some server in a back room someplace. Start modestly, graduate up if needed, and be sure the vendor you choose has a great reputation for uptime and excellent back-up systems.

Could your elearning benefit from living in the Cloud?

Posted in aLearning Strategies, Financing eLearning, LMS, Online Learning in General | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Quick Clicks

Posted by Ellen on November 7, 2011

We’re a little late to call this the “October Quick Clicks” — but that’s when most of these links were collected…. Watch for another Quick Clicks edition sometime later this month (or early next month… this is what happens when you’ve got a lot going on, but then, I know you live in that same world!).

 

Fun and Games and Learning

Wondering if games can actually get people engaged with the content? Why not try it yourself? The folks at Web Courseworks Ltd have developed a game focused on safe driving amidst a variety of distractions. Give it a go!

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Twitter Teaching

Ah! Here it is: “Practical Advice for Teaching with Twitter.” You knew there had to be some nut-and-bolts help out there somewhere, didn’t you? Though directed at lecturers for higher ed, you can easily adapt these guidelines for learning leaders, particularly for larger sessions. See Mark Sample’s great article in October 22 edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education  online here.

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PLN… ALN… Both Good

Thinking about a PLN (personal learning network)? Or creating a sort of ALN (association learning network)? Wondering where to start? Thanks to Carol Brown at Online College for pointing aLearning to this terrific article, “50 Great Ways to Grow Your Personal Learning Network,” with lots of nuts-and-bolts how-to information.

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Some PD on Non-Profit Topics — FREE

Guidestar is offering a great series of informational Webinars they’re calling “Lunch & Learns.” Scheduled for just 30 minutes each, these are free and focus on topics ranging from nonprofit benchmarking to charting impact to “how to read the most valuable parts of the 990 in 25 minutes or less!” You must register to attend; you can register for any one or all; Web sessions are offered via WebEx. Sessions are currently scheduled through November 22.

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How Do You Know Which Online Format to Use?

Ayesha Habeeb Omer, over at CommLab India’s Custom Training and eLearning Blog, posted a succinct guide to identifying content types so you can match that content to your delivery options. Read her “Nature of Content — A Deciding Factor for Training Design” for a brief yet thorough explanation.

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LMS Primer

Of course, we like to recommend our own “Choosing a Learning Management System” aLearning Fundamentals as your place to start with your LMS questions… but the LMS primer TrainingForce has posted online has more detail if you need additional background.

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Have a resource you’ve discovered you’d like to share? Post it in the comments or send me a note at ellenbehr@aol.com.

Posted in aLearning Strategies, aLearning Trends, Asynchronous Learning Types, eLearning Resources, LMS, Webinars | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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