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Five Things to Tell Others About E-Learning
The bad news about LMSs is that the big sticker has drawn people and business practices of dubious business ethics. Claims often exceed a system's actual capabilities. Although analysts are paid to separate the wheat from the chaff, some analysts actually charge a hidden fee from vendors to have their system included in an "independent" research report. Buyer beware indeed.
4. You don't have to buy an LMS today. (But you should when you can.)
You can offer a substantial amount of e-learning, create your own content, purchase off-the-shelf courses and make it all available online without buying or upgrading an LMS. Don't let that stop your team. But having a current LMS is a best practice, so put together that business case.
5. The world of learning benefits directly from new technologies.
Simulations. Podcasts. Blogs. New technologies open new possibilities for training as well. There are many forms of e-learning - such as SME-authored content, live e-learning, converted PowerPoint, simulations of all types - and new ways it can be delivered, such as by e-mail, through an LMS, in a live online session, in a podcast or as modules on a PDA.
In the 1990s, authoring e-learning was harder because it required training and special software. Now, anyone can develop training using PowerPoint conversion tools. Simulation tools allow a creator to fill in the blanks to create simulations for people-skills training.
What will emerge tomorrow?
My colleague, the CLO who asked about e-learning, still isn't fully engaging the power and flexibility of e-learning. It is time to overcome the hesitancies, learn enough to be comfortable with the systems, tools and courses, and make the jump.
Brandon Hall, Ph.D. has been a leading commentator on e-learning since 1993 and is CEO and lead researcher at Brandon Hall Research, Inc., an independent research firm in Sunnyvale, Calif. Brandon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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