Elearning Market Update (March 07)

We heard it on the blogline…

You’ll know from previous Kineo insights that you can find a lot about what’s really going on by reading the blogs of the well-informed, inside or outside your own organisation. So, this month we decided to look at the e-learning market from a different perspective, by firing up the blog scanner to see what, and who, is driving the debate. And there’s no shortage of debate:

  • Moodle for corporates
  • BBC Jam suspended
  • Rapid e-learning converts
  • Games based learning
  • E-learning maturity
  • E-learning tools debates
  • Change management

So what are they saying? Read more below.

Moodle for Corporates

An interesting discussion on the corporate use of Moodle on David Wilson's blog.

David argues that it is not only the fact Moodle is free which makes it attractive but the fact it can be developed and integrated to meet the needs of corporate clients.

Martin Dougiamas touches on developments that are forthcoming in Moodle 1.9 and 1.10 such as completion certificates, competencies, better admin integration etc. Moodle 1.9 with its corporate gradebook features is due out in June 2007. We can't wait.

Kineo has designed and implemented customised Moodles for clients including Marks & Spencer and Europcar. Find how we could help you to make the most of Moodle.

BBC Jam – the end is nigh

The BBC has suspended BBC Jam, much to the relief of our former colleague Donald Clark. If you want to know why Donald thinks it was £75m wasted, have a read of his blog - as usual he pulls no punches.

Rapid E-learning: a new convert

Clive Shepherd started an interesting debate on rapid e-learning at his blog at Clive has clearly enjoyed himself playing with the Articulate suite of rapid e-learning projects.

Some of the key points in the debate so far include:

“Project managers should not select a rapid tool which focuses on creating content only but rather focus on all other components to ensure building an effective and attractive online course”.

“If it is easier for designers and trainers to create materials the emphasis is more likely to be focused on the content rather than on the technology which I think can be an issue when involving technical experts”.

“It gives the trainer/designer so much control over the content - no waiting for a content author to make changes.”

“Before you start on any type of e-Learning development you need to have a good strategy in place."

You won’t find any argument from us. We’ve long been saying that rapid e-learning should not be all about the tools. If the fundamentals aren’t right, a tool is not going to change how you make e-learning happen. Selecting the right tool is key, but there’s more to consider. Find out how we can help you ensure you take the right approach to rapid e-learning.

E-learning, ten years on

Clive Shepherd also reflects on what has changed over the last ten years.

You can see the full list at Clive's blog.

Some of his reflections include:

- "the trend seems to be towards shorter and shorter courses. Many organisations now run one-hour classes on topics that may previously have been covered over several days.

- Informal learning has taken centre stage, acknowledging the obvious - that most learners do it for themselves. They probably always have, but there's little to stop them now, with the widespread utilisation of blogs, wikis, social networking tools and the like.

- we have seen a renewed interest in games and simulations, due largely to the efforts of enthusiasts such as Mark Prensky, Clark Aldrich and others. This is indeed a promising area, but to my knowledge there's very little evidence yet of successful application."

If anything personifies the gap between promise and reality in learning, it’s gaming. Which brings us to a round-up of some Recent Reports.

Games Based Learning

If we had a dollar for every press release that hits the google alert box for on the potential for games based learning, we’d be able to buy a Wii for every would-be learner in Britain. This latest report from Apply Group explores the potential for games based learning. Interestingly only 17% of respondents thought they would use games based e-learning in the next two years. A lot thought they would use games within the next eight years. But really, a lot of people also assume they will probably win X factor at some point over the next eight years.

An overview is available here. The price for the full report is a bit steep at £599 plus VAT. What was that earlier about buying a Wii or two?

Towards Maturity – The Impact of e-learning in the workplace

This preliminary research from E-Skills appeared too late for our February newsletter. We’re admirers of Laura Overton’s work and this is a solid and useful piece of research. A couple of key points stood out for us:

Of the "e-learning technologies used over 30% are using open source tools".

79% of organisations responded that they will be placing greater emphasis on supporting informal learning. Learners are doing it for themselves: 98% of learners searched the web to find information, 79% used online reference materials, 36% engaged in online communities and discussion groups.

The biggest single driver behind e-learning adoption at over 80% was increasing access to learning.

So while many of us toil in areas of high-falutin’ e-learning innovation, by far the most important issue is simply making learning more available. A good reminder of the fundamental benefit of e-learning: access.

The Discussion Forums

Finally we took a look at a couple of discussion forums to see which issues were keeping the blogerati busy. Two stood out:

Which e-learning tools should we use?

This question was posed on the Training Zone any answers forum and mirrors similar questions on the American Society of Training & Development discussions forums. The tools recommended vary but consistently mentioned in the discussion forums were Articulate, Lectora, Captivate and Outstart Trainer. All with their benefits; but again a note of caution – the tool is only as good as your designers and writers.

Change Management in the US

The most viewed discussion recently on the ASTD forum was viewed by over 9,500 people was on short (less than 40 minute) change management games. There was a huge response to this and when one person offered to share their workshop ideas they were inundated with requests for copies. So if you are thinking of designing a workshop or short e-learning module you know there is great demand for something on change management in the US. What else is happening in the US? We’re off to attend the E-learning Guild Annual Gathering in Bostonin April to find out, and catch up with some old friends. Want to meet up in Boston? Contact us.