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A study of Learning Management Systems users, conducted by the E-learning Guild this year, revealed the following:

• 70.6% of surveyed organizations use an LMS, and 79.5% of organizations with more than 5,000 workers use an LMS.

• 94.6% are convinced that a LMS is essential to their organization; 95.5% believe a LMS allows people to access learning more easily; and 94.3% assert that a LMS allows members to distribute better learning throughout the organization.

• LMSs score low satisfaction scores, particularly for the ability to support specific and complex business process models (2.28), support for immersive learning simulations (1.62), support for talent/human capital management initiatives (2.23), and support for Web 2.0 features (1.87).

• The average costs to acquire, install and customize a LMS for all industries and organization sizes is $85.68 per learner.

• The average cost to maintain the LMS is $44.62 per learner

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My, how the e-learning industry has grown since 1997

Published in Executive Suite

What Corporate CEOs Observe About the Changing Marketplace

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In 2001, Creighton University received a grant to launch the nation’s first distance entry-level Doctor of Pharmacy program, which enables students with at least two years of undergraduate work to

Published in Education

Texas-based K.I.D.S., Inc. began in the mid-1980s as an educational test publishing company, but over time that has become only a small part of its business. Today, 80 percent of

Published in Education

Against the backdrop of dismal trends in the broader job market, information technology (I.T.) employment surged in February. According to the National Association of Computer Consultant Businesses (NACCB), which tracks I.T. employment on a monthly basis, I.T. employment grew by more than 40,000 last month, a more than one percent (1.06%) month-over-month increase.

On a year-over-year basis, I.T. employment grew 9.1 percent from February 2007. In February 2008, I.T. employment stood at nearly 3.9 million, an all-time high.

“Despite the steady stream of negative economic news, including a disappointing report on the broader job market, demand for I.T. professionals remains extraordinarily robust,” notes Mark Roberts, CEO of the NACCB. “While I fully expected a favorable I.T. employment picture based on the positive anecdotal reports from our member companies, the strength of February’s I.T. employment numbers even surprised me. The robust I.T. employment picture should be heartening to executives in all industries. It reflects continuing corporate investment in I.T. as companies seek to maintain or improve their competitive position and reap the benefits of enhanced productivity.”

The I.T. employment index is published by the National Association of Computer Consultant Businesses (NACCB), the national trade association representing I.T. staffing and solutions firms.

Published in Trends

Brandon Hall Research has been investigating the usefulness of virtual words as platforms for learning. To this end, its team recently had a meeting in Second Life. Following the meeting, Tom Werner had these thoughts:

>> It’s a novel environment and, thus, kind of energizing for the group, like any new setting can be.

>> You can arrange pleasant meeting areas in Second Life, and that seems to have a positive effect (we met “outdoors” in Second Life, on a nice deck area).

>> Once you get set up to show PowerPoint slides in Second Life, you can do it fairly well (although a Web-conferencing tool would be more practical if the object is to show PowerPoint slides).

>> There’s some pleasant sense of experiencing fellow meeting participants as physical representations rather than simply as voices (although how pleasant this is may vary for each individual).

>> There can be entertaining side-activities in Second Life. (Our avatars hopped into a nearby hot tub after the meeting.) But there are also drawbacks.

>> The meeting is affected by each member’s ability to navigate (although that’s true with any technology).

>> Practical meeting tools (like pointers) are better in Web-conferencing tools than in Second Life (although various tools are available in Second Life, and this is bound to continually improve).

>> If the meeting is primarily information-sharing and discussion, a killer advantage of Second Life isn’t obvious (although you could conceivably argue the same thing about a conference call versus Web conferencing).

>> It’s debatable how conducive Second Life is for meetings. It’s safe to say that even Second Life enthusiasts would say that a standard meeting doesn’t particularly take advantage of the unique aspects of Second Life (for example, 3-D).

To find our more about membership in the Brandon Hall Research Library, visit the Website http://www.brandonhall. com/publications/library/library.shtml.   

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If you have a dispersed workforce, or would like to provide partners, suppliers or customers distributed around the world with access to your training content, you should consider a learning management system available in the appropriate languages.

In preparing the current edition of Brandon Hall Research’s “LMS KnowledgeBase 2008,” it asked vendors to reveal the languages supported by their systems.

The results indicate that many commercial learning management systems have translated their learner and administrative interfaces into multiple languages.

Of the 76 systems covered in the research: 47 are available in Spanish, 45 in French, 40 in German, 31 in Italian, 28 in Japanese, 24 in three dialects of Chinese.

Looking for something a bit more exotic? Three systems have been translated into Latvian. Three are available in Malay. One is available in Swahili. One is available in Hindi.

By the way, a 2001 survey indicated that 41 percent of the population of India speaks Hindi. So one smart LMS vendor has a large potential market.

To access a copy of the report, visit the Website http://www.brandon-hall.com/publications/ lmskb/lmskb.shtml.  

Published in Trends

The lives of today’s college students have always included computers and the Internet. That technology now has moved from the ether into instruction.

A technical report from a University of Houston

Published in Education

European researchers have developed the first online platform that integrates elements of e-learning, social networking and project management to help virtual teams get the most from their practical experience.

“Increasingly, project-centered teaching approaches are being adopted by institutions and enterprises,” says Xuan Zhou, a researcher at the Germany L3S Research Centre.

“Teams, rather than individual students, will work on a given project where support from teachers will often be substituted by interaction among team members (students). These team members may come from different institutions to provide different competencies and approaches.”

Numerous Web-based packages are available that allow people to collaborate on and manage projects among remote teams. But these tend to be geared toward commercial project management and are not focused on project work as a learning process, per se.

The Cooper Project has built a platform that meets the growing need for project-based e-learning. The platform combines functionality from project management, social networking methods and traditional e-learning systems. It provides a virtual environment in which geographically dispersed teams can talk together, contact tutors, set up project workflows and submit documents. It is especially for the university sector and companies with an international workforce or that have to train foreign customers.

“Most e-learning systems are based on modules, and students work through a curriculum,” explains Zhou, a member of the Cooper consortium. “Usually a student has something to learn, and the tutor sets questions or an assignment to test what they have learned. Collaborative learning through teamwork projects requires an entire project management system, but with e-learning functionality built in.”  

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