It’s been 14 years since the birth of the Best of Elearning! Awards. The first edition in 2005 featured 9 categories, 29 brands receiving 245 nominations. The 2005 class included GeoLearning, Centra, WebEx, Books 24x7, and Adobe. Many of these brands still reign under different owners. Yet, they represented the need for SaaS or Cloud systems, learner-directed online learning, and effective e-learning development tools. A lot has changed….yet much has stayed the same. In 2005, 49% of learning professionals reported they had referred an e-learning brand to a peer. In 2018, that figure is 85%. Professionals still look to trusted resources for information. The Best of Elearning! Awards were launched in 2005 to formalize this recommendation process through its online user’s choice awards format.

In 2018, the Best of Elearning! Awards recognized 73 brands across 23 categories with thousands of nominations counted. This year 20% of the brands are new to the awards program — continuing to inspire us with constant innovation. We welcome Strivr VR, Sumarian, Modest Tree, Brainier, and other first time honorees to the Best of Elearning! family.

We are entering an exciting time in the learning technology industry. We see Artificial Intelligence powered knowledge and data systems. Machine Learning enabling professionals to focus on strategic actions versus rote activities. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are entering the mainstream with Healthcare and Entertainment applications leading the way.

The heavy lifting in learning technology still lies at the feet of the stalwart brands that continue to innovate, evolve and inspire talent. These brands include Adobe, SumTotal Systems, a Skillsoft Company, Cisco WebEx, and Articulate who have earned honors every year since 2005.

We can’t forget the editors who have brought you these 14 years of innovation. John Watson, Jack Gordon and Jerry Roche have brought Elearning! Magazine to life — Earning 24 editorial, design, website and eNewsletter honors for excellence from the Western Publishing Association.

Thank you to you all who have voted for the Best of Elearning! this year or in the past. Thank you to the technologists and solution providers who innovate and inspire. And, a big thank you to John, Jack and Jerry for making it all happen.

Published in Insights

Learning leaders are continually challenged to meet the changing needs of their internal learners and business partners. There’s a constant need to evaluate and balance learner needs and prioritizing learning and development programs that drive meaningful business results. With unemployment at a 30-year low, many organizations are struggling with attracting and retaining talent. Immediately and in the many years to come, Chief Learning and Talent Officers will need to shift their focus on cultivating talent internally to developing and executing on strategies externally.

While many organizations may have strategies and resources dedicated to college campus or trade school recruitment, a new focus of developing a talent pipeline through high school relationships and apprenticeships is essential. There is value in exposing high school students to career pathing and/or apprenticeship programs early-on as there is a potential to combine work-based, on-the-job learning with relevant technical education in the classroom. Students who participate in these programs may graduate with a high school diploma, real work experience, and in some cases, earn college credits, and industry credentials. They also start on a career path that continues after high school graduation – whether that is a continuation of their employment, along with college, college only, apprenticeship only, or other full-time employment.

LEADING WITH STRENGTH
Vi invests heavily in talent development with the goal of leveraging Vi’s commitment to a learning as part of the company’s value proposition to attract and retain talent. In fact, many of Vi’s leaders joined the company in high school and have taken advantage of the company’s front-line Management Development Program, tuition reimbursement program, and certification programs to pursue careers in hospitality, nursing or general management. Nonetheless, with the growing challenges of hiring hospitality and healthcare talent, Vi has shifted efforts and strategies to cultivate interest in health care and hospitality careers with high school students leveraging and refining Vi’s strengths in learning and organizational development.

Leaders view

WHY WAS THIS SHIFT NECESSARY?
As the population in the United States ages, the senior living industry will add nearly 350,000 jobs by 2025 and senior living employment will exceed 1.1 million according to Argentum, the nation’s largest senior living industry association. To meet these needs, Argentum states that the senior living industry will need to recruit 1.2 million new employees by 2025. And this is just one segment of the healthcare industry. According to the Work Institute, the healthcare industry employs over 12% of the U.S. workforce ratio of health-care job openings to available health-care workers of 2 to 1. Additionally, Vi competes heavily for culinary and dining services professionals to serve Vi’s residents. And, with 14 million U.S. restaurant workers, there’s simply not enough applicants to fill jobs.

STRATEGIES LEVERAGED
Working with Vi’s culinary and nursing teams, Vi developed career ladders for culinary and entrylevel nursing positions. Vi’scareer ladder allows existing employees to drive their own career path by achieving specific skills through company-sponsored training programs and mentoring. An employee’s ability to progress through the career ladder is not limited to an open position — rather achievement of defined and demonstrated skills by role. Vi’s career ladder alongside the company’s Management Development Program and tuition reimbursement program provides Vi the value proposition necessary to be potentially be relevant to high school students.

Towards cultivating high school talent, Vi has created a specific career page and recruitment materials to not only paint a clear picture of career paths at Vi, but to also spark interest in meaningful work of making a difference in the lives of older adults.  Vi intends to expand community outreach to high schools and continue pursuit of apprenticeship programs.

IMPORTANCE OF PARTNERSHIPS – NOT ALONE
With the growing labor shortages, Chief Learning and Talent Officers do not need to tackle these challenges alone — leverage professional organizations and associations.

Vi joined Argentum’s recently launched “Senior Living Works” along with other senior living organizations. Senior Living Works is designed to support recruitment, retention, and training needed across the senior living industry — also known as “Careers in Caring.”  “Senior Living Works” initial launch included a website and a Recruitment Engagement Toolkit, with a range of resources to support connections with high schools,technical schools, community colleges, and universities.https://seniorliving.works/

Talent leaders should also consider organizations such as the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with more than 40 years of experience in workforce learning, including 30 years of experience working directly with employers of all sizes across multiple industries to create and deliver effective talent management strategies. From developing best-in-class career pathing software, to creating career and education advising programs for employees, to targeted consulting, CAEL works with leading companies across all industries to help them maximize their investments in learning and talent management for their entire talent pipeline. CAEL has worked directly with employers to plan and deliver innovative and impactful learning and talent management strategies that target all employees -- including the frontline and mid-level workforce. Companies use CAEL’s services to recruit, retain and engage their employees, and ultimately benefit from a pipeline of “right-fit” workers prepared to support their growth strategies. https://www.cael.org/

COLLABORATION IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER
We’re at the intersection of talent acquisition and talent development. While many learning leaders have developed leading learning solutions to increase productivity, sales, decrease expenses, accidents, improve quality, and/or develop leaders, it’s clear the labor shortage isn’t going away anytime soon. Collaboration between an organization’s chief Talent Acquisition and learning leaders alongside their business partners is now more important than ever to cultivate and develop talent.

Published in Insights

If there's one trend that has gripped business headlines this year and put HR squarely in the spotlight, it has been the growing concern over compliance issues, particularly safety, diversity/inclusion, and workplace harassment.

Slowly, decision-makers are understanding that compliance training can't be limited to a oncea-year training session and be successful. They are coming to understand that a safe environment is needed, along with training, and that there are many ways in which we can do better. They’re beginning to realize that they need to put the "human" back in "Human Resources."

HR GETS IT
This will not be news to many of the clients we work with on a weekly basis. Many of ej4’s client contacts are in HR, and we’ve found that HR professionals get it. They truly do care about their people and are always frustrated when their efforts at creating a better environment are not fully supported.

WHAT’S CHANGED?
What has changed is that it’s now obvious that the status quo isn’t enough. In the past, our sales reps noticed that most organizations wanted to spend “the bare minimum” on compliance training. The idea was to hedge against legal risk—and that’s all. If an annual training with a set of antique videos fit the bill, that would be enough for most companies.

SIMPLY “BEING IN COMPLIANCE” IS NOT ENOUGH
It should be obvious why this is not enough. Most compliance training focuses on clarifying the law, and corporate policies with regard to the law. Laws about workplace harassment, discrimination, and safety represent the bare minimum of what companies should be doing to create safe, productive environments. That’s because these laws are designed around what is measurable and enforceable by government agencies. When training focuses solely on being in compliance with the law, it will likewise have minimal effect.

LET’S GET BEYOND THE LEGAL
Imagine what would happen if we paused and thought about compliance in more than just legal terms. Think of your employees as people. People with hopes and dreams. People with families and friends. Imagine if they were a part of your family. Would you want your daughter working at your place of business? Or your neighbor?

When we start thinking in human terms instead of just legal or economic terms, compliance takes on a whole new meaning. It becomes less about liability and more about atmosphere. It doesn’t just stick employees in front of a video for an hour (or a live lecture, for that matter). It seeks to engage, discuss, and follow up.

STILL A BUSINESS DECISION...OF SORTS
Revamping your compliance training is largely a business decision, and there has to be a business case for it. I’m not asking folks to ignore the bottom line. (I’m the CEO of my company. I get it.) My point is that, when we think of everything in economic terms, including people, that’s when problems start.

If you still want to see that business case, I recommend downloading our whitepaper from our website, “Why Compliance Training is More Than a Checkbox.” It has some sobering stats about workplace compliance issues.
For example:
>> Workplace bullying costs U.S. businesses close to $360 billion annually.
>> 48% of employees who experience bullying, as victim or bystander, end up leaving their companies.

Alongside those statistics, this whitepaper provides actionable advice for organizations to do better when it comes to comprehensive compliance training efforts. We all know it needs to happen. We all know that we can do better. Companies will be better for it. Learn more about our training content at www.ej4.com/HR

Published in Insights

What is the best way to remember a person’s name? Many people suggest that when you are introduced to a new person, you should say that person’s name right away. It sill help you remember the person’s name. This way you use it or lose it.

The brain is built to retain information when it is used. Just like using a person’s name will help you remember it, if you use the training information right away – within hours of learning it, your brain will remember it. This is Learning Application.

Currently, learners look at a training, whether it be an instructor led workshop or an e-learning course, as an event that takes place in a conference room or on their laptop and that is where it stays – in the conference room or the laptop rather than applied on the job. Afterwards, they go back to work, and it is "business as usual".

How about if we look at learning events differently? How about if we focus learning events on "on-the-job application and on-the-job development".

Learning Application focuses on applying the learning directly following the learning event. To do this, we need to set the expectation with learners that after they complete the learning event, they apply the course on the job. Give the learner an exercise to do directly following the training. Make it easy to do with step-bystep instructions, and
a job aid will help them remember it and engrain the new behavior. This is Learning Application.

If you provide your learners with an on-the-job exercise implementing Learning Application, you are asking your learners to Use It - Don’t Lose It!

Use it Dont loose it

Published in Ideas

Relevant in Today’s Changing Workforce (& Style)

>> the increasing number of remote employees;
>> the rise of the contingent workforce; and
>> the increase in flat and agile organizations.

At the confluence of these factors, the limitations of the traditional LMS present themselves. Recent surveys show that roughly 43 percent of the U.S. workforce works remotely at least one day per week. As of 2015, nearly 16 percent reside in that "other" category, which includes: temp agency work, on-call, contract, freelancer … you name it!

Job duties are also changing. Employees are increasingly becoming highly-specialized to the point where an organizational chart is academic. In short, the "regular 9-to-5 employee" simply isn’t as "regular" anymore. So, why should their learning needs be "regular"?  This lack of in-person, communal worktime chips away at traditional on-the-job, peer-to-peer learning. Without immediate feedback, the trend toward voluntary seclusion makes it even harder to codify organizational standards.

The faces that make up the workforce are also changing. Millennials are projected to represent 75 percent of the workforce by 2025. And workers over age 54 are expected to be about 25 percent. Reconciling the differences in learning preferences will be an ongoing challenge.

The fate of lifelong-learning lies with pro-active LMS providers. More than ever, the task of the U.X. designer is crucial to adapt an LMS platform to the user.

Here are some ways Brainier is adapting to this shift:
>> Mobile learning – meets learners at their level
>> Micro-learning – dense, snack-sized content
>> Gamification – promotes higher engagement
>> Self-directed content – Promotes longer engagement
>> Superior reporting – the burden of proven R.O.I. isn’t going away, but having data adds credibility

While our software developers have no plans for prognosticating with their crystal ball, they are hard at work on developing the finest LMS on the market, The Brainier LMS.

Keeping Lifelong Learning Relevant

Published in Ideas

As an instructor, one of the biggest differences between a virtual classroom and a physical classroom is the inability to see your learners. Even if everyone turnson their webcam which isn’t very common in most virtual classroom settings - it’s difficult to read body language. Seeing your learners in-person makes it easy to understand who is engaged and who might be distracted. Seeing your learners helps to confirm if they understand the content or if they’re still struggling with comprehension.

While you may not be able to see your learners in the traditional sense, being able to judge engagement and compre-hension are no less important. In a virtual setting, we need to rely on different methods to evaluate if someone is engaged or if they understand the content. The key is interaction.

Interaction is important regardless of whether you’re in a physical classroom or virtual classroom of course, but it’s absolutely critical in the latter because it helps us “see” the same things we’d use our eyes for in a physical classroom.

More importantly, interaction reinforces the concepts that are being covered – aiding in retention and comprehension as well as engagement. In a virtual classroom setting, it’s important to provide opportunities for interaction often.

The conventional wisdom was that it’s necessary to create an interaction every 5 to 7 minutes. In fact, in speaking with successful virtual classroom instructors, they recommend prompting for action every 2 to 4 minutes.

This is not to say you need a group exercise every few minutes. An interaction might be something as simple as asking learners to set their status or respond to a poll question. Providing varied methods of interaction can help create a more engaging experience. The benefit of a virtual session is that you can start to measure that level of engagement. Engagement dashboards can help you understand the overall level of engagement in the room and some virtual classroom platforms can indicate the level of engagement for each learner.

Here are some examples you can use to provide interaction in your next virtual classroom.

1 Asking learners to set their status to “Agree” or “Disagree”. This is the fastest and easiest way to gather feedback and since the status shows next to the learner’s name, it’s an effective way of seeing who is engaged.

2 Use Chat instead of Q&A. Q&A is a nice option for a large webinar where you want questions to be moderated and managed. In a virtual classroom, using open chat helps create a better sense of community. Platforms such as Adobe Connect enable you to add multiple chat pods at once to organize responses or capture feedback on different topics simultaneously.

3 Use Polls throughout your session. Polls are fairly common in virtual classrooms, but they’re often used only at the very start or very end of the session. Using polls throughout your virtual classroom can not only provide great interaction for learners, but can also provide guidance to the instructor. Mix up poll types – don’t always use multiple choice. Add short answer and multiple answer polls as well. Re-use the same poll questions within a session to see if minds have been changed.

Virtual Classroom

4 Whiteboard templates. Whiteboards don’t have to  be a blank slate. Have learners use the whiteboard annotation tools to markup a slide or image that is incomplete.

5 Breakout Rooms. Breaking a virtual classroom up into smaller, collaborative teams to work on an exercise is a tried and true method for engagement and interaction and encourages participation.

6 Voice & Video. While it’s typically the instructor de- livering most of the content, inviting learners to respond through voice and video adds additional voices and helps build a sense of community. People are more likely to interact when they can see others interacting.

7 Word Cloud. Sometimes a chat window can be even more effective when learners can see the most common themes and responses. Using a Word Cloud app in your virtual classroom can help encourage participation.

Virtual Classroom2

8 Quizzes. While polls are a handy way to capture re-sponses, bringing a quiz into a virtual classroom can help you measure comprehension and provide immediate feedback to learners.

9 Interactive Simulations. Software such as Adobe Captivate can create an interactive simulation enabling learners to put their knowledge to practice. Bringing a simulation into a live virtual classroom enables learners to ask questions and collaborate.

10 Add a game. Gamebased learning is an excellent way to test the un-derstanding of your learners while providing an opportunity for interaction. Products such as Adobe Connect enable you to load custom apps into a virtual classroom, so adding something such as a collaborative crossword puzzle or a quiz show game in the style of “Jeopardy” or “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” can make your classrooms highly interactive.

Interaction is critical in a virtual classroom. It’s useful not only to measure engagement and comprehension, but to increase engagement and comprehension. Think about how you can provide additional opportunities for interaction in your next virtual classroom.

Published in Ideas

BY JOCELYN GAJEWAY, TECHNICAL TRAINING SPECIALIST, NASA’S JET PROPULSION LABORATORY

Typically, when presented with a new project, learning professionals tend to use either a waterfall method or a modified iterative approach to develop the system and materials. These approaches remain best practices when working with content that is in a relatively complete state at the time development begins, but are not nimble enough to keep up with some project’s rapid development and release cycles. Structuring the development to an AGILE framework seems like the next most logical choice, but when speaking with colleagues, it seems as though it was making additional work, and sending teams back to square one with every sprint. How, then, to take advantage of integrating the development of training with the content without falling into the trap of starting over every month?

THE MISSION 
In June of 2017, I was presented with the opportunity to collaborate with the Mars 2020 project as they began development of the Rover Mission Operations Training System. When I started, I learned that many of the roles, tools, and processes for Mars 2020 were under development. Meaning neither of these approaches would be flexible enough to keep up. Instead, after an initial extensive needs analysis and curriculum design phase, each phase of development would be in short cycles targeted to iterations and development of training for each release. This prevented the rebuilding the entire program with each change, enabled rapid implementation of changes based upon learner feedback, and provided current and highly specific training materials throughout the life of the  training program.

As we began, it became apparent that in order to develop the flexible, scalable program, we needed to hold in-depth interviews with subject matter experts, team leads and other supervisors, [role archetypes] with experience performing similar tasks on other flight projects. It was critical to involve them in the development of the new tools and processes. These interviews delved into the skills and knowledge required to perform the dayto-day duties of the job, including the unspoken “soft skills” exercised regularly, rather than a strict task analysis. These interviews and the resulting analyses formed the foundation of the competency-based curricula for each role.

The competency-based approach allows the development of the course material to proceed at the same pace as the development of tools and processes, with the same outcomes.

At the same time, refinement of training content is linked to new software features. Revisions to the initial source content are aligned to the planned feature releases for the development sprints, and the changes are made using either ADDIE or a modified iterative approach, allowing instructionally sound content to be developed and deployed. This also allows the training content to scale to the project’s needs. The training content is always complete and current to the state of tools and processes are in development.

Of course, running parallel to this sprint style development is a slower, more traditional development cycle for the tatic content, mostly foundational knowledge considered “nice to have”, rather than a critical skill. This was actually one of the most interesting takeaways from the interview period. Background knowledge is ultimately required for a trainee to be proficient in their role, but it is possible to structure the training flow and pipeline to allow new trainees to reach basic qualification and begin to work in their roles in a shorter timeframe. Prioritizing the development of roles and topics in this manner allows the training system as a whole to be more efficient, creating a steady pipeline of qualified individuals. Having enough qualified personnel means that there is also room for additional refresher and advanced training to continue throughout the project without affecting operations.

In order to develop a truly effective training system, training cannot be an afterthought, shoehorned in at just before release. Instead, the paradigm of training development needs to shift to more flexible processes, allowing learning professionals to be a part of the team, to truly understand the user stories and outcomes, and develop effective, engaging content to support those needs.

Typically, when presented
with a new project, learning
professionals tend to use either a
waterfall method or a modified
iterative approach to develop the
system and materials. These approaches
remain
best
practices

when
working
with
content
that

is
in a relatively
complete
state

at
the
time
development
begins,

but
are
not
nimble
enough
to

keep
up
with
some
project’s

rapid
development
and
release

cycles.
Structuring
the
development
to
an
AGILE
framework

seems
like
the
next
most
logical

choice,
but
when
speaking
with

colleagues,
it
seems
as
though

it
was
making
additional
work,

and
sending
teams
back
to

square
one
with
every
sprint.

How,
then,
to
take
advantage
of

integrating
the
development
of

training
with
the
content
without
falling
into
the
trap
of
starting
over
every
month?
Published in Top Stories

Professional Education Powered by Brightspace

The Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions (The MGH Institute) is an innovative interprofessional graduate school of health sciences founded by Mass General. Health science academic programs include Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physician Assistant studies, Nursing, Communication Science & Disorders, Health Professions Education and PhD in Rehab Science. The MGH Institute seeks to be preeminent in educating graduates to be exemplary leaders in healthcare.

CHALLENGE:
The MGH Institute has leveraged D2L Brightspace platform to facilitate its growth and expansion. When the school first migrated to Brightspace from its home-grown LMS- going live just 20 days after making its decision- the school had just 900 students enrolled in its programs. Today it supports over 1600 students and an expanding online presence for the MGH Institute

Every program delivered at MGH Institute and every faculty member uses Brightspace in some capacity. “At a bare minimum, the LMS is used for distribution of course materials, which eliminates our use of paper,” explains Stratford. “However, we work with many faculty who are web-enabling their courses and using Brightspace Discussion Tool to facilitate interprofessional conversations. Students complete tests online and submit their assignments via Brightspace. Faculty post grades and feedback via Brightspace as well. More and more are using Adobe Connect with Brightspace to bring guest speakers into their lectures. And, some are even doing a flipped classroom, using Brightspace to capture and record a lecture, pushing it out to students for discussion prior to the class meeting.

The school also has all its course syllabi stored within Brightspace Learning Reposi-tory. This boosts the productivity of new instructors, who can quickly pull down and access course syllabus when teaching in a program for the first time.

MGH Institute’s students enroll in the prelicensure graduate programs with a bachelor’s degree and satisfy the science prerequisites. Depending on the student’s academic or continuing professional development they take some of their courses online. That said, the work is far from independents. Through its IMPACT Practice (interprofessional education) curriculum, MGH Institute promotes collaborative interprofessional and team-based learning for all prelicensure students, facilitated by Brightspace, with students supported by health mentors, simulations, and health professionals from various local clinical partners.

In the Gradate Program in Occupational Therapy, one of the Institute’s newer academic programs, the faculty with support from the IT staff, use the Brightspace competency function to map over 270 predefined competencies and course objectives mandated by the professional association. In addition, the Institute faculty have defined a standard set of core competencies for students in all entry level health professions programs which will eventually be mapped to individual curricula. The Institute’s core competencies are modeled after IPEC and Institute of Medicine as universal competencies for all healthcare professionals.

The MGH Institute has also recently implemented Insights. It will eventually provide the dataset for the core competency initiative allowing the MGH Institute to perform outcome analysis.

The use of Brightspace has also allowed the MGH Institute to explore new online earning programs and revenue streams. The school offers pre-requisite courses for students entering graduate health science education program including their own academic programs. Over the last few years, it has begun marketing and offering these science pre-reqs entirely online to students in other geographies, and who are enrolling in other programs and education institutions.

RESULT:
Back in 2009 when MGH Institute first conducted its evaluation of LMS offerings, the clear choice was Brightspace, and nearly a decade later the school continues to feel confident about its decision.

Published in Top Stories

ADOBE CONNECT AND EJ4 JOIN THE HALL OF FAME.

In this, the second year of honoring  outstanding technologists in the Hall of Fame, Elearning! magazine so honors two new inductees — Adobe Connect and ej4 — both of which have been long-time winners in our annual “Best of Elearning!” awards.

What is the secret to consistently exceeding customers’ expectations in an ever- changing industry? We asked leaders of both Adobe Connect and ej4 to share their insights….

Adobe was founded in December 1982  by John Warnock and Charles Geschke (in Warnock’s garage). They established the company after leaving Xerox PARC. Steve Jobs asked to buy the company for $5 million in 1982, but Warnock and Geschke turned him down

Adobe has historically focused on creating multimedia and creativity software products, with a significant investment in the e-learning market. In addition to Hall of Fame winner Adobe Connect, Adobe also offers Adobe Captivate Prime (LMS), Captivate and Presenter Video Express.

Adobe has about 15,000 employees worldwide, about 40 percent of whom work in the San Jose, Calif., headquarters.

Elearning! magazine talked to Adobe Connect’s Senior Enablement Manager Alistair Lee. Here are his insights on the future of learning.

Q: CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING AN ELITE BRAND EARNING 9 BEST OF ELEARNING! AWARDS. WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE ADOBE’S CONNECT’S SUCCESS?

A: Adobe Connect offers several unique features including persistent rooms, collaborative apps that work inside a virtual classroom, and templates that ensure consistency. One of the biggest unique differentiators though is the ability to truly design your classroom experience. Adobe Connect gives hosts complete control over the look and feel of the virtual room by creating layouts that determine what is shown on the screen at any given time. We’ve found that this ability to craft a learning experience can lead to higher
levels of engagement and retention ensuring our customers are successful in being able to deliver exceptional experiences is our most important goal.

Q: WHAT IS YOUR PRODUCT ROADMAP? HOW HAS THE   SOLUTION EVOLVED AND HOW HAVE NEEDS OF YOUR CUSTOMERS CHANGED?

A: We’ve just launched version 10 of Adobe Connect, and it includes a brand-new HTML client for participants. Our roadmap includes continuous improvement of this HTML client to help our  customers eliminate barriers to entry for their virtual classrooms, meetings and webinars. Engagement has become ever more important with the evolution of the smartphone, social networks and other distractions, it has become critical to  enable our customers to create immersive experiences that engage participants.

Q: WHAT UNIQUE FEATURES DOES CONNECT OFFER THAT NO OTHER BRANDS OFFER IN THE E-LEARNING MARKET?

A: Adobe Connect offers several unique features including persistent rooms, collaborative apps that work inside a virtual classroom, and templates that ensure consistency. One of the biggest unique differentiators though is the ability to truly design your classroom experience. Adobe Connect gives hosts complete control over the look and feel of the virtual room by creating layouts that determine what is shown on the screen at any given time. We’ve found that this ability to craft a learning experience can lead to higher
levels of engagement and retention.

Q: WHAT NEW FEATURES DOES CONNECT PLAN TO OFFER CUSTOMERS?

A: We plan to continue to add additional capabilities to our new HTML client ensuring customers can quickly and easily attend — and even deliver — virtual classrooms using nothing more than a browser.

halloffame

Since 2004, ej4 has delivered the unexpected in the e-learning industry. Its unique style of microlearning training videos combines instructional design with adult learning theories and is delivered via contemporary video design methods. Its modern learning management system is simple, intuitive and mobile so employees have the freedom to learn anywhere, anytime.

With more than 1,500 courses, ej4’s video content library has just the right amount of important lessons that employees need to grow their skills.

Elearning! Magazine was delighted to talk with Ryan Eudy, CEO of ej4, who shared ej4’s vision of learning.

Q: WHO ARE MARQUEE CUSTOMERS CONNECT SERVES? IS THERE A UNIQUE CUSTOMER STORY TO SHARE?

A: Adobe Connect’s customer base spans multiple industries and sizes. Here are two examples of customers that have used Adobe Connect to provide great training experiences.

University of Arizona’s use of Adobe Connect enabled the development of robust online learning.

“We needed a synchronous online meeting tool to support both active learning and small-group work,” says Mark Felix, Director of Instructional Support, University of Arizona. “We also wanted a virtual classroom that could be customized. Adobe Connect offered these capabilities and more.”

In 2018, their implementation earned a 2018 Learning! 100 Award from Elearning! Magazine. Learn more about this implementation at: https://adobe.ly/2zgFtPm

Another customer, BPP wanted to transform learning delivery. They turned to Adobe Connect and saw revenues increase 5-fold with 35% of their courses offered online.

“Using Adobe Connect, the proportion of course delivery via Online Classroom Live versus in-center or other modes has grown from 0% in 2012 to up to 35% on some programs today,” says Malcolm Bell, Director, BPP Online Classroom Live.

The goal is to get 100% of the faculty online this year and to increase the number of online live courses.

“Adobe Connect helps remove their ‘triangle of pain’ of commuting from home to work to school and back,” says Bell. “It gives them the flexibility to log on wherever they are and till get the benefits of live learning.”

Learn more about this application at: https://adobe.ly/2zlfBlh

Q: WHAT TRENDS DO YOU SEE IN THE FUTURE? HOW IS CONNECT EVOLVING TO MEET THESE NEEDS?

A: The ability to collaborate online —sharing your video, voice and screen — has gone from being a distinct use case to a commodity that’s built into several applications today. Adobe Connect has evolved to go beyond simple screen sharing to ensure customers can meet the needs of more complex use cases such as immersive virtual classrooms. We’ll continue to focus on these use cases and the needs of our customers going forward.

 Q: EJ4 IS AN UNUSUAL BRAND NAME.HOW DID IT COME ABOUT?

A: The “e” stands for “electronic, as in e-learning.” And the 4j’s describe the services we provide: (1) Just as needed; (2) Just enough; (3) Just in time; and (4) Just right.

Q: CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING AN ELITE BRAND THAT HAS  BEEN NAMED BEST OF ELEARNING! 24 TIMES SINCE 2014. TO WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE EJ4’S SUCCESS?

A: We’ve been providing quality products and services since 2004, and to be chosen as a 2018 Elearning! Magazine Hall of Fame recipient proves that we are continuing to meet the needs of our customers. It starts at the top with our founder and leadership team giving our employees the trust and flexibility to do their jobs. We always look for new ways to add value to our client offering with innovative video content, and upgrades and enhancements to our platform and technology. We focus on consistent growth and foster a culture that allows us to achieve it. Our employees are dedicated, passionate about their work, and the most creative individuals I’ve had the pleasure of working with. We wouldn’t be where we are today without them.

Q: WHAT IS YOUR PRODUCT ROADMAP? HOW HAS THE SOLUTION EVOLVED AND HOW HAVE NEEDS OF YOUR CUSTOMERS CHANGED?

A: As we prepare new video content for the year, we review what our  customers and prospects have requested through our Learning Consultants. This process allows us to stay on top of current trends in the workplace all while providing our customers with a comprehensive and up-to-date library of videos.

Each year we also evaluate our current courses to make sure they are updated with information that is relevant to the current workforce of our customers. Through frequent updates to existing content and new content rollouts, our library provides a consistent learning experience to all users. 

This year, we updated our Thinkzoom LMS to include a new user interface with a customizable dashboard, increased our search functionality, and gave our clients a
way to manage classroom training.

Q: WHAT UNIQUE FEATURES DOES EJ4 OFFER TO THE E-LEARNING  MARKET?

A: ej4 is a source for fresh, regularly updated, mobile-ready video content,  delivered in a single consistent format. ej4’s expertise in creating microlearning videos
gives us the ability to offer both off-the-shelf and custom video content in a way that keeps the learner engaged. 

It’s not over after you’ve taken our off-the-shelf courses though. “4tify your Learning,” available exclusively on Thinkzoom, continues the training conversation long after a training session is over. For several weeks after learners complete a course, they will be prompted to answer a series of exam questions and watch a video recap to help them retain the information they’ve learned.

And if you have your own LMS, ej4 can integrate with any other LMS system.

Q: WHAT NEW SOLUTIONS DOES EJ4 PLAN TO OFFER CUSTOMERS?

A: We just launched enhancements to Thinkzoom, and last year, we mapped our content — through our Learning Tracks feature — to 36 Lominger competencies, and we will continue to make finding relevant content easier for the learner. This includes a more robust content suggestion engine that takes the learning habits of the learner into consideration when recommending new content.

Our product development team meets frequently to review trends in the learning landscape and to find new and innovative
ways to keep ej4 at the forefront of videobased content. We look at many different ways to evolve as the marketplace continues to expand its acceptance of video.

Q: WHICH MARQUEE CUSTOMERS DO YOU SERVE? IS THERE A UNIQUE  CUSTOMER STORY TO SHARE?

A: What’s great about the ej4 solution is that we fit into any organization.  We have proven success in many different industries from A to Y (agriculture to yard services). Clients range from Pepsi, Culligan and Dr. Pepper Snapple, to midsize organizations like The Corridor Group and Hillyard. I invite you to viewtheir stories online: https://www.ej4.com/ ej4-client-testimonials

Q: WHAT TRENDS DO YOU SEE IN THE FUTURE? HOW IS EJ4‘S SOLUTION  EVOLVING TO MEET THESE NEEDS?

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A: We released online microlearning videos before there was even a  market or widely accepted term for it. There’s a difference between a learning trend and a learning solution. We focus on providing solutions that change the behaviors of the learner. People grow business. We grow people. Our customers give us access to their most important resource, their employees. We take that very seriously, which is why we don’t use a “flavor of the month” approach to our content creation.

Published in Top Stories

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Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) in education market is set to surpass $6 billion by 2024, according to a new research report by Global Market Insights, Inc. A.I. assists in improving the quality of education by addressing the learning challenges faced in the past including planning, reasoning, language processing, and cognitive modeling.

Various benefits offered by the acceptance of A.I. in education sector include tutoring, grading, immediate feedback on course quality, personalization in education, and instant feedback to students. The aim of A.I. is to be a virtual facilitator for the learning domain and to create virtual human-like qualities, who can think, react, act, and interact in a natural way using verbal and non-verbal communication.

The sector is expected to grow 50% CAGR. The key  players in the A.I. in education market are IBM, AWS, Microsoft, Google, Nuance, Century Tech, Blackboard, Pearson, Cognii, Volley.com, Blippar, Knewton, Jenzabar, Content Technologies, PLEIQ, Luilishuo, Pixatel System, and Quantum Adaptive Learning.

Source: https://www.gminsights.com/industry-analysis/ artificial-intelligence-ai-in-education-market

Published in Trends
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