eLearning in Europe: A Growing Market

Republished from original post on Capterra blog by @rgogos

The European eLearning market looks to be in the midst of some big change.

eLearning-in-Europe-720x494

Education technology company Edxus Group recently partnered with IBIS Capital, a specialist media investment and advisory firm, to publish an elearning industry report entitled: A European Perspective on Elearning. Despite showing the European market to be fragmented and characterized by limited invested capital to date, the evidence of an upsurge in activity combined with increased investment points to a market ‘on the turn.’ Continue reading

How online learning is applied in the workplace (blog series)

We are often asked about how learning technologies, such as the eFront LMS, can be applied in the workplace so we recently put together a series of blog posts to explain the concept:

  • Part I: Customer service: Offering customer service training to employees has been shown to drive sales and give businesses a strong competitive advantage. This is why it is imperative that businesses invest in quality programs.
  • Part II: Sales training: Good sales training courses can lead to an increase in activity levels; sales volumes and order size; improved sales force retention, employee motivation and engagement and a greater receptiveness to change.
  • Part III: Safety training: The main benefit of online training when it comes to safety and compliance is that employees can be reached everywhere, all over the world, at any time. Such virtual safety training leads to a decreased risk of on-the-job injury and accidents.
  • Part IV: Product training: There are many benefits to online product training including: flexibility in terms of pace, time, location (multiple locations are possible and in different markets), convenience, and preferred device. Trained staff are more efficient and up-to-date with applicable knowledge leading to greater efficiency, productivity, and increased profits.
  • Part V: Healthcare training: The benefits of elearning are: decreased costs, increased adoption speed, and compliance and tracking amongst others. ELearning can complement or even replace in-person training in many cases.

Applications of online training: healthcare training

healthcare-trainingContinuous medical training is deemed compulsory for all healthcare professionals, to ensure knowledge, skills and competencies are not only maintained but also regularly updated and upgraded. Training is important for most professions but especially in healthcare it can mean the difference between life and death.

The current medical training system has many unresolved problems and issues such as the high cost of establishing and maintaining physical training centers, difficulty in meeting changing demands due to demographics and ever changing trends in disease, medical technologies and drugs.  In the busy world of healthcare, finding time to train staff can prove to be difficult. Their roles are often invaluable and it can be hard to find a convenient time to take them out of their work environment for training purposes.

Online learning brings important benefits to healthcare professionals including the ability to receive training at any time, from anywhere, on any device, and on the go – reducing lost time and less productivity. In medical training meaning derives from interaction – videos can be used to impart basic knowledge and face-to-face time can be reserved for more engaging activities. Refresher courses can be taken at any time by learners, and learning can be easily monitored.

Do More with Less Using Online Training

As medical technology and pharmaceutical companies continue to launch new equipment and products aimed at improving patient care and treating illnesses, effective training for any new device or drug is essential for physicians, nurses, clinicians, and technicians . When it comes to online device and drug training, a blended learning environment that includes online training makes a great deal of sense for the industry. E-learning can complement or even replace in-person training in many cases. The benefits of e-learning are numerous:

  1. Cost: Training is decreased as a company expense.
  2. Speed: Customers can begin to use products faster without waiting for a training representative.
  3. Feedback: Customers can provide feedback on training immediately.
  4. Compliance & tracking: For risk management and audit purposes, organizations can maintain records of everyone who has completed training.

Applications of online training: safety training

health-and-safety-trainingThe main benefit of online training when it comes to safety and compliance is that employees can be reached everywhere, all over the world, at any time. One cannot take shortcuts when it comes to safety training and federal mandates, and face-to-face training just won’t cut it when you have employees scattered all over the country, or world for that matter. Safety and compliance training needs to be quickly updated and disseminated to employees quickly and easily – with the minimum of fuss. Online training is the only way a large number or employees in different locations can be reached at once without costing a fortune.

Types of safety training offered by elearning organizations

The subjects covered in safety training programs online varies greatly, depending upon the company and industry. For example, a moving company might want to inform their employees about proper lifting procedures to avoid back injuries, while a medical facility may opt for a blood borne pathogen safety training course.

Generally, online courses offer multimedia presentations of specific safety risk situations or hazards, and can accurately illustrate the proper response.

What are the benefits of safety training online?

The most significant benefit of virtual safety training is the decreased risk of on-the-job injury and accidents. Not only can this lower the risk of costs associated with injury, illness, death, damage to equipment, higher insurance premiums, staff turnover, and also delayed deliveries of products and service – but it can ensure that worker productivity levels remain high. Continue reading

Applications of online training: sales training

trainingEffective sales training develops the individual’s skills and builds on existing abilities to ultimately improve business performance through increased productivity and profitability. Good sales training courses can lead to an increase in activity levels, sales volumes and order size. There are also additional benefits to training such as improved sales force retention (since recruitment is costly), improved employee motivation and engagement, and a greater receptiveness to change.  Online sales training also presents a very low risk investment – you only require a 0.5% improvement in performance in order to profit from sales training and anything above that is additional profit.

Online sales training offers a wide range of benefits to salespeople looking to sharpen their capabilities and build new skill sets. Good online sales training will thoroughly prepare employees for sales success by enabling employees to gain expertise and practical knowledge about successful selling, give confidence to the learner, and provide them with the skills necessary to succeed. Continue reading

Applications of online training: customer service

customer serviceCustomer service training is in fact the blueprint for a company’s entire support process.  A solid training program ensures that a team operates to consistently deliver good service to customers, with or without a game plan. Whilst a variety of elements go into creating a successful business, customer service is center-stage and every interaction the company has with a customer can affect its bottom line. In today’s competitive marketplace, companies are perpetually searching for business practices that will set them apart and often customer service is what separates companies that thrive from those that fail. Offering customer service training to employees has been shown to drive sales and give businesses a strong competitive advantage. This is why it is imperative that businesses invest in quality programs.

Broadly defined, customer service training refers to teaching employees the knowledge, skills, and competencies required to increase customer satisfaction. Elearning provides employees with those skills and competencies without taking too large of a bite out of the company’s HR budget. As far as learners are concerned, a main advantage of elearning in customer service training is that participants can be scheduled for training in a staggered fashion, and can also work at their own pace.

Training programs yield several benefits for the organization, employees and customers: Continue reading

How Google is Changing Education

“Education lies at the very core of our company’s mission, to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” — Page and Brin

There is no doubt Google has a huge impact on education. In 2011 alone the following occured:

There were 1 billion downloads of Google Earth; $20 million funding was awarded by Google to science, tech, engineering and math groups; there were 10,000+ applications for the Google Science Fair; 15 million: number of Google Apps used by Education users; 146: number of countries in which Google’s Apps for Education is used; $8.8 million: value of scholarships granted to 2,100 university students; 100 million +: number of views of Khan Academy video lessons on YouTube; 500,000+: videos in YouTube EDU; 15 million +: Volumes scanned in Google Books (An estimated 10% of the books printed since the Gutenberg Bible).

Google’s education initiatives focus on making learning magical for students, empowering innovative communities and building a foundation of technology and access. And with the programs for developing student potential, and the multitude of ways Google brings technology into the classroom (Chromebooks, Google Scholar, Google Earth, You Tube videos, Google Apps for Education to name a few) it’s not too far fetched to envisage a future classroom of ‘Google glasses’ wearers getting real-time information about the places, people, and objects around them, right on the lens of the glasses as they learn.

Google is even changing our brains

A Columbia University study has found that Google and other search engines are literally changing the way our brains process and retain information. The study says rather than remembering things, we now simply retain the knowledge of how to find the information we need when we need it. Some might see that as the downside of Google, or just one of the myriad of ways humans are adapting to the need for immediate access to huge amounts of information.

Check out more fascinating facts about how Google is changing education in the following infographic: Continue reading

Are MOOCs the Future of Online Education?

MOOC, short for Massive Open Online Courses, seems to be the buzz word du jour these days, but what is all the buzz about?

Did you know that $400 billion a year is spent on U.S. universities?
That’s more than the annual revenues of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter combined! All educational institutions want a piece of that pie and MOOCs could jeopardize that. Check out some more stats:

  • 43.4% of MOOC students are undergraduate university and 40.2% are postgraduates
  • 10 million is the estimated number of students who have taken at least one MOOC
  • 28% of MOOCs come from the U.S., and at a distant second, 11% from the U.K., and there are some surprising countries in the top 10 including: Brazil, Greece and Russia!

For more check out the infographic below from our friends at Best Colleges Online: Continue reading

Online Education Around the World

This great infographic on the origins of online education and its development was sent to us from our friends at cheaponlinedegrees.org. It starts with a timeline: from the first computer-assisted instruction system, PLATO, which was developed at the University of Illinois in 1960, to the European consortium beginning to offer free online courses (MOOCs) in 2013. For more on the history of elearning read this post.

On Sept. 25, 2013 the European Commission launched an open education resource website http://openeducationeuropa.eu/ -  this infographic goes on to list institutions affiliated with openeducationeuropa, foreign universities offering online coursework, and ends with top rated world universities with global reputations. Check it out: Continue reading