eFront as a SumTotal alternative

boxing glovesThroughout last year we worked with an important Canadian customer on a transition project. The client was using SumTotal as its backbone LMS and was in need of a comprehensive and efficient alternative solution. After an exhaustive research process, the client chose eFront.

In this post I will describe the business needs that made it imperative for the client to make the transition, and why eFront was chosen. I will also describe the project and its challenges.

Why change from SumTotal

The decision to move away from SumTotal was not an easy one. SumTotal is one of the leaders in the LMS space for numeral reasons. Its products can be found in almost any vertical industry, spanning from mining to health.

Still, SumTotal produced a number of headaches for the customer which I will outline Continue reading

Online education puts new skills at your fingertips

Credits http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-59881288/stock-photo-digital-camera-the-night-view-of-city.htmlIn this day and age, thanks to our increasingly wired and connected world, you can learn something any time you like. Education goes beyond what you can Google or find on Wikipedia. To get a job or impress a boss, you’ll first need to broaden your professional skills. Knowing to how use the basic software and programs related to your industry has always been a core requirement. But those who really excel in the workplace or in their consulting careers possess a wider range of knowledge, skills, and expertise. Continue reading

eLearning – helping students achieve more in education

elearning_worldWhy has elearning been a great encouragement for students around the world? The prime reason for that is that access to knowledge was never open to all. People with financial restrictions, geographical barriers or physical impediments who had little chance previously in the academic sphere now have the doors to lifelong learning open to them. The new age education system brings you an updated version of knowledge that you can access at your convenience with millions of people from different parts of the world. It’s a blissful learning age for students far and wide.

In a nutshell, learning online is popular because it’s… Continue reading

Infographic: How Google has changed what it means to do research

With almost 30 percent of the human population, or 2 billion people, using the internet; and 94 percent of US students equating research with using Google or other search engines, it comes as no surprise that 75 percent of students use Wikipedia and online encyclopedias for research.

Google dominates the battle for the search engine with 66.7 % of all searches that occur being via Google – and of students surveyed, 94% used Google or another search engine as an online reserach tool. They also used Wikipedia (75 %) and YouTube or otehr social media sites (52 % ).
Also the percentages of people who go online and immediately use a search engline is staggering, regardless of generation: Millennials, age 18-33: 92 %; Gen X (34-45): 87 %, Younger Boomers (45-55): 86 %; Older Boomers (56-64): 87 %, Silent Generation (65-73): 82 %, G.I. Generation (74 plus): 72 %, All online adults (18 plus): 87 %. Continue reading

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 much does Mobile eLearning cost?

mlearningYou’ve heard all the hype. Mobile learning is the next big thing in the LMS/eLearning space.

But you’re skeptical.  You’re the kind of hard-headed “show-me-the-numbers” type that won’t just rush headlong into the newest online training trend.

You want to be prepared first.  You want to know, “what’s it gonna cost me?”

Well, I’ve spent a lot of time in the learning management system space, and I’ll tell you.

The true cost of mLearning

Obviously, costs will differ depending on your organization and needs, but you can still get a good rough estimate by following some key, basic rules.

Because mobile learning is, essentially, publishing your eLearning courses as a mobile app (either web-based or native) costs for mobile learning will largely mirror costs for developing a general mobile app.  That said, here’s the information you should use to estimate them: 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.

Looking back – the last 12 months at eFront

In a year full of product updates, special awards and recognition, and new collaborations, we decided to look back at 2013 as a prelude to the launch of our latest LMS, eFront V4, later this quarter. By EOY 2013 eFront had over 150000+ downloads and more than 1000+ customers worldwide – all thanks to you, our users and customers! So a big thanks from us :)
Check out a year at eFront in this infographic (for more details and a 2014 preview please scroll down!):

Here’s a brief look back at 2013, as we look forward to 2014!

efront_elearning_2013

Overview:

February 2013: eFront partner CLICK&LEARN wins customer satisfaction award at LEARNTEC in Karlsruhe, Germany, one of the largest international trade fairs for Professional Learning and IT. For more read the Press Release.

March 2013: eFront V3.6.13 released with Tin Can support, several UI improvements, a WordPress integration plugin, a new introductory course, and a number of additional enhancements. For more check out this post!

May 2013: For a third consecutive year, Epignosis, global provider of Enterprise and Open Source learning management systems, was named a finalist for the eFront LMS at the Best of Elearning! 2013 Awards in the category ‘Best Open Source Solutions.’ Read the Press Release here!

July 2013: eFront sponsored the Open Source eLearning Network Event in Birmingham, England which took place on July 12 – a day of practical case studies, sharing experiences and debate. For more information: http://www.elearningnetwork.org/events/open-source. After the event Wyver solutions posted a blog post about eFront – they discuss eFront’s key stand-out features and summarize: “For straightforward, content-based online learning eFront is hard to beat.” Read the post here.

September 2013: Epignosis joined CloudBeat in San Francisco September 9-10, with the CEO participating in CloudBeat’s ‘Learning Gets Cloud Powered’ breakout session. More in this PR!

October 2013: eFront was voted in the Top 100 Tools for Learning 2013 – the results of the 7th Annual Learning Tools Survey. The list was compiled by Jane Hart from the votes of 500+ learning professionals from 48 countries worldwide See more here.

November 2013: eFront, in collaboration with TalentLMS, releases a free eBook to download entitled “eLearning 101 – concepts, trends, applications.” The eBook covers all important and relevant concepts, trends and applications of elearning. To read more about it check out this post or just download the eBook directly!

November 2013: Epignosis Ltd., creator of eFront LMS and TalentLMS, and OpenSesame, the world’s marketplace for online training courses, announce a new partnership to connect eFront’s LMS customers to more than 22,000 online training courses through the OpenSesame marketplace. For more please see the recent Press Release.

November 2013:  eFront welcomes its latest partner on-board: RM Education is a leading provider of ICT solutions to the UK Education market. Headquartered just outside Oxford they deliver everything educational establishments need to deliver technology-enabled learning. They also work with assessment bodies throughout the UK and internationally providing exam marking solutions. For more please visit their website http://www.rm.com/home

April 2014: eFront to release eFront LMS V4, a major eFront upgrade that brings support for Instructor Led Training.

What 2014 will bring:

Exciting plans regarding eFront LMS:

In April of this year eFront is set to release eFront LMS V4, a major eFront upgrade that brings support for Instructor Led Training. It also brings a number of important improvements such as the following:

  • Extensive support for Instructor Led Training (Classroom courses with start-end date, Sessions, Waitlists, Express-interest and related Audiences, Locations)
  • Revamped Curriculums (Rules & order between Curriculum courses, Completion criteria & Prices)
  • Revamped Ecommerce (Support for Paypal Pro, Contracts, Approvals, Group Accounts, Price tracks, Cancellations)
  • Revamped Course Catalog (each course can have an image, filters/search based on a number of criteria)
  • Introduction of Audiences (dynamic groups based on rules)
  • Revamped Interface - All fluid interface to fit any device and screen & scalable images to look crisp on retina screens
  • Revamped Internals – moved to JQuery, Bootstrap and Gettext translations, rewritten Notifications & Calendar
  • Revamped content editor – simplified and expanded editor based on TalentLMS experience

With this upgrade we will integrate several key new elements and combine them with architectural changes (without persisting on compatibility with aging browsers or retaining former eFront architecture). eFront 4 will be based on clean MVC architecture. The interface will also move from Prototype to Jquery which reduces the complexity for several end-user tasks. All in all eFront will get a new, more polished look with a better and more consistent UI, and processes will be simplified. For more on eFront V4 check out the eFront V4 blueprint outline on our wiki.

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: product training

When a company has a new product, despite it being an exciting time, there is the issue of training employees on its features which may be problematic due to the time and cost involved, especially in face-to-face training. Employee productivity drops when employees are spending many hours sitting in training rooms during work hours – and when the benefits of that training are not trackable it hardly seems worth the effort. Online training solves all of these problems by being available to the employee in his/ her own free time, and saving the company the costs of bringing in a trainer, renting spaces for training, travel expenses involved and lost productivity.

What’s more, in the case of multinationals, when staff are trained across borders, training programs need to be adapted to different markets since a “one size fits all” approach will not work. Continue reading