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

The best elearning reads of 2013

Every month we put together a list of our favorite articles for our monthly newsletter (based on Jane Hart’s comprehensive monthly lists) – we’ve put those together and taken note of the most popular articles on social media (the ones with the most RTs, shares and likes) to create this list of best reads in elearning and learning for the year!

  1. YouTube another MOOP (Massive Open Online Pedagogy) Learning will not be televised, it will be digitised, Donald Clark
  2. It’s the end of an era – enter the knowledgeable networker, John Kotter, Forbes
  3. Ensuring knowledge flow through narration, Harold Jarche
  4. The Teacher’s Quick Guide To Digital Scavenger Hunts, Edudemic
  5. The End of the Web, Search, and Computer as We Know It, Wired
  6. Are you in the training ghetto, Donald Taylor
  7. Cognitive Dissonance and the Denial of Social/Informal Learning, Mike Britz
  8. Social media at work. Really? John Stepper
  9. Delivering a PowerPoint? Your Audience Will Tune Out After 10 Minutes, Forbes
  10. Learning technology: are we using it right? Julian Stodd Continue reading

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