LMS tools to help you assess your students’ progress

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Tests, quizzes, homework, lab exercises, exams. Not exactly pleasant memories from your school years (heck, some people even have nightmares with them, years after they left school), those are some of the typical tools teachers use to assess what their students have learned.

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6 tips for making your e-learning content look current

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In this ongoing series of posts, kickstarted with our “10 Graphic Design tips for e-learning educators“, we try to provide you with the required know-how for improving the look and feel of your e-learning content. In our last post we talked about the use of images and illustration. In this one we’ll be discussing modern graphic design trends.

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A splash of color for your e-learning content

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In this ongoing series of posts, kickstarted with our “10 Graphic Design tips for e-learning educators”, we try to provide you with the required know-how for improving the look and feel of your e-learning content. In our last post we talked about typography ― the use of fonts and typesetting for optimal readability. In this post, we’ll be taking a look at color.

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Essential LMS features to support Instructor Led Courses

Instructor Led TrainingOne of the most significant benefits of eLearning is that it’s versatile. Utilizing an LMS can allow you to not only train employees remotely and offer online quickly and conveniently, but it can also be an ideal support tool for instructor led courses.

LMS gives organizations the ability to rapidly access, update, and store content and information all in one place, and offers both students and employees the opportunity to get more out of their educational experience. However, finding the right LMS to support instructor led courses is essential, as it will enable you to effectively manage events and curriculum in order to achieve maximum results.

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Synchronous vs asynchronous elearning

DeliveryFormats_1In today’s elearning environment the type of learning that takes place is generally divided into one of two categories: synchronous and asynchronous. Both strategies have their own pros and cons, and the technique that is right for a student greatly depends upon their method of absorbing the information that is being provided.

What is synchronous learning?

Examples of synchronous elearning are online chat and videoconferencing. Any learning tool that is in real-time, such as instant messaging that allows students and teachers to ask and answer questions immediately, is synchronous. Rather than learning on their own students who participate in synchronous learning courses are able to interact with other students and their teachers during the lesson.

The main benefit of synchronous learning is that Continue reading

A brief history of elearning (infographic)

teaching-machineThe term “elearning” has only been in existence since 1999, when the word was first utilized at a CBT systems seminar. Other words also began to spring up in search of an accurate description such as “online learning” and “virtual learning”. However, the principles behind elearning have been well documented throughout history, and there is even evidence which suggests that early forms of elearning existed as far back as the 19th century.

An elearning timeline

Long before the internet was launched, distance courses were being offered to provide students with education on particular subjects or skills. In the 1840’s Isaac Pitman taught his pupils shorthand via correspondence. This form of symbolic writing was designed to improve writing speed and was popular amongst secretaries, journalists, and other individuals who did a great deal of note taking or writing. Pitman, who was a qualified teacher, was sent completed assignments by his students via the mail system and he would then send them more work to be finished.

In 1924, the first testing machine was invented. This device allowed students to tests themselves. Then, in 1954, BF Skinner, a Harvard Professor, invented the “teaching machine”, which enabled schools to administer programmed instruction to their students. It wasn’t until 1960 however that the first computer based training program was introduced to the world. Continue reading

Partner story: FusedLearning

We recently had the pleasure of speaking with eFront partner FusedLearning. FusedLearning is a learning solutions provider that offers technology and services in learning management and mobile education – and FusedLearning has partnered with Epignosis and eFront Learning to offer comprehensive online learning business solutions.

With eFront, FusedLearning is able to provide organizations in the United States access to a LMS that addresses vital training requirements for small, medium and large organizations and educational institutions that is easy to use and yet provides access to IT staff to tailor the LMS to their organizations needs.

“Prior to teaming up with eFront, we reviewed over 5 other top LMS companies and none had the ease-of-use, flexibility and growth capabilities that eFront provides out of the box.”

To read more check out our Partner story on Slideshare:

Part 1: Using Facebook as a learning platform

facebook-for-learningLet’s start this post by stating that Facebook was not actually created as a learning platform, it can however clearly be used to enhance and support elearning. Facebook is STILL the most convenient way to get connected to friends, get updated on existing friends, find new people, build relationships and express identities – so the big Facebook advantage is that your audience is most definitely there. Facebook makes it easy to network and interact with other virtual students, and because most people know how to use Facebook they don’t need to become familiar with a new platform.

It’s also relatively easy to create apps for Facebook, making it a great canvas for developers to add cool new functionality and get users involved pretty quickly. We have written about Facebook apps for elearning before in this post!

For those interested in using Facebook with students the following links may be of use: [Resource: Facebook as an “interactive learning resource”?]

1) Stephen Heppell: Using Facebook in the Classroom This page outlines the dos and don’ts of using Facebook with students. Examples include the following (and much more):

  • Do – build a separate teacher page for your “teacher” presence.
  • Do – keep your teacher and personal page very separate
  • Do – post pictures of school/lessons/trips – even diagrams you put on the board (snap them with your phone and post them) – it reminds students that you are there, generates a pride in the school and reminds them that this is not a vacuous space!
  • Don’t – ‘friend’ students yourself – not even as your “teacher” presence.
  • Don’t – accept complete ignorance of Facebook as an excuse for dangerous school policies like blanket bans. Instead offer to be an action researcher, and try it out for a year. Continue reading

eLearning in Australia

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Lee Corbett, Chief Executive at simply elearning. She has years of experience in the elearning market in Australia and was the perfect person to gain some insight on what’s happening Down Under.

1.    Please tell us a little about yourself and your organization

I have been in the elearning and VET sector training world since 2000 when I was engaged by Southbank Institute of TAFE in their Engineering faculty. I have held several committee positions nationally, mainly in the telecommunications and electronics industry skilling areas. I left TAFE in 2006 to set up an elearning department for one of the private mining RTO’s here in Queensland before starting my own business late 2007.

We are a specialised elearning content development company for the mining industry and all of the associated trade areas. We cover a lot of different facets of the sector from first aid, to plant maintenance and everything in between.

Having worked with TAFE I was familiar with a lots of LMS’s but none that wowed me.  Then after a lot of research I came across the eFront LMS. I loved the system. For a relatively complex system as far as output goes, it was very functional and for me fairly easy to understand. We matched it against the likes Blackboard, Moodle and Janison it wins hands down.

Anyway, we loved the system so much we started to refer it to our clients and the relationship with eFront has grown from there. Now with the TalentLMS on the market we are so excited about being able to provide clients in Australia with a LMS solution regardless of their size or budget. I can’t wait to see where we are in 5 years time!

2.    How would you describe the state of elearning in Australia today?

I should first clarify what I believe to be the difference between elearning and online learning. There has been a lot of resistance from trainers and educators. This is mainly due to job security rather than their dislike for elearning. Online learning (prevalent in TAFE & Universities) is merely taking paper based or video resources and putting them on the internet for students to access, download and view. Whereas true elearning is the development of training content from paper based to learner led resources. This is where you require instructional design and the ability to sit in the participants seat in front of a computer and have the content ‘talk’ to you whilst you ‘interact’ with it. This is the work that we do. We take paper based resources and we use graphical designers, instructional designers, and animators etc to build them into a ‘storybook’ of learning.

In my opinion, the elearning market in Australia is still in its infancy. Online learning is very popular with TAFE’s and Universities, but true elearning is something that the nation is still coming to terms with. Continue reading