LMS: The Essential Online Learning Tool

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There isn’t any doubt that we are living in a technological age. Each day, people utilize their computers and mobile devices to stay connected and expand their knowledge. As such, elearning has been on the rise in recent years, and an increasing number of students are beginning to see the benefits that this convenient and invaluable educational resource can offer. However, elearning would probably not be possible without one key tool: the LMS.

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Cloud: the good, the bad and the better

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Businesses and organizations vary not only in size but also in needs. It seems obvious, but it’s incredible how many software packages and services are offered with an unwieldy “one size fits all” mentality.

eFrontPro on the other hand was built with flexibility in mind. And that’s not just in the features it offers that enable you to organize and manage your classes in any way that fits your workflow and needs, but also in its deployment, with its different configurations of deployed and hosted installation options.

In this post we are going to take a look into our private cloud solution ― what it entails, what are its pros and cons, and what type of businesses should be considering it. So hang on, as we reach for the clouds…

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Evaluating Facebook and Twitter for e-Learning

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Facebook and Twitter. The two biggest social sites on the web at the moment (there’s also Google+, but that’s for the most part a wasteland analysts say). Chances are that you (and your spouse, mom, and perhaps dog) have an account on one or even both. But are they any good for anything else, besides getting in touch with friends, exchanging gossip and viewing holiday pictures, baby and pet snapshots, and celebrity status updates?

Specifically, are they any good for e-learning?

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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

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!

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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.

How to add videos to your eFront lessons

Do you want to make your content more appealing and interactive? You can enrich it by adding videos to your units! There are two ways you can do this:

  1. Upload your videos to the lesson’s file manager. While editing the unit place the mouse where you want to insert the video. Open the file manager, search for the video you want to add and simply click on the blue arrow: video-post-1The video is now inserted and you can change its dimensions by dragging its edges. Continue reading

Infographic: LMS demographics

We love having fun with infographics so the eFront team put together an infographic on LMS demographics with data collected over a two year period!

Here are some highlights:
1. Regarding global interest, LMSs still dominate in English speaking countries with interest from parts of Asia and, surprisingly, Europe lagging behind.
2. The LMS is still largely considered a solution for educational institutes however corporate usage is catching up!
3. More than 50% of institutions prefer to host their LMS internally and small installations dominate. Continue reading

Customer story: Mentor Graphics

We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Epignosis eFront customer Mentor Graphics. With headquarters located in Oregon, Mentor Graphics Corporation is a world leader in electronic hardware and software design solutions, providing products, consulting services and award-winning support for the world’s most successful electronic, semiconductor and systems companies. Established in 1981, the company reported revenues in the last fiscal year of nearly $1,090 million.

Their objective was to ensure that all technical staff were up-to-date and trained with the latest knowledge and practices in order provide the best technical advice on the capabilities of tools to customers. Mentor benchmarked eFront against several leading LMSs and in the end chose eFront as the best value solution for their specific requirements.

“eFront rated best in several categories including the support we received from the Epignosis team during our evaluation and the hosted plan (up to 500 users) which was selected as best value.”

Read the customer case study here: Continue reading

eFront in Top 100 Tools for Learning 2013

Thank you to all our clients and users who voted for us!

The Top 100 Tools for Learning 2013 list (released 30 September 2013) was compiled from the votes of over 500 education and workplace learning professionals from 48 countries. For a fuller analysis, please visit Analysis 2013.

In this year’s list, Twitter retains its no 1 position – now for the 5th year running – then comes Google Drive/Docs at #2. PowerPoint moved up to #5 and Evernote moved into the top 10 at #6. Google + and Hangouts moved into the top 10 at #10 and eFront moved up 19 places to #67.  You can view a text list of the 100 Tools here along with the Slideshare presentation.

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