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Dive deep

At Ziiva, we offer more than a comprehensive, tailor-fit Learning Management System. We are always seeking ways to enrich your company culture and improve the online learning experience that you offer to your students, employees, customers, or users.



susan reuter


Recent Posts


Extracting data from your old system

Posted by susan reuter on Fri, Jan 26, 2018

 After you get your content off your old system and onto your new LMS, it’s time to extract your data.

Ziiva content transfer infographic

We believe it’s imperative that you have access to your user data and history at any time. In order to ensure consistent access, make sure your new LMS provider will either have the tools available for you to extract this data yourself, or provides regularly scheduled exports and updates.

See also: 

Getting content off your old LMS infographic

Five IT points to consider when changing your LMS
Changing your Learning Management System (LMS) can present a number of IT challenges and questions.

Topics: lms tips, switching LMS, lms content, networks, user records





Getting content off your old LMS

Posted by susan reuter on Thu, Jan 11, 2018

One challenge that concerns many of our new clients is how to get their information off their old LMS. There are a number of ways to collect your information, so we have developed an infographic that will guide you through the process:

An infographic showing how to get your content off your old LMS.

See also: 
Five IT points to consider when changing your LMS
Changing your Learning Management System (LMS) can present a number of IT challenges and questions.

Topics: elearning tools, learning management systems, switching LMS, lms content





Is on-premise, perpetual licensing right for you?

Posted by susan reuter on Thu, Jan 04, 2018

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You may already be familiar with the difference between cloud-hosting and on-premise hosting, and have heard about the overwhelming trend of organizations moving to the former.

The learning management industry is no different; according to a 2015 Capterra study, 87 percent of respondents use a web-based LMS, while only 13 percent have an on-premise or installed system.

But this doesn’t mean cloud-hosting is the best option for everybody. As is true with so many of the features and capabilities of an LMS, it depends on what you’re looking for.

home_server.gifHosting an LMS on premise has advantages that can be overlooked and undervalued in the mass exodus to cloud.  

There may be few LMS providers who offer this option, but many organizations need it.
Are you one of them?

In this blog post, we dive deep into on-premise hosting—what it is, what its benefits are, and who are the best candidates for this LMS hosting option.

What is an on-premise system?

There are different terms associated with this option:

  • On-premise
  • Self-hosting

An organization will buy the LMS system up front, and it’s theirs forever— hosted on their local systems or with third-party hosting. They have the option to pay the LMS provider for annual maintenance to get tech support, updates, and upgrades, but many have internal IT teams to cover this.

  • Perpetual licensing

Perpetual licensing is another associated term, and it refers to when an organization purchases the LMS license. This option is a popular model for self-hosted, on-premise installations of enterprise software.

Who needs self-hosting?

On-premise/self-hosting makes sense for large organizations who have:

  • In-house IT departments 
  • Resources for implementation and maintenance
  • Strict security requirements
  • High volume use

Why host on premise?

Companies who want on-premise hosting for their LMS (banking, financial services, government agencies, etc.) are usually looking for controlled environments to store proprietary or sensitive information.

Hosting on premise means that an organization has complete control over their LMS hosting environment. This is attractive to many organization for five main reasons:

  • Strict operations processes
  • High customization potential
  • High scalability
  • Control over security procedures and processes
  • Integration with other installed systems

Strict operations processes
An on-premise or self-hosted LMS can be the answer when your organization demands strict control over upgrade and release schedule to meet requirements such as 21 CFR Part 11 regulations or ISO requirements.

High customization potential
With on-premise hosting, you can use the LMS however you want and customize it endlessly (although you will need an LMS core platform that has that kind of flexibility).

High scalability
When you’ve got the LMS license, there is no limit to the number of users on your system, and there’s no cost to add more.

Control over security procedures and processes
With self-hosting, your LMS lives at home (or on a private server), which means it’s in a predictable server environment. No changes (updates, overhauls, maintenance, etc.) will be executed without your say-so, and all data and operations stay behind your firewall.

With an in-house server, your IT team minimizes downtime and schedules maintenance based on your schedule.

Integration with other installed system
If you already host other management software (talent management or HR), the implementation and integration of one more system is relatively easy.


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Schedule a requirements review with a Ziiva technical consultant

 

 

See also:
Five IT points to consider when changing your LMS
Changing your Learning Management System (LMS) can present a number of IT challenges and questions.

Topics: lms tips, learning management system, self-hosted LMS





How an LMS helps you sell your content

Posted by susan reuter on Fri, Aug 18, 2017

Two people using Prosperity LMS to sell content

You’ve created the content. Now comes the next step—getting it online and selling. If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you dread getting bogged down with administrative tasks. 

And getting bogged down is easy. There’s always a meeting, a phone call, or a crisis. According to a survey from The Alternative Board, average entrepreneurs spend more than two thirds of their time working on day-to-day tasks and less than one third working on business goals and strategy.

A Learning Management System (LMS) helps you change this ratio and focus on what you do best—training. All you have to do is upload the content.

We’ve broken it down into five ways an LMS can help you sell: 

1. Gets your content online

Entrepreneur describes an LMS as a software platform that “delivers, manages, and tracks results, and generates reports for online courses and training programs.” 

This means your ideas, concepts, and content get online—fast. This allows you to reach more prospective students and train more people in more places. 

Whether you sell courses to 50-person startups or you manage certification training for 50,000 association members, an LMS helps you tackle that first step—getting your content organized and online. 

2. Offers flexible pricing

In addition to customizing the function of an LMS, many also allow you to customize the course pricing. This allows you to use the pricing system that makes sense for you. 

Do you offer a single course or test for one-time customers? Are you selling a six-month certification program where people log in regularly to complete assignments? Are you always flooded with inquiries in January? 

A flexible LMS, moreover, will charge you based on the pricing model you need, and the volume and behavior of your customers. You should not have to pay more for a program that’s designed to fit another business.

Here are some example pricing options:
  • Prepaid course codes
  • Pay-as-you-go
  • Base hosting fee + price per student
  • Support bundles
  • Packaged pricing bundles

3. Provides support for your customers

So you have your content online and you’ve chosen an LMS that works for your business. Now what?

Customers and potential students will have questions. Technical issues will arise. And in order to be successful, you’ll need the time and resources to quickly respond.

According to a 2016 Forrester survey, 63 percent of companies prioritized investing in new technology to improve customer experience. Your LMS can be this technology.

An LMS partner can handle the student support for you, saving you time and money. Many programs have built-in email clients to broadcast messages to students and potential customers. They can also automatically alert students about additional courses and approaching certification deadlines.

4. Collects valuable data

At each customer interaction, an LMS collects data. Did the student create an account, but fail to sign up for a class? Did a potential customer spend time researching your program, but abandon the shopping cart?

 This information gives insight about your students and potential customers. The students who create accounts but don’t add courses can become your prospect list—you already know they are interested. By tracking the learning performance, you can determine if the course needs updating. If you’re struggling for enrollments, you can reshape your content or remarket the course. 

eLearning Industry identifies five types of LMS data to extract:
  • Completion rates
  • Learner performance and progress
  • Assessment scores
  • Learner surveys
  • Peer-based feedback

5. Accommodates your business requirements

So what happens if you’re offering a certification program, but the requirements change? What if you have customers in different states with different requirements? 

Some LMSs can automatically track certifications that vary by state and industry—lifting the burden of compliance monitoring. These areas could include criminal records, credit checks, medical records, and professional licensing.

Using automated alert and email systems, an LMS can notify customers of these changes and impose deadlines for ensuring they are met. 



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Let's get started
If your goal is selling courses and content, an LMS may be the perfect tool to automate tedious administrative tasks, increasing your efficiency and success.

To help you get started, we have created a checklist to help you prioritize your needs and desires, so you can navigate the hundreds of LMS choices and find what fits you best. This checklist is intended to be personalized to YOU, not a particular LMS.

Get the LMS Checklist

Topics: lms, e learning software, training, computer based training, web based training





Don't let overwhelm hurt your training and onboarding programs

Posted by susan reuter on Fri, Aug 11, 2017

You were drawn to HR and training work because you’re passionate about helping people—developing new courses for them, registering them for training, and empowering them to do their best work.

Does your to-do list look like this?

Manage and track online courses, Manage training, Track training, Email students about deadlines, Organize course/content materials, Sell and deliver my content, Find a way to track eLearning content, Administer and track compliance, Track compliance audits, Report on training initiatives to management, Research LMS selection and LMS feature list, FIND A WAY TO DO ALL OF THESE BETTER.

But YOU can’t do YOUR job if the length of your to-do list is mind-stutteringly long.

Unfinished tasks are piling up. Your job description has silently (malignantly) expanded overnight, while your resources and time are still the same… or wait… are they shrinking?

How is there less time when you are working more? Nights and weekends on the clock,  checking email before you’re even out of bed.

This unhappy asymmetry is a symptom of the always-connected-24/7-work environment. It’s infecting the workplaces and headspaces of HR and training professionals across the country, funneling them into a dark place…

Welcome to overwhelm.

You know what really sucks here? Employees who are cognitively overloaded are dramatically less productive.

According to research from professional services firm Towers Watson, employees suffering from high stress levels are less engaged, less productive, and miss more work than those not working under intense pressure.

It’s particularly vicious for HR, because if you can't do your job, the whole organization limps to a bleeding halt.

What happened to my day?

How many times did you check your email or social media? How many things are you doing at the same time, and how many of them did you actually accomplish?

Studies show that people check their mobile devices 150 times a day. They receive 122 messages every day, and spend a quarter of their day reading and answering them. At work, 57 percent of interruptions result from the use of social media or switching among different stand-alone tools and applications.

What happened to my productivity?

The always-connected-24/7-work environment is overwhelming workers, undermining productivity, and contributing to low employee engagement, according to Deloitte’s 2014 Global Human Capital Trends report.

And it hurts the whole company: according to the Deloitte report, “This constant and frenetic level of activity also costs money, perhaps $10 million a year for mid-size companies.”

Psychiatrist Edward Hallowell, an expert on attention-deficit disorders (ADD), suggests that modern workplace stressors induce “attention deficit trait (ADT),” with symptoms similar to those  of ADD.

“[ADT] is brought on by the demands on our time and attention that have exploded over the past two decades. As our minds fill with noise—feckless synaptic events signifying nothing—the brain gradually loses its capacity to attend fully and thoroughly to anything,” writes Hallowell.

What happened to my poor monkey brain?

On a good day, your prefrontal cortex is the master of ceremonies of your life, which means you’re going about the business of supporting and managing your people.

But when you’re feeling anxious and overwhelmed, your calm, capable HR cool can evaporate, and your co-workers are rudely introduced to your secret “evil-twin” personality.

In evil-twin mode, your amygdala and the lower regions of your brain are flooded with a hormone called cortisol, which primes your body for fight or flight. This is a great hormone if you’re running away from a bear, but high levels of cortisol over long periods of time can wreak havoc on your brain, hindering your capacity for rational thought.

What to do? What to do?

Go ahead and wring your hands a few times, take a deep breath and

…prioritize your tasks

What jobs are time-critical? And which ones are you most dreading? Do those first.

…break your big projects into small steps

Focus on one manageable piece at a time, and celebrate each mini-victory.

…delegate or reject tasks

Step aside for a moment and see what jobs you can delegate or officially postpone.

…get some help

Don’t suffer in silence — it’s hard to meet goals when you’re in survival mode. Talk to your managers about your priorities, resources, and job description.

If your to-do list is still hideous, it’s time to enlist some digital assistance and implement or update your Learning Management System (LMS). A good LMS can streamline your processes, offload administrative work, and eliminate repetitive tasks.

Imagine a workday where employees were synchronized with an LMS.

  • Users of your system are automatically assigned training based on their jobs
  • Reminder emails and reports are sent autonomously
  • You are automatically tracking/applying continuing credits and certifications
  • You don’t have to provide technical support to your users.
  • You’re working with an experienced implementation and support team with deep corporate knowledge

You have time to do your real job! You are no longer personally signing people up for courses, sending reminders, tracking certifications—or making sure which state has what requirements.

Yes, there are a lot of systems to choose from (more than 500!) but don’t panic. We’ve got you covered.

We put together an LMS checksheet that will help you articulate the LMS feature list and requirements that would best meet your needs.

Happy de-stressing, and be sure to take it one step at a time.

 

Topics: employee training, training development, learning management systems, global human trends