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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.


eLearning and Learning Management News & June Notes

Posted by susan reuter on Fri, Jul 02, 2010

Here is this month’s installment of recent e-learning-related blog posts and articles that are worth a second look:

Rule to create by

In 10 Rules to Create Engaging eLearning, Tom Kuhlman follows his own rules and provides an engaging, interesting and visually attractive post on his Rapid E-Learning Blog that provides excellent guidance on how to create an engaging, interesting and visually attractive eLearning courses. Of particular note is his first tip: Don’t Create the Course. “If the course isn’t tied to real performance improvements, it might not be worth building,” he writes.

Along the same lines, Cathy Moore recently posted a 5-part video series from her presentation at a May event organized by the UK eLearning Network. In her introduction to the series, titled “How to design eLearning that’s memorable and budget friendly,” she makes this (familiar) point: “Don’t create a course unless it’s really necessary and useful.”

Amen, Tom and Kathy, we’re with you on that one. Simply creating employee training courses to say you created courses is a recipe for failure. Having a clear, measurable goal of what you want to get out of your eLearning efforts is a must.

subhead: You must remember this

The eLearning Coach offers 20 Facts You Must Know About Working Memory. Why must you know these facts? Because need to understand the strengths and limitations of working memory in order to design effective computer-based training that “sticks” with your users.

It’s easy, really

Clark Quinn, in an opinion piece for eLearn Magazine, makes the case for better design of eLearning courses. His point: No matter what you may think, better design doesn’t take more time. Sure, he admits, incorporating best practices will take a little time initially, but in the long run it won’t take any more time than doing what you are doing now.

A Preference for web-based learning

Who prefers online training to traditional classrooms? Wal-Mart employees, for one. In an article by Associated Press reporting on the retail giant’s new program to allow employees to gain college credit from the online American Public University, Alicia Ledlie, Wal-Mart’s senior director for associate development, said nearly three-quarters of the company’s workers contacted in a survey said they preferred Web-based training to attending a local college.

The buzz on corporate learning and elearning tools only gets bigger, so if you don’t have time to track down all the relevant news yourself, stop on by and we’ll pass along what we found. Your suggestions are always welcome, of course, so please post a comment if there’s anything you want to share.

Topics: employee training, corporate learning, elearning tools, learning management systems, computer based training, web based training, online training





Training Development: Three keys to successful workplace training

Posted by susan reuter on Fri, Jun 18, 2010

 In some organizations, these two words can often be a cause for annoyance, irritation or even dread: Employee training.corporate training, lms

Regardless of your position – c-suite, cubical-dweller, call center, etc. – being herded into a windowless room for (yet another) slide show can be a real buzz kill.

 But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Continuing education is a major factor in the success of any organization, and most of your employees likely understand that.

So, what’s the problem? We believe there are three potential bottlenecks in the training development pipeline.

Sometimes its you

There are, of course, a number of factors inhibiting workplace learning, but with the right strategy and the right culture, these can be mitigated.

In terms of corporate learning strategy, here are some questions you need to ask: Do I have clearly crafted goals? Have I teased out the junk and focused on the meat of what I want my employees (or customers) to learn? Do I have a flexible system in place that provides on-demand, computer-based training options? Can I effectively measure the results of my efforts?

In terms of culture, does your organization do a good enough job promoting the virtues of workplace training? Do your employees understand how their training fits into the company’s overall strategy? Finally, are your employees excited about your brand? It’s one of those things that go hand in hand – people who are proud of what they do and look forward to solving challenges are also motivated learners.

Sometimes it’s them

While you can – and must – do everything you can to motivate your employees to learn, they also need to look within. As Shelley Gable points out in her blog post on Internet CE – “Motivate Yourself to Learn through Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction” – self-motivation is possible, and crucial.

In a related post, Gables makes yet another great point about how an individual can get the most out of their learning experience: Don’t try to multitask your way through it.

While there is some debate about the benefits and drawbacks multitasking out there, we believe employees – whether training in a classroom setting, in their spare time, or remotely via the Web – can get the most out of training by giving it their undivided attention, as opposed to texting, tweeting, checking fantasy baseball stats and then skipping back a few screens to search for what you already forgot.

Sometimes it’s the system

Your learning management system may be well-known in the industry, but does it do what you need? How easily can you adapt it to your specific requirements? How easy is the interface for end-users? Do you receive the kind of service and support you need to make it work for you?

If you go through the steps above to maximize your organization’s training efforts, you don’t want software to be a choke point, so look for a customizable, flexible, easy-to-use LMS that meets your needs.

Back in January, we posted a more in-depth blog entry about this specific issue, noting that choosing the right LMS can significantly affect “organizational benefits, ROI, and effectiveness of an organization’s training strategy and goals.”

The takeaway

A coherent training strategy and a culture of learning are essential to successful workplace learning. But so are motivated employees. And having the right software tools. Put all these things together and the sky’s the limit.

Topics: employee training, corporate learning, learning management system, training development, computer based training





eLearning and Learning Management Systems news & May Notes

Posted by susan reuter on Tue, Jun 01, 2010

Here is this month's installment of recent e-learning-related blog posts and articles that are worth a second look:

Thou shalt eLearn

Since Cath Ellis offered her Ten Commandments of eLearning about a month ago, other eLearning prophets - including Abhijit Kadle at Upside Learning and Clive Shepherd - are sharing some commandments of their own. Taken collectively, these virtual stone tablets offer a nice, basic roadmap for planning out an effective training development strategy.

New toys

HTML 5 could be one of those game-changing eLearning tools, Craig Weiss writes in his e-Learning 24/7 blog. Find out why he thinks so in "HTML5 - Let the Games Begin!"

How free is free?

Ever since the Trojans accepted that free wooden horse from the Greeks, people have gotten unpleasant surprises by expecting something for nothing. The same is true with learning management systems, as Amit Gautnam of Upside Learning points out in "The Real Cost of a Free Open Source LMS."

When to learn

 You may be ready to run an employee training session, but your staff may not be all that motivated to make the most of it. That's because, as Nemo Chu writes in a guest post on Corporate eLearning Strategies and Development, "For some organizations, knowledge workers simply aren't ready to learn in the workplace. Their Energy Star brains are burning like a 100-watt light bulb and they are more interested in a nap than they are interested in formal training." Chu's solution: mobile, on-demand learning.

The state of the LMS

While Jane Hart and Harold Jarche are questioning the future usefulness of the LMS, their Internet Time Alliance co-contributor Clark Quinn looks at what an LMS system could - and should - be used for in his post, "A Case for the LMS."

Crystal ball

"Futurity is always a risky endeavour particularly where technology is concerned," writes Derek Morrison in The Auricle, a UK-based blog dealing with digital learning. Despite that caveat, Morrison goes on to provide a thoughtful, in-depth look at how technology may enhance learning by 2015. Although we agree that predicting the future - particularly in the digital realm - is far from easy, this post is still worth reading.

The buzz on corporate learning and elearning tools only gets bigger, so if you don't have time to track down all the relevant news yourself, stop on by and we'll pass along what we found. Your suggestions are always welcome, of course, so please post a comment if there's anything you want to share.

Topics: lms, employee training, e learning tools, corporate learning, learning management system, learning management, training development





eLearning and Learning Management Systems News & Notes for April

Posted by susan reuter on Tue, Apr 27, 2010
Here is this month's installment of recent e-learning-related blog posts and articles that are worth a second look:

Measure for the right fit

A recent post Amit Gautam on the Upside Learning blog looked at Five Ways to Use an LMS for Effective Learning Measurement. Admittedly, this isn't an easy exercise, since, as Gautam points out, "Learning Measurement is a very challenging exercise and not one that can be executed easily or quickly with some calculator. The best way (but probably the most difficult one) to measure learning is to measure for the right business indicators like sales figures, productivity measures, defect ratios etc."

We agree with that assessment, and also agree that measurement needs to be part of the process from the beginning - or even before the beginning, that is, when you first start looking for a learning management system vendor.

 Training lessons from India

Part of the secret of India's business success is workforce training, entrepreneur-turned-academic Vivek Wadhwa writes TechCrunch. In his post, "Why America Needs to Start Re-educating Its Workforce Again," he notes, "Workforce education increases productivity, decreases turnover, and leads to greater corporate growth. I was myself surprised to see this correlation when I researched the secrets of the success of Indian industry."

Wadhwa's post of pretty detailed - and persuasive - but if you want to learn more, you can download the report published by his team from Harvard and Duke, "How the Disciple Became the Guru," which looks at the employee development practices of 24 of India's top companies.

Pitfalls to effective learning

The reality of employee training doesn't always (or often) meet its promise, writes UK-based learning and performance consultant Charles Jennings on his blog, but he offers some suggestions for businesses hoping to change that by explaining the Five Barriers to Effective Learning in Organisations.

‘Awesome' elearning tips

The eLearning Brothers (Shawn and Andrew Scivally) put together their "Top 10 Do's to Create Awesome eLearning" for a presentation at this year's Learning Solutions Conference. Even without hearing the actual presentation, the 55-page .pdf gives you the gist of their Do's, which include dead-on suggestions about style, text, graphics and much more.

Last-minute checkup

Over at the Rapid e-Learning Blog, Tom Kuhlman offers "10 Things to Consider Before Your E-Learning Course Goes Live."

All the tips make sense, but our favorite is "Is your course too sexy for its body?" (i.e. don't go so far out of the box that the learner can't follow you.)

The buzz on corporate learning and elearning tools only gets bigger, so if you don't have time to track down all the relevant news yourself, stop on by and we'll pass along what we found. Your suggestions are always welcome, of course, so please post a comment if there's anything you want to share.

Topics: lms, employee training, e learning tools, corporate learning, learning management system, employee development





Corporate eLearning: Save the environment (and save money)

Posted by susan reuter on Mon, Apr 19, 2010
There are lots of reasons that a learning management system may be a sensible option for your organization - cost effectiveness, consistency of employee training, convenience, measurable results, etc. - but here's one benefit you may not have considered: reducing your carbon footprint.

This isn't a brand new idea, but even two years ago it was still somewhat of a novelty.

According to Rick Nigol, blogging on BreakthrougheLearning.com in 2008, it was an "aha moment" for him when, on a consulting gig, he heard a pair of vice-presidents explaining how eLearning software would help them meet their strategic focus of becoming an environmentally sustainable company.

These days ­- despite recessionary pressures (and possibly, in some cases, as a result of them) - the idea of sustainability continues to grow.

corporate elearning, lms, training

What in it for you?

Here are some green benefits of using an LMS for computer-based training:

Stay home: eLearning is available anywhere you have employees, so travel and lodging costs associated with training - and their resulting environmental impact - are no longer an issue.

Save paper (and ink, and energy): Who needs handouts - which often need to be updated multiple times during a product rollout or large-scale training effort - when you can keep everyone on the same (virtual) page with an easy-to-update LMS? Going this route means using less energy to produce and distribute training manuals and other documentation, as well as less waste.

Green culture: Beyond using an LMS for your regular training and employee development needs, consider creating some green training modules to give your employees practical ways to reduce the company's carbon footprint in their daily activities.

Carbon offsets: If you want your business to be as carbon neutral as possible - whether out of environmental concern or simply as a pragmatic marketing decision - there are several calculators and companies out there that can help you understand what you need to do and certify the results. No matter how intense you want this effort to be, eLearning tools are one of the easiest, most obvious ways to cut your carbon footprint.

When you look at the above list, it's obvious that many of the benefits of learning management systems - such as increasing productivity through reducing travel - transcend reducing carbon emissions and can save your business time and money in other ways, as well.

 

The bottom line

We've come across some companies - mainly outside the U.S. - that are promoting the environmental benefits of eLearning as central parts of their marketing efforts.

That's all well and good, but while LMS vendors may no longer be surprised to hear customers talk about sustainability, one point Rick Nigol made two years ago still holds true: Using eLearning simply to reduce travel, while noble, isn't in the best interests of any organization.

Finding a robust eLearning system that can meet all your training needs is the real holy grail of corporate learning, and anything else is gravy.

Green gravy.


Topics: green initiatives, lms, employee training, e learning tools, corporate learning, e learning software, elearning, learning management system, learning management, elearning tools, learning management systems, learning management software, employee development, computer based training, corporate e learning