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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





Client profile: Prosperity LMS takes air ambulance company to new heights

Posted by susan reuter on Mon, May 17, 2010
Simple geography has always been a training challenge for Phoenix-based PHI Air Medical Group, which flies out of nearly 50 bases in 11 states.

The company, a full-service air ambulance provider that serves more than 30,000 patients each year, needs to ensure that its employees - nurses, paramedics, respiratory technicians and pilots - are not only current on their mandatory certification training, but also have the opportunity to increase their skills with programs that incorporate industry-wide best practices. Up until a couple years ago, that meant training coordinators assigned to each state had to travel extensively to run face-to-face sessions; in addition, employees sometimes had to travel up to three or four hours - on the company's dime - to attend a class. The situation was costing PHI Air Medical time and money.

Mike Harmon, PHI Air Medical's Manager of Clinical Education Standards, began looking at learning management systems as a possible way to provide web-based training for the company's geographically diverse staff.

Among the elearning software he looked at was Ziiva's Prosperity Corporate LMS, which had the features he needed - SCORM compliant, able to run detailed reports, strong customer support - at a very competitive price. "I was looking for something I could sell to administration," Harmon said. "Not knowing how much we would be able to save from an LMS, cost was a factor."

Since implementing Prosperity - first for medical staff, and then for pilots - PHI Air Medical has saved between $300,000 and $400,000 in training-related costs while increasing employee development opportunities available to its staff. The company also has been able to cut three days from what was once was a two-week, on-site new employee training program in Phoenix, which provides additional ongoing savings.

Harmon now has more than 125 courses available online through Prosperity - 13 recurring courses that employees take annually to maintain certification, 24 more courses specifically for new hires and many more for continuing education.

Harmon is also pleased with Ziiva's reporting capabilities and ability to randomize tests, which makes it easier for the company to maintain its certification from the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Services (CAMTS).

Because of the nature of its business, PHI Air Medical still conducts some site-based training, but the company has been able to maximize the face-to-face sessions by having staff do much of the prep work online. "Adult education in the medical world is scenario-based problem solving," Harmon explained. "We use Ziiva to build base-level knowledge before (the site-based training) so trainers get to spend more time on problem-solving and critical-thinking programs."

The ease and availability of online learning has also allowed the company to provide remedial education for employees who may have previously been fired because it was cost-prohibitive to send them away for individual employee training.

Although Prosperity has its own course-creation program, Harmon was more familiar creating modules using Microsoft PowerPoint and Adobe Articulate, which Ziiva's learning management system can easily accommodate. He's uploaded a number of new and existing courses that way, as well as some training videos.

Now he's looking at using Prosperity's own tools for expanding the company's online offerings, including higher-level learning, more interactive courses and more. Harmon admits that, as satisfied as he is with Prosperity, he's still only scratching the surface of what it can do.

Overall, employee feedback has been positive.

"Pretty much every course they do has a course evaluation," Harmon said. "We've probably had between 80 and 90 percent approval - fours and fives (on a five-point scale) and even the watercooler talk about it is generally pretty positive."

Things have gone so well, in fact, that PHI Air Medical's parent company replaced the LMS it was using for a larger subsidiary that provides helicopter transport for the offshore oil and gas industry with Ziiva's system. In all, PHI, Inc., has about 2,600 employees.

Down the road, Harmon is looking at making some computer-based training available at a nominal fee to local fire departments and ambulance companies in areas served by PHI Air Medical. The courses can be used by these organizations for employee certification.

When asked what he liked best about Prosperity, Harmon said the price and the ability the software gave him to "advance education opportunities and knowledge level of my staff."


Topics: lms, employee training, e learning software, learning management system, employee development, computer based training, web based training





Client profile: IntegrityFX finds the right solution with Prosperity LMS

Posted by susan reuter on Mon, May 03, 2010
Admittedly, Dr. Patrick Patterson isn't one to lavish praise. But the administrator of education for IntegrityFX Ltd. gives this one-word description of his experiences with Ziiva's Prosperity LMS: "Excellent."

IntegrityFX provides broker services to foreign currency traders around the world. In the off-exchange retail foreign currency (Forex) market, banks, corporations, governments and others entities - including individual retail traders - seek to profit by taking advantage of fluctuations in exchange rates. With average daily volume in the trillions, Forex is one of the world's largest and most liquid financial markets. Individual traders are a small but growing segment of this market.

To give its Forex retail traders the knowledge and confidence to succeed, IntegrityFX created an Education & Training Center powered by Ziiva's Prosperity Learning Management System.

"Our Education & Training Center serves a niche market and the education that has historically been made available has been both expensive and poorly developed for one reason or another," said Patterson, who oversees the development, implementation and dissemination of the curriculum via computer-based training, webinar presentations and in-class lecture. "Thus, our greatest challenge is to market our training in a way that makes clear that our curriculum has superior quality in content, quantity and delivery."

To meet this challenge, he turned to Ziiva for an enterprise LMS.

Having used other learning management systems over the years at several colleges and universities, Patterson knew what he wanted: the ability to import e-learning content, robust data collection technology for learner tracking, reasonable ease of use for course management and contact management, customizable reporting features, a feature-rich exam management suite and a reasonable cost.

He found those things with Prosperity.

"Their customer service is excellent and their staff is knowledgeable about the products and services they sell. In addition, the cost of their LMS with its large assortment of stock features was very reasonable," said Patterson, who singled out Prosperity's course-management features as a big plus.

IntegrityFX currently offers a half-dozen Web-based training courses such as "Introduction to Forex," "Technical Analysis" and "Risk Management." The curriculum was recognized with the 2009 Best Forex Education Provider Award at the ME Forex Expo in Dubai.

"All feedback has been generally positive," from students taking and/or evaluating the courses, Patrick said. "However, almost everyone has said that the sheer volume of reading is daunting, and they have recommended more audio/visual elements - we are currently working a new multimedia version."

In addition, Patterson said IntegritryFX plans to incorporate instructor-led webinar scheduling and training into the Prosperity LMS.

While courses currently deal with foreign currency exchange, IntegrityFX has a number of other curriculum programs in development including spot gold, spot oil and "contracts for difference" trading. Down the road, Patterson said he sees value in not only using Prosperity for customer training, but also for employee training.

Patterson, who set up the courses himself, said he appreciated Ziiva's willingness to let IntegrityFX customize the interface, but noted that customer support was readily available as needed.

Overall, Patterson has been very happy with his experience.

"Their staff is approachable, knowledgeable, and prompt," Patterson said. "That has not been my experience with other LMS vendors."


Topics: lms, employee training, learning management system, computer based training, web based training