Cost-effective e-learning by collaborative authoring
As an IT consultant I read the articles about e-learning with specific interest. Especially the growth forecasts are stunning. Forrester talks about e-learning as the second "Killing Application" right after e-mail. So why is it that all this enthusiasm is not backed by the reality in Europe? Of course, there is the fragmented marketplace and lack of interesting content due to the language problems. (The easiest excuse for decison makers for not investing in e-learning.) But there is more going on, and confusion is the recurring theme. Confusion which is created by the IT industry it self.
Picture yourself as the person responsible for the training of a group of employees. Training subject: a new CRM application within the company intranet. It's not easy to choose an e-learning environment in a world of rapidly changing internet technologies and emerging standards like XML and e-learning content standards like SCORM . Today you choose and invest in software and content creation and tomorrow it can all be redundant. And the investments are huge since the software vendors force you to use their database technology, their multimedia and video plugins, and their user administration tools. To take a sound decision, you would have to have the OK from your general manager, your training manager, your webmaster, and last but not least, your systems administrator. In the decision making process the essential part, (self)learning and training, threatens to come last.
In the many situations I have come across, there were always three unattainable desires.
- Do it yourself: E-learning authors want to create courses without the disturbing (and expensive) support of programmers.
- Reuse and exchange: The course content should be modular and reusable in new courses. As a result multimedia/text instruction and tests can be used more efficiently.
- Keep out the techies. Downloading and configuration of client software or other technical barriers are taboo.
There seems to be an analogy with open source philosophies. However, this situation screams for "less talking" and "more doing". More like the shareware and freeware principles. To set a good example of "more doing" i-Concept has launched an enabling platform for decision makers who are waiting for affordable e-learning solutions, but cannot wait to see how e-learning works in practice. Authoring and learning on the platform starts right from the browser screen. The content is saved in a databases and can be made compliant to (future) e-learning contents standards.
Everybody who is interested can contact us. We will set-up a free test envirment and invite your test audience to the courses by making links from websites or intranets.
drs Albert F.J. Bausch
- Accessible and easy to use for both author and learner,
- cost-effective by reuse options and
- compatibility with future technology and 3rd party vendors by dbase & XML orientation.