Preview: eLearning & Corporate Training
eLearning & Corporate Training
eLearning & Corporate Training Discussion Forum.
Communicating with Your Students
There are many ways to communicate with your students, not only to keep them up to date with their course or subject but to also let them know about whats new on your system. So how many good ways are there to communicate? Now we all know there are a million ways to communicate, but we are only looking at communicating via the Internet! Now this doesnt just leave you with email in your box of tricks.
Now it is important to note that there are two types of communication. Efficient and Effective.
Lets take a look at ways to be effective whilst you are being efficient, because we all know that efficient may NOT always be effective.
OK so the main ways to directly connect with your students are :
- via their mobile by sending them periodic SMS messages.
- via customised EDM (thats electronic direct marketing)
There are plenty of vendors out there that can send you very smart EDM with really specific reporting.
Is eLearning Cheaper?
What makes eLearning cheaper? You would think that based on experience and duplication you may get some economies of scale. Wrong. The cost of customised development is always specific to what the client needs, which may not always be what the client expects! But thats a chat for another day.
I agree with you, code can be re-used and by good developers it often is. But it is rare that you will get any benefit from that re-use. This is generally swallowed up by some scope creep or feature creep in your project. If you are happy with it, your developer will probably be too.
With this all said what makes eLearning cheap? They are many key drivers to cost effective eLearning solutions. Notice how we have shifted from cheap to cost effective?
They are vastly different. Cheap can be nasty (not always) however cost effective can mean the difference between success and failure.
Take these two sites as an example :
- http://www.basecamphq.com/ which is a link to Basecamp from 37Signals. It is not entirely my thing, maybe a little too lean - but I do like where they are heading with it.
- http://www.dexterchaney.com/ a much more interesting approach to the promotion of their products and services.
I suggest that you find an established developer with a trusted suite of products, look at their pricing model - if it fits with what you need have a look at some examples of their work.
Online or Offline. Should the Users Decide?
There has been a lot of commentary on Blogs and the Internet about whether Online or Offline eLearning Systems are the most effective. One could create a fairly good argument for both and essentially it comes down to the needs of the user.
What does it mean to understand the needs of users? Everything. Software programs are not notorious for creating grief, that's why we spend so much time talking usability and trying to convince users that our system is easier to use than the last.
So, online or offline? I say online and I do for several reasons which are outlined below :
- Deploying software updates to the Internet is drastically quicker than most other systems.
- Generally (note - "generally") coding online is cheaper.
- The utilisation of Content Management Systems (such as Vignette or ilico) mean that an interface can be updated without affecting existing content.
- There are a bunch of smart people who are releasing many innovative components every day.
And what type of online system is best? Well that again comes down to what the user needs and the business model you wish to create. The following should give you some food for thought :
- Online learning technologies and services grew to become a $23 billion global industry last year.
- That reflects an annual growth rate of 20 percent.
- There are now about 130 million online learners across the world.
Thank you to Jenna for the Numbers. Take a look at the Blog from Jenna here.