Choosing Your e-Learning Solution
21 July, 2008
More and more companies are seeking to offer their employees the benefits of training programmes known as “e-learning”. However, with so many offers out there how do you go about zeroing in on the right one? What technical features are needed to guarantee that the solution meets your teams’ requirements and fits in with your company’s e-learning strategy?
There are three main categories of e-learning solutions:
- “Off-the-shelf” solutions
- Customised solutions
- Internal solutions.
In general, Off-the-shelf e-learning solutions are designed for office automation, foreign language and computer training. The solutions are standardized and can be used by learners on their own or with the help of a trainer, either in a presential mode or at a distance.
Customised e-learning solutions are accompanied by a services offer intended to ensure the success of the distance learning project.
A customised e-learning solution provider should be able to provide support in the following areas:
- Development of the communications plan
- Drafting of the e-tutoring plan
- Development of a customised e-learning programme
- Implementation of the graphical and technical aspects of the e-learning content
- Creation of detailed teaching and financial reporting systems
- Support in the integration of the e-learning module in the LMS platform
Internal e-learning solutions now come with authoring tools that enable users to create e-learning content internally. These types of solutions are well adapted to long-term e-learning strategies and require an in-house staff with the skills needed for scripting the interactive modules.
Hosting the solution
- External hosting by a service provider, in ASP (Application Service Provider) mode.
- Internally, on the corporate Intranet, for example.
The e-learning solution selected should include an e-learning module management platform, commonly called a LMS (Learning Management System) platform. These platforms are particularly well suited for training programmes that involve sensitive or confidential data. When you integrate a LMS platform, pay special attention to the standards (AICC, IMS or SCORM ) used; these determine the format in which the content will be updated and the data transferred from one LMS platform to another.
E-learning market players:
- Consulting, integration and implementation of the overall solution, platform and content
- Platform providers only
- Content providers: standardized or customised content
- Providers of content creation tools: e-learning programmes or for evaluation purposes
However, a number of providers combine several of these features in their offer and provide a wide range of services (educational and technical engineering), along with flexible and robust software solutions.