Tags: eLearning, Learning, LMS, system, technology, Tools, Training
The landscape of learning management system (LMS) vendors is constantly changing. There have been dozens of acquisitions in the past decade, including a big one this week. This can be a scary time if your organization happens to be using an LMS that gets acquired by or merged with another company. After all, you’ve most likely invested thousands of dollars and many hours getting it set up and configured to work well. So, if your LMS vendor gets acquired by another
company, what should you do? What questions should you ask?
My first piece of advice would be: Just relax. The process of merging two business generally takes a while. You most likely won’t see any overnight changes. Take this time to think through several scenarios and prepare a list of questions for your account representative.
Below is a starter list of questions that you may want to ask. The account rep may not know all of the answers if the news is still fresh, but it’s good to start thinking in these terms. To keep things straight, I’ll use the terms acquirer (the company who is making the purchase) and acquiree (the company who is being purchased).
Question to ask:
- Why (specifically) was the company acquired?
- How will the roadmap for the LMS change?
- Will the underlying technologies change?
- What products, services, features, etc., of the acquirer will be made available to clients of the acquiree?
- How will the support model change for the acquiree, if at all?
- Will the hourly rate change for the acquiree? (ex. For customizations)
- Will any of your technical or support contacts change?
- Will there (still?) be an annual conference for the LMS and its users?
I’m sure I left off some questions. What else would you add?
The eLearning Security Leak November 11, 2010Posted by Eric Matas in eLearning, Theory.
Tags: corporate privacy, eLearning, Engadget, internet security, LMS, technology
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Words and images spread fast online. Internet 2.0 offers many tools for sharing a status update or image with a network, which can then share with a larger network, and when something goes viral, it seems that everybody knows.
In elearning, we are in the business of putting images together to train employees and clients. eLearning images make great screenshots for an elearner to leak to the ever disseminating web.
Engadget ran a piece with a screenshot from VZLearn, the LMS of Verizon Wireless. The training, for employees, revealed what the public did not yet know: that Palm Pre 2 training would only be assigned if Verizon intended to roll that out soon. Now, you can Google “screen shot leak” and see blog post after blog post about Windows 8 or or the next iPhone. For all we know, those screenshots are “leaked” on purpose for publicity.
But what potential leaks could happen at your company? Could a disgruntled employee post screenshots of your internal only or proprietary data?
I’ve worked for Blue Cross Blue Shield and the Federal Reserve Bank. These companies have serious needs to protect information and reputations. The elearning we made was scrubbed and re-scrubbed to eliminate any potentially damaging information. Still, if an elearner had it out for a company like those, or yours, they could print screen and leak in a 2.0 minute.
I don’t know if elearning designers and developers can spend too much time planning for the potential threat of a screenshot leak. But maybe that is a key part of the projects. And what about the LMS systems that house the elearning–are they safe?
If someone were hungry enough for a story or had a big enough grudge, they just might hack into an LMS to get more than a screenshot: the whole module. Is elearning a hot spot for internet security and corporate privacy?
My New Year’s Resolutions For 2010 December 26, 2009Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
Tags: Design, Development, eLearning, Learning, software, technology, Tools, Training
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I’ve come up with a few ideas for my New Year’s Resolutions for 2010. Next year, I will…
Experiment more with technology
I usually do a decent job with this, but I’m going to do a better job in 2010 of trying lots of new software, tools, web sites, web applications, etc. I don’t need to be an expert in all of these technologies, but I find that a good awareness of everything is very important.
Succeed (or fail) fast
I will use quick prototypes when evaluating new tools / technologies for projects. I’ve learned over time that lengthy trials take too long and are often unnecessary. I usually have better luck when I set up something that is ‘good enough’ and then improve it iteratively.
In the past few years, I fell into the occasional bad habit of not listening closely enough to clients / internal customers. I would sometimes shortcut conversations in my head and diagnose their situations before I even knew the whole story. I’m aware of this, and I’ll do my best to listen better moving forward.
I love to read, but I sometimes get too busy…or at least that’s what I tell myself. In 2010, I want to do a better job of reading on a regular basis. I usually prefer books on business, performance improvement, and sometimes suspense / mystery thrillers.
I want to travel internationally at least once next year, along with several trips to different states. I’m always open to suggestions, so let me know if you have any ideas.
What are your resolutions? Oh, and in case you need it, there’s a good article on eHow called How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions. 🙂
Introducing the SCORM Cloud December 9, 2009Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
Tags: Design, Development, eLearning, Learning, LMS, SCORM, technology, Tools, Training, Web 2.0
I had the pleasure of meeting Mike Rustici this year at DevLearn. Mike runs Rustici Software and he’s a total SCORM ninja. In our conversation, Mike mentioned a new service that is offered by his company – the service is called the SCORM Cloud. It was easy to see Mike was pretty excited about this, and after hearing some of the details, I think it definitely provides us with some interesting new ways to deliver and track learning content.
How to describe the SCORM Cloud…
If you didn’t have to use an LMS to offer learning content, where would you want to do it? A Facebook page? Your WordPress blog? Via an iGoogle widget? Maybe, but you’d lose the ability to track and record and assess, right? Enter SCORM Cloud, which lets you take learning outside the LMS and put it pretty much anywhere you want.
How does that happen? Essentially, your course content sits out on the cloud (much like your Google Docs or your Flickr pictures), and SCORM Cloud lets you deliver it wherever you want. SCORM Cloud tracks and records the same things SCORM 2004 (or 1.2 or AICC) would in your LMS and reports them back. So you can score quizzes, track interactions or set sequencing for any content you upload to the SCORM Cloud. No LMS required.
As of now, Rustici Software has already integrated SCORM Cloud with several open source LMSs such as Moodle and Sakai. And they tell me that they are close to having it ready to work with WordPress and iGoogle. The current integrations are open-source and flexible enough to allow for customizations, and you can even build your own integration if you want to use SCORM Cloud somewhere they have haven’t considered yet.
(There’s a fee for using SCORM Cloud and it is priced based your usage and needs. And it is far cheaper than going the whole-LMS route.)
I’d recommend that you check out the SCORM Cloud if you’re feeling overly constrained by your LMS; it will help you break out of the traditional eLearning model and take advantage of some of the new 2.0 tools that are now available on the web. Kudos to Mike and his team for thinking up an innovative solution like this…
LearnTrends 2009 Video Archive Available November 27, 2009Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
Tags: Conferences, eLearning, InstructionalDesign, learntrends, technology, Tools, Training, Web 2.0
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend the LearnTrends 2009 Online Conference, but I heard great things about it. Fortunately, I ran across a video archive of the conference, thanks to a blog post by George Siemens. (LearnTrends was sponsored by Jay Cross, Tony Karrer, and George Siemens.)
There are tons of other details about the conference here, and you can get more info about LearnTrends on these social networks:
A Case Study of Micro-Blogging for Learning at Qualcomm November 19, 2009Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
Tags: Conferences, Design, Development, DevLearn, DevLearn2009, dl09, Learning, qualcomm, technology, Tools, Training, Web 2.0, Yammer
Below are the slides from my presentation at DevLearn 2009. I co-presented this session along with my colleague, John Polaschek. The presentation had two main areas of focus:
- How micro-blogging can be used to help facilitate discussions and knowledge-sharing between employees
- How Qualcomm is using Yammer to help employees connect across divisions and geographic regions
I hope you enjoy it, even though you won’t have our charming personalities to accompany the slides! 🙂
Please leave a comment if you’ve worked with micro-blogging at your organization. I’d be curious to hear how it’s going and any tips you can provide to others. Thanks!