Create Training environment in Confluence – EduBrite Education Webinar

EduBrite’s first educational webinar was a super success!  Thanks to all participants who were able to join us. We are recording all webinars and posting them here so those who have missed webinar have an opportunity to view it.

This week we have discussed how to setup training environment in Atlassian Confluence environment using add-on Gilly provide by EduBrite? Gilly is available on Atlassian Marketplace to download. Once downloaded in your Confluence environment Gilly communicates with EduBrite LMS microsite. Learners gets full learning experience right inside Confluence so they never to leave. Cool, isn’t it! Go to EduBrite site for to find more information about Gilly.

Administrator, Team Lead/Manager can manage enrollment of their team from EduBrite microsite and track progress of their team from EduBrite microsite.

Our next webinar on Course Authoring is on Wednesday Aug 20 at 10 am pacific (UTC-7). In this webinar, we will cover:

  • Test / Quiz creation, various test editor properties
  • Course creation, course properties, lesson properties, adding quiz in the course
  • Course authorization

Register here for next webinar

EduBrite Education Webinar series 2014 is here

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Like past years, we started EduBrite Education webinar series 2014 this week. Team EduBrite wants to be part of your success in your eLearning initiative beyond providing technology platform. So join us, select the topic of your interest. Every Wednesday, we will be hosting a webinar at 10 am pacific (UTC-7) to educate EduBrite users to learn about EduBrite LMS to maximize their investment.

We are covering various topics in these webinars, which are suitable for variety of audience – learners, team leads/managers, administrators within a corporation or at training providers. All future webinars will be announced via e-mail and blog. You also find them on Twitter @edubrite. If you would like us to cover topic of your interest then please contact us at support@edubrite.com.

You can see webinar calendar of August Webinars and register.

We are excited and look forward to see you all there!

image by Kyandr

EduBrite LMS features administrators appreciate – Part 2

Cool!

Continue from part 1

In Part 2 of this series, we will be discussing features related to learning resources such as courses, quizzes/assessments  and managing dashboard.

iv. Course authoring
Administrators like EduBrite’s online course editor, as it provides them simple and flexible hierarchical course structure so that they can group multiple lessons (content) into logical modules/topics (folders). This enables:

  • Linear and Non linear learning
  • Runtime (on the fly) ability for a leaner to view what’s completed or pending

EduBrite also allows group authoring, which makes it easier for group of authors to work together to create a course. These authors doesn’t have to be the administrator of the microsite.

v. Quiz/Test

EduBrite’s advance test/assessment editor supports 11 different questions types including multiple choice single answer, multiple choice multiple answers, fill in the blank, essay etc.

Advance features such as randomization of questions, and choices; passage; categorizing questions; question solutions, rule and adaptive testing etc. helping managing unique requirements.

A quiz/test can be delivered many ways in EduBrite LMS:

EduBrite allows to create questions bank/pool and categorize questions using metadata. A dynamic test or pop-up quiz can be generated using metadata.

vi. Reusing learning assets (Courses, Tests and Articles)

EduBrite allows lessons and questions in the test as a reusable learning assets. New courses can be built linking sharable lessons from other courses. Similarly, new tests can be created by importing questions from sharable test (or questions bank).  Informal resources such as Articles are created inside Groups and Course session and then can be internally linked.

The best part of reusing learning assets is tracking. You can view analytics/reports of a sharable lesson/test inside a specific course or across all courses where it is being used.

vii. Managing dashboard

EduBrite provides flexible Dashboard for learners, authors and administrators. EduBrite LMS’ dashboard contains various panels such as My to do Item lists, Completed Items, Upcoming Events, Calendar, My groups etc. Users can manage and select what panels they want to view on their Dashboard.

Administrators can pre-define Dashboard panels for learners or leave it for individual learners to manage their own Dashboard. The coolest feature  is the  ability to move panels on your dashboard screen.

viii. Course Delivery (automation, decentralization)

Administrators love the course delivery flexibility, in fact we love it too. EduBrite separates course authoring from course delivery. This allows separation of responsibilities for authors vs. managers/supervisors. This is very useful for both internal training or B2B training when you need separate person is responsible for user enrollment in courses, support and  tracking.

EduBrite allows various course delivery options suitable for informal, formal learning as well as creating learning paths (certification programs)

From security and automation perspective there are many cool features EduBrite supports, I’m going list few popular ones:

  1. Course Length : This feature limits learner ‘s course access irrespective of the day of enrollment.
  2. Auto inactivation of users : This feature allows to inactivate users automatically once their pre-defined course learning is completed.
  3. Schedule future dated modules : EduBrite allows to create a course session with future dated modules. This allows the flexibility to arrange a modules with fixed duration and making them available sequentially with pre-defined dates.
  4. Rolling Access: EduBrite supports rolling access policy. This puts feature #3 on steroid. Rolling access policy enables feature #3 irrespective of the date learner is enrolled into the courses so essentially user can enroll in the course anytime and modules access is applicable based on the date of enrolled.
  5. Decentralized Training Environment: EduBrite supports various roles at various levels, which allows flexibility to control and manage access, and authorizations. e.g. Group administrators (not Site administrators) with proper settings, can manage their team, enroll learners into authorized courses, programs, and track learners progress thus allowing to create complete decentralized training environment. These group administrators can be departmental managers/supervisors in internal training environment or partner’s/customer’s administrators in external training environment.

Essentially, there are dozens of features, which administrators use as they go deeper into the system and learn how to use them. These features not only reduces day-to-day administration but provides an impeccable automated solution.

I will be discussing some more cool features in the next part of this series.

EduBrite LMS features administrators appreciate – Part 1

Appreciate_EduBrite

I continuously interact with many LMS administrators who are using EduBrite LMS. Some are using to train internal employees while others have broader usage. They are not only responsible for internal training but also responsible for running online learning center for external audience such as partners and customers. We really enjoy working with LMS administrators and value their continuous feedback. Dedicating this blog to you all and discussing some key features in this series, which makes your life cool:

i. Overall administration/management

This is one of the most loved and appreciated feature, which allows an administrator to create an online training environment where training can be managed centrally or it can be decentralized. EduBrite LMS supports various roles at multiple level. A classic example is “Train the trainer and the trainer trains learners”. In this case a trainer (or manager) can be a learner in one group, where he/she is getting trained by a corporate trainer but can be an administrator of a group, for which he/she responsible for training activities (including creating course, course sessions, events, managing users, enrolling them into courses, events, tracking their progress etc.). So essentially delegating administration and control where it belongs, this saves a lot of time for administrators and trainers/managers.

ii. User Management

The core philosophy here is to provide tools, which makes administrator’s day-to-day job easy and saves time on admin activities. This list is long so highlighting few:

iii. Group Management

Group is at the center in EduBrite LMS. It allows logical grouping of users and resources (learning and social content). EduBrite supports flexible hierarchical group structure, which allows to map organizational departments. Each group supports various roles such as group admin, group instructors and learners. Various formal learning activities such as courses, tests, surveys, assignments and informal learning activities such social collaboration such as forum, discussion boards, resource sharing, polls etc. are managed within a group. Group admin has privilege to manage learners, their enrollment to the courses/events, tracking/reporting etc.

Another added feature is group access – Open, By request and By invite. Typically informal groups has access Open or By request. Formal learning groups typically have By Invite access. If using integration with user provisioning system (SSO) then the groups/users from user provisioning system are mapped directly to EduBrite group structure.

I will be discussing some more cool features in the next part of this series.

Enabling Collaborative and Social Learning through Enterprise Social Network

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In my previous blog on collaborative and social learning, we discussed about the need for technology to evolve and be enabler to support the self-directed informal learning. Technology platforms such as social networks allow individuals to share their ideas, their innovations, get feedback, improve their products, collaborate and help foster new way of learning we call ‘social learning’. These collaborative networks allow anyone and everyone to share information and be a student, a mentor, a designer and publisher.

Taking the informal learning to next level are the Enterprise Social Networks, where employees collaborate with each other across all sorts of boundaries. There is no limitation of department, or business function or location. Employees can connect to the right people when they need it, can share information across teams or even organize around projects to be successful and go further, faster. This allows individuals to tap into their network and discover wealth of information which is not available via formal means, allowing them to make quick decisions and getting things done. With these benefits of social network at enterprise level, what if someone wants to give structure to the information as a content object or a course and share with their network? What if someone in the network has successfully deployed a product and there is need to transform that as an instructional video to help others? What if someone has shared information with the network and others have rated that individual as an expert and there is a need to capture that expertise level? What if the benefits of enterprise social network can be extended with an integration to learning management system allowing employees to insert the training content as a course making it part of their social DNA?

This allows enterprises to transform their social networks into learning communities. Employees can access and share the knowledge within the network they spend most of their time. It empowers subject matter experts to capture their knowledge into structure courses and share with their network without any need to worry about connecting or logging into another application or tool. Not only it allows blending the formal and informal approaches to learning, it also allows ability to track the completion of content and giving credits to individuals to view or access the information shared through these courses. Many social network and learning platform providers are taking step in this direction and are partnering to make this happen. One of the popular enterprise collaboration platform and social network is delivered by Yammer. Yammer is used by 85% of the fortune 500 companies and it provides growth platform for these organizations to listen to each other and adapt quickly. Edubrite is an LMS provider and they have an app for Yammer allowing anyone in Yammer network to start training and assessing their teams easily. This enables and extends the enterprise social networks to offer integrated LMS environment making it easy to transform the informal content into shareable courses and truly enabling collaborating and social learning. For more information on EduBrite Yammer Integration.

Author: Praveen Khurana

Praveen Khurana is a learning technology leader in learning management and human capital systems. He has 18+ years of experience in this industry and has consulted with and has implemented learning, talent and knowledge management systems for many fortune 500 companies.

LMS configurability : Power in user’s hand – Part 2

Continuing from LMS configurability : Power in user’s hand – Part 1:

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As discussed in the part 1, customers can select features of their choice, design micro-site’s look and feel, and labels etc. by configuring the various options available. This helps customers to create workflows to meet their needs to train either internal audience or external audience or both .  In this blog, we will showcase some examples which will cover that how using configuration or setting options customers can manage menu options, user interface, security controls and various other functional features.

Menu management

Menu management allows navigational control and display of  headers menu and sub menus. This is manged from User Interface tab at Site details:

SiteDetail5

Note : You can override default headers to meet your specific need. Some of the examples are:

Header_Menu2

 

Header_Menu5

Header_Menu4

 

 

UI management

EduBrite supports complete branding of a micro-site so that you can create a training portal to meet your business needs. The administrator(s) can design a training portal with branded label names, user interface that suits your brand and map training processes by changing header/footer or by creating necessary dynamic and static pages. Some more specific things which can be done are :

Your own domain : Defaulf microsite name is mycompany.edubrite.com. You can have your website’s domain e.g. training.mycomany.com or mycompany.com/training

Your own labels : EduBrite allows to change labels to meet your business terminologies. This changes works throughout the application including menu/sub-menus. e.g. learner = Employee or instructor = Trainer or Program = Learning Path etc.

Your Headers/Footers: You can create your own headers and footers. It overrides default header and footer.

Branded home and other pages: Using native Content Management System (CMS), customer can create their own training homepage and other pages – your verbiages, your message and your own images.  EduBrite allows creation of both dynamic and static pages. The big idea here is to empower customer so that they can design what, where and when on their training portal.

Additional fields for user attribute : Additional fields can be added to capture user relevant information. This is more useful in cases, when your learners are external audience.

Your Language : A default languages can be setup but users can still be allowed to change the language. Administrator can limit the choice of available languages to users.

User Dashboard Management : EduBrite Dashboard displays various panels such as “My Items”, “Events”, “Completed Items”, “Calendar”, “Groups” etc. A user has an option to select or not select these panels on their dashboard. The administrator(s) can override  users’ ability to change and can setup a per-defined Training Dashboard for all users.

EduBrite’s knowledgebase provides more details on theses topics and various additional topics.

E-mail (Communication) Management

EduBrite allows to configure the sender’s name and e-mail address to manage outward communication messages to your learners. EduBrite also allows to design your own e-mail templates and message. The administrator(s) has ability to see all the messages sent out from the system.

Access/Security Controls

There are many user access related controls, which can be set using simply check boxing various settings in Security Tab at Site details:SiteDetail3_1

Some of the examples of using the feature above are:

1. Design your training portal, which requires mandatory credentials.

2. Enable self sign-up.

3. Inactivate course access automatically once users have completed their course.

These are useful features for companies (or training providers) when training both internal and external users.

Features Management

There are plenty of functional features, which an admin can turn on/off to meet their requirements. This can be done by going to Features tab at Site details:SiteDetail2

For example -

1. Group collaboration or social learning features can be set using features such as Group Documents, Group Forum, Group Poll.

2. For selling courses you can enable Course Catalog feature. As you create course and set their prices, course catalog will appear. See below:Course_Catalog

 

3. You can manage LMS login using users Facebook or Linked credentials by setting up feature Facebook/LinkedIn Integration.

Configuring these features is easy, as you have seen in many examples, most of them can be turned on/off as needed and most importantly future upgrades or releases are quite transparent, smooth and doesn’t impact current functionalities thus resulting in higher ROI to your businesses. Customers’ inputs and new learning trends are continuously shaping our future releases. As we release new features, we provide details to our customers in news letter and explain them how to configure/enable new features. With new releases new features are not enabled, this gives an opportunity to customer to review and test out new features before rolling out them on their  micro-site.

EduBrite system offers quite flexibility all around application to give the best experience to the all users (including administrator, content creator and learners). There are many ways to map training processes, we love to hear from you and discuss. For your specific need or customized demo, please contact us at sales@edubrite.com

 Image by Carlo Montoya

Collaborative and Social Learning

2758777221_ddef7951cf_z In last few years the buzzwords like learning or training, e-Learning, collaboration, human capital management, talent management, etc. have become very popular when it comes to the new trends in learning industry. To the most part these terms are used interchangeably and may mean the same thing which various learning and development (L&D) vendors, corporate universities, private schools or educational institution have been using to attract their target audiences and to cash it on. This represents some form of structured formal learning which is in either classroom or virtual kind of setting or may be available online for self-learning. The objectives are same and that is to disseminate well-structured content to group of people which someone in higher authority (typically small group of intellectual elite; either by ranks or knowledge) decided that specific group of people should learn or master. In some cases the group of people may also have to go through some form of assessment to prove that they actually gained something from the experience. Well, did they really? How effective was that? May be they were able to memorize some portion of content, but do they know how to use or apply it in real world? Can the learners be productive and successful with new acquired knowledge? The fact is that the formal learning is the source of only 10-20% of learning of these days. The remaining 80-90% of learning today happens through informal or social and collaborative means.

As per Wikipedia, Collaborative learning is a situation in which two or more people learn or attempt to learn something together. Unlike individual learning, people engaged in collaborative learning capitalize on one another’s resources and skills (asking one another for information, evaluating one another’s ideas, monitoring one another’s work, etc.).  More specifically, collaborative learning is based on the model that knowledge can be created within a population where members actively interact by sharing experiences and take on asymmetry roles. Put differently, collaborative learning refers methodologies and environments in which learners engage in a common task where each individual depends on and is accountable to each other. These include both face-to-face conversations and computer discussions (online forums, chat rooms, etc.).

What do you think? Does it make sense? It certainly does. Learning actually is social assisted with collaborative environment. Think about how we have been learning really most of what we know in life; be it how to speak, how to eat, how to socialize, good manners, what to do or not to do, how to play certain sports, etc. etc. Did we learn all that in school or formal setting?  The clear answer is No. Most of that we learned from other people we interacted or collaborated with in our social circle – our parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, friends, coaches,  mentors, etc.  And similarly at work we learn in hallways, in break rooms, may be from our colleague in next cubicle, may be reaching out to help-desk when needed, through our mentors and basically working with people who know the stuff or can work with us to figure things out. That is the real effective way of learning and it helps us to learn, not only in fast manner but retain the knowledge for long as well, probably our lifetime. As part of collaborative learning process, we also learn how to apply the knowledge we have gained really effectively and be better individual. How cool is that? That is actually putting  social and collaborative learning in practice. And the best part is that it is personal, and self-driven.

Today’s generation is more aware of the need for collaborative and social learning than ever. If they do not get to learn things through formal means, they take matters in their own hands and go for self-directed learning. They Google stuff, go to social networking to ask questions, take help of discussion forums and other collaborative means to get what they need. They are more brand aware as well (i.e. Brand “You”) and constantly like to learn to improve their marketability. This encourages learners to reach out to others to share knowledge, to solve problems and get deeper understanding. It also teaches them how to look to others as a resource, collaborate as a team, test their theories and help out and contribute in social circle. That makes everyone today a learner, mentor, instructional designer and publisher (Well, I would say, this blog is one such example of that!).

If there is such a strong need for social and collaborative learning, how are the Learning Management System (LMS) or Talent Management System (TMS) vendor’s contributing in this space? We discussed about some of the key components of social and collaborative learning above. Let us translate that into what is needed from LMS vendors today to help support this initiative. Some of the key ingredients for successful collaboration and social learning would be content authoring features (ability to author content), content workflow for inception to publishing to storage and archiving (LCMS), social features for peer to peer networking, integration capabilities with other business applications in an organization, collaboration features (chat, discussion forums, Web Conferences, etc.), learner friendliness, application configurability to meet business environment and taste, customer and partner learning support with commerce, availability on mobile devices and also analytics features to be able to measure results against business objectives. Can vendors support all or most of it today?

Edubrite’s LMS platform provides host of services for successful collaborative and social learning experience.  It provides easy to use authoring capabilities within its LMS platform, discussion forums allow learners to discuss topics at group or specific course level, learners can collect feedback and opinions using polls feature, event management functionality allows for setting up meetings, exams or training sessions as needed, peer to peer networking and update capabilities helps in exchange of ideas, resource/document sharing amongst groups, Web Conferences integration for blended learning experience, etc. Additional details on Edubrite’s offering can be found by contacting team EduBrite.

Image by Gay Biddlecombe

Author: Praveen Khurana Praveen Khurana is a learning technology leader in learning management and human capital systems. He has 18+ years of experience in this industry and has consulted with and has implemented learning, talent and knowledge management systems for many fortune 500 companies.

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