EduBrite 2016: A year in review

It was a great year for EduBrite. Many incredible things happened in 2016. Thanks for being part in this journey with us. 

We introduced Open Learning, a learner centric micro learning solution in 2016. EduBrite is one of the first one to offer this solution in the LMS industry. Open learning helps creating an engaging learning environment for your employees as well as external audience – customers, partners etc. You can setup a public facing Open Learning solution and leverage it to serve as a great tool for content marketing.

Users can create their own play list, follow, rate, comment. They can also social share the content with their peer group and claim mastery point in the subject area they are expert in. 

Open Learning is also a gateway for progressive learning. It directs users to register in course(s) to learn their topic of interest formally. So essentially you can offer an integrated experience to your learners.

In addition to Open Learning, we have added many new features, enhanced existing features, improved usability and added automation with key goals in mind to continue to improve the experience of our customers and their users. Here is a quick snapshot:

Gamification – You can create badges easily by uploading external images or use from the library. Enhanced leaderboard is available.
Instructor led training – New integration with Zoom.us. New functions e.g. download sign-in sheet, manually generate invoices, edit amount, add discount, take notes, easy options to mark attendance and awarding completion.
Collaboration – Forum now offers features such as forum priority, assigning, sub forums etc. to provide light weight task/issue tracking capabilities.
Custom properties – User defined custom properties now can be added at various places e.g.  Group, Course, Course Session, Program, Event, Course Member, Program Member and Event Participants. This allows you to extend the LMS objects in a very flexible ways to capture your business specific information. 
Authoring – Many enhancements are added in test and course throughout the year. 
New Role – A new role group coordinator is added to offer additional flexibility in decentralizing the access and management of training operations. 
Reporting – Enhanced many reports e.g. learners report, program report, question statistics report etc. Added a new transcript summary report.
Confluence Integration – In addition to many new macros e.g. customizing dashboard, reports, leaderboard etc. now you can auto sync users and groups.


We make it easy for you

We make your experience easy by offering our integration with Atlassian Confluence, Salesforce, Yammer, Google etc. This allows users to access EduBrite LMS right from the Apps where they spend most of their time. Additionally, we have integrated with many wonderful applications so that you use best of breed applications and provide a great experience to your learners.

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We have a pretty exciting 2017 ahead of us! One of our primary focuses will be to offer an even more engaging learning experience, so we have planned for several enhancements in Open Learning and Gamification. We understand that you want to offer ubiquitous learning, so expect more developments in our native iOS App and our recently released Android App.

 

Thanks for an amazing 2016. Happy Learning in 2017!

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Are MOOCs good option for corporate learning?

MOOCThis question came up in recent discussion as I was interacting with one of my colleagues at work who is toying with an idea of designing and delivering training offerings based on concept of Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs. In case you are wondering, what exactly are MOOCs? These are free online courses offered by institutions with an unlimited capacity for learner registration. When these were introduced few years ago, MOOCs revolutionized the world of education as some people were of the opinion that these may eventually make the traditional institutions irrelevant and obsolete. Many large universities such as MIT and Harvard jumped on the ship to make MOOC’s available as one of their offerings.

The question we are trying to answer here is, if we are well aware of the benefits and challenges of MOOC’s and are these good option for corporate learning?

Let’s start with challenges related to MOOCs first. The biggest challenge seen with MOOCs is the continuous engagement and commitment towards completing MOOCs. Concept of MOOC is very inviting to students since it’s a free learning opportunity. As the cost of education is rising, more and more students are getting attracted towards MOOCs. At the same time, since it’s completely free with no accountability towards completing it, most of the students although registering for it, never actually complete it. Some even start the courses and then leave them in between. The universities surveyed for assessing completion rate on MOOCs reported that it is less than 10 percent.

As we all know, that measuring success of training programs using completion rate, is not the key measure, although it is used as one of the performance indicators. The key objective is to have training and learning stick to employees and result in actual learning and improvement of skills. The question is how to achieve that goal and if MOOCs are right tool for that? Are there approaches to make MOOCs appealing and engaging to employees to be able to use as a tool which actually contributes toward their development. Let’s look at ways to address this challenge and how MOOCs can contribute as one of the key components towards this goal.

One of the ways MOOCs can be made appealing is to move away from completion based approach which forces employees to complete the MOOCs and not really helping with creating interest and engagement. Instead educate and guide employees on skills they need to excel in their jobs and how MOOCs can benefit them. Let them use MOOCs to their advantage on how they want to pick and choose the MOOC content to meet their objective. MOOCs can also be made engaging and fun by integrating them in employee’s everyday schedule and making them available on their mobile devices. We know most of the employees are tied to their mobile devices and availability of MOOCs on their mobile experience could enhance the overall experience and provides better engagement.

Another strategy which has brought tremendous success is integrating MOOC’s experience with gamification approach and delivering better engaging experience, which can be accessed both on desktops and mobile devices. For instance – Use MOOC’s purely as learning vehicle and add assessments and certifications to it for employee’s to measure and demonstrate enhancement to their skillset. Vendors can issue certifications for every MOOC program completed, which can be tracked and measure. And we can do more; For every assessment/certification completed by an employee, reward them with badges which can be shared on social networking sites as well as internal employee sites encouraging competitiveness and engagement.

How about for-profit organizations? Can they use MOOCs for making money? Yes, it is possible. While MOOCs are free, the associated certifications which demonstrate attainment of certain skills can be paid. Organizations can use MOOCs to sell more certifications. MOOCs can be used to introduce and cross-sell/up-sell paid resources such as onsite classes, hands-on labs, etc. Some institutions also offer in-person version of some of the MOOCs courses which are paid.

The good news is that when MOOC’s are used as a critical component for overall package and strategy with needed structure around it, it can be successful and learning leaders such as CLO’s or L&D leaders can easily quantify the engagement and value delivered in terms of certifications and badges completed and skills enhanced. And for-profit organizations can also demonstrate monetary value MOOCs can bring to their business.

Author: Praveen Khurana (#PraveenKhurana)
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.

Sales Enablement with Sales Training

13862858524_a6353f6508_zSales Enablement – Does every learning and education professionals know what this is or what it means? Sales training is getting popular in most organizations but is that same as sales enablement? Not every learning professional knows that sales training is just one component of the enablement and there is lot more to enablement than just training. There are still lot of organizations where ‘Sales Enablement’ function doesn’t even exist and enablement of sales is carried out by other functions such as sales operations, go-to-market (GTM) operations, marketing operations, or even HR.

What is Sales Enablement though? The short way to describe it is… “Activities or efforts carried out to ensure that sales professions are competent and ready to sell.” It is not a onetime effort, it is a continuous and ongoing process to optimize and fine tune revenue generation capabilities.

Where sales enablement and sales training overlap and is same or different? Sales training is one key component of sales enablement. Sales training focus is on onboarding training, providing product/solutions training, process training, soft-skill training and compliance training. Whereas sales enablement goes way beyond training and also encompasses processes and tools for continuous field communication (this is especially critical since most of the sales force is in field), cross-functional collaboration (e.g. collaboration with marketing and engineering for pre-sales), ongoing learning (continuous on-demand and just-in-time content delivery for the sales reps in the field covering topics from policies/procedures to howto’s to new product features) and post sales engagement with customers for customer loyalty and cross-sell/up-sell opportunities.

The most common tools used for both sales enablement and sales training (which sometimes blurs the line between enablement and training) are quality video content with its on-demand delivery and collaboration tools for buddy learning. Video content technology has become quite advanced and there are many vendors providing advanced services in this area. Organizations can build quality content/videos once for different aspects of their business including Product/Solutions features and installation, Compliance training certifications, Policies and procedures, Selling strategies, etc. and deliver as just-in-time methods. This enables the field to access what they need and when they need it. Similarly enterprise collaboration tools allow sales force to stay connected with their peers or with other functions and learn from each other when they need and how they need.

Do you still think sales enablement and sales training are same thing? 

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.

photo by Rajesh

Course Delivery – EduBrite Education Webinar

This week’s webinar covered Course Delivery topic. Thanks to all participants who were able to join us. We discussed following items:

  • Create course session or online class
  • Course Template
  • Course properties (Setup)
  • User enrollment : admin enrolling users, self enrollment
  • Course Catalog : Search, enrollment via online payment & coupon code
  • Delivery (user) experience
  • Course completion and tracking and certificate awarding

Recording of the session is now available at Webinar Channel in EduBrite Support portal. 

We will plan Course Delivery part 2 session in future to cover additional course delivery functionalities such as:

  • Events – Integration of  live training class (ILT)
  • Off-line activities – assignment management
  • Learning with social collaboration
  • Programs and program sessions
  • Courses delivery without course session

Our next webinar “Reporting” is on Wednesday Sep 3 at 10 am pacific (UTC-7). In this webinar, we will cover:

  • Course, Course Session level report
  • Learner specific report
  • Site : Usage, Learners, Lessons, SCORM
  • Various Exam related reports
  • Assessment , Test attempts, Question/Survey stats
  • Ecommerce : Payment transactions, coupon codes
  • Custom Reports – High level

Register here for next webinar

Thinking about Learning Platform, Review your delivery needs

Trainings delivery methods can be as diverse as you can think of, such as self paced eLearning, instructor led (classroom/online), hands on experiments (online or offline), informal or combination of all. In this post let’s look at some common delivery characteristics you should consider when you look for a LMS. LMSs have different flavors and not all of them would be a good fit in all situations. This is second in the series, previous one discussed about Content aspects

Scheduling: Some training sessions are short like an instructor led online session for few hours and some are few days to months long which may be fully or partially self paced. Different capabilities are needed in LMS to make it good for both kinds of delivery. In professional trainings you might have some parts of the trainings done as seminar/webinar also. Does your LMS provide you flexibility to be used in all such scenarios? You should be able to setup the delivery, which could be for few hours, days or even weeks and months. Scheduling of individual items (like modules) should also be possible, especially in case of full or partial instructor led trainings. In case of self-paced delivery, system should allow you to setup number of days allowed in each step of the training, after which access to that step would get revoked.

Assessments: Multiple ways of assessments are needed depending on the kind of trainings you provide. Some examples are – embedded multiple-choice questions in the eLearning courses, giving online assignments (like a business plan writing), offline activity (like doing a presentation or experiment) or conducting formal exams. In some cases, you might find a printed questionnaire would be better suited to collect trainees responses which could be for assessment or survey. LMSs must be able meet these different kinds of assessment needs, otherwise an important aspect of trainings would have to be done outside of the LMS which will reduce its effectiveness.

Informal: To reduce the cost of managing scheduling of training programs, you might benefit more by making courses accessible to learners even without scheduling or assigning them. This is a kind of informal training practice, where teams (or training department) can create library of courses (just like a document library). There should be a way for learners to find and launch these courses and system should track and report the activities. This can be a powerful model to train your employees, customers and partners informally.

Access: Depending on who is getting trained, sometime you need to apply different access policies for the same course. E.g. its okay to given free access to the course for self-enrollment to employees, while your customers and partners may need to go thru online payment before they can enroll in the course. Depending on the kind of partner or customer, you might have different prices for the same course, and may also provide access to the course for different durations. You might also want to use the same course (or part of it) in instructor led programs where an instructor would utilize the course content. Check whether your LMS allows this flexibility or not. Any restriction or requiring you to make copies of course for different delivery situations would become a big overhead.

Learner’s Experience: Learners have very simplistic view about how they take online trainings. Ideally learners shouldn’t need any special training to use the LMS. Everything from learner’s perspective such as their enrolled and completed courses or catalog of available courses and events should be available to them on their dashboard. While going thru eLearning courses, learners should be able to easily navigate between the different content items in-place in the same context. On mobile devices, your training delivery should provide native experience with touch, swipe, zooming and panning just like any other app. Learners should be provided visual feedback about their progress and guided to advance in the course. Some other abilities such as pause and resume (even across multiple login sessions) auto bookmarking (to resume from where you left) and notes taking are quite important as well. For mobile delivery, think about whether you can make full or part of it available for offline access.

Download/Print/Email: Based on the kind of trainings, learners might be needed to download some parts of the course material – like an assignment, handout etc. Course creator should be able to allow selective download of certain items, and while viewing the course, learners should be provided visual clue about what is downloadable and what is not. Even in case of instructor led trainings, instructors might need to download/print some lessons to use in classrooms. Downloading should not compromise content security of the overall course.

Collaboration & Sharing: Having exposed to social platforms every day in personal or professional life, we all can see how essential it is to have collaboration among all participants in the trainings. Giving ability of discussion and sharing to the learners can enhance the learner’s experience and effectiveness of your trainings.

Collecting Feedback from Users

Tips about how EduBrite can help you collect valuable feedback from your trainees or all users of your microsite. EduBrite supports two ways to collect feedback – Polls and Surveys.

Polls – Polls provide a way to collect quick opinions from a targeted set of users. A poll generally has one or two multiple choice questions which the user can respond to. Poll organizer would get an aggregated result which would show how many users opted each of the provided option. Poll can be created inside a course session by the instructor to collect opinion from the trainees enrolled in the session. It can also be created inside a group by any member of the group to collect opinions from fellow group members. And the third possibility allows site administrators to create a poll at site level, which would be available to all the users of microsite. Polls can be created in advance with a future start date and an end date to automatically close it. Check out more details on polls in the knowledgebase –http://support.edubrite.com/oltpublish/theme-lms/cms.do?view=poll

Surveys – Surveys provide a more structured way to collect feedback from users. When you have a series of questions to ask in the feedback, then survey is better suited. In the system, a survey is almost similar to a quiz, except that it is not timed and neither it is scored. You create a survey just like you create a test. So you can choose from multiple types of questions and organize them into multiple sections. You can also have additional comments for each question in the survey. Just like the randomization options in the quiz, you can randomize questions and choices in the survey also. For delivery of the survey, you have all the options similar to a quiz delivery. So you can embed it in the course at the end of any module or topic. You can create an event to schedule a survey, and assign it to specified users (just like exam is used for scheduling quizzes). Users would complete the survey in the same manner they would answer a quiz, with a difference that there would be no time limit, and no scoring. As a survey organizer you have access to detailed reports on each question and choices in the survey. Check out more details on multi source feedback in the knowledgebase – http://support.edubrite.com/oltpublish/theme-lms/cms.do?view=survey

Multi Source Feedback (360 degree feedback) – This is a special case of a survey which is used to collect feedback (rating) about an employee in an organization from his/her subordinates, peers and managers. The employee can also rate himself/herself as part of a MSF event. This is done by creating a specialized form of survey questionnaire with ratable questions (VGR / HGR question types). The survey is then scheduled as an event and it requires selection of a user for whom the MSF will be collected. Other participants are added in the event with specific roles – as peer, manager and subordinates. Each participant then completes the online survey and the system provides an average rating at the end of the event which is categorized by ratings from subordinates, peers, managers and self. HR departments can get valuable inputs from this kind of survey as part of performance/competency analysis of employees. Check out more details on multi source feedback in the knowledgebase – http://support.edubrite.com/oltpublish/theme-lms/cms.do?view=msf

Role of training in employee development and retention


When hiring workforce, almost every organization looks for involved, committed, effective and productive employees.  But not every organization understands that you have to work to build your workforce for it and it requires lot of planning and commitment along with strategies and policies to go with it.

Organizations who invest in building their workforce usually have well tested strategies working for them. These include:

–      Providing tools for increasing productivity of new employees

–      Defining competencies at all levels and then providing development paths to master those competencies

–      Challenging employees with opportunities and building their confidence

–      Improving managerial and interpersonal skills

–      Stimulate continuous career growth and skill development

–      Encouraging collaborative team effort and unleash team synergy

Employee development opportunities are of top importance for employees when they think about next step in their career and if they want to stay with their current employer or go elsewhere. Investing in employee’s future is of great importance and helps to improve retention. Continuous employee development not only leads to better productivity, but also helps to earn employees loyalty. Employees tend to stay with the organizations that care for them, not only in good times, but difficult times as well.

Training can play a huge role when organizations strategize on creating development opportunities for their employees.  Right employee training at the right time provides employers big return on investment. It helps employers get increased productivity, commitment, knowledge and loyalty from their workforce.

Companies can plan for various types of trainings depending upon the options which provide big payoffs for them. For example:

–      New hire orientation helps employees getting acclimated with company procedures and also helps them understand the company culture better

–      Legal and compliance trainings helps in being good corporate citizens

–      Tools and technology trainings increases productivity

–      Training on new company products to keep up with pace of change

–      Seminars, workshops and classes for other opportunities and development

Training should be considered critical for ongoing development, success and retention of employees. In order to support continuous learning and development for their employees, employers need to create and foster an organization wide learning environment, offer support for learning within the organization, provide access to professional library or knowledge repositories, offer tuition reimbursement, etc.

Author: Praveen Khurana

Praveen Khurana is a learning technology specialist and specializes in learning management and human capital systems. He has 12+ years of experience in this industry and has consulted with and has implemented LMS and LCMS systems for many fortune 500 companies.

Photo by impact_ollie

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