ELearning Primer

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                                   .




Fred Erickson
President & CEO
Knowledge Capital Alliance, Inc
                                          Table of Contents
What is eLearning? ................................................................................................ 1
Knowledge Capital ............................................................................................... 1
Why do we want eLearning? .............................................................................. 2
eLearning Effectiveness Assessment .................................................................. 3
Learning Styles........................................................................................................ 4
eLearning Types ..................................................................................................... 6
   Synchronous eLearning .................................................................................... 6
   Asynchronous eLearning .................................................................................. 6
   Blended eLearning ............................................................................................ 7
Reusable Learning Objects .................................................................................. 8
eLearning components ........................................................................................ 9
   Learning Management System ....................................................................... 9
   Content Delivery Servers (CDS) ..................................................................... 10
   Content Development/Authoring Tools ....................................................... 10
   Content Management Systems (CMS) ........................................................ 11
   Community/Collaboration ............................................................................. 11
   RLO Repository ................................................................................................. 11
   Contribution Repository .................................................................................. 11
Standards .............................................................................................................. 12
Just-in-time Learning ........................................................................................... 12
Distributed eLearning .......................................................................................... 13
The Players ............................................................................................................ 14
Summary ............................................................................................................... 16
   eLearning Primer            Knowledge Capital Alliance, Inc.      www.KnowledgeCaptialAlliance.com




What is               eLearning is the application of technology to improve, supplement or
eLearning?            replace the standard methods of training. eLearning can be done through
                      many types of media like CDROM, electronic books, or web based tools.
                      For purposes of this discussion, we will limit the scope to web based tools.



Knowledge             Knowledge Capital, that intangible commodity held firmly between the ears
Capital               of your employees, is rapidly being recognized as the most valuable asset in
                      business. CFOs worldwide are trying to figure out how to measure and
                      track knowledge capital as an asset to the company. Learning is the key to
                      maintenance and growth of knowledge capital within an organization.

                      A methodology, designed at CFO Magazine's request by Prof. Baruch Lev
                      of New York University's Stern School of Business, pierces the knowledge
                      capital veil in more detail. Top companies in 20 industries were ranked
                      according to their levels of knowledge capital, from a high of $211 billion at
                      mighty Microsoft Corp., down to $332 million at our smallest knowledge-
                      rated company, Adolph Coors Co. At our median company, $21 billion of
                      knowledge capital amounted to three times book value.

                      Knowledge Earnings are earnings attributable to knowledge capital.
                      Knowledge earnings are the portion of normalized earnings over and above
                      expected earnings attributable to book assets. Knowledge capital represents
                      the present value of all future knowledge earnings, discounted at an
                      appropriate rate.

                      As many companies evolve from the old to the new economy, measuring
                      knowledge capital will become an increasingly important mission.
                      "Managing knowledge capital will be critical for organizations to create a
                      sustainable, competitive advantage," says Harvard University accounting
                      professor Robert Kaplan. "Today, the long-term success of organizations
                      comes from their knowledge-based assets--customer relationships;
                      innovative products and services; operationally excellent processes; the
                      skills, capabilities, and motivation of their people; and their databases and
                      information systems. Physical assets may be important, but they are unlikely
                      to be as effective a competitive weapon as knowledge assets."




      Fred Erickson                              1                  fred@KnowledgeCapitalAlliance.com
   eLearning Primer            Knowledge Capital Alliance, Inc.       www.KnowledgeCaptialAlliance.com




Why do we want        There are many benefits and a few potential downsides to eLearning.
eLearning?            Growth in Knowledge Capital is a result of learning on the part of the
                      employee. This learning can come from structured training programs
                      (including eLearning) or skills and knowledge accumulated on the job.
                      eLearning becomes a very effective way to grow, maintain and measure
                      Knowledge Capital.

                      Most companies can justify eLearning on the savings in travel and
                      instructor costs alone. Most companies spend between 30% and
                      70% of their overall training costs on travel related expenses (airfare, hotel,
                      meals, etc.).

                      In addition to these costs, there is a large opportunity cost associated with
                      having the personnel out of the business. According to Giga, the same
                      training course can be accomplished through eLearning in about 50% of
                      the time of an instructor led training course (ILT). This reduction on time
                      is typically based on the ability to better structure the learning material and
                      teaching the learner in a mode which best fits their individual learning style.
                      What is it worth to have your people back for 50% of the time they would
                      normally be spending in training (plus the travel time)?

                      In most companies, training is done best at the headquarters location and
                      the effectiveness diminishes as the distance from HQ increases. Scheduling
                      instructors, facilities and students often cause problems for deploying
                      training to the ‘field’. eLearning can solve many of these problems.
                      Instructor led classes can be done electronically without the need for travel
                      and facilities. Many web based training classes can be done by the students
                      on their own time schedule. eLearning can provide a consistent learning
                      environment across an extended enterprise.

                      With eLearning, any number of learners can receive the instruction at the
                      same time, therefore reducing the amount of time necessary to train staff.
                      There’s no need to hire multiple instructors to teach classes at different
                      locations. This can make the personnel across the entire enterprise more
                      productive in less time.

                      According to Giga, Cisco has examined it’s return on investment (ROI)
                      based on a year of e-learning and has the following impressive figures:


      Fred Erickson                              2                   fred@KnowledgeCapitalAlliance.com
   eLearning Primer            Knowledge Capital Alliance, Inc.       www.KnowledgeCaptialAlliance.com




                         Training certification costs for ISO 9000 re-certification for one year
                          decreased from $1.4 million to $16,000 through the creation of an
                          eLearning course available to all learners.


                         For every 1,000 e-learners, the company saved $2.4 million in travel,
                          facility and instructor charges.


                         Sales training for 8,000 people saved $54.2 million by using e-learning
                          rather than three weeks of classroom learning.

                      Cisco believes these figures reflect a conservative estimate of first-year
                      savings alone - and that total savings could be twice as much.

                      Critics of eLearning talk primarily about the lack of human interaction in
                      the traditional classroom environment. There is a lot to be said for the
                      collaboration between students and teachers and students as an adjunct to
                      the learning process. Many eLearning companies are attempting to utilize
                      electronic means to provide some of the same collaboration capabilities.
                      Chat room and threaded discussions groups are some of the tools used for
                      this. Some students perceive training to be a benefit for the opportunity to
                      travel (the guy in Boston in January having the opportunity to go to
                      Phoenix for a week of training). This is another issue management will be
                      dealing with to make eLearning effective in their enterprise.



eLearning             According to Giga, there are 4 primary levels of assessment, which can be
Effectiveness         done for eLearning. The purpose of the assessment is to determine the
Assessment            actual productivity gains from the learning/training course.


                         Level 1 - Training evaluation: These learner evaluations need to be built
                          into the end of the course to understand what the student has learned.
                          The questions should be insightful to get reactions to the course
                          content, the instructional design, authenticity, and value of learning.


                         Level 2 - Testing: This level assesses how much information the learner
                          gained from the experience. It can be a test, or some kind of an activity.
                          Results are often part of the learner’s record and are also used by
                          developers to identify areas of the course for improvement.


      Fred Erickson                              3                   fred@KnowledgeCapitalAlliance.com
   eLearning Primer            Knowledge Capital Alliance, Inc.       www.KnowledgeCaptialAlliance.com




                         Level 3 - Performance: This is the area that determines if the e-learning
                          training was effective. It is also the area that is most difficult to assess
                          because there is never a one-to-one match of learning experience to
                          performance, since factors other than the training influence
                          performance. Set up a continuous evaluation procedure to keep
                          account of work quality, productivity, speed, behavior, certification and
                          other factors that managers or other supervisors may have noticed.


                         Level 4 - Business results: Organizations want to know how the
                          training affects their overall business. Extensive observations, product
                          evaluations, innovations, tenure, employee attitudes - all difficult to
                          measure but essential in determining training effectiveness — allow an
                          organization to make some reasonable conclusions about the business
                          impact of e-learning.



Learning Styles       Forrester Research, in a report dated August 2000 entitled ‘Online Training
                      Needs a New Course’ has provided research on the retention rates of
                      learners using different modes of learning. The following graph depicts the
                      results:




                      Many eLearning companies are using the results of studies like this to create
                      eLearning models which can offer better retention rates than comparable



      Fred Erickson                              4                   fred@KnowledgeCapitalAlliance.com
eLearning Primer            Knowledge Capital Alliance, Inc.       www.KnowledgeCaptialAlliance.com




                   classroom training. By combining the aspects of ‘seeing & hearing’ through
                   the use of audio, video and animation, ‘collaboration’ through the use of
                   chat, threaded discussion groups, audio & video conference and ‘doing’
                   through the use of simulation models and tools, retention rates of over 90%
                   may be possible.

                   This information represents a cross section of learners. Each individual
                   learner has a unique learning style. It may be possible to determine the
                   learning style of each learner before they actually participate in the training
                   course. Through a series of learning modules in different media formats
                   (text, audio, video, simulation, etc.) and corresponding assessments, the
                   learning style(s) of the student could be determined and the balance of the
                   course could be ‘tuned’ for that style.

                   The following diagram shows a possible methodology to determine the
                   learning styles of the student. The following steps are depicted:

                       1) Pre-assessment – The student is tested for existing knowledge
                          about the subject (which can be any subject of interest to the
                          learner and not necessarily related to the course content to be
                          learned).
                       2) The student is presented with a learning module based on an
                          abstract.
                       3) The student is assessed to determine their retained learning on this
                          topic.
                       4) The student is presented with a learning module based on an
                          analogy.
                       5) The student is assessed to determine their retained learning on this
                          topic.
                       6) The student is presented with a learning module based on an
                          example.
                       7) The student is assessed to determine their retained learning on this
                          topic.
                       8) The student is presented with a learning module based on a
                          simulation which allows them to ‘do’ whatever is being taught.
                       9) The student is assessed to determine their retained learning on this
                          topic.




   Fred Erickson                              5                   fred@KnowledgeCapitalAlliance.com
   eLearning Primer                 Knowledge Capital Alliance, Inc.                          www.KnowledgeCaptialAlliance.com




                           10) The results of the individual assessments are tabulated to determine
                               how the student actually learned the best. This result can then be
                               passed to the content system which can deliver the balance of the
                               training in a mode which best fits the learner.

                           Pre-                    Abstract       Subject A                         Analogy           Subject B
                        Assessment                  Based        Assessment                          Based           Assessment
                                                   Learning                                         Learning
                                                   Content                                          Content
                                                  Subject A                                        Subject B

                       q   Question 1                            q   Question 1                                     q   Question 1
                       q   Question 2                            q   Question 2                                     q   Question 2
                       q   Question 3                            q   Question 3                                     q   Question 3
                       q   Question 4                            q   Question 4                                     q   Question 4
                       q   Question 5                            q   Question 5                                     q   Question 5




                         Example          Subject C           Simulation           Subject D
                          Based          Assessment             Based             Assessment
                         Learning                              Learning
                         Content                               Content                                          Learning         To Content
                        Subject C                             Subject D                                           Style      Deployment System
                                                                                                               Assessment    Tune content based
                                         q   Question 1                           q   Question 1                              on learning style
                                                                                                                 Results
                                         q   Question 2                           q   Question 2
                                         q   Question 3                           q   Question 3
                                         q   Question 4                           q   Question 4
                                         q   Question 5                           q   Question 5




eLearning Types       Synchronous eLearning
                      The term ‘synchronous’ refers to events that are synchronized, or
                      coordinated, in time. Synchronous eLearning is a method to extend the
                      reach of instructor led training. For synchronous eLearning, the instructor
                      and students must be together, virtually, at the same time. This can take
                      many forms. Often it is done via an audio conference call or, in some
                      cases, a videoconference. Some synchronous eLearning is done in a one-

                      Asynchronous eLearning
                      The term ‘asynchronous’ refers to events that are not synchronized, or
                      coordinated, in time. An asynchronous eLearning course can be created at
                      any time and taken at any point in time. A Computer Based Training
                      (CBT) course on CDROM is an example of an asynchronous course. The
                      ‘instructor’ creates the course and the students can take the course at any
                      time over any time period they desire. Literally thousands of asynchronous
                      eLearning courses are available via the Internet today. Most of these
                      courses are focused on Information Technology (IT) skills but a growing


      Fred Erickson                                       6                                 fred@KnowledgeCapitalAlliance.com
eLearning Primer            Knowledge Capital Alliance, Inc.     www.KnowledgeCaptialAlliance.com




                   number of ‘soft skills’ (management, sales, leadership, etc.) is becoming
                   available. Later generations of these courses are utilizing audio, video and
                   graphics animation technologies to enhance the learning experience. Many
                   of the learning platforms have tools to allow collaboration and
                   communication between students and between students and mentors
                   (instructors). Chat and threaded discussion groups allow the participants to
                   simulate the classroom environment to some degree. Some learning
                   platforms allow the students to contribute to the course content. For
                   example, the student completing a Java course may be able to contribute a
                   code example back to the course for future students to use as a reference.
                   Asynchronous eLearning can provide great value when time and place are
                   obstacles to effective learning.

                   Blended eLearning
                   Blended eLearning is often referred to as the ‘space and place’ model of
                   learning. Space refers to the Internet or like medium and place refers to the
                   traditional classroom or virtual classroom. This is an approach to learning
                   which mixes the best parts of Instructor Led Training (ILT) or synchronous
                   eLearning and asynchronous eLearning. If the presence or virtual presence
                   of an instructor can add value to the learning experience, those courses or
                   modules are taught that way. The balance of the learning experience is
                   done via asynchronous technology. In a blended environment, the
                   ‘homework’ reading can be more effectively accomplished through an
                   interactive, multi-media eLearning course. This adds to the overall learning
                   experience. Many universities are using a blended model for learning. The
                   Duke Fuqua School of Business Cross-
                   Continent MBA program is a great example of this. Scattered over the 20
                   months of the program, students spend 9 weeks in a classroom. The
                   balance of the learning is done via asynchronous technology.




   Fred Erickson                              7                 fred@KnowledgeCapitalAlliance.com
   eLearning Primer            Knowledge Capital Alliance, Inc.     www.KnowledgeCaptialAlliance.com




Reusable              Reusable Learning Objects or RLOs can be simply defined as the smallest
Learning Objects      pieces of instruction that can stand alone and still have meaning. Typically,
                      a RLO is a 5 – 15 minute course module covering 1 specific topic. The
                      module will typically include:
                         Module topic or objective
                         Module dependencies (pre-requisites, etc.)
                         Pre/post assessment test
                         Learning content in various media formats (text, audio, video and
                          graphic/flash)
                         A tool or simulation, which allows the user to apply the content just
                          studied
                         A contribution builder to allow the student to put examples back into
                          the object (code snippet, simulation result, etc.)
                         Content specific collaboration to allow all learners of the content to
                          collaborate and share questions and answers
                      Each of the above components of the RLO is sometimes called a Reusable
                      Information Object or RIO. A RIO may be a video clip or a flash
                      animation file or an assessment test. These objects can be reused to
                      formulate other RLOs.

                      RLOs are stored in an Reusable Learning Object Repository. There are
                      currently no standards for the RLO Repository. Each vendor of RLOs has
                      built proprietary repositories to contain their unique objects. At some point
                      in time, the standards bodies will create and publish definitions for the
                      interface with the repositories to allow the RLOs to exist virtually in
                      cyberspace and be referenced by the learning system. Many issues need to
                      be addressed when designing a RLO repository. Content can consist of
                      many media types (text, audio, video, flash, tools, simulations, etc.). Some
                      of these files are huge and best stored in a file repository instead of a
                      database. Smaller objects like text, etc. can best be stored in a database for
                      quick and easy retrieval.

                      One of the issues related to RLOs is user interface. If the UI is an integral
                      part of the RLO, each module of a course could have a different navigation
                      structure and look & feel. This could be very confusing to the students.
                      The solution to this problem is to have the RLO adopt the UI of the
                      content system and just provide the media assets.



      Fred Erickson                              8                  fred@KnowledgeCapitalAlliance.com
   eLearning Primer           Knowledge Capital Alliance, Inc.               www.KnowledgeCaptialAlliance.com




                      The following drawing depicts a typical RLO.




                                                             Module Topic & Objectives


                                                                Module Dependencies


                                             Pre & Post           Learning Content             Tool or
                                            Assessment                                       Simulation
                                                                         Text

                                                                         Audio
                                           q   Question 1
                                           q   Question 2                Video               Contribution
                                           q   Question 3                                      Builder
                                           q   Question 4
                                           q   Question 5              Graphics




                                                            Content Specific Collaboration




eLearning             eLearning solutions are typically broken down into a few different sub-
components            systems:

                      Learning Management System
                      The Learning Management System or LMS is the system which manages
                      the users and content access. Functions of an LMS include:


                         Publish online course catalogs
                         Automate course registration and e-mail notification.
                         Report student activity in terms of amount of time spent, scores, areas
                          that need improvement, average time per topic, proficiency of users in
                          each topic, change in performance of users as they progress through
                          the course, etc.
                         Map employee skills against job skill and competency requirements
                          through skill gap analysis.




      Fred Erickson                             9                           fred@KnowledgeCapitalAlliance.com
eLearning Primer           Knowledge Capital Alliance, Inc.     www.KnowledgeCaptialAlliance.com




                      Integrate and communicate with other systems through standard
                       interfaces to ensure interoperability between the learning management
                       system and content delivery servers.
                      Manage courses and student data across departments and the
                       enterprise.
                      Integrate with the organization’s other systems including HR, ERP and
                       financial systems.
                      Provide content management tools to update curriculum to ensure the
                       most relevant and timely materials.

                   Content Delivery Servers (CDS)
                   Content Delivery Servers allow the delivery of multi-media rich content and
                   assessments to the learner. Access to the CDS is controlled by the LMS.
                   The CDS typically tracks detailed course statistics, assessment results and
                   employee activity at the learning object level, such as time spent on an
                   activity, number of tries on an assessment question, and courses started and
                   completed. The LMS will typically only track this information at the course
                   level. In some systems, the CDS may provide the framework for
                   navigation, bookmarks, etc. In systems where the content is media rich
                   (lots of video), multiple video servers are deployed to balance load across
                   geography. Some of the CDS products allow users to receive the
                   courseware regardless of the plug-ins available in their browser. Typically,
                   the audio, video and Flash components are replaced by text if the plug-in is
                   not available. This is useful in corporate environments where plug-ins are
                   not allowed. Some systems utilizing streaming video (RealMedia or
                   Windows Media) utilize multi-bit-rate encoding which allows the video
                   player to handshake with the server to determine the optimal transfer rate
                   based, typically, on the line speed (T1, Cable Modem, 28.8K dial up, etc.).

                   Content Development/Authoring Tools
                   The content authoring tools allow the courseware developer to create the
                   actual course syllabus, content, tools and assessments. Many of these are
                   GUI based systems which allow the creation of custom content without the
                   need for programming skills. Typically, other standard tools are required to
                   produce audio, video and animation sequences which are then inserted into
                   the course module with the authoring tools. MacroMedia Flash is one of
                   the most widely used technologies in the eLearning area. Very animated,



   Fred Erickson                             10                 fred@KnowledgeCapitalAlliance.com
eLearning Primer            Knowledge Capital Alliance, Inc.      www.KnowledgeCaptialAlliance.com




                   enticing presentations can be created with minimal bandwidth
                   requirements. Flash, however, does require a browser plug-in which creates
                   difficulty in some corporate environments with strict standards for user
                   configurations.

                   Content Management Systems (CMS)
                   Content Management Systems are just starting to show their faces in the
                   eLearning world. The purpose of a CMS is to aggregate Reusable Learning
                   Objects (RLOs) into a course module and complete course. The CMS may
                   have the responsibility to create the course syllabus from the group of
                   RLOs selected. This is done by looking at the RLO topics and
                   dependencies and creating a list of topics in the proper order to meet the
                   dependency requirements. RLOs can exist in a single physical space
                   (server) or scattered across virtual space (the Internet). Ideally, the objects
                   will be referenced and not collected into a single location. This allows the
                   objects to be updated at the source without the need to distribute the
                   updated modules to multiple servers.

                   Community/Collaboration
                   Community and collaboration is handled in several ways. Some of the LMS
                   products have chat and threaded discussion groups built in. Some of the
                   content delivery servers also have this functionality. In the cases where the
                   functionality doesn’t exist in either, stand alone systems must be
                   implemented to handle the tasks. There are many ‘off the shelf’ products to
                   handle these functions. There are also many technologies which can
                   enhance the community experience. Video conferencing, application
                   sharing, shared whiteboards, are some examples of the technologies which
                   may get put to use in building on-line learning communities.

                   RLO Repository
                   The RLO Repository is a container for the objects. Please refer to the
                   above discussion on RLOs for more detail.

                   Contribution Repository
                   The Contribution Repository is a place (server) to store the contributions
                   made by the students back into the course. An example might be the
                   snippet of Java code written by a Java student which is attached to the
                   module for the next learner’s benefit.


   Fred Erickson                              11                  fred@KnowledgeCapitalAlliance.com
   eLearning Primer                Knowledge Capital Alliance, Inc.               www.KnowledgeCaptialAlliance.com




                      Community                   LMS                 CDS                 CMS             RLO
                       Chat, Discussion         Learning            Content              Content       Repository
                           Groups              Management           Delivery           Management
                                                 System             Server(s)           System(s)

                                               Registration           Syllabus           Reusable
                                                                                         Learning
                               student
                                               Permissions             Video              Object
                                                                                        Integration
                                                  Testing              Audio

                                                 Tracking              Flash
                               student
                                                Workflow               Text                               RLO
                                                                                                       Repository
                                                 Reports
                                                                    Content
                               student




                                            Student Contributions       Contribution Repository




                      Several standards are emerging in an attempt to create cross platform
Standards
                      interoperability. The intent of these standards is to define the interface
                      between components of the eLearning environment (LMS to CDS, CDS to
                      RLO, RLO to RLO, etc.) There are 4 primary standards bodies for
                      eLearning:


                           AICC AGR 010 – Aircraft Industry CBT Committee AICC Guidelines
                            & Recommendations 010 - Web based computer managed instructions


                           ADL-SCORM - Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative - Sharable
                            Content Object Reference Model


                           IMS – IMS Global Learning Consortium, Inc.


                           IEEE LTSC - IEEE Learning Technology Standards Committee

                      A description and comparison of these standards is the subject of a follow-
                      on whitepaper.

Just-in-time          Asynchronous eLearning has enabled the ability to provide just-in-time
Learning              (JIT) learning. Just-in-time learning can be defined as getting just the
                      learning you need exactly when you need it. With this technology, learning
                      can be integrated with working instead of being a separate training event.


      Fred Erickson                                    12                        fred@KnowledgeCapitalAlliance.com
   eLearning Primer            Knowledge Capital Alliance, Inc.     www.KnowledgeCaptialAlliance.com




                      Imagine the scenario where a computer hardware sales rep has just received
                      an order for a service offering which he has never entered into the order
                      management system before. Instead of trying to find a supervisor or peer
                      who knows how to do this (which ineffectively uses several people’s time),
                      he pops open a browser window into the JIT Learning system and types
                      ‘service order entry’ into the course module search box. The search result
                      shows a course module entitled ‘Entering a service order into the order
                      management system’. Clicking on this link takes him to a 5 minute multi-
                      media course on the entry process and screens. Part of this module is a
                      simulation of the order entry process which allows the sales rep to
                      experience the order entry process. JIT learning may happen many times
                      during the day. Learning is provided when the user needs it to more
                      effectively perform a job function.

                      JIT learning can be described as context sensitive help on steroids.


Distributed           As the adoption of interoperability standards becomes more prevalent
eLearning             among the eLearning vendors and content providers, the need to have a
                      single eLearning system is diminished. Most LMS and content providers
                      offer a hosted solution for their systems. Most of these systems can
                      handshake with any course which is compliant with one or more of the
                      standards (typically AICC). A complete eLearning environment can be
                      created by utilizing a hosted LMS solution which has links to best of breed
                      content from many content vendors (hosted on their own sites). This
                      scenario can have many benefits:


                             The costs of deploying and maintaining an eLearning solution are
                              eliminated.
                             The requirement to update the content on your own servers is
                              eliminated.
                             The costs to switch vendors for LMS and/or content are greatly
                              reduced.
                             The ability to add or remove courseware is enhanced.
                             The need to be locked into a single content vendor is eliminated.




      Fred Erickson                              13                 fred@KnowledgeCapitalAlliance.com
   eLearning Primer           Knowledge Capital Alliance, Inc.                   www.KnowledgeCaptialAlliance.com




                                                              Hosted
                                                                                         Contribution
                                                            Knowledge
                                                                                          Repository
                                                            Community




                                                               Contributions &
                                                                Collaboration
                          Learners
                                                                                                    Hosted
                                                                                                     Skill
                          Learner 1                                               Content            Soft


                                                                                                    Hosted
                                                                                                    Smart
                          Learner 2                                               Content
                                                                                                    Force
                                                            Hosted
                                         Authentication &
                                             Content         LMS
                                                                                                    Hosted
                                                                                                   Knowledge
                          Learner 3                                               Content             Net




                                                                                                   Hosted
                          Learner 4                                               Content          Pensare
                                                                      Content




                                                            Custom
                                                            Content




                      There are literally, hundreds of eLearning vendors. At one time, there was
The Players           a fairly clear distinction between the LMS suppliers and the CDS suppliers
                      and the content providers. Many of the major vendors are expanding their
                      product sets to include most of the required functionality and courseware in
                      an attempt to provide an end to end solution for their customers. This list
                      may be obsolete as soon as it is printed. There is a lot of consolidation
                      going on in the industry as well as some players who may not be able to get
                      additional funding to continue their business.




      Fred Erickson                                14                            fred@KnowledgeCapitalAlliance.com
eLearning Primer            Knowledge Capital Alliance, Inc.        www.KnowledgeCaptialAlliance.com




                   Here is a partial list of the players and an attempt to categorize them:

                      Company                         URL                Category
                   Blackboard           http://www.blackboard.com LMS – Higher Ed
                   Centra               http://www.centra.com     Synchronous
                                                                  eLearning
                   Click2Learn     http://www.click2learn.com     LMS
                   DigitalThink    http://www.digitalthink.com    CDS
                   Docent          http://www.docent.com          LMS
                   eMind           http://www.emind.com           Content/CDS
                   Generation21    http://www.gen21.com           LMS, CDS
                   GForce          http://www.gforce.com          Learning Portal
                   InterWise       http://www.interwise.com       Synchronous
                                                                  eLearning
                   KnowledgeNet    http://www.knowledgenet.com    Content
                   KnowledgePlanet http://www.knowledgeplanet.com LMS
                   Learn2          http://www.learn2.com          Content, CDS
                   LearnFrame      http://www.learnframe.com      LMS
                   MindLever       http://www.mindlever.com       LMS
                   NetG            http://www.netg.com            CDS
                   Ninth House     http://www.9thhouse.com        CDS
                   Pensare         http://www.pensare.com         CDS
                   Placeware       http://www.placeware.com       Synchronous
                                                                  eLearning
                   Quisic          http://www.quisic.com          CDS, Content
                   Saba            http://www.saba.com            LMS
                   SkillSoft       http://www.skillsoft.com       Content
                   SmartForce      http://www.smartforce.com      Content, CDS, LMS
                   Thinq           http://www.thinq.com           LMS
                   UNext           http://www.unext.com           CDS
                   WBT Systems     http://www.wbtsystems.com      Synchronous
                                                                  eLearning
                   WebCT           http://www.webct.com           LMS – Higher Ed
                   Webex           http://www.webex.com           Synchronous
                                                                  eLearning




   Fred Erickson                              15                    fred@KnowledgeCapitalAlliance.com
  eLearning Primer            Knowledge Capital Alliance, Inc.        www.KnowledgeCaptialAlliance.com




Summary              eLearning is still an art. The entire industry is in its infancy. There is a
                     huge opportunity for both the eLearning vendors and customers to
                     radically change the world of education. Since reading typically yields a
                     10% content retention rate, text books in school will become a thing of the
                     past. In the future, students will split their time between instructor led
                     training (physical or virtual classrooms) and their ‘homework’ which will
                     involve some form of asynchronous eLearning to replace the current text
                     books. Time to accomplish the homework will be reduced by 50% or
                     greater with a 70% increase in retention rate. The opportunity exists to take
                     a 4 year college program to 2 years or less and increase the overall
                     effectiveness.


                     Just in time corporate education will allow for the increase in knowledge
                     capital across the enterprise. Workers will have the opportunity to learn
                     new things to help them in their jobs, several times each day. As this
                     happens, there will be a measurable increase in the knowledge assets of the
                     company. These new knowledge assets will yield increased knowledge
                     earnings which translate to a much stronger bottom line for the company.


                     eLearning as a business is growing rapidly. Unlike the recent dot com
                     debacle, eLearning is growing on a very sound business model. eLearning
                     helps everyone. People can learn faster and more efficiently. Companies
                     can reduce costs and increase profits. With this ‘real-world’ business
                     model, eLearning will continue to grow and have a significant positive
                     impact on the world.




     Fred Erickson                              16                   fred@KnowledgeCapitalAlliance.com
ve
                     impact on the world.




     Fred Erickson                              16                   fred@KnowledgeCapitalAlliance.com