4 Secrets The eLearning Industry Don’t Want You To Know

In the 15 years we’ve been in the eLearning industry, we’ve noticed quite a few different opinions on learning technology. Here are a few secrets we thought we should let you know about, that could save you time and money in the long run.

1. LMS built-in eLearning content authoring isn’t the answer

With all the recent developments and improvements in learning technology we see many companies upgrading to new Learning Platforms. When making the decision on which system you really need to consider if using built in authoring is the right approach, especially if you have a large volume of content to build.

If the LMS vendor disappears or you decide to upgrade to a better system in the future, you can’t take that eLearning content with you. You can take the published SCORM packages but you don’t have access to the source files which can only be editable in that particular LMS, so you will not be able to make changes and update the content in the future.

The fact is there isn’t a built in LMS or learning platform authoring tool that comes close to the features and functionality of the standalone authoring apps, like Articulate. Learning system vendors invest in the learning management features of the technology, with smaller investment in content authoring. What we hear is clients actually prefer higher collaboration, suggested learning, data analytics, interactive reporting and many more new features that will make learning platforms come alive this decade.

2. Protect your IP by using a content authoring app

Think about this like your IPhone or Galaxy. We all want the latest and greatest and it’s easy to upgrade to the latest phone as you take all your photos, music, files and with you.

Selecting tools like Articulate with over a million users in their community means you have the security your eLearning content will remain up to date and compatible with all browsers and you will always control your IP.

You always have access to your source files to maintain and update in the future. Articulate can publish to any SCORM or xAPI compliant learning system.  When your LMS is tired and you want to move to a new and improved system you don’t have to rebuild all the content.

3. Learning isn’t aligned to just one app

There are different types of learning so it makes sense to use different technologies that fit the learning you are delivering. When we are talking about eLearning content, Articulate have developed 2 apps precisely for this reason. Policies & procedures, manuals, just in time and microlearning or information based learning is best suited to Articulate Rise. If you want large scale, custom built, high level interactions and animation for performance based learning then Articulate Storyline is the way to go.

As we know learning isn’t just about delivering eLearning content. Older LMS vendors simply can’t keep up with tracking any learning experience.  New Learning Platforms like Birch are xAPI compliant so you can track learners watching a video, attending a conference session, social interactions, being mentored by an expert, or mentoring someone else, attending a face to face session, viewing a document. Powerful new built in features in Birch are helping the health and hospital industry conduct on the job assessment and even manage patient care.

The truth is if you are on an old LMS then you are compromising on learning innovation and it’s time to move. With the right vendor, the move could be easier than you think.

4. Source files give clients power

Whenever you enter into an agreement with a content vendor, ensure the vendor hands over all source files once the project is signed off. It could be an expensive lesson in time and cost if you have to re-build all your content again. B Online Learning pioneered sharing eLearning source files years ago, today it should be a standard expectation for development contracts for all vendors.

Here is another tip, when you receive the files, make sure they are the actual source files and not just the published output which is typically a .zip file. If your content has been developed in Articulate Storyline or Adobe Captivate you can look for specific file extensions (the bit at the end of the saved title).

  • Storyline Files will have the extension of .story
  • Captivate will have the extension .cptx (or similar)

So a Storyline source file will looks like this:

These files can be simply opened by anyone with a licence, much like a Word document. So you have the power to either update the content yourself or give it to another content vendor to update for you without any problems.

Get in touch with us if you are looking to transform your learning and want honest advice on a solution that will work now and in the future.

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