Four Insider Tips from the eLearning Industry

In the 20+ years we’ve been in the eLearning industry, we’ve noticed quite a few different opinions on learning technology. In this blog, we share a few insider tips we thought we should let you know about, that could save you time and money in the long run.

1. Learning Management System (LMS) built-in 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 you decide to upgrade or change to a different LMS in the future, or if the LMS vendor goes out of business, 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 edited in that particular LMS. This means you won’t be able to make any changes 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 standalone authoring apps, like Articulate. Learning system vendors invest in the learning management features of the technology, with a smaller investment in content authoring. What we hear is clients actually prefer higher collaboration, suggested learning, data analytics, interactive reporting, and the new features that make learning platforms more responsive and dynamic.

2. Protect your Intellectual Property (IP) by using a content-authoring app

Think about your iPhone or any smartphone. We all want the latest and greatest and it’s easy to upgrade to the newest model 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 that your eLearning content will remain up-to-date and compatible with all browsers. It also means that you will always control your IP.

You will 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. If you ever want to move to a new and improved LMS you won’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 has developed two apps precisely for this reason. Policies and procedures, manuals, just-in-time, and microlearning or information-based learning are 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 learning experiences. New learning platforms like Birch are xAPI compliant so you can track learners’ activities such as watching a video, attending a conference session, social interactions, being mentored by an expert, mentoring someone else, attending a face-to-face session, or viewing a document. We have a wide range of clients who are benefitting from these powerful Birch features, including the health and hospital industry who are using Birch to conduct on-the-job assessment and even manage patient care.

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 and lengthy lesson 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). For example:

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

So, a Storyline source file will look like this:

Storyline file

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

How we can help

We have more than 20 years’ experience in delivering learning systems for some of Australia’s leading companies, across a wide range of industry sectors. Backed by our wealth of knowledge and highly collaborative approach, we’ve created Birch – a unique, holistic learning platform that adapts to your environment – and evolves with your changing needs.

By establishing strong partnerships, we’re well-placed to support a growing global network of customers.

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.

Get in Touch

We would love to hear from you. Give us a call or fill in the form and we will contact you soon.

    What product or service are you interested in?