Jun

21

Investing in a learning management system can involve a certain amount of time, and definitely an outlay of money. Thus, it goes without saying that any organization that makes such an investment wants to maximize its return. While you may have already decided that an LMS system is an absolute must for your organization, and that it will definitely pay off for you, nonetheless, it’s preferable to squeeze every drop of juice out of your purchase. But what approach is most likely to achieve the results that you’re looking for?

One of the most basic and effective tools at your disposal is simply communicating the value of your LMS system to every level of your

Invest in your people (and a little technology). Image by Baldiri

Invest in your people (and a little technology). Image by Baldiri.

organization, from brand new employees to the very top echelons of executives, is essential in getting across the message of how important LMS is to your organization. Ironically, established employees who often benefit from LMS as much as new employees, as their work within your organization could have resulted in their skillset becoming stagnant, while new employees bring fresh ideas, optimism and momentum to an organization.

Of course, new employees often need bringing up to speed on the basic processes and can benefit greatly from an effective Learning Management system, but they are considerably more likely to be receptive to the need for them to undergo such a procedure. Some of your more experienced members of staff, who have been with the organization for a much longer period of time, may view the idea of training having been with the company for several years as patronizing and unnecessary.

Thus, it pays to take some time to sell the LMS system to your employees. Not just those at the bottom. Getting everyone on board with a holistic LMS policy a top to bottom effort within a company, and if it isn’t carried out properly then you won’t feel the full benefits of the LMS system that you’ve invested energy, time and money in.

To achieve this support across your organization, you firstly need to instil in management how important the successful implementation and adoption of the new LMS is to the organization. Convincing the executive level of your organization that LMS is important is vital to its fully successful implementation. Usually, a good way of demonstrating this is to give tangible evidence of how adoption of the LMS across the organization can deliver both direct savings and avoided costs. Bottom lines usually play well with this sector of an organization.

With regard to the ‘shop floor’ sectors of your organization, a little marketing comes in useful here. Regular email communications, ideally featuring images, graphics and even videos, distributed globally throughout your organization can have a very positive effect on LMS take-up. Pop-up ads on the company’s intranet can also be useful, as can physical advertisements and promotion in small businesses. The concept to particularly get across is that LMS is going to make employees’ everyday jobs easier and more enjoyable.

By promoting your LMS system, you maximize the benefits, making your investment even wiser.

This article is brought to you by eLeaP. Get more ideas on learning management systems from eLeaP.

Jan

20

Training can be defined as the process of teaching or learning a skill. That’s the textbook definition. But in reality, the concept of training has many more aspects than just learning a skill. To many organizations, training is a means of meeting regulatory or legal requirements. Common to this purpose, for example, is training employees in the rules of sexual harassment in the workplace. There are other examples, as well: Safety Training for employees working with industrial equipment to meet insurance requirements or training in the organization’s policy and procedures. There is management training, too. One of the programs we see quite frequently is Training for New Supervisors. (You can find an expanded list of typical training courses on the eLeaP Learning Management System’s website at www.eleapsoftware.com)

Training can also become a means of altering behavior, not in a punitive way but so that gaps in organizational performance can be closed. Common to this thread is the findings of an audit, financial or for certification.  On occasion, findings require corrective action and if that affects a relatively large number of employees, training is often the solution to meeting the requirements.

For the individual, training can be a way to earn professional certification. Although some certifications may involve learning new skills, it is not directly focused on them nor is it the primary motivating factor. Likely, the motivation for gaining professional certification is to advance one’s career or become more employable. We consider this “professional development.”

There’s no argument that compliance or certification training is very important…to the organization, to the individual, or both. But the questions that we hear again and again is this: “How does training add value to my organization? “Why should training and professional development be a part of our strategy?” “Where, exactly, is the return on the investment?

Get more answers at: http://www.eleapsoftware.com/free-training-resources/strategic-value-of-workplace-training-whitepaper/

Mar

17

Surprisingly, sexual harassment training is not specifically required by federal law.  However, training is an important tool to prevent harassment and limit your liability.

Q:  Are we required to provide our employees with training on sexual harassment?

A:  No federal law specifically requires sexual harassment training, but a few state laws do. Still, training is a vital element of any harassment policy.  Even if your organization is not required by law to conduct this training, you can limit your potential liability by doing so and, at the same time, promote a more productive work environment.

Here’s a quick look at state law requirements.  Some states, such as California and Connecticut, require harassment training only for supervisors.  One state, Maine, requires that all new employees receive the training.  You should check with your state equal employment opportunity agency to determine potential coverage.

While Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (which prohibits sexual harassment as a form of sex discrimination) does not require training, decisions by the Supreme Court illustrate the importance of having an effective harassment policy and complaint procedure that includes employee training.

In Burlington Indus. v. Ellerth, 524 U.S. 742 (1998), and Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, Fla., 524 U.S. 775 (1998), the Court determined that an employer may be able to defend itself from liability for harassment by a supervisor in certain cases if it has taken reasonable care to prevent and correct any sexually harassing behavior.  In particular, you must adopt a policy against sexual harassment, have an effective complaint procedure, and take steps to ensure that employees are aware of their rights and obligations and are properly trained in harassment issues.

Clearly, if you do not train your employees, you will have a difficult time defending harassment claims. To be effective, training should target not only employees but also supervisors who have the authority to hire, fire, or make other employment decisions.  At a minimum, your harassment training should include the following:

1.  A statement that you condemn harassment of any kind, even if it is not explicitly prohibited by your policy or by law.

2.  The definition of harassment, with particular attention paid to the legal definitions of sexual harassment, including quid pro quo and hostile work environment.

3.  A description of prohibited conduct.

4.  The consequences of violating your harassment policy and the types of behavior that may lead to immediate termination.

5.  The use of your dispute resolution procedure for handling complaints.

6.  Ways to report harassment combined with assurances that there will not be any retaliation for filing complaints or making reports.

An obvious conclusion from the court cases is that harassment training is not optional if you want to limit your liability.  So, you can either treat the training as a necessary evil or turn it into an opportunity to enhance good employee relations.  The latter approach makes the most sense since it both builds a positive work environment and a sound legal defense.

Subscribers to the Personnel Policy Manual and HR Policy Answers can find more information on sexual harassment in Productive Work Environment, Chapter 201A.

Download free sexual harassment policy and HR policies from www.ppspublishers.com.

Use learning management systems like eLeaP LMS & Training Software to create, manage and track all training including sexual harassment training. Get free resources at eleapsoftware.com/free-training-resources/

Please note that the above comments are not intended as legal advice.  You should consult an attorney for a legal opinion on this matter.

Copyright © Personnel Policy Service, Inc.

Oct

22

When it comes to Learning Management Systems (LMS), bigger or more complex and expensive does not equal more efficiency or better results.

Read this article by Lindsay Edmonds Wickman to find out more:

Learning management systems (LMS), in many cases, are the bane of learning organizations. Instead of simplifying the learning process, they tend to overcomplicate it. When learning executives enter the relationship, they are filled with hope, but those hopes are quickly dashed as the LMS becomes yet another burden instead of a solution.

“People are investing in LMSs thinking this will improve their return on investment in learning, but I think that is a very questionable assumption,” said Bob Becker of Becker Multimedia, a creative services firm specializing in corporate learning. “I think learning management is very important, but the cost and the labor that are going into [it] are out of proportion to the benefits that are possible to achieve.”

Organizations can spend between five and six figures on the initial implementation of an LMS, Becker said, but satisfaction results are low: At least three out of five LMS customers have not had an exceptional experience. So why does virtually every learning organization have one?

“There really is no other way to administer a large curriculum to a dispersed population. You can’t do it manually with a tablet and pencil. You need an LMS,” Becker said. “The need is real, [but] the appraisal or assessment of the need by LMS vendors is sometimes imprecise or exaggerated, and the promises made to users of LMS [tend] to be overstated.”

With LMSs, bigger is not always better. In fact, Becker advocates for a simpler, more straightforward approach.

“LMS tends to become a problem when the needs are inflated and the system becomes too complicated and too ambitious to deliver on its promises,” he explained. “Organizations that are conservative and critical about their learning management strategy can do it well and spend very little money getting it done. We’re doing an LMS implementation now for a very large company, and we are doing it very simply, very straightforwardly and very inexpensively. So we know it can be done and others are doing the same.”

One obstacle to a successful LMS is integration. Trying to get your LMS to interface with a number of other applications can present problems, Becker said. Additionally, an LMS can impose certain standards on an instructional system. Typically, when an LMS is installed, everything has to conform to it. This can be difficult when involving different departments, different people and different vendors that like to do things their own way.

“It’s a little bit like herding calves,” he said. “Trying to get everybody to comply with and conform [to] the standards of your learning management approach can be an obstacle. It’s so easy to get too fancy with LMS and try to make it do more than what is reasonable to expect from it. I believe that using it for fewer things and making it a relatively modest, straightforward and simple solution is one way to avoid that complexity.”

If learning executives go with a simpler LMS, they will spend less on it, making it easier to attain a return on investment.

“If you keep your cost very low getting into LMS, you will more than achieve your return on investment in a very short period of time,” Becker said. “If I’m not spending $250,000 on an LMS but instead $25,000, I’ve got a lot less to do to make up that expenditure.”

The full article is available at CLO Mag.

May

15

Beware of “vaporware.” You will recognize this because these guys over indulge in the “gee whiz” of their technology, often promising everything under the sun. You need to be able to walk away from vendors who just enjoy hearing the sound of their own voices. The learning management system or the training software should serve your business and educational needs. If it does not, you are probably headed for disaster and frustration not to mention lost of time and money.

If then the goal of the LMS or training software system, is to serve your business and education needs, does the vendor you are dealing with understand this basic requirement in a fundamental way? Yes the LMS system or training software should be the best in terms of the technology – after all you don’t want a crappy system which breaks down every other day. Having said this, you and your vendor should display an alignment of vision in terms of understanding the business needs, the teaching and learning objectives and methodologies and the design or content creation and management interface that is needed to accomplish your needs.

I can’t tell you how many times I have had to caution potential customers about this one. KNOW THY COSTS — ALL OF THY COSTS. Many organizations have plunged into e-learning and web-based training with a zest not seen since the tech bubble of the 90’s. Don’t get me wrong. This is all so exciting. However, one needs to pause and ask all the right questions. Ask about the costs for setup. How about maintenance and support? Inquire about costs to upgrade or have special features implemented. If the vendor’s pricing is based on usage license, you need to ask about overage charges. Are you charged extra if you decide to create extra classes? These are critical questions you need to ask and get answers before you plow into vendor selection. Trust me, you don’t want any surprises.

Do me a favor and ask your vendor if the system is designed to be run or operated by regular folks…erm I mean educators or only the IT department has the resources and skills to manage your learning management system or training software program? Why you might ask? Because this is a big deal. IT departments are becoming woefully understaffed or even worse outsourced. Do you really want to depend on IT for every single thing you need done in your e-learning software? Another way of looking at this question is. How simple is your training software to operate? If you a PhD in computer science, you are probably not talking with the right vendor.

The last question you might want to consider is support and reliability. Many simply assume this or worse get the standard vendor spin. You need to take the free e-learning software trials some vendors offer and test drive the whole system including the support and technical help functions. If you can’t get support before they have had a chance to take your money, believe me, its going to be a whole lot more difficult after you have paid them. So, do your home work and take the system for a spin. Utilize the phone, fax, email, online support system etc and make sure your vendor has passed the test.

Get free e-learning resources at http://www.eleapsoftware.com/free-training-resources/

View from the window:

Flowers from e-learning software tips article

Nov

7

For Immediate Release:

eLeaP and MedSenses announce partnership,
giving access to a complete e-learning solution for both individual
nurses and their healthcare organizations

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY & NEW BRUNSWICK 11/01/2007: Telania,
whose expertise range from e-Learning Management Technologies
(eLeaP™) and Healthcare Training Solutions to Custom
Software Development and MedSenses, an emerging eLearning
company
that focuses on all things nursing, announce a partnership
in delivering web-based healthcare content through the eLeaP
Learning Management Platform.

The co-founders of MedSenses, Trisha Coady and Lynn Casey,
combine their invaluable nursing experience with a real passion
for continuing education to develop some of the most clinically
relevant and interactive content for nurses worldwide. “We
are thrilled to see the MedSenses content in the eLeaP system,
a very easy to use, yet intuitive learning management system.
We know our peers in healthcare who want the choice to purchase
either individual licenses or a corporate package will enjoy
embarking on their journey of learning with this combined
solution”, says Trisha Coady. MedSenses hopes the payoff
will be nurses with greater job satisfaction and sense of
value, attributes that both nursing and hospital administrators
can readily endorse.

The American Journal of Nursing reported that offering training
and educational opportunities to hospital personnel is increasingly
recommended as a retention and recruitment incentive. The
combination of content from MedSenses and the LMS platform
– eLeaP by Telania will provide hospitals with the ability
to efficiently and effectively train and educate their healthcare
staff.
“Telania is passionate about building robust and easy
to use software applications. MedSenses delivers rich, instructive
and quality nursing education. The combination of the eLeaP
Platform and MedSenses courseware presents a unique and powerful
educational tool for hospitals and healthcare providers.”

About Telania & eLeaP:
eLeaP™ LMS/LCMS is one of the first e-learning platforms
to deliver easy to use web-based training in a totally secure
128-Bit encrypted environment. eLeaP™ is designed to
allow any company training manager or supervisor, consultants
& other training professionals to quickly & painlessly
manage all of their online training needs in one secure, easy
to use web platform. You get your own unique learning portal
or URL. The eLeaP e-learning platform enables anyone to easily
and quickly create, manage and track training and e-learning
programs.. You don’t have to spend time and huge investment
of money to have your own unique training system. eLeaP™
does it for you. And it is totally secure! Additional information
is available at www.eleapsoftware.com or www.telania.com

About MedSenses Inc.:
MedSenses Inc. is an emerging content provider focused on
building courseware BY nurses FOR nurses. Having developed
a proprietary method for building educational content for
the nursing community, MedSenses offers a variety of titles
in the following sectors: Medical-Surgical, Cardiac, Critical
Care, Compliance, Pediatrics, Newborn, Neonatal, Emergency,
Ground Transport and Flight Transport. The courses integrate
solid medical and technical information with insight and stories
from real-world clinical experiences; complimented by medical
animations, interactivities and 3D graphics. Healthcare organizations
can now offer a high quality, cost-effective solution for
their continuing education programs. Additional information
is available at www.medsenses.com.

Contact:

MedSenses Inc.
Lynn Casey, VP Marketing
506.384.7033
lynn.casey@medsenses.com

Telania, LLC.
Don Weobong, President
(877) 624-7226
info@eleapsoftware

Oct

27

Most organizations don’t consider the security of the online learning systems or learning management systems. As the web has matured into a stable and reliable medium for the deployment of services and applications, how can companies and organizations ensure the integrity of the learning management systems and online training software applications?

Don Weobong, President of Telania, Inc. a provider of training software solutions and learning management systems said of this issue, “the problem with non-secure learning systems and unencrypted web training software programs is a real threat to companies and organizations. Serious steps need to be taken to address this unsustainable situation”.

If your organization is deploying sensitive training materials or proprietary company information over a web-based training software application, you have to ensure that the wrong kind of people do not have access to it. While learning management systems can provide server-side software encryption, you need to also ensure the integrity of the user-side management interfaces. Does the system provide SSL (secure socket layer) encryption? Is the application hosted in-house or do you an external hosting partners hosting your learning management system? Does the application server use anti-virus, anti-spyware software or data encryption and firewalls to protect against unauthorized access and intrusions?

If all this sounds a bit confusing, then its time to get a learning management system partner who specializes in secure online learning systems. One of the few reliable companies in this space is Telania, Inc. with the eLeaP Learning Management System platform.

Because eLeaP is a hosted secure training solution, you don’t need to worry about the nuts and bolts of all the security concerns outlines above. Of course you still want to make sure the wrong people in your organization don’t get access to your secure content.

So to recap:

How secure is your online learning system?

Get free e-learning resources at http://www.eleapsoftware.com/free-training-resources/

Oct

15

Learning Summit 2007

“Tools for SCORM®: What We Have and What We Need”

Tuesday 30 October – Wednesday 31 October 2007

Pre-conference Workshop: “Implementing SCORM®”

Monday 29 October 2007

FedEx Institute of Technology, Memphis, TN

http://els.workforcecolab.org

You don’t want to miss the chance to actively participate in this open forum addressing current issues in the SCORM® community. Facilitated focus and panel group discussions will address the theme “Tools for SCORM®: What We Have and What We Need” in this meeting which brings together eLearning organizations and experts from around the world to highlight some of the latest technologies and project areas for growth and development in SCORM®.

What:
eLearning Summit 2007

When:
30/­31 October 2007

October 29, 2007 – Pre-conference Workshop

Where:
University of Memphis in
Memphis, Tennessee, USA

Host:
Workforce ADL
Co-Laboratory

Website:
http://els.workforcecolab.org

Why You Should Attend

No other conference in ADL history has been especially designed to address the particular needs of the SCORM user: Instructional Designers, Training Managers, Learning Officers, and Representatives of the industry and education sectors. ELearning Summit 2007 is a great opportunity for you to:

*  network and build relationships within the community
*  critically evaluate tools/utilities for SCORM
*  participate in discussion groups addressing future needs
*  understand the advanced technical underpinnings for future learning systems

eLearning terms & resources:


Oct

6

I recently came across DarfurisDying.com. No its not just another advocacy website. This website uses gaming to introduce visitors to the simulations of living and surviving in a refugee camp in Darfur. Needless to say, I ended up loosing all members of my camp. But the experience, virtual though it was, was truly surreal.

This brings me to this post. How can organizations use simulations or games to engage employees or staff to discuss and strategize various scenarios.

Have you used immersive learning simulations or games in your training or e-learning programs. How can training software systems be leveraged to produce high powered trainings such as saving a refugee camp? I can see virtual “apprentice” simulations.

In many ways the military has used simulations in training for foreign deployment. These games have no doubt saved many lives and enhanced many outcomes.

Let us know how you use immersive learning simulations or games in your e-learning or corporate training programs. Does your learning management system enable you load games or simulations? If not tell us what your experiences have been.

Jul

20

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any weirder … I hear BlackBoard is talking to developers at Second Life (the Internet’s alternative universe .. or virtual civilization) to use Learning Management Systems in tracking user activity and also doing some prototyping and testing.

Sounds fantastic till you actually stop to think about this for a second. If you could test elearning content creation and prototyping before putting it out in the real world scenario, maybe you can learn a thing or two … its all good right? How about user authentication and quality assurance after all “no one knows you are a dog on the Internet.”

While I am excited about the possibilities for elearning — I would have to hold off jumping into “elearning virtual” till we have worked the bugs out. I would like to think that the need for real world elearning and talent management or just personal self improvement means we have plenty of work right here on terra firma.

See you next time on virtual e-learning …. or download free e-learning resources at eleapsoftware.com/free-training-resources/

 

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