Yearly Archives: 2014

eLearning Tech and Trends for 2015

There are a few articles out there each year predicting what the hot topics will be (for a variety of things) in the New Year…so we’ll jump on that bandwagon.

SCORM, xAPI, LTI, CMI-5

SCORM will continue to be popular, it’s still far too entrenched. xAPI (TinCan) will grow as more vendors integrate the technology into their products and the general understanding grows. LTI *should* continue to grow, especially since academics tend to move slowly, but I’m not sure how much momentum it has. CMI-5 will be an interesting to watch with the move to ADL. I don’t see that moving forward much in the next year (but I’ve not explored their roadmap). One potential issue I’m surprised not to see more concern about is privacy in relation to xAPI. Anything can be tracked? Anytime? Do the users KNOW that? Remember the furor over cookies, which are not even centralized…

Authoring

Captivate and Storyline will continue to dominate. Watch for Lectora to push harder to re-assert their product. Lesser-known tools like iSpring, Brainshark, Claro, SmartBuilder, and even ZebraZapps will grow as more folks look for tools to enable self-production.  With Microsoft Mix, PowerPoint may enjoy even more growth as an eLearning dev tool. Camtasia should retain a solid position as well. Those tools that can really improve upon Responsive Design delivery and significant cross-platform compatibility will have a strong advantage.
Reference sites like eLearning Brothers and online tools like PowToon will also grow and see more demand. Continue reading eLearning Tech and Trends for 2015

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AICC hangers it up!

The AICC group, arguably the grandfather of SCORM and xAPI, has accepted that the AICC spec is well out-dated and, due to ‘declining membership’, officially dissolved.

From their site,

Our journey is at an end.
Due to declining membership, the AICC membership has decided to dissolve the AICC.
We are very proud of the AICC’s pioneering work in learning technology interoperability specifications.
It is quite a legacy that is still strongly influencing how most of us learn online today

AICC was staying relevant with their work on CMI-5. Based on this ADL Post, they were working with the ADL and the current xAPI efforts to define the ‘next generation of SCORM’. That project has been moved to the ADL and will hopefully continue to see advancement (as I’m not sold, by far, that xAPI [TinCan] is a total solution…but there have been some pretty cool advancements!).

On that note, our previous post, “AICC, SCORM , xAPI, CC/LTI, CMI-5…What Does It All Mean?” now has some dead links. The “collaborators”, “CMI-5 specification”, and “AICC’s CMI-5 Wiki” links are all dead. Current new URL:

CMI-5 specification: https://github.com/AICC/CMI-5_Spec_Current/wiki

Otherwise watch ADL’s site for any news on their hosting and leadership of old AICC spec archives and CMI-5 progress… There are no news updates on their site about AICC or CMI-5 as of this post.

For whatever it’s worth, I appreciate the effort the AICC Executive Committee initiated and maintained over the years. The airline industry may not always be seen as inventive but their move to standardize training communication and record stores was a critical first move to the specifications we work with today.
Cheers to the AICC organization and thanks for the guidance and contributions they’ve made to the eLearning community over these many years!

ELearning Audio and Narration – sites, notes, suggestions

Since last detailed post about recording narration for your eLearning projects, additional discussions have brought about a few more ideas, notes, and resources.

Here’s a nice post (and a great overall eLearning site) by Connie Malamed. In brief, she lists her suggestions on ‘Best Stock Music for Multimedia Projects’ where “you will find online providers of stock music and sound effects (SFX). These sites offer pricing and tracks suitable for online learning, videos, presentations and other multimedia projects.”

An additional, newer resource is eLearning Brothers, who have recently jumped into stock media offering “over 500,000 stock photos, graphics, vectors, videos and audio files to the training and development community.” One thing they point out, which should always be a concern, is proper licensing. Per the eLearning Brothers post, “One thing that really differentiates this offering is that our customers don’t have to worry about complex licensing models that charge extra if an image is used incorrectly. Once it is part of their course, they keep the asset forever.” Continue reading ELearning Audio and Narration – sites, notes, suggestions

Even more Captivate 8 resources

Working with Captivate 8 more and more, the locked-down workspaces really annoyed me. For example, I have two monitors so prefer to have the timeline panel on one monitor (along with a couple other panels) and the main development view on the other. The ‘default’ workspace in CP8, however, doesn’t allow panels to be undocked!

So quick pointer: do Edit > Preferences, then on the resulting screen select ‘Enable custom workspaces/panel undocking’. Continue reading Even more Captivate 8 resources

A worthwhile conference: 2014 ‘NEELC’

I attended the “2014 Northeast E-Learning Consortium Conference” (04/15 update: previous link dead, changed to conference agenda PDF) last week and found it refreshing. I’m unsure if ‘NEELC’ is the proper abbreviation – I don’t think it’s large enough (yet?) to have an official abbreviation. Their Facebook page (which needs to be a bit more actively maintained) notes it as the ‘NEC’ but that abbreviation is all over the web, and is  officially claimed by the  Nippon Electric Company!

So anyway, I’ll call it the NEELC for now to give it a little of its own panache. Continue reading A worthwhile conference: 2014 ‘NEELC’

Advantages and Disadvantages of SCORM 1.2 vs 2004

Despite the growth and excitement around the xAPI (TinCan) spec, SCORM remains the most popular and supported method of ensuring a standardized communication between an online course and the LMS. While SCORM 2004 is dated by its very name, it has gone through several revisions and absolutely remains (at this time) a viable solution for tracking your courseware.

However, many LMS products still lack in full SCORM 2004 support, various tools interpret the spec differently, and it does add a bit more complexity to the overall setup of the course.

So is there really an advantage to using the ‘newer’ SCORM 2004 spec over the older SCORM 1.2? Continue reading Advantages and Disadvantages of SCORM 1.2 vs 2004

eLearning Chef’s Top 5 Open-Source LMSystems

Per the previous post, here’s our list of the top 5 open-source LMS products. Yes, there are lots more. You can search for ‘top open source LMS’ and find several similar lists. We base ours on our direct experience, various readings and discussions, and general research.

These are not necessarily listed from top to bottom but generally, yes, the preferred are toward the top (as the write-ups will explain). Continue reading eLearning Chef’s Top 5 Open-Source LMSystems

Adobe Max Online, Creative Cloud Updates

Adobe Max starts today and the Keynotes are being webcast!
http://max.adobe.com/sessions/max-online

They’re having some connectivity issues, likely due to heavy traffic, but coming in well here so far…

  • Day One keynote: Creativity on the Cutting Edge: Monday, Oct 6, 9:30–11:30am PT
  • Day Two keynote: Community Inspires Creativity: Tuesday, Oct 7, 10–11:30am PT

Check out the Adobe Max Blog for timely updates. One major topic is the latest Creative Cloud updates. That blog post covers the highlights, including new Adobe Apps:

  • Illustrator Draw: “An all-new app that reinvents the best of Adobe Ideas, letting you work with familiar tools and features in a modern, streamlined interface.”
  • Photoshop Sketch: “Draw with new expressive brushes as well as custom brushes, and send sketch artwork to Photoshop as a PSD file…”
  • Lightroom Mobile: “View comments and favorites in Lightroom mobile that clients, friends, or family leave on the photos you’ve shared online in Lightroom on the web.”
  • Creative Cloud Market: “A collection of high-quality, curated content that’s free to Creative Cloud members.”

Additionally, some new CC Resources:

 

Use an Open-Source or Commercial LMS?

As a technology and approach to training, the case for eLearning has pretty much been settled. Sure, there are still debates about the actual definition, ROI, and efficacy of the published courseware, and those are certainly valid concerns, but as an approach to satisfying learning requirements, eLearning continues to experience significant growth.

One part of eLearning is, of course, the actual courseware and/or hybrid approach to traditional classroom training. The other significant part is tracking and reporting on those activities. This is increasingly the role of the Learning Management System (LMS).

Some organizations appear to still be hesitant to implement an LMS for a variety of reasons; is the LMS dead already? Are commitments to rigid? Are costs to high or not containable?
Those are all certainly valid concerns.

Continue reading Use an Open-Source or Commercial LMS?