Our organisation is at the beginning with regards to e-learning.
We are developing several in-house courses and are also investigating commissioning bespoke learning externally.
We have also found that there is an abundance of generic courses that could be suitable for us to purchase.
We need to develop purchasing procedures and polices. Can any members suggest where we might find procedure outlines that would give us a start.

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He Jonathan,

What we have done in our business is to get a licence with one of the big e-learning companies SkillSoft ( formally known as NETG)
This way we had acces to a bunch of suitable courses where we could create our own learning path.
They have a wide variety of training ( technically and softskill) and the quality of their e-learning is good.
In this case one supplier fits all as they have over 10000 trainings in their database!

Hopes this helps, kind regards

Johanneke Stam, BT
We use SkillSoft too - for the same reasons. Highly recommend them.http://www.skillsoft.com/


Shari Casey
For Microsoft office and standard desktop training we use online learning courseware from a company called Custom Guides see http://www.customguide.com/

For bespoke training that are specific to the University of Salford we use Cantasia software and design our own e-learning. It is a very simple package to use.
Hello (sorry, its a bit of a ramble this...)
You are at a very exciting stage of this process however my feeling is that you may feel restricted if you work to someone elses policy or procedure at this early stage - its quite a new area for many Learning & Development teams. I went to the HRD show yesterday just to have a look at what suppliers are doing and who's who. There is such a wide choice at the moment of how you make up your learning platform and it has to be right for your business.

Some suppliers now offer generic learning mdoules which you can have branded with company logo's etc or add images etc that reflect the companies business without touching the content. Of course its likely to be for the basic mandatory subjects and some soft skills, but depending on your sector, there will be subjects that you will want to train in immediately at induction stage that can be followed up with classroom workshops or offline activities - giving you the real 'blended learning' to suit. This reduces risk, supports staff and gives them confidence in carrying out their role without having to wait for a face to face session.

You may need to consider whether you want your LMS to 'talk' to your HR system; intranet or perhaps e'portfolio etc. I would suggest that buying off the shelf would require a jolly competent IT department to match it all together.

I would also suggest that you explore if your suppliers have an education/learning bias or whizzy technical one. Creating bespoke content relies on your suppliers understanding of the way people learn not on how they complete the learning. I saw one e'learning programme yesterday which I would really have struggled to navigate myself around, especially if i was starting at the computer phobic end of competency.

I am a fan of bespoke LMS and e'learning modules as they can be focussed on the needs of the learners, realign the compnay's vision and values and create an L&D brand within. As far as involving and engaging users too, to see something that maybe they have been consulted on (content for example) and perhaps have photographs of fellow colleagues or people they serve (customers; clients or service users) can be a real 'hook'. Stock photo's or cartoons can be a bit of a turn-off - but that might just be me.

I might approach your situation by creating a very detailed brief centred on outcomes for the learner, rather than a specification or a policy - put it out to tender and see what comes back - you may well change your mind about how you want to structure the learning you deliver and your suppliers will bring ideas you may not have considered. Take the best bits from them all and then work with the supplier that you feel has really understood who you are and what you want - you must like these people - its a long term relationship.

I am an independent consultant implementing new L&D platforms with e'learning at it's heart, where online and offline, external and internal courses are assigned, tracked and reported by a bespoke LMS. Learners need to access their online logs to pick up details about all courses, including external CPD, workshops, conference etc and can print off pre-course work, evalutions or post messages about the effectiveness of trianing they may have attended - its terrific and puts the LMS at the heart of everything the company does around learning, rather than just deliver e'learning.

Very happy to help or support you at this stage but have no policy or procedures, try the NHS if you really want this template. Drop me a message via this great network or email me directly if you think i can help. (Currently working in Heathcare - Learning Disabilities.) and project coming to a successful end.

Good luck - Kind regards
Hi Jonathan. Our development team uses two approaches to eLearning - one rapid and one Flash dominated that takes a bit longer to develop. Guidance that I would give to those in the process of purchasing is to assess your budget, the skill set of your resources (i.e., team), and the timeline necessary from content kick-off to sign-off. The other factor that we must consider is platform, i.e., is the course to be devlivered within our intranet or for remote users.
I would like to focus on the rapid eLearning in this post. We have found a great deal of success with the suite of applications from Articulate for rapid eLearning. In combination with Engage and Quizmaker (also part of the suite) you have a relatively inexpensive set of programs with a small learning curve for the average user. In addition, we also use Captivate for screen captures, especially when creating demos of our business systems. Files can be published out from Captivate (or Camtasia, as referenced in replies below) as a .swf file and included in the final product from Articulate.
This suite of applications work within PowerPoint and the conversion process is quite easy.
Another advantage of this application is that it integrates well with most LMS's to meet SCORM compliancy so that your courses will mark as complete, show test scores, etc. Lastly, because you can chose a variety of outputs within your published settings, it solved the issue of meeting a wide variety of requirements for various platforms. So, regardless as to whether we are delivering this on our intranet or to external users, we know that our courses will not encounter brower issues, etc.
Hi Mary,

Jonathon - good post

We are embarking on our own rapid authoring journey and are looking at packages such as Presenter, Captivate and Articulate to name a few. Interested in seeing your comment about the various platforms. One of the biggest challanges we currently have in using learning technologies and tools of this nature (or any nature) is platforms. We have a huge population of learners still on NT machines that support 2000 version of ppt and what we have found is that these products at best require 2003 versions of ppt to even run. Other platforms are 2000 and XP but we are in the process or upgraded machines to XP , but when your talking 1000's machines it takes time. When working with flash output most machines only have flash player 6 which again is limiting plus our bandwidth is very small. Did you encounter any of these sorts of problems and how did you overcome them?





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