Nice Maps of Elearning Vendor Landscape

Somehow I stumbled on to this diagram or "mind map" of the elearning vendor landscape at European analyst Elearnity Research.

Elearnity Research – Vendor Navigator

A combination of that chart and the Clark Aldrich Chart of Consolidations might make for quite an interesting discussion of the future of elearning. Or at least make someone look like a genius for talking through both of these in their next presentation.

Are there other charts us genius-wannabe’s should be looking at? Let me know.

November 10 eSeminar on Captivate 2

On November 10th at 10am Pacific [1pm Eastern] I’m hosting an Adobe eSeminar on Improving Elearning Experiences with Captivate 2. The presenter is Paul Clothier who will demonstrate design approaches and Captivate techniques that will help you create more compelling content. He has come clever menu example and will discuss use of FLV video with Captivate.

I’m looking forward to this one because I know Paul and most of the session will be demonstration. Last week at Learning 2006, Elliott Masie had everyone on a "2 slides" PowerPoint restriction. That wasn’t quite achieved, but the principle did lead to more engaging discussion.

Register for the Captivate 2 seminar online. The same page will enable you to register for that session, as well as the December session with Dr. Michael Allen. Both sessions are also listed on the Elearning Events calendar that I maintain.

Synchronicity: Is ISD Dead or am I dead tired?

I am at Masie’s Learning 2006 having a great time working, learning and networking. This is the most lively I’ve seen this conference or its predecessor since 1998 or so. Lots of GREAT speakers, new ideas, new vibrant attendees, fun things, compelling discussions/sharing and cool technologies too. I’ve posted to the Learning 2006 Wiki twice already. It is good, but the days get long. I’m schmoozed-out and it is now 12:50am. I look at the session I’m involved with tomorrow:

Great Debate: 610 Instructional Design is Dead!

I open my email and there’s a note from Tony Karrer. He’s asking me to re-engage with the ASTD Learning Circuits Blog and join in the fray on this month’s Big Question:

Are ISD/ADDIE/HPT relevant in a world of rapid elearning, faster time-to-performance, and informal learning?

Hmm, are we spotting a trend here? Mid-life crisis for Instructional Design? (Can’t be me, I sold my convertible last August. sniff)

Or this like that triple-positive biorhythm day in college where you could turn the same paper in for 2 or 3 classes? Hmm, speaking of college maybe I should go back to school and study Competencies or Knowledge Management. Seems like these are the new buzzwords for enterprise learning systems. Nah, this ISD "fad" thing paid for the last convertible, so I’ll stick with it for a bit. Who knows, maybe I should check Adobe job listings.

Back from MAX and Elearning Events Updated

I’m back from the Adobe MAX Conference where I did a session on Elearning Standards. I hope to get my content posted to the Adobe site this week. If you missed MAX, John Dowdell has nice terse summaries and links to the relevant detailed summations. The more punctual speakers already have their presentations available on the MAX site.

Meanwhile, I updated the Elearning Events Calendar with a few events going out as far as March 2007 (EuroTAAC) and June of 2007 (Training Directors Forum).

Next week will be really interesting at the Learning 2006 Conference organized by Elliott Masie. It is the first time I will be attending as a Masie Fellow and I will help facilitate some of the "Great Debates" like, Instructional Design is Dead and Rapid Elearning: Speed or Quality. There will be a mock boxing ring and participants are encouraged to take strong positions instead of the typical wishy-washy "it all depends" positions so easy to adopt in the world of instructional design. The Masie Center has lined up some great thinkers and speakers, and the Learning Wiki will be reprised this year as an asset and forum for participants.

Oct 20th- Mobile and New Delivery Technologies for On-Demand Learning and Information

The Adobe Elearning Luminaries eSeminar series resumes on October 20th. During the series I’ll be hosting presentations and discussions from speakers including Chris Howard of Bersin & Associates, Dr. Michael Allen of Allen Interactions, and Paul Clothier. Seminars are one hour long on Fridays, starting at 10:00am Pacific [GMT -8:00]., and occur on October 20, 2006; November 10, 2006 and December 1, 2006. See the Adobe eSeminar registration page for details or check the Mobilemind Elearning Events Calendar. Here’s more information on the first session

Mobile and New Delivery Technologies for On-Demand Learning & Information
Discover the proven solutions and emerging trends identified by Bersin research that will help managers and developers select, recommends, implement, and effectively deploy on-demand learning solutions. Chris Howard, Principal Analyst at Bersin & Associates shares key results of their recent industry study. Learn how training organizations and corporations are using technologies and strategies including:

  • Mobile solutions
  • Podcasts & MP3 recordings
  • Blogs, Wikis and eBooks
  • Online books and reference materials
  • Online communities

Chris Howard is a principal analyst at Bersin & Associates. Chris has worked with hundreds of customers in the deployment of online learning solutions. He is recognized as an industry leader on the unique infrastructure issues that companies face as they embrace new paradigms for distributing and managing knowledge. Recently Chris has published the 7-step approach to selecting an LMS, our Best-practices in Leadership Training, Application Simulations:What Works, and Content Integration Challenges. Chris is a regular speaker at industry conferences including Online Learning, Training, and ASTD. He holds a B.S. in computer science and an M.B.A. from the University of Houston.

Register here.

Open Source LMS Projects

Is getting an LMS accepted and running already so much of a challenge that training managers and departments won’t even consider an open-source LMS? There are quite a few open-source LMS projects going on in the academic world. I’m not sure how many of these have significant commercial implementations. There is of course, Moodle, and also OLAT. A few other systems of interest are reviewed in English at the LMS News site originating in Germany, and LMS Talk also has a list of open source LMS resources. I picked up on on the Paris-based ANEMALAB which offers the Ganesha LMS. This LMS seems to support PENS and was demonstrated last month at the LIFE Fest 2006 in Paris.

I started with a rhetorical question about the enterprise, but now I have questions about open-source LMS and academia. Are there just too many open source LMS offerings without a clear leader? Is the open source segment facing the same challenges that the "pre-consolidation wave" commercial LMS market faced? Or is this segment driven by the lack of viable commercial alternatives in academia (eg, WebCT-Blackboard merger, and the Bb lawsuit cloud hanging over commercial implementations in that segment)?

Quick Links- Comics and PENS

Two quick and mostly unrelated links to discuss.

Mark Oehlert references a great book, Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud, which I first saw back when I was working on training for the F-22 figher in the 1990s. Yes, even fighter pilot training can benefit from storyboarding, communication and visualiztion tips from comic art techniques. Anyway, Mark’s post Following up on the ‘learning as art’ meme – Let’s Start With Comics has some great links and a nice example of applying the principles to something as simple as a bulleted list. Check it out. I may even get an extra copy to circulate amongst the team for the current commercial aviation training project that I am working on now.

PENS (the protocol for simplified publishing of elearning, not the Rapidograph tools favored by comic artists), is getting more attention and support. I just noticed the current (du jour?) Wikipedia entry for AICC mentions PENS. Thanks to Google News Alerts, I learned that IBM customers are asking about PENS support in Lotus Learning Management System (LMS) or IBM Workplace Collaboration Services Learning on the support pages. Great to see that PENS is showing up on the radar of more LMS providers like IBM and Oracle (recently at an AICC meeting), and that the list of PENS supporters is growing. Getting a new standard going and accepted is tough work upfront, but it really catches on once a few early adopters see a competitive advantage to supporting it.

New Cool Tool- Articulate Engage

Articulate Engage is an awesome tool to add to your rapid elearning quiver. It isn’t the standard PowerPoint-to-Flash tool, nor is it another capture-based tool like TechSmith Camtasia or Qarbon ViewletCam.

Engage gives you interactions that break out of the rapid elearning tutorial "box" that can corner you into only "click next to continue" or "insert multiple choice here." Instead it gives you bigger, broader user interactions like a timeline for discovery learning and common interactions to communicate business concepts like nested circles, marketecture pyramid diagrams, glossaries, etc.

The interactions in Articulate Engage are simple to build and you don’t have to snap together a dozen of the tiniest legos in the box to get complete useful interaction structures. Even better, they also give some contemporary looking eye-candy, so business content can look great without making you struggle to become a Photoshop wizard just for clean, current-looking buttons.

Engage isn’t intended to replace a tool like Breeze/Connect, or Captivate– in fact it integrates nice & tight and adds value to the Articulate Presenter PPT-to-Flash tool. Check out the free trial while it is available-
  Download Articulate Engage trial copy.