Every organisation with an e-learning initiative needs a learning management system (or LMS).

From authoring courses to tracking the progress of your students or employees, choosing the right LMS for your purposes is essential to your training program’s success.

There are many criteria to consider, from scalability and community-building tools to reporting and course management. The LMS you use doesn’t just affect your ability to create and manage your courses, but it also has an impact on the end user’s experience.

Plus, once you’ve committed to the use of a specific platform, you will probably continue to use it over the long haul. Switching from one to the other could prove to be more trouble than it’s worth. It stands to reason you’d want the best tool at your fingertips.

What’s the best LMS for 2017? Here are several questions you should ask to find the right solution for you.

What Are Your E-Learning Goals?

What are you looking to achieve with your training programs? What are the learning needs of your students? What are the short- and long-term objectives for your e-learning initiative?

Finding the right LMS begins with assessing your goals and what you hope to accomplish. This will help you determine what platform best matches your developers’ – and students’ – needs.

What Skills Or Technical Experience Does Your Development Team Bring To The Table?

Are your course authors and developers knowledgeable and skilled at a variety of programming languages, LMS and content management platforms, plugins, and so on? Or, are they, beginners, when it comes to computer software and applications?

If your developers aren’t comfortable with the platform they’re using, they will find it a frustrating process to create courses, develop themes, track results, and so on. This will create bottlenecks in your training. It’s best to find an LMS that serves the needs of both your developers and learners.

What Limitations Does The LMS Have?

There is no one LMS that’s a comprehensive solution. Some will have more features than you need. Some will have fewer. Some will make reporting easy – others won’t. The important thing is to know what you need and what you’re looking for in a LMS.

Buying more LMS than you need isn’t necessarily a problem unless price point is a major consideration. The ability to scale up later is something you may end up appreciating as your organisation grows. There are features you may not need now but find a need for later.

What Support Does The LMS Offer?

Is the LMS updated regularly? Is there sufficient documentation covering how to use and customise it? Are there plugins you can install to extend its functionality? Is there a number you can call if everything goes awry?

If there is no support for a specific LMS, there’s probably a good reason for it. It may have been abandoned by its developers. Its users may have found it too difficult to use, or it may have many bugs that need to be worked out. You don’t want to be left with a solution that is no longer maintained and isn’t ready for use within a business or organisation.

Conclusion: The Best LMS For 2017

Moodle LMS is still considered one of the most feature-rich, powerful, and recommended LMS tools on the market. It’s free, open-source, and has amazing language support to boot.

In the end, you’ll still want to choose your LMS based on what’s right for your business or organisation. You may prefer the interface or feature set of other platforms. You may prefer an industry-specific platform that’s tailored to your exact course development needs.

Use the criteria above to find a platform that allows you to put your e-learning program into place without friction.


Content development can be a long and arduous process depending on what you’re looking to help your users achieve.

That’s why you need to be working with the right content development tools. They can make your life a lot easier by driving up efficiency and productivity, enhancing your designs, and adding the right functionality to your training courses.

Whether you’re finding content development to be a struggle, or you’re just looking for ways to improve your processes, here are nine great e-learning content development tools that will help you take your course-making efforts to the next level.

  1. iSpring Suite

If you’ve ever wanted to take your PowerPoint presentations and turn them into e-learning courses, you’ll love iSpring Suite, which also acts as a Learning Management System (LMS). iSpring Suite also offers plenty of course templates and themes, backgrounds, and more.

iSpring can integrate with popular LMS platforms, including Moodle.

  1. Raptivity

Raptivity can be used in conjunction with content authoring tools like Adobe Captivate and Articulate Storyline. It comes with over 190 customizable interactions, can be used on Windows or a Mac, and can integrate with Moodle, Blackboard, and other known LMS platforms.

  1. H5P

If you’re looking for a free-to-use, open-source authoring tool, you’ve found it. H5P can even be used as a plugin for Moodle or WordPress.

H5P offers support for a variety of content types, and is also mobile friendly.

  1. Adobe Captivate

A well-recognized name in photography and design, Adobe’s Captivate is loved by many e-learning authors.

With Captivate, you can storyboard your courses, tap into a large interactions library, and create your courses quickly and easily with their user-friendly interface.

  1. Obsidian Black

With Obsidian Black, you can sync voiceovers with text, images, and animation. This makes the creation of video content a breeze. Obsidian Black is compatible with most popular LMS solutions.

Since project members and clients can leave comments and reviews on your courses, you can easily collect feedback to help you improve future iterations or training programs.

  1. BranchTrack

Many well-known brands and companies utilize and trust BranchTrack for their e-learning needs. That shouldn’t come as a surprise – it boasts a robust set of features, such as tracking and reporting, gamification, and even built-in characters and backgrounds for your hypothetical scenarios.

BranchTrack is also mobile ready.

  1. Area9 Learning

Area9 Learning is a cloud-based authoring tool, LMS, and reporting program. It handles a variety of content types, including 3D models and simulations. Since the platform is cloud-based, you can make real time updates to your courses, and collecting feedback is a breeze.

  1. eNetAuthor

Mobile ready and cloud-based, eNetAuthor is built for collaboration. It comes with course templates as well as Smart Objects that allow you to implement multimedia elements with ease. eNetAuthor is also great for those who are either programmers or the more technically inclined, since you can create and insert custom scripts.

  1. Evolve e-Learning Solutions

If you’re worried about trying to cater to different learning styles, then you’ll want to look at Evolve e-Learning Solutions, which makes it easy to integrate videos, flow charts, sliders, and a variety of other multimedia objects in your courses.

Evolve is also highly customizable, with a variety of themes, the ability to tweak how you want pages or menus to look, and more.

Conclusion

Look for tools and solutions that are right for you. Ultimately, no one can tell you which authoring or LMS content development applications are best. It depends on your team size, your resources, your technical knowledge, as well as what you’re comfortable with.

Fortunately, there are plenty of easy-to-use solutions available, making it possible for even beginners to get started in course authoring without a lot of fuss.


Design is a key aspect of any learning experience. Even the best content may go underappreciated if it’s bland, tacky, or poorly laid out.

Though your course material should be your top priority, you shouldn’t forget about design elements – font and font size, colours, images, videos, page layout, and so on. These elements define the user experience, and therefore the information they learn and retain.

So, what does great e-learning content design look like? How is it different from ordinary or badly designed content? How can you go about enhancing the learning experience of your learners?

Clarify Your Goals

Not much needs to be said about being clear on your objectives and the structure of your course, but it is critically important.

Take some time to determine what you want your learners to take away from your course and build its structure around your key objectives.

Think about what course format you’re planning to use, as well as the technology needed to realize your vision.

Keep Navigation Simple

Make it easy for your users to find what they’re looking for.

Course creators sometimes think more is more, but when it comes to menus and navigation elements, it’s best to start with the bare minimum and only add additional items as necessary. Less is undeniably more, because it makes it easier for your learners to follow along and learn what they need to.

Don’t create pathways into modules or pages you don’t even want the end user to find.

Prioritize Visual Appeal

Beware of presenting the learner with endless walls of text. This type of information is hard to consume and difficult to retain.

Instead, use visual elements throughout your courses to guide the user along. Insert images and videos, and use other multimedia elements to keep the learning experience engaging.

Also think about the overall design of your course – fonts, colours, spacing, and so on.

Reinforce Key Points

Repetition is vitally important to help your students retain the knowledge they learn from your course.

Christoforos Pappas, Founder of The eLearning Industry’s Network says, “Including quizzes and tests at the conclusion of each module not only allow facilitators and creators to assess the effectiveness of the eLearning course, but also offer learners the opportunity to gauge their progress and summarize the content they have learned.”

Whether with summaries or quizzes and tests, find a way to reinforce the key points in your course, so your students remember them.

Learn From The Best

E-learning courses can take many forms. The key consideration is always what you’re trying to achieve, and what you want your users to walk away with.

And while it would be easy to talk endlessly about theory and best practices, one of the best ways to determine how to proceed with your course is to study and learn from the best e-learning resources available.

Look at an article like Best of 2015: 20 excellent elearning examples to inspire your next project, and study each example they give. You can learn a great deal from successful e-learning initiatives others have created for their employees, students, or learners. Use this as inspiration for your next course.

Conclusion

A great course:

  • Is one that’s easy to digest.
  • Communicates the key points succinctly and repeats them often to reinforce key information.
  • Has a visually appealing design.
  • Engages the user from beginning to end.
  • Achieves its stated goal by keeping course material focused on the chosen topic.
  • Is easy to navigate.
  • Contains opportunities for additional learning, should the user want to take their knowledge to the next level.
  • Includes interactive elements that make the learning experience fun.

These are but a few considerations to be aware of. Design is ultimately about communication. Getting your message across should be your primary goal, and your design elements should support that goal.


eCreators are proud to announce our new partnership with Edvergent Learning, developers of the Converge LMS.

As a leading Moodle Partner, eCreators will now offer Coverage LMS throughout Australia and South East Asia.

About Converge Learning Management System:
Converge Learning Management System, powered by Edvergent Learning, was built by teachers specifically for the K-12 learning environment. Our vision is to bring learners together through an intuitive interface that propels blended and online instruction. Converge allows teachers and students to easily communicate, collaborate, and create without the boundaries of the traditional classroom.

Coupled with best-in-class service and training support by expert teachers who have taught in 1:1 environments, Converge offers a superior LMS solution.

Contact us eCreators for more information.

See more info here: Article
And the press release here: Press Release 


Moodle can proudly boast it has more than 90 million users across the world.

Moodle is a highly customisable open-source course-building tool and learning management system.

Course creators and tutors can tweak to their heart’s content, preparing course material that is both engaging and informative for their students or employees.

But unless you know exactly how to unlock the platform’s full potential, there’s a good chance you’re leaving many stones unturned. Poor implementation can deliver poor results. Even a simple application like a word processor tends to have more functions than you are aware of or even need, and you’re probably only using about 20% of its features most of the time. Moodle can be a lot like that too.

So, how can you get more from Moodle? What can you do to create a better learning experience for your community of learners?

Understand How Scalable Moodle Is

Many authors of training programs simply don’t understand how powerful and scalable Moodle is. Certainly, you can use it in a smaller corporate or educational setting, but it can also handle thousands of users effortlessly.

Moodle can serve your entire organisation’s educational and learning needs. Though you may currently be using it to host one or two training programs, it’s good to know that it can handle so much more than that, and can grow with you. In the past eCreators have delivered platforms that service 100’s of thousands of users on scalable architecture and smaller sites on shared architecture.

Take Advantage Of Plugins

Plugins are standalone software components that can enhance the functionality of Moodle. There are hundreds of Moodle plugins available depending on what you’re trying to accomplish and how you’re looking to extend Moodle’s existing functions.

From plugins that allow you to create welcome messages for new users, to ones that help you keep track of learner attendance, there’s plenty to choose from. If you can’t find the exact function or setting you’re looking for within Moodle, it’s worth checking the plugin library to see if you can easily add the functionality you need. Alternatively, eCreators can create custom plugins for you if one doesn’t exist.

Integrate Moodle With Other Tools

The problem with using multiple pieces of software in your organisation is that they won’t always talk to each other and sync properly. This generally isn’t a problem with Moodle, which can integrate with many popular enterprise solutions like Oracle, SalesForce, and SugarCRM. There are many other integration options that can help you add to the overall learning experience of your students or trainees, or help you track crucial data. Popular Student Management Systems is just one example.

Treat Moodle As Your All-In-One Training Solution

You may be using Moodle only for specific aspects of your organisation, whether it’s onboarding or compliance training. But it is powerful enough to handle more, and could even be your all-in-one training solution.

For instance, you could use it to create competency-based training, workplace safety training, continued education, and much more. No matter what type of organisation you run, Moodle is a flexible solution that can be used for all your training, and even as a tool for building reports, documenting systems, online course development, and more.

With Moodle, you can track CPD points, create certificates award badges – just as a few examples.

Conclusion

Every dollar invested in online training results in $30 in productivity.

When you dig beneath the surface, you may find Moodle to be more than you initially bargained for. As a course authoring and management tool, it is incredibly flexible and powerful. It can be used in practically any industry or organisation. Its features can be extended with the use of plugins and integrations. It’s accommodating of just about any size of business, organisation or institution.

It’s available in many different languages.
Getting more from Moodle is a simple matter of understanding what it’s capable of. Setting aside time for experimentation can also lead to innovation and learning breakthroughs.
If you’d like to talk more Moodle, call us today to discuss what problems you’re trying to solve in your learning organisation.


Australia’s BRW Top 100 Fast Company partners with world’s open-source learning platform to deliver edtech solutions in Asia Pacific

eCreators – one of Australia’s leaders in elearning and technology – today announced their partnership with Moodle to deliver their learning management expertise internationally, into Singapore.

Together, both companies will continue their mission to deliver innovative and powerful edtech tools that empower growing educational demands in Singapore.

eCreators expansion to the Singapore market means that organisations in the education, government,

not-for-profit and corporate sectors can now take advantage of the range of quality eLearning products

and services eCreators has offered the Australian market over the past 10 years.

eCreators aims to provide market leading SaaS based services to Singapore’s small to medium business

market and bespoke enterprise services to tier 1 organisations across all industries.

Additionally, eCreators will provide content development services to all areas of the market, allowing

Singapore access to a fully-fledged eLearning provider.

Dean Saunders, CEO of eCreators, commented on the exciting opportunity and challenge ahead as they expand their Moodle services into Singapore.

“The team and I are excited about extending our services to the Singapore market,” said Dean.

“Off the back of our success in Australia, we’re positive Singapore will also benefit from our range of

dynamic and innovative Moodle products and eLearning content services.”

“I see Singapore as a natural regional partner, especially as we’ve already had some early success in the

region.”

“Many of the people we speak to in Singapore understand the important role that Moodle plays in the

global education space and we aim to spread that message further through delivering quality Moodle and

eLearning products to the market.”

Dr Martin Dougiamas, Founder and CEO of Moodle, also commented on the importance of eCreator’s

expansion to offer quality Moodle services in the Singapore region.

“I congratulate eCreators on their achievement of becoming a Certified Moodle Services Provider in Singapore,” said Martin.

“We have been working in partnership with eCreators over the last 4 years to provide high level edtech solutions to leading Australian higher education and corporate sectors.”

“We are now looking forward to working more together to meet the growing demand for digital education in Singapore through the provision of powerful, innovative and flexible tools in Moodle.”

The Moodle Partner network continues to grow, with the addition of eCreators’ certified Moodle services in Singapore totalling 87 certified Moodle partnerships based in 44 countries.

ENDS

Media contact

Petra Vanessie
Head of Communications [email protected]

About Moodle

Moodle, the world’s open source learning platform, allows educators to create a private space online filled with tools for collaborative learning. First released in 2001 by Martin Dougiamas, Moodle is now used in every country in the world. Moodle is a key part of operations for leading education institutions such as Open University UK, Monash and Columbia, as well as big organisations such as the United Nations, UK Government and US Defence force.

Moodle’s open source project and development is supported by its global community of users and network of certified Moodle Partners, who offer a range of tailored Moodle services and support. For more information, visit http://moodle.com .

About eCreators

eCreators are a Moodle Certified Partner, specialising in the development, deployment and customisation

of Moodle LMS sites. Our SaaS platform is designed to provide secure, highly available services, across

multiple geographic locations, with self-scaling and self-healing capabilities. With years of experience we

have established an outstanding record for tailoring platforms to our client needs, which includes

government, corporate, educational and not-fot-profit sectors.

With a team of comprehensive in-house specialists, comprising of Engineers, Coders, Architects and

Designers, we deliver solutions to organisations such as Telstra, The Australian Red Cross, Ergon

Energy, and the Police and Nurses Bank.

Underpinned with a robust Project Methodology, Analysis and Design phase to deliver Moodle solutions,

we are also leaders in creating self-paced eLearning content and have previously assisted Australian and

international organisations in the delivery of innovative content solutions.

Along with our other partnerships with Citrix, Samsung and Intelliboard, we were recognised in the

Australian Financial Review in 2016 as Australia’s fastest growing eLearning company.

More information can be found in eCreators website.


We’ve been receiving a common question yesterday, so here’s to filling in a few blanks for you!

 

1.What’s this new acronym I need to learn? 

I know, we’ve heard it before. Let’s create an acronym thats so difficult to understand that it needs a manual. LTI stands for Learning Tools Interoperability. Say that at a BBQ and you’re own your own. Know what it does and you may make a friend or two.

2. So what does LTI allow me to do?

OK, lets say you have a existing Learning Management System. From that Learning Management System you want to be able to share content to another Learning Management System. It might be a partner, a customer, anyone at all.  After you upload your e-learning course, providing your LMS is LTI compatible, you can now allow access to the said course.

3. And that helps me how?

This is the great bit. One of the ways LTI can assist you is to allow you to provide full access to your e-learning course or course library without the course leaving your system.  Let’s say you’re an RTO – maybe even one of our RTO customers. LTI allows your customers to host, manage and/or sell your content from their own platforms. From the customer perspective, they can report, run and view the course just as if it lived on thier own LMS; and; if you ever need to revoke access, you can just pull the plug!

This is just one of the ways LTI can help your business. To see a live demo of how it can work, call our Sales team for a demo today.


Confused where to start?

Many of our enterprise customers that we meet with are often faced with the challenge of where to begin when implementing an LMS and a wider learning strategy across their organisation.  This is where eCreators offers a Learning Lab.  A learning lab is designed to assist you in determining your core requirements to ensure:

  1. You’re implementing the right product into your business
  2. All of the correct stakeholders are involved
  3. Your system is providing you with the right reporting tools
  4. Your system is integrated – and behaving correctly through other multiple systems
  5. You have a long term sustainable strategy for learning in your business

There are many other items we cover off in learning labs, these are just a few.

Typically, a learning lab will last for one to two days, and on extended projects we may recommend a permanent business analyst from our team to assist you on the client side implementation.  The types of team members we commit to Learning Labs are:

Digital Technology Manager

Business Analyst

User Experience Designer

Solutions Architect

Learning Labs have seen eCreators create successful implementations for many organisations. Call us today to fid out more.


What is My Team?

My Team is a feature we created for eCreator’s Moodle theme, Learnbook, as a response to customer feedback lamenting the difficulty they had empowering managers within their organisation to monitor their team’s learning progress.


What can I do with My Team?

With ‘My Team’, managers can see the learning progress of their team members at a glance.

That means, they can log into Learnbook and with a single click, get a snapshot of the learning progress of everyone they manage, including a handy progress bar.

Screen Shot 2016-12-05 at 4.53.55 pm

Managers can drill down further by clicking on a team member’s learning profile.

They’ll get visibility right down to the activity level and be able to send messages to members of their team  directly from the LMS.

Screen Shot 2016-12-05 at 2.05.37 pm

 

How do I set it up?

My Team works through system context cohorts. For managers to get visibility, you’ll need to make them Cohort Managers.

system context cohorts

 

Ok, great! How do I create system context cohorts?

You can create these cohorts in accordance with your organisation’s structure by going to:

Site administration > Users > Accounts > cohorts

1. Select the ‘Add new cohort’ tab.

2. Name your cohort.

3. Make sure your cohort is created within a system context by selecting the ‘System’ dropdown option in the Context field.

4. Create a Cohort ID (especially important if you’re going to add users to cohorts in bulk via CSV).

add a new cohort

If you are creating many cohorts, it might be more convenient for you to add cohorts in bulk.
Read more about how you can do this here.

 

How do I add users to Cohorts?

You can do this one user at a time or in bulk.

One at a time:

You can add users to a cohort by going to:

Site administration > Users > Accounts > cohorts

1. Click on the ‘add user’ icon next to the cohort you’d like to add users

2. Find users in the potential users space and add them to the cohort using the ‘Add’ button

In bulk:

You can users in bulk in two ways:

Via Bulk User Actions –

You can add users to cohort in bulk by going to:

Site administration > Users > Accounts > Bulk User Actions

1. Create a filter to search for the users you want
2. Add them to the selected users list
3. Add the selected user(s) to a cohort

use filter to search for your users

 

Via CSV –

You can upload a CSV which lists your users, adding a cohort field to automatically add them to a cohort using a Cohort ID.

Find out more about building your CSV here.

 

Finally, how do I add a Cohort Manager?

To add someone as a Cohort Manager, go to their profile and select ‘Edit profile’.

edit profile

In the field, ‘Cohort Manager’ add the cohort you’d like them to be the manager of.

Screen Shot 2016-12-05 at 5.07.12 pm

 

Once they’ve been made a Cohort Manager, Managers will be able to go to ‘My Team’ and see the progress of their cohort!

final image

 

We hope you enjoy discovering ‘My Team’! Let us know how you go –  [email protected]

 


Love the way you Learn

 

 

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Learning Management Systems, like other applications, can be highly underutilised. Sometimes people are completely unaware of the power that lies ‘underneath the hood’.

 

Think about Microsoft Word.  Numerous articles on the web will point to the fact that learners use less than 40% of the entire feature set, the LMS can be much the same.

 

These days, organisations can become disorganisations by underutilising, or not utilising their LMS in an effective manner.  When it comes to proper use of a Learning Management System, it should be considered the ‘Go To’ place for all organisational learning.

 

So, how do you achieve this?

 

  1. Make it accessible and easy to use. Let’s face it, if the interface isn’t slick or user friendly, I’m not coming back in a hurry. Information needs to be well organised, searchable and easy to reference and tagged. If its quicker to do a Google search every time, that’s the choice learners will make.

 

  1. Have your LMS reach out to your learners. This can happen in a variety of ways by configuring your notifications block to tell learners when different things are happening, such as new course availability, a new webinar or a chance for a new badge for performing a certain action.

 

  1. Identify which plugins are going to give your community the most value. These could be video plugins, webinar plugins, or even something special you’ve made just for your site. The plugins that appeal to the wider community are going to draw the most traffic, so think about them first.

 

  1. Consider hiring an e-learning analyst. Customers current and new quite often come to eCreators to discuss ways to increase engagement on their Learning Management Systems. This can be a great step to consider when looking at your long term strategy.

 

 

The Moodle Community has the largest collection of plugins of any LMS.  On Moodle.org you will find a range of LMS plugins that will assist you with integration with other apps, gamification and collaboration tools, free webinar plugins and much more. Careful selection of these plugins can be paramount in your success to create a community, not just a site.

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