8 Top Benefits of Using a Cloud-based LMS

As eLearning becomes more popular in the employee-training sphere, the benefits of cloud-based Learning Management Systems become prevalent factors for the organizations that want to offer cost-effective and flexible training methods. Jump in for more on the cloud-based LMS benefits.

n recent years, the many benefits of eLearning have made it increasingly popular, in both educational and business settings. As technology has advanced, so has the world of eLearning, making the effectiveness and convenience of Learning Management Systems even more beneficial for students and employees. Thanks to cloud-based learning management systems, today instructional designers can create courses that are more cost efficient and more accessible. In this article, we’ll delve into the basics and benefits of using a cloud-based LMS.

What is a Cloud-based LMS?


Cloud-based learning management systems are hosted on the Internet and can be accessed by logging into a service provider’s site. Rather than having to install course design and management software, instructional designers can simply use their Internet browsers to upload course content, create new courses, and communicate with learners directly. This is all done through a secure LMS, which also gives designers the ability to store information on the cloud, which can be remotely accessed by other, approved users. 

Cloud-based Learning Management System Benefits

There are a variety of benefits associated with using a cloud-based LMS for both training and educational purposes. Here are just a few of the most notable advantages:

  1. Lower start up costsBecause there is no software to purchase, cloud-based LMSs have lower initial costs. You also won’t need to devote the time or human resources to installing programs, working out glitches, or making sure that software is installed organization-wide. All you need to do is sign up with the LMS service provider and begin creating your content and courses. As some eLearning software and/or hardware can turn out to be a sizable investment, the fact that cloud-based options are so affordable has made them particularly appealing for smaller to medium sized organizations. For example, TalentLMS comes with a FREE plan that allows unlimited trials before having to decide if you will sign up for a subscription.
  2. Enhanced data securityWhile many institutions and businesses use LMSs, they may use social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, to communicate with collaborators. However, these free sites do not have the security features offered by a cloud-based LMS. For example, various designers within your network can share information and ideas remotely through the LMS without having to worry about data being lost or stolen, given that they are hosted on platforms that are better encrypted and safer to use. To assist in that goal, LMS providers may employ a series of different methods to ensure security and privacy of their user-base is of utmost importance. TalentLMS allows the administrator to “Enforce SSL”, making sure all connections that go in and out of the website are secure. Talking about security, we must not forget the matter of payments. Using different payment providers, like PayPal or direct credit-card payments (through secure systems, like Stripe) offers different user demographics the ability to indulge in learning without worrying about the safety of their online transactions.
  3. Improved accessibilityCloud-based LMSs offer better accessibility for both learners and course designers. Learners are able to learn on-the-go, anywhere and anytime. Rather than relying solely upon software-based courses, they can simply log in to their LMS account and begin learning new skill sets and expanding their knowledge base, without limitations. They can use any device to access courses and information. On the other hand, instructional designers can utilize their tablets, mobile phones, and any other internet-ready device to upload content and communicate with other collaborators and learners. For example TalentLMS uses responsive design, so creating or reading through content should be done easily across all and any devices.
  4. Faster deploymentAs a general rule, cloud-based eLearning is faster to set up and requires less time to actually deploy. You could, technically, sign up with a cloud-based service provider one day and have learners using the system the next. There’s no hardware of software involved, so you can have immediate assess to your LMS in a matter of minutes. This means that you can start training sooner, and that you can begin offering courses to students (and accepting new enrollments) in a fraction of the time. In the race between deployed vs cloud-based LMSs, one of the biggest burdens is the setup, steep learning curve of a new system and getting ready for launch. With instantly deployed solutions like TalentLMS, making an account takes 30 seconds.
  5. Cost predictabilityWith cloud-based LMS, you know exactly how much you are going to pay each month. There aren’t any unexpected maintenance fees or upgrade costs, so you can know exactly how much you need to allocate for your LMS. There are typically different hosting and service packages, so you can choose the one that’s right for your organization’s needs, rather than purchasing a bundle software program that includes things that may be extraneous. Usually, cloud-based LMS offers administrators the ability to choose between plans based on registered users or plans based on activity.
  6. Easier to maintainFor the most part, cloud-based LMS service providers have IT staff on hand. This means that you won’t have to worry about dealing with glitches and other LMS operation issues that not only waste time, but resources. Not to mention that patches and upgrades are typically included, which means that you are receiving new features and upgraded functions on a regular basis. This makes it easier for you to maintain your LMS, and allows you to devote your IT resources to other facets of the organization. With TalentLMS, it’s as hassle-free as you can imagine. You can sign-up and forget about maintaining and upgrading the system. New features, feedback requests, tweaks and all sorts of technical mumbo are taken care of by our technical team. If you wish to contact us and discuss anything pertaining learning management systems, or how an LMS could be of use to you, click here.
  7. More storage spaceOne of the most significant advantages to using a cloud-based LMS is that you won’t need to store information on your computer or device. All of the data, including images and content, will be uploaded directly to the LMS, which frees up space on your devices. Other users, such as collaborators and content creators, will also be able to share information with ease, given that it’s being stored on a remote (and secure) server. Not to mention that you will no longer have to worry about information being lost due to corrupted hard drives or permanently deleted computer files, thanks to the fact that all of your eLearning data will be stored on the cloud. On top of the data being securely stored on our end, you have no reason to worry about whether or not the servers can house your content; no matter how large the entirety of the files, TalentLMS users are not limited to a certain “account size”.
  8. Fully customizable and scalableRegardless of whether you are a smaller organization who is looking for a cost effective way to train employees or a large corporation who is offering online courses for students, cloud-based LMS is ideal. Cloud-based LMS offers the best of both worlds in the form of customizability and low cost from the get-go. A cloud-based LMS like TalentLMS will allow administrators to customize the page to look any way they wish (something we call white labelling); to assist in that task, TalentLMS can accept custom JavaScript and CSS to allow for further aesthetic customizations and additions in the form of scripts. That gives TalentLMS owners the freedom to modify and scale their learning cloud-based LMS in a plethora of ways, providing the best learning experience possible for their users.

 

Cloud-based learning management systems can allow you to offer flexible, cost efficient, and effective eLearning to students and employees. With minimal start up costs, automatic upgrades, quick deployment capabilities, and enhanced security, it’s the ideal choice for any organization, regardless of size or budgetary concerns.

8 Top Benefits of Using a Cloud-based LMS.

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The Ultimate List of HTML5 eLearning Authoring Tools

In this article, you will take a look at how HTML5 may play a major role in the future of the eLearning industry, and delve into the ultimate list of HTML5 eLearning authoring tools available today. So, if you’ve been looking to make the transition to an HTML5 eLearning Authoring tool, you are in the right place!

Why is the eLearning industry shifting to HTML5?


There isn’t any doubt that the eLearning industry is evolving. Curriculum is becoming more interactive and, at the same time, an increasing number of learners are using mobile devices to access eLearning courses. As a consequence, the way that eLearning Professionals design, create, and deliver eLearning courses is rapidly changing, or at least it should be. Nowadays, HTML5 is being used by eLearning Professionals from all around the globe, thanks to its versatility and its variety of features.

The primary reason for the shift to HTML5 eLearning authoring tools is the massive usage of mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets (namely the iPad and iPhone) in almost all aspects of our everyday lives.  In addition, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) support is on the rise. In 2013, Cisco’s BYOD Insights report revealed that 9 in 10 Americans already use their smartphones for work purposes. I highly encourage you to check What BYOD Means for e-Learning.

Historically, eLearning courses have been designed using Adobe Flash, which has allowed eLearning Professionals to deliver content that was more immersive and effective. However, many mobile devices do not support Adobe Flash, creating a major problem for those who have been relying upon the Adobe Flash to produce eLearning courses.

HTML5, on the other hand, is supported on a wide range of platforms and browsers. As such, users are able to take their eLearning courses with them, rather than having to be tied to a computer. It also allows for offline storage and data management, even when the user is not connected to the Internet. In addition, HTML5 eLearning courses actually use less CPU space and battery power, which means that they can typically run faster and more efficiently than Flash-based courses.

There are a few drawbacks associated with HTML5 that you should keep in mind. One of the most significant limitations is that it doesn’t work on older browsers, such as Internet Explorer 8. Also, eLearning courses that include Flash are able to support audio and video directly, while HTML5 requires video/audio tags or links.  A few months ago, I answered the question Is HTML5 ready for the eLearning Industry? in a brief article that you may want to read.

Also, as you probably know, HTML5 is also newer than Adobe Flash. Therefore, you’ll find that there aren’t as many resources available for this younger design tool. With that being said, thanks to the growing number of mobile device users and BYOD rise, it’s safe to say that HTML5 eLearning Authoring Tools are likely to become invaluable within the eLearning industry. 

22 HTML5 e-Learning Authoring Tools


Now that we’ve covered the basics of what HTML5 is and why it may be a great alternative for eLearning Professionals, let’s take a look at 22 HTML5 eLearning Authoring tools available today:

 

  1. Adapt Learning
    Adapt Learning is an open source e-learning authoring tool for producing responsive eLearning content. The framework uses JavaScript and HTML and as such offers the cross browser and platform compatibility you’d expect. A single build of a course will work across all supported devices and browsers, so no need to create a desktop version and then multiple versions of a native app to accommodate different mobile operating systems. Courses created in Adapt Learning are fully accessible with no need for a separate version to comply with DDA guidelines. 
  2. Adobe Captivate 7
    Adobe Captivate 7 allows you to create both Flash and HTML5-based content. One of the perks about Adobe Captivate 7 is that it actually has the ability to detect which version is supported by the user’s device, and will automatically deliver the appropriate version. It also includes an “HTML Tracker”, which can notify you if any aspects of your design may not be compatible with HTML5 programming. Note that Adobe Captivate version 6 and onward support HTML5 authoring.
     
  3. Adobe Edge Animate
    With Adobe Edge Animate you can create animated and interactive content. It is easy to use and interactivity features like animation control and looping are also available. It works well on IOS and Android, as well as on desktop browsers like Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer 9.
     
  4. Articulate Storyline
    Articulate Storyline gives users the opportunity to download the course material or lesson directly onto their iPad for offline viewing. It also publishes both Flash and HTML5 versions of the content, which can be a great time saver. If you want to include features only offered by Adobe Flash, then this program will even enable your learners to download a free Flash modification, wherein they can launch Flash applications on their tablets.
     
  5. Brainshark
    A cloud-based tool that enables you to create presentations, which you can easily integrate into your course design. You can utilize a wide variety of media types when producing the course with Brainshark, including videos.
     
  6. Camtasia Studio 8
    Powerful, yet easy-to-use, Camtasia helps you create professional videos without having to be a video pro. Easily record your on-screen activity or import HD camera video, customize and edit content, and share your videos with viewers on nearly any device. Both Camtasia Studio and Camtasia for MC are embedded in HTML.
     
  7. Composica Enterprise 6
    Courses authored in Composica are based on HTML5, and can be accessed using any modern device, desktop or mobile. No need to install any apps or players. Numerous features related to high interactivity, social learning, and game based learning are offered.
     
  8. DE-Scribe
    Uses jQuery to deliver customized quizzes to users. It’s ideal for creating simple and straightforward online quizzes for learners, and can be supported by mobile devices. The tool features a desktop application (if you have Windows), and a feature that exports courses and offers multimedia embedding if you’d like to include videos or audio.
     
  9. Dominknow Claro
    Claro is a next generation cloud-based authoring system. It’s a powerful all-in-one eLearning and mLearning development tool with real-time collaboration and asset sharing. It has the ability to rapidly introduce new features and respond to your requests in no-time-flat.
     
  10. EAD Builder
    Features a variety of interactive design elements, such as characters and objects. It’s cloud based, so you won’t have to worry about downloading any software, and allows you to simply drag and drop various elements to create courses. Note: The site is in Portuguese, but your browser should automatically translate the page for you. 
  11. Gomo Learning
    Gomo is a brand new, multi-device, HTML5 eLearning authoring tool, where you can create responsive and adaptive content. From one single HTML code base, content works automatically on desktops, tablets and smartphones. Gomo is a collaborative, cloud based, ‘Software as a Service’ solution.
  12. Hot Lava
    This tool is a mobile learning  solution to rapidly develop, deliver and analyze the use of all types of device-independent mobile content to meet a wide variety of priority communications,  and mobile learning and performance support scenarios. Hot Lava Mobile allows you to develop content once and deploy it to all popular mobile devices and tablets including Symbian, BlackBerry, Windows, iPhone/iPad, and Android.
     
  13. H5P
    With H5P, you can create mobile friendly, interactive HTML5 eLearning content directly in a web browser without any technical skills. Like Flash, H5P content is a single file that you can easily administer and move from a CMS to an LMS. Unlike Flash, no plugins are required for the end user and no local eLearning authoring tool installation is necessary. H5P is Open Source and Free to use.
     
  14. iSpring Presenter
    Allows you to create professional mobile-ready presentations and take your authoring to a new level. In addition, it can be perfectly integrated with your PowerPoint.  You can create video lectures with your slides, add interactive quizzes and surveys, and publish your course in one click.
     
  15. Landmark Liquid
    Gives you the opportunity to publish to HTML5 and Silverlight. It also features an option that allows you to zip your course files so that you can upload them to your learning management system. This program doesn’t publish to Flash, however. So, if you’re looking for a tool that offers both versions of your course to users, then you may want to go with another authoring program.
     
  16. Lectora Inspire
    Lectora was the first content creation tool to support HTML5 for delivering courses to mobile phones and tablets. Also, you only need to publish a course once with Lectora. Published Lectora content automatically detects if Flash or HTML5 media support is present and chooses the appropriate method at run time. 
  17. Litmos Author
    The Litmos Author Media Manager converts and optimizes graphics, audio, videos (mobile/desktop), custom Flash/HTML5 content, and PowerPoint. It is the only enterprise cloud platform where assets can be gathered from anywhere & anyone in the world to a single collaborative platform. 
  18. Rapid Intake
    Allows for quick and easy collaborative course design via the cloud. You can publish projects and courses, manage content, and develop a variety of media add-ins, even if you’ve never worked with Flash or HTML5 in the past. There is also a free trial option if you want to give it a try before you purchase the program. 
  19. Raptivity
    Great for beginners, thanks to the fact that you don’t really need to know anything about programming to create an eLearning lesson. It offers you access to more than 190 different interactions, such as games and virtual worlds, which you can use to customize your content. It’s available in two different packages: Suite and Essential. 
  20. ReadyGo
    e-Learning and m-Learning software features a highly intuitive user interface, fast course generation, powerful template creation/usage, and automatic generation of navigation elements including chapter and course indices. It also has a built in test engine. It works on computers, tablets, and SmartPhones. No programming or technical skills are needed. 
  21. SmartBuilder
    This program allows you to publish content for courses directly to flash, but also features an HTML5 conversion option. The site is ideal for beginners, as it offers in depth training (which is free) as well as a help center. 
  22. Zenler Studio
    This is a PowerPoint add-in tool, which allows you to create more basic courses and lessons. The product is offered in two versions: Zenler Studio or web-based Zenler Online. The program enables you to publish content, and then manage and track your learner’s progress. This is a free trial available for both versions of Zenler’s design tool.  

 

Take the time to research the HTML5 eLearning authoring tools that are available, and don’t hesitate to try out any free trials that the sites or companies may be offering. This can give you the opportunity to become familiar with eLearning authoring in HTML5, so that you can reap all of the rewards that it has to offer to your eLearning courses.

The Ultimate List of HTML5 eLearning Authoring Tools.

Top Learning Management System Trends for 2014

Published inTools

Wednesday, 16 April 2014 20:22

eLearning Industry is rapidly changing and there are numerous Learning Management System trends for 2014. At the following article you will find the Top 14 Learning Management Trends for 2014.

Top 14 Learning Management System Trends for 2014


Amidst the technological tempestuous evolution that takes us on an awe-inspiring journey through new automations, inventions, and machines, following our continuous quest and concern to save money and make our lives easier and upgradable, eLearning Industry does not appear to be just another market in transition, but a beacon of inspiration and innovation.

In a world that continuously experiences multidimensional changes, the Learning Management Systems wouldn’t have any other choice but to jump on the bandwagon. An LMS allows for information to be shared between students and faculty and provides access to content and administrative features, creating a unique environment that can supplement in-class activities, empower learning, and boost engagement. Thus, it becomes abundantly clear that the technological evolution couldn’t but profoundly change LMSs through time, generating equally profound changes in the eLearning field.

 

Which are the Top trends in LMSs and what’s their impact?


So, let’s see what are the Top inspiring trends in the field of Learning Management Systems and evaluate their impact.   

 

  1. Cloud-based LMS
    Not exactly a nebulous technology used strictly by large enterprises, but a powerful tool that can advance the educational system, by cutting costs and expanding accessibility. Training becomes available at any time from any place, administrators’ efficacy is boosted, learners can share ideas, infrastructure, and tools. In addition, there are no time limits for information storage, while schools and businesses can effectively tame expenditures. Need I say more? You may want to check the Top Benefits of Using a Cloud-based LMS and the Ultimate List of Cloud-Based Learning Management Systems.

     

  2. No Vendor Lock
    The Open Source LMS model served the eLearning industry expansion for over one decade. Blending the best from Open Source and commercially supported word, the current trend is the “no vendor lock” model where, under a commercial license and support, the vendor opens the code for the client. Giving companies the chance to extend and customize their LMS without worrying for proprietary barriers, this trend offers better flexibility, unlimited customizability and guarantees service continuity.

  3. Mobile learning
    Last year, LMS providers realized they had to implement mobile functionalities and started using HTML5 to make their websites mobile accessible. According to a recent survey, a smashing percentage of 88% of respondents said that they absolutely need mobile learning capabilities for their tablets, and this can mean one thing. In addition, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) support is on the rise. In 2013, Cisco’s BYOD Insights report revealed that 9 in 10 Americans already use their smartphones for work purposes. I highly encourage you to check What BYOD Means for e-Learning. In 2014, emphasis will be placed in the creation of native apps, and not just browser apps, in an effort to increase the opportunity for learning for all learners. Surely, HTML5 will play a pivotal role in this. A few months ago, I answered the question: Is HTML5 ready for the eLearning Industry? in a brief article that you may want to read. In addition, numerous Authoring Tools Vendors’ have created HTML5 e-Learning Authoring Tools, and others will certainly follow. If you want to take a look at how HTML5 may play a major role in the future of the eLearning industry, and delve into the ultimate list of HTML5 eLearning authoring tools available today, you may find interesting the Ultimate List of HTML5 eLearning Authoring Tools.

  4. Content Reusability
    Content reusability is definitely a new trend with great potential. LMSs that integrate conversion functionalities allow you to convert documents, videos and audios to web and mobile compatible formats. In other words, you can reuse certain content as many times as needed, in various different ways without losing its validity, power, and meaning.

  5. Talent management
    Talent management is crucial for successful organizational development and was recently found to be a valuable tool for LMS, as well. Talent management identifies the strengths and weaknesses of employees, and with the appropriate LMS these weaknesses can be improved, with the suggestion of new eLearning courses, training material, or even external tailor-made resources that will advance the learner’s job-related skills.

  6. Emphasis on User Experience (UX)
    Providing a great user experience is an imperative goal for every eLearning Software and course. The importance of UX has been widely accepted and recognized and the increasing focus on customer and user centric software leaves no doubt that UX is a new emerging field of competition amongst the LMS providers. UX practitioners and researchers have proposed new ways (metrics, methods, strategies) so as to effectively measure and improve UX. On the other hand, eLearning Professionals, Instructional Designers, and Instructors, need to take advantage of the recent UX advancements and have to fully adopt this UX paradigm in order to design and develop authentic learning experiences. I highly encourage you to read the What Is The Importance Of eLearning Usability? article.

  7. Personalized Learning
    Following the need to provide better and more holistic user experience, there is an increasing demand to give more control to the end users. It is evident that while learners mature as users and creators of digital artifacts, they want to interact with learning environments that meet their need for autonomy and control. In addition the realization of the vision for learning ecosystems that can be adjusted to the learners’ needs is yet to come. With the advance of adaptive learning technologies I anticipate that LMS will be further developed in order to incorporate such new technologies.

  8. Gamification
    Gamification is the new buzzword in the eLearning industry. Gamification is the use of game thinking and mechanics in a non-game context to inspire employees and students to get engaged in the learning process. Gamification have taken corporate training to a whole new level, by facilitating learner engagement, reducing the stress associated with learning, and boosting the information’s durability. It is more than obvious that LMS providers should implement Gamification features to their LMS solutions. If you are interested to know the most effective uses of Gamification in Learning, I highly encourage you to read the Free eBook How Gamification Reshapes Learning.

  9. Social Learning
    Social learning made an explosive entrance in the eLearning Industry. Social learning creates better LMS environments, encourage learning, facilitate communication and enable sharing. When you compare the percentage gained from formal learning to the percentage gained through collaboration with others, it’s no wonder that social learning is rapidly gaining corporate buy-in and employee appreciation (Social Learning Trends 2013).

  10. Micro-Learning
    There are a variety of benefits associated with Micro-learning, particularly in eLearning environments. In essence, micro-eLearning offers students and employees the opportunity to more easily absorb and retain the information that is being offered, by making lessons and course activities more manageable and “digestible”. Yes, you can integrate Micro-eLearning techniques into your eLearning course however; it would be great if more LMSs had micro-learning features build in!

  11. Scenario-Based Learning
    Scenario-Based eLearning, essentially, immerses the learners in real life or situational simulations or learning experiences that allow them to gather skills or information that they will recall for future use. Information offered within a contextual setting enables learners not only to easily manage it within their working memory, but also to commit it to their long-term memory. As an eLearning Professional it would not be hard to apply scenario-based learning at your eLearning courses. However, scenario-based prebuilt features on your LMSs will save you valuable time! You may want to check The Basics of Scenario-Based e-Learning.

  12. Tin Can API
    Introduced in 2012, Tin Can API will definitely be the tool that will grow exponentially in 2014, because it has the potential to radically transform the learning landscape. Training and learning now becomes trackable, allowing organizations to measure results, correlate productivity data with training data, and evaluate employee/learner performance, while learners can store their learning information. You may want to read How Tin Can is Making Tools Better, Together.
  13. MOOCs
    Massive Open Online Courses are expected to explode in 2014. With tuition rising, universities desperately seeking to cut down costs, government funding plummeting, and space becoming limited by the minute, MOOCs sound more like deus ex machina, enabling access to learning for millions of people simultaneously and globally. If Harvard, MIT and Georgetown are doing it, it looks like this trend is here to stay.

  14. Just-In-Time Learning
    The concept is the provision of a learning solution when is needed, and not on a deferred basis, through webinars, web-based tutorials, video games, and quizzes. It eliminates the need to refresh training, and it’s accessible immediately, zeroing in on the information needed to perform tasks, update skills and solve problems. Many companies have already adopted this method, allowing their employees to obtain just-in-time training through the system, contact experts who might be able to help them out with specific projects, and even share lessons learned. LMSs, however, need to be mobile and flexible in order to be compatible with JIT learning.  

There are numerous Learning Management System trends and many others are still to come since eLearning Industry is rapidly changing! So, whether you are an eLearning Professional or an LMS provider you should always be aware of the latest eLearning trends’ concepts, features, and benefits.