Hello and Welcome! I am Madeline Honig-Goepp, the happy blogger on the Litmos blog. This blog covers topics surrounding the eLearning and Litmos worlds including features and releases, tips on optimizing the learning experience, the tools to achieve these experiences and upcoming events in the eLearning and corporate online training Industry.
Last week was C3, the sales, marketing, hiring and learning conference put on by our parent company, CallidusCloud. It included keynotes by industry leaders, break out sessions, certificate programs and networking opportunities.
I met a ton of awesome people and I learned so much my head feels like it’s going to explode with information. Two of the main themes that kept coming up during C3 and hit hard for me were mobile applications and gamification. These are two subjects that both interest me and are also the future of eLearning. For those of you who didn’t make it to C3 (or those who were busy enjoying the extracurricular activities of Las Vegas) I wanted to share some of the things that I learned.
- It is becoming more and more important to users that the software they are using is intuitive, meaning anyone can pick it up and learn it without a manual. That sounds like a product I know, **cough cough** Litmos.
- Playing games stimulates the hippocampus part of the brain. This is the part of the brain that helps us learn. Games also stimulate the thalamus, which controls motor function, and the caudate, which controls memory.
- Zumba rolled out their Litmos elearning six weeks ago with one course. Their expectations were to have 10,000 users in a year. And in those six weeks they have already surpassed this expectation with 12,000 users.
- Studies have shown that games can help young children fight cancer. The game developed for this is a first person shooter game where the child is shooting at cancerous cells. Studies show that when children play this game regularly, they are more inclined to take the medicine necessary for them to heal even though it causes awful symptoms. It makes me think, what else are games capable of?
- There is an expected 400% growth in mobile by 2017. Making mLearning more crucial by the minute. If you have not yet started thinking about how to handle mLearning, now is the time, before it’s to late.
- I am awesome at thumb-war. I should explain this one. In Jane McGonigal‘s keynote, we played a group game of thumb war, explained by the image on the right. The point of this was to show that, even with a simple game like thumb-war, we were feeling the ten emotions that games bring out of us: joy, relief, love, surprise, pride, curiosity, excitement, awe & wonder, contentment, and creativity.
- Gartner research shows 70% of new hardware that will be bought in the future will not be a laptop. This is becoming more and more evident. As Patrick Stakenas of Gartner pointed out during his keynote, a lot of people were Tweeting, writing emails, and other activities during his talk but very few people were doing this from a laptop. Almost every person who was participating in these activities were doing it from a tablet or mobile device. Looking around he was making an obvious point.
- Best-in-class companies are 44% more likely to train sales and marketing together to help marketing figure out what is working.
- CallidusCloud is coming out with super cool apps that can include all Callidus’s products including Litmos for embedded learning. This app allows users to go from marketing to sales to learning seamlessly. To be honest, I didn’t learn this at C3 but this was the first time I saw it in action.
- CallidusCloud is a fun company to be associated with, as an employee or as a customer. Again, this is no new information for me, but C3 definitely reinforced this.
For more information on C3 visit the C3 website. I would specifically recommend watching the keynote by Leslie Stretch, Callidus Cloud’s CEO, which includes great information on all of CallidusCloud products including Litmos.
I hope to see you all next year!
The best way to sell a product is to build a relationship and gain the prospect’s trust. It is hard for anyone, company or individual, to purchase a product when they are unsure what they will receive in return. A sales person’s job is not only to get them interested in the product but to show them how it solves their current issues and how the product is a good value. An effective sales professional will solve your prospect’s pain points, understand their needs and gain their trust. But any good sales professional will tell you, it takes skills and experience to master this and training can help.
Here is a quick quiz to determine if your sales team needs an online training program to improve their relationship with prospects:
- Are they able to demonstrate the product in a way that solves the prospect’s issues?
- Does your sales team listen, develop a solution and then respond in the most effective way possible?
- Does your sales team know the ins and outs of the product(s)?
- Are they regularly able to follow through the entire sales cycle from the initial call to signing the deal?
- Does your team know their competition?
- Does your team research and know what to research when it comes to prospects?
- Is your team aware of all the tools in their arsenal and how to use them?
- Is your your sales team reaching the decision makers?
If you did not answer a confident “yes” to all of these questions, it is time to look into a training strategy that can make your sales team as effective as possible. An effective training program can improve the skills of all sales professionals to gain the prospect’s trust and gain one more happy customer.
Why use online training? Online training allows your sales team to train when they have time. Prospects are not on a schedule and may need your team’s assistance when a classroom training is in session. If your team is utilizing online training, they have the ability to go through their training when they have time. If something interrupts their training, the training can easily be put on hold without sacrificing learning.
I thought I was a rare bird in my craving to Learn.
My bio on Quora is “Looking for new ways to grow.” I have joined and participated in education sites such as Udemy, the Khan Academy, Saylor, iTunes U and about a million others. I chose my career in the elearning industry because I want to help others in the learning industry. I have found that I have become obsessed with learning.
As I was reading a few articles based on Generation Y for another blog post, What to Know about the Next Generation in the Workplace, I kept reading the same thing over and over again: Generation Y wants to learn. And I realized, as a Generation Yer myself, I am not alone.
By creating a corporate university not only are you giving your team members what they want, you are able to take a great team and make it better. Train them on how your products are made and what makes them superior to competitor’s products, policies and guidelines your company has, improving the techniques of your sales team, and other skills, both in and out of their job description, that will strengthen and make for a well rounded team.
Now, with the internet and an LMS in the cloud, it becomes easier to give your new workforce what they crave. Setting up your own corporate university to train your employees is now a reality. Since each course is created once and may be updated periodically, the time taken to train your employees has been greatly minimized. Why not give your employees courses on things you need them to know and things they want to know?
Online learning can also be used as a great recruiting tool. Add that you have a corporate university and the types of courses provided to the list of perks when hiring new employees. Let your potential employees know that when they work for you they are working toward a better future.
And although it’s the Generation Yers that are asking for it, the Babyboomers and Generation Xers will be sure to take advantage of this as well. Sign up for a free trial of Litmos and learn more about how easy it is to set up your own corporate university.
The polls for the ELearning awards are approaching the end and they are approaching fast. The polls close May 1st, so if you have not done so already, I want to ask for your help. If you think Litmos is the bees knees, please vote for Litmos as the Best Learning Management System (SaaS, Cloud-Based, or Open-Source Only), the first category. It only takes a minute and I would much appreciate it.
I have been noticing a heated debate wandering around the internet that has perked my interest. The debate is based on a recently released study and asks the question: Do computers have the capability to grade essays as accurately as a human grader? The report starts with a basic explanation of the study:
The report explains the basic criteria that each of the nine computer programs are looking for, why the program was developed, who it was developed by and all other pertinent information. For example, AutoScore was developed by the American Institute for Research and is “designed to create a statistical proxy for prompt-specific rubrics” (pg. 10). LightSIDE is a free and open-source package developed at Carnegie Mellon University. It was designed for non-experts to quickly utilize text mining. And CTB’s Bookette operates on about “90 text-features classified as structural-, syntactic-, semantic-, and mechanics-based.” (pg. 12)
The eight essays that were graded were also explained:
“Four of the essays were drawn from traditional writing genre (persuasive, expository, narrative) and four essays were “source-based”, that is, the questions asked in the prompt referred to a source document that students read as part of the assessment.”
The study then goes into explaining the results of each essay from each of the nine computer programs and the human graders. From this study, they were able to show that these programs are just as accurate as human testers, however they are much speedier in giving results.
“The findings clearly show that in replicating the distributions of the eight essays, the scores of the automated essay scoring engines performed quite well. Most of the mean predictions were within 0.10 of the means of the resolved score.” (pg. 24)
The report also explains some possible issues that they encountered. The first is the inconsistency of scores between the computerized graders. This is also an issue with human graders, however, this problem may be easier to correct with computers, making this issue important but possibly irrelevant They also stated that comparing computer graded scores to human graded scores may not be the best measure of how accurate the computers are grading. Another possible issue that occurred was that the essays needed to be typed in by humans leaving room for human error.
At this point in this post, I am sure you have already formed your own opinion on the matter. I would encourage you to skim, if not read through the full report and leave a comment here. I’m curious to see what the Litmos blog readers think about this.
Perhaps one day we will be adding this technology to Litmos.
A Corporate University is a way for businesses to teach their employees how to do things their way. Thousands of companies, including many Litmos customers, are adopting this new idea of training their customers. Any company that needs to educate their employees on anything can benefit from a corporate university. In other words all companies can benefit from a corporate university.
In the past, companies realized that classroom training was not cost effective. Providing classrooms and hiring teachers can be very expensive. Add the cost of flying and providing a hotel room during the training for all employees. We start looking at thousands of dollars for a single training session. And if your employee turnover rate is high, then forget about it. Financially, it makes more sense to cross your fingers and hope for the best than it is to properly train your employees.
Now, technology allows Corporate Universities to move to virtual classrooms by using an LMS. Virtual classrooms are now more cost effective for companies to execute. To add another level of cost effectiveness, put the LMS in the cloud and the company eliminates the cost to maintain servers. By creating a virtual Corporate University you are increasing your employee knowledge without the outrageous cost.
A few examples of how a Corporate University can be used:
- Policies - Employees may be trained on specific rules or guidelines to follow.
- How to use computer systems – Including, but not limited to, Excel, Outlook, POS, CRM or ERP systems.
- Product information – What are the benefits and features of a product and how is it used.
- Recipes or formulas - Consistency is key when creating a product that represents your brand.
Some Litmos customers who are using Litmos as a corporate university:
I was reading through old Litmos blog posts, as I do from time to time, I came across a three year old post written by Nicole, my blogging predecessor. The post was based on a report by Tagoras released in 2009 about LMS cost and implementation time. I decided to dig for a current report, and to my pleasant surprise, Tagoras updated this report for 2013. This time digging deep into 20 different LMS providers including Blackboard, BlueVolt, InReach, Interactyx, Latitude Learning and Neovation (see the report for the full list). Below are my findings.
If you commit to a year on a silver or higher plan, you are eligible to receive a free month. With this discount, a year for 500 users on Litmos will cost only $7689. In the new report from Tagoras, a year for 500 users will cost anywhere from $22,000 to $102,000!
To clarify, this means that by choosing Litmos over any of the 20 LMSs in this study (and many others that are not), you can save over $14,000.
Average Implementation times for an LMS ranged from:
- Calendar days for a simple implementation of the stock-standard LMS
- 2009 – 19.2 days
- 2013 – 19.2 days
- Days for a ‘typical’ implementation, as in the usual experience of LMS vendors
- 2009 – 47.6 days
- 2013 – 48.4 days
- Days for a complex implementation involving integration and custom development
- 2009 – 85.3 days
- 2013 – 102.8 days
The Implementation Time in the report is defined as ‘Assume the implementation clock starts when the contract has been signed and stops when end users begin accessing the LMS’. Because Litmos does not have contracts, this becomes tricky to define. Let’s assume that the implementation time starts after the evaluation process has ended, the account has been upgraded and the first payment has been made, therefore, sealing the deal.
However, this account will be the same account as when you sign up for your free 14 day trial. Any courses uploaded, users imported, customizations made and any other changes made during the trial will carry through to the paid account. This means that implementation time may start before any commitment has been made.
From my experience the times for implementation listed above appear to be accurate for Litmos users as well. But I have also noticed that many of our users take advantage of the free 14 days. If you are able to evaluate the system while using live data, your implementation time may be cut to as short as 5.2 days.
Read the full report from Tagoras here: Association Learning Management Systems: The Report.
You have been hearing this for the last few years: ”The cloud is the future!” But, why? What makes the cloud so great? And what makes it great for training? Here are a few reasons why training is better when it’s in the cloud… especially with Litmos.
Same data at home, work, mobile – Have a few moments on the bus for eLearning? No problem, Litmos is on your iPad. It’s also on your work computer, home computer, friend’s Android, and just about anywhere else you need to access it.
No Downloads Required – To gain access to Litmos, simply fill out a form and check your email. No need to take up space on your computer or worry about download complications for you or your users. As long as you have one of our four supported browsers, you can access Litmos.
Security - Security is a big worry for people who are “anti-cloud”. However, all Litmos accounts are password protected and when you’re online using Litmos you’re protected by a SSL (HTTPS) secure connection. Our core database and servers are hosted in a world class data center and managed by Rackspace. We also use Amazon’s S3 storage technology to store and serve uploaded files.
Integration - Connect with other applications. Whether the application already exists (like Salesforce and WooCommerce) or you need create the connector yourself using our API, Litmos easily connects with external sites.
Automatic Updates – There are no versions of Litmos, just the latest and greatest version. The Litmos team strives to release new features and bug releases every few weeks. These changes are automatic, with no need to update your current account. If there is a feature you would like to see, let us know, it may be available in your account next week.
No Maintenance Team – Having software in the cloud reduces the need to hire a team to maintain the servers that host the software and the databases. This is especially beneficial to small companies with little or no technical experience and allows for scalability for when the companies grow.
No Commitment – Although we know you will love Litmos, with cloud computing we are able to offer non committal plans. We do not require a contract and because Litmos is in the cloud there is no software to purchase. If you decide Litmos is not the right LMS for you after you have signed up, it’s no big deal. Cancel or downgrade your plan with no penalties.
Cost – With your training in the cloud you save the upfront cost of servers and expensive licenses and the cost of maintenance in the long term. And because our plans are flexible to fit your needs, the cost for your training is only what you need and can afford.
If you are still using 100% classroom training and have not yet moved to a LMS. The article 12 Reasons to Move to Web-Based Training is for you!
Fresh talent is graduating college and entering the work force. And times are changing, no doubt about that. So, what makes this generation unique, how do we employ them and keep their fresh ideas in our workforce?
- Give promise of skill-building – Generation Y has their entire careers ahead of them. They are also use to instantaneous results and are looking to move quickly in the work place. Promising them this will ensure their success as well as yours.
- Follow through with the promise of skill-building – If you promise them something, be sure to follow through. 50% of Gen Y employees said they would rather be unemployed than stay at a job they hate. (TOG)
- Be appealing and up to date – Generation Yers are drawn to the modern. Having the latest technology and a modern look will insure they will stick around and also brag about your brand. (HRG)
- Formal is no longer part of the business world – Forty-one percent of Gen Y workers surveyed want to dress in ‘business casual,’ 27% prefer ‘jeans and sneakers,’ 26% prefer ‘a mix depending on the situation,’ and only 4% prefer ‘business attire’. (YHJ)
- Give recognition and feedback – They want to know where they stand and that they are appreciated. Offer opportunities for growth and development. (HRG)
- Allow a Work-life balance – Generation Yers want to have it all. Fifty percent of Gen-Y and 52 percent of Gen-X are family-centric compared with 41 percent of
The Orrell Group (TOG)