It’s in the press; it’s in the minds of your executives. Heck, it’s even in your mind. All voices point to the need for an e-learning strategy. There are many approaches an organization can take—from custom or in-house design of specific courses, to partnering with other firms with similar needs, to outsourcing the effort. If you already have a strategy or if you are still forming one, this week’s site, click2learn.com could be a big help to your plans.
Formerly known as Asymetrix, click2learn.com describes itself as “the only company that provides corporations with an instant solution that combines thousands of market-leading courses with robust browser-based authoring and publishing capabilities and sophisticated learning management.” This description, though suffering from corporate-speak, does describe this site and its fairly unique, as far as I know, place on the Web.
The site’s home page features a short animation (which you can disable) that introduces the four major sections of the site:
- Enterprise Products
- e-Learning Portal
- Corporate e-Learning Site
The first two sections are marketing focused. While I won’t review these portions of the site, I will say that their products have long been well-respected in the industry, and these areas do a fine job of describing them.
An e-learning portal
In this area, you can take a course, author and publish your own learning content, or learn more about your field of interest. The portal lists content along the left border, divided into seven categories, including:
- Business and Management
- Computer and IT Skills
- IT Certifications
- Paths and Promotion
- Entrepreneurial Skills
- Health and Safety
- Life Skills
Each category has a variety of subcategories. Clicking into any of them gives you a list of available resources, including books, videotapes, CD-ROMs, online courses, and other e-content. You can purchase a resource, get more details, or click a button that saves the location for you.
I was impressed with this area for two reasons. First, in the technical areas, there is a vast quantity of materials in various mediums. This large selection is useful to help you find exactly what you need. My second observation was the breadth of categories. I was especially pleased to see the Health and Safety, Life Skills, and Paths to Promotion sections. All of these areas are underrepresented in similar sites. The depth and breadth of this portal helps it stand out in this growing field.
The ability to sell your content on click2learn’s portal is interesting, and if you have existing content (in almost any digital form), it is especially worth looking into.
A corporate e-learning site
If your organization is looking for a customized learning site on the Internet, this section describes the solution to this need. Click2learn.com will host your site as a virtual university. You can include part of their catalog of materials or the whole thing, and they will help you design specific content as well. Along with the customized site, companies receive a user database and a charge account.
An industry leader in software decides to recast their business, and this is the result. The site overall is a bit disjointed; the marketing portions have a completely different look and feel than do the e-learning and portal sections. This isn’t a big problem, but I’d be more pleased and more confident in the organization’s ability to deliver to my organization if that consistency were there. I’m impressed with the materials they have available both in quality and quantity. This is a site that I will watch. I believe it could become a blockbuster.
Kevin Eikenberry is president of the Discian Group, a learning consulting company in Indianapolis.To comment on this article or suggest other Web sites to review, please write to Kevin with your ideas.
|Here is Kevin’s review of click2learn.com|