This month's edition of Training Journal is accompanied by a CDROM entitled e-learningdirectory.com. The site aims to offer a review of all online learning websites available: "Our aim is....to become the starting point for trainers and learners who want to access e-learning". With this in mind, TrainingZONE set out to review the reviewing facility.
Actually getting at the information on the CDROM is confusing at first - there are lots of different files stored on it, and it's difficult to know which one to load up first. TrainingZONE tried its luck with an application called setup, which didn't seem to do anything, but had more success with an application called elearn in the install file. It then transpired that, actually, setup was doing something behind the scenes after all!
Once logged in (and you need to give some information to them in order to do this), it was easy enough to access the full search facility, which allows you to search by learning content or features and services. This means that you can either look for an e-learning provider by content (using one of 24 categories) or for sites with specific features, such as sites that don't require you to register or logon, sites that let you buy and learn on-the-spot or sites where tutor support is available. You can also search according to the ratings Training Journal has given the site, although this is likely to be of limited interest. The site also has a facility for finding website addresses in the directory - providing you know some of the address, the facility aims to find it for you, but unless you know the website is definitely in the directory, your search is likely to be frustrated!
A quick browse through the results using the full search facility revealed that, among other things, The University of Southern Queensland seemed to pop up on a regular basis, as does CLKS - formerly Asymetrix Learning Systems Inc. The reviews of the site are pretty comprehensive, consisting of a users review, site contents listing and tick list of site features. There are reviews on the likes of Xebec Mcgraw-Hill, whose site gets three stars, iLearn.To, also three stars, QuicKnowledge.com, four stars and the KnowledgePool Consortium, which gets a top scoring of five stars.
On balance, the e-learning directory.com is definitely worth a look - particularly if you are setting out to look for e-learning for the first time - but is probably easier accessed direct from the web at www.e-learningdirectory.com. It's worth bearing in mind that Lguide.com is offering a similar service, aiming to evaluate online learning according to its effectiveness & completeness, interactivity & engagement, value for the money and time.