Online Learning News - 4 April issue

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6th Apr 2000
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A news and idea service of Bill Communications Inc. (Lakewood)
Tuesday, April 4, 2000 Vol. 3, No. 2

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Novell delivers two key pieces of Net Services: NDS eDirectory for
Windows 2000, NDS eDirectory for Linux: http://www.novell.com.
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THIS WEEK:

1. Washington State's online consortium
2. ToolBook and Notes? Er, yes
3. 'Live chat' with experts
4. Cries for help: Overseas ERP? Scripts for CBT?
5. Portals: Learners can be choosy
6. Where to put computers? In their laps

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WASHINGTON STATE'S ONLINE-LEARNING CONSORTIUM

Does working with another department on a training project give
you the willies? Imagine a distance-learning project with 34
organizations collaborating.

That's what Connie Broughton is doing -- and the project manager
for Washington Online reports that all is proceeding smoothly.

WAOL, launched in 1998 as a consortium of 34 technical and
community colleges, now offers distance learning to 1,650
students.

The schools now can share expenses on basic courses -- English
composition, introduction to sociology -- that many member schools
provide.

The idea took nearly a full year of meetings, planning and
decisions to get all the colleges on board.

One key to its early success is that WAOL has kept its
technological requirements low -- minimal bells and whistles.

Coming next on WAOL's agenda: providing training for corporate
clients.

OLL NEWS SAYS ...

Read more about WAOL in the May issue of Technology for Learning
Newsletter.

To receive the May issue for free, do this BY WEDNESDAY:

Go to http://www.trainingsupersite.com/tfland click Subscriptions
to fill out and submit the form.

Even if you subsequently choose not to subscribe, the May issue is
yours to keep.
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TOOLBOOK AND NOTES? ER, YES

Will courses authored in ToolBook run under Lotus Notes? Two weeks
ago, you said no ("Authorware or ToolBook via Notes? No," March
21).

But wait! Dan Fleming ( [email protected] ) is more affirming.

"Release 5 of Notes breaks the product up into a server and a
client," says Fleming, senior lecturer in media at the University
of Ulster in the United Kingdom.

Domino is a standards-compliant Web server and includes an HTML
folder from which any Web content "will run perfectly normally,"
Fleming says.

That means, he adds, ToolBook content designed for the Web
integrates "into a Web-based front end along with Notes
databases."

"Both NetObjects Fusion and Macromedia Dreamweaver now work with a
Domino component, available from Lotus," says Fleming, "so that
Notes databases can be integrated by these HTML authoring tools
into a Web-site design."

"In short," Fleming concludes, "with a bit of careful design
effort using these tools, you can combine ToolBook content with
Notes databases in a Web-based instructional design."

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E-LEARNING PAPERS POSTED

Reports from online-learning industry experts now are up are at
http://www.onlinelearning2000.com.

Among them is a primer, "OnLine Learning White Paper" by Saul
Carliner of Bentley College in Waltham, MA.

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'LIVE CHAT'

E-learning specialists Saul Carliner and Brandon Hall will lead
discussion groups for attendees at Training Directors' Forum
Conference in Phoenix June 4-7.

Training Directors' Forum Conference will feature Carliner, Hall
and others in "live chat rooms" -- in-person opportunities for
attendees to grill presenters and each other about a variety of
subjects.

Carliner, a training consultant and faculty member at Bentley
College in Waltham, MA, will lead a live chat-room session June 6
entitled "Things You Should Know About Knowledge Management."

Hall, a Sunnyvale, CA, e-learning researcher and editor of
Technology for Learning Newsletter, will delivery a presentation
and followup live chat room also June 6. Both sessions are
entitled "Online Learning: The State of the Industry."

To register or to find more information about the conference, go
to http://www.trainingdirectorsforum.com.

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CRIES FOR HELP: OVERSEAS E.R.P. ...

"Our organization is faced with the task of implementing an
enterprise resource-planning system overseas," a reader says.

"Currently our documentation and training materials are paper-
based, Microsoft Word documents. We need a tool that will convert
our documents and allow us to create online-learning materials
that are easily translatable in other languages -- French, German, and
Spanish, to start.

"Any experience and suggestions would be greatly appreciated."

OLL NEWS SAYS: These vendor responses to a question last
week may begin to point the way. Last week's reader query was
about using a translator as a co-presenter or leader in online
learning:

o CyberNet College Corp. ( http://www.spanishnetcollege.com) of
Boca Raton, FL, says its teachers can act as co-presenters and
on-site translators. "They are familiar with audio and text as
we use both in our classrooms," says President Elba P.
Fernandez.

o Training vendor Bianco Hopkins & Associates Inc.
( http://www.biancohopkins.com/) of Norcross, GA, says it
offers translation services, editors, trainers, instructional
designers and multimedia specialists in Spanish and an office
in Mexico. The firm creates training and documentation for
enterprise-wide software.

o Sentius Corp. ( http://www.sentius.com) of Palo Alto, CA, says
its RichLink technology annotates English training or support
content in multiple languages. If users don't fully understand an
expression, they can click on it for a pop-up with more
information or a translation.

WHAT WORKS, WHAT DOESN'T?

Readers, can you offer more guidance about online translation --
particularly about what works and what doesn't?

Please send your response to [email protected] .

Very important: Include your name, title, phone number,
organization, its location, and what it does.

Your subject line for this question: Lost in Translation.

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MORE CRIES FOR HELP: SCRIPTING FOR C.B.T.

Here are more reader questions:

SCRIPTING FOR C.B.T.? "I am looking for a seminar on
script writing for computer-based training programs. We are able
to find many instructional-design courses, but nothing on script
writing.

"The perfect seminar will include writing styles for CBT scripts and
how to make your writing interesting to help students learn.

"Do you know of any company that offers this type of seminar?"

CD ON A MAC? "I'm creating a CD-ROM for interactive
learning. What authoring software do you recommend? I'm on a Mac
operating system. Are you aware of any templates for creating this
project?"

IDEAS, READERS? Please send your response to [email protected] .
Very important: Include your name, title, phone number, organization,
its location, and what it does.

Very important: Please also include the appropriate subject line,
or your best ideas may be lost in our e-mail.

ARE YOU STUCK?

Your colleagues may have some ideas for your online
learning-related quandary. Please send your question to
[email protected] . Include a distinctive subject line.

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LEARNING PORTALS: LEARNERS CAN BE CHOOSY

How do learning portals change the learning landscape? It's
simple, said Stuart Skorman last week: "The customer comes first.
That," he added, "is a little revolutionary."

The CEO of San Francisco learning portal Hungry Minds Inc. said
March 28 in Chicago that, on a learning portal, accountability to
the customer is paramount.

If learning-portal learners don't like what they get at a site,
they stop coming, threatening the portal's revenue sources.

That, said Skorman, contrasts sharply with traditional education,
in which teachers aren't directly accountable to students.

Learning portals are Web sites that sell courses. Given the
variety of services portals offer, learners can be choosy -- and
demanding.

"You're a businessman and you have a meeting in China tomorrow,"
mused Skorman. "Why shouldn't you be talking to a China expert
tonight?"

Even for less urgent learning, providers now can and should
customize training to meet the needs of individual learners.

"The most important test," Skorman said, "should be the test you
take before the course. That should tell your teacher what you
want to learn -- and what you've already learned, so your teacher
doesn't have to put you through that again."

RAZOR AND BLADE

How will learning portals price all this? "Give away the razor,
charge for the blade," said Skorman: That is, give away much of
the content, but charge for key components: books, discussion and
tests.

"You've got a captive audience," Skorman reasoned. "You can weave
commerce into that experience seamlessly.

"Just because it's for profit doesn't mean it's bad for the
customer. In fact, it has to be good for the customer."

Skorman and others spoke to about 75 attendees at a conference on
learning portals.

Kevin Oakes, CEO at portal click2learn.com inc. of Bellevue, WA,
said handing your e-learning off to a learning portal simplifies
development and delivery of content.

To be sure, your information-technology department will balk at
plug-ins, such as Flash, required to run training on portals.

In response, here's key question to raise with IT: "Do you want to
do this all internally," asked Oakes, "or work with us to get
Flash through your firewall?"

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PUT COMPUTERS IN WORKERS' LAPS

Where should you put the computers on which workers will take
training? Near the workplace for convenience? Or well away from
the job so learners can focus on learning?

Adrienne DeMaster ( [email protected] ) end-runs that
reader question: Put the computers in the workers' laps.

"Spend the extra money to get some laptops to use as training
tools," suggests DeMaster, information coordinator at Dura-Tech
Inc., a La Crosse, WI, screen printer.

Training laptops at DeMaster's company are in demand among
workers. Connecting to a network isn't usually required for
training at her firm, "so people can use those precious bits of
time at home, or anywhere else they can find the time," says
DeMaster.

"People see this as a valuable training benefit. Their attitude
toward training improves tremendously when the company is willing
to accommodate particular needs they might have for scheduling and
transportation."

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START ME UP: YOUR ANSWERS

What software do you recommend to help a reader pop courses
online, complete with notes and tests?

Stephen Yurkiw ( [email protected] ), hospitality-program
developer at Red River College in Winnipeg, Manitoba, uses a
program called Learning Manager, which organizes learning
materials into study modules according to competencies, skills and
learning outcomes.

Modules can accommodate learning materials in text, word-processor
documents, spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, scanned
graphics, Web sites, audio, video, and Authorware files.

Each learner's test is a unique combination of questions. You can
weight all tests and assignments in a course, and Learning Manager
will calculate each learner's final grade based on your specified
weighting.

Course development is in Microsoft Word, and Learning Manager
comes with macros to convert Word files into HTML for quick export
to the Web.

The program runs in Internet Explorer, "a browser that is not
difficult to learn, and one with which many users are already
familiar," observes Yurkiw.

More information is at:

http://www.wineducation.com(for U.S.)
http://www.tlmcorp.com(for Canada)

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WINDOW SHOPPING: CLICK2LEARN AND NETG

http://www.click2learn.com/c2l

click2learn.com inc. of Bellevue, WA, and and Harcourt General
Inc. unit NETg, announced an alliance Monday that allows NETg and
its resellers quick sale and delivery of NETg and Knowledge
Communications library courses to online customers on e-commerce
enabled e-learning sites. Customers can buy and use online
courseware as well as browser-based authoring, publishing, and
learning management tools at the sites.

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