Summary of Tools, Platforms and Technologies
Let’s look at summarising at a high level where the Tools and Technology fit in so we know what stages we need to be across to make the right decisions.
We will be exploring all of these in more detail as the module progresses.
Content creating Tools
Content creating tools are used to create content for our learning solutions. Content can be delivered independently of any other learning content, or included in a larger eLearning activity or module.
For example we could create a video that can be delivered via a link in an email, or placed independently on the employee intranet or LMS. This piece of content could exist on it’s own, or it could also make reference to other learning activities as part of a course.
Other examples of content could include;
- Explainer whiteboard videos
- Audio only content
- PowerPoint presentations
- Microsoft Sway presentations (part of Office 365)
- eBooks and PDFs / Whitepapers
- Chatbots (could sit outside or inside the platform to provide guidance and assistance to learners)
- H5P content
We’ll explore these tools and what they do in the next level.
eLearning authoring tools are used to create eLearning modules that usually sit inside a Learning Management System (LMS). The main reason for this type of tool is to create a learning module that has interactive elements that need to be tracked and reported on via SCORM back to the LMS. These tools tend to be quite expensive and the general feel in the industry is that these types of tools are becoming less relevant, but they still pop up.
Some examples of eLearning Authoring tools are;
A learning platform can either be a Learning Management System (LMS ) or a Learning Experience Platform. As we discovered in a previous activity from Module 1, sometimes these terms can be used more a marketing exercise without really meaning anything different.
My take on it as follows;
- LMS – A Learning Management System has always traditionally catered for SCORM content developed using an eLearning Authoring tool.
- LXP – A Learning Experience Platform is a newer type of platform used to host learning content, however the functionality of these platforms doesn’t rely on SCORM content. Technology has improved where these platforms include the functionality to build the content directly inside the platform or integrate other types of NON-SCORM content, especially video and other tools like H5P.
The technology is what strings it all together. Having an appreciation, at least, of these technologies allows us to make informed decisions, communicate with stakeholders and partners and also be able to troubleshoot problems more efficiently.
Some examples of technology include, but are not limited to; (please visit the links in the bullet point headings for a recap)
- HTML and web technologies – Most of our content will be delivered via web based browser so at least appreciating what is happening in the background can help to have meaningful conversations with stakeholders and partners
- SCORM – SCORM isn’t going away in too much of a hurry. A lot has been invested in creating content that is SCORM enabled and sitting inside Learning Management Systems. We may start to see a shift in how this content gets updated when reviews are underway.
- xAPI – xAPI has been around for a while, but hasn’t taken off as much as expected. The main factors are technical requirements, cost and resourcing.