Los Angeles, Sunday, September 21, 2003
Clark Aldrich is so unassuming for a polymath. He analyzes, he writes articles, he speaks at conferences, his book just came out, he leads product development for a start-up, and today he was presenter and ring master of the Supplier Summit at Online Learning. Fifty to sixty vendors spent Sunday attending this full day of sessions on the state of eLearning, standards, the analyst viewpoint, the customer viewpoint, selling, the future of technology, and benchmarking.
Here are my rough notes from the day:
Margaret Driscoll (IBM), Brian Taliesin (Microsoft), Wayne Hodgins (Autodesk), Clark Aldrich
Click for Clark's map of standards. It's big but meaty.
Wayne: SCORM 1.3 is the end of the line. There won’t be a 1.4 or a 2.0. ADL will focus on implementation, not churning out new models. The models themselves are becoming more modular. Metadata, API, packaging, sequencing are all different. Check out ADLnet.org.
Change? The Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines are breaking down their silos and cooperating.
Senior management is leery of standards because they’ve been burned before. Some turned proprietary, trapping those who adopted them; others are the lone ranger who doesn’t make it.
Who’s successful with this? Waffle, waffle, waffle.
Open University in
Customers ask for SCORM compliance but don’t know why. 90% of military is not on SCORM. They don’t know what it is.
Wayne says to head off the roadblocks, simply say that compliance builds a bridge to future projects, some of which we may not even recognize yet.
Standards have zero impact on learning quality.
Clark: eLearning has been a manufacturing and distribution strategy. eLearning is to learning as fast food is to food. Quality has not been a driving force as yet. Wayne: Fast food meets the needs of certain groups, e.g. parents feeding the kids fifteen minutes before soccer practice. The solution should be defined by the problem.
Wayne: Identifier: unique identifier on everything, person, building, whatever. M for metadata. O for objects. (Problem has been trying to quantify the old monolithic models. Everything should be treated as an object.) T for taxonomy. O is for ontologies, relationship between the taxonomies.
Metadata, content packaging, sequencing, APIs, and (coming) QTI. (Questioning and testing interoperability.)
Collaboration issues. Go watch 14 year olds. Great eLearning but they don’t call it that
Competencies. Now monolithic and need to be broken down into skills, capabilities, etc.
RSS. Very good at metadata harvesting. HTML scraping (collecting metadata when it’s not there.) Aggregation.
Wayne: Everything that can be standardized should be.
Judy Albers, Bank One
Gerry Lang, Microsoft
Steve Wright, Sprint University of Excellence
Judy: In an environment of cuts in IT, her eLearning is prospering. Reporting up and down the management hierarchy is key. Lots of turnover, hence lots of new hires (30% of all training). Acquisition management – making sure the LMS scales, important to get the cultural info as well as the operational.
Can’t get: integration experience. Getting proposals for parts of a solution, not the entire thing. Enterprise integration is breaking new ground. Moving to Websphere; again, the importance of reporting up and down the management hierarchy.
Want per-user licensing, not content library rental.
Little understanding of usability among vendors.
Gerry: bringing 41 different training organizations under one roof. Trying to be responsible for best practices, too.
Buyers don’t know what they want. Vendors don’t say “no” enough. Customers need advice, not yes men.
LMS are still selling version 1.0 and 2.0. Buyers don’t know what they want until they’ve bought the LMS.
Now in a company of 50,000 people, everybody’s an instructional designer.
Steve: It’s more important to provide the learning than to track it.
At Sprint, they try to meet with the internal customer in advance to define the ROI objectives. Now, instead of saying “We provided 32 million hours of training,” we can say “We boosted revenue by $9 million.” It’s given Steve more recognition and clout.
Stacy Marmolejo, VNU/Training
Michael Brennan, IDC
Adam Newman, Eduventures
Mike Flanagan, Lguide/Interpid
Stacy: Annual survey finds training revenue down $3 billion, from $53 billion. This is the first back-to-back decline in the 22 years. 17,000 companies have disappeared from the D&B list.
Michael: The future is rosy. Majority of eLearning adopters in first three years of the effort. Analytic tools are long-term, not immediate. Live training will be hot. Management ed is a big need. Because many have been burned, expect High Growth in service: infrastructure hosting,
Next four years, IDC sees services growing more rapidly that content or infrastructure.
Mike: If training is down $3 billion. Where did the money go? Part is falling headcount. Some of the training has migrated inside, the “do-it-yourself” meme. Some folks hire talent instead of training. Investments in low-to-no learning curve authoring tools, a trade-off people are willing to make. Tutorial or “simlet” builders, often software apps that convert to Flash. VW Beetle course architecture: easy to keep it on the road for a long time. The instructional design equivalent of duct tape.
Services, services, services. Vendors must assume the cost of the value discussion. (In order to break the commodity pricing cycle.) Practice what we preach: creating capability v. dependence. Rethink “quality” bells & whistles v. porridge.
Customers: don’t try to upsell me now. Give me something that just gets the job done.
Don’t be afraid to focus on learning as the core value proposition.
Brandon: Greatest growth potential – simulation tools and content. In services, implementation and integration are hot. Focus on initiatives to solve a particular business objective. Longer term, growth comes from human capital management = HR + learning + KM. At IBM they call it talent management. The distinctions now are a historic effect.
Training dollars are going mostly to salaries, traditional training, eLearning.Within eLearning, METAgroup breaks out the business as:
We’re back to a fundamental in this business: local relationships.
Adam: Content, Content, and More Content. (Content is more than content.) Not just about eLearning content anymore, rather where is the best content. Institutions spending more time developing the in-house content. Especially in this environment, search for
Develop a learning roadmap. What is your vision? Building partnerships, not one-time sales. Usability. Identify a core set of traveling partners. Share the itinerary and show customers how to make the journey.
Poor Adam, he’s pushing content, content, content, and everyone else is saying
services, services, services. Then his summary of what’s required is a Roadmap.
It certainly didn’t work for
Important to think beyond current situation and reach out to CRM, ERP, etc. Don’t miss inking up with them.
This was a great discussion, and the graphic tells 90% of the story. It’s a monster graphic. but well worth the time to study.
Chunks: sounds good, not happening many places
Blogging is in the theory stage. Clark asked me to describe blogging for the group. Millions of users but still a theory. Ditto Sam Adkins’ workflow based eLearning: all theory right now
Hype cycle is inevitable and painful. It’s almost a physical law.
Human capital management…in the theory stage.
Low-risk, well-defined. Four basic types:
Interactive spreadsheet model
Game-based simulation (not really a simulation)
Number of eLearning players
Market Size (per META)
Write down ten reasons why someone should buy your product or service? Your competition’s response to this?
$2 million "solution"
Average price per seat of LMS
3 year license & maintenance
Illogical variations in pricing
Cost of development for an hour-long course
$4,500 low end of range
30 Poppy Lane
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