Web-Based Training – What is it?
Training and e-learning using the web – called web based training has been slowly picking up steam over the last couple of years. Essentially web based training means using browser-based software applications such as eLeaP™ Web-Based Training System to quickly create and manage training and e-learning. This this article on “5 Reasons to Use Web-based training“.
Web based training started with some of the largest companies who trained via computers – usually deploying CD ROM, video or even print materials.
As the Internet or World Wide Web has matured as a business tool, we have seen an explosion of software tools streamlined for deployment over the Internet. Some of these tools have included training and e-learning platforms such as the popular eLeaP platform.
Benefits of Web Based Training – What’s In It for Me?
To understand the benefits of Web based training, it is important to understand the evolution of web based software applications in general. You see software development and deployment has traditionally been a memory intensive, bulky and sometimes buggy process. Think – Photoshop. You need a very powerful computer to run Photoshop, even if you are just cropping a picture more correcting color saturation in your image. Most humans have never used the advanced features of Photoshop. You see developers liked to develop software that contained a little bit of everything or did everything and only ended up a highly unwieldy application. Think Microsoft Vista (earlier version). Well what happened is some web developers out of necessity started looking for “striped-down” versions of popular applications. And if they could deploy these over the web so one was not tied down to a single machine – the better. Think Writely that became GoogleDocs. Humans are “migratory” by nature. You use one machine at work, maybe another at home, perhaps a different one when you visit your in-laws and of course when you are wasting your employers hard earned dollars sitting at the hotel lobby. Bottom-line. We want to have access to “our stuff” regardless of where we are or what machine or computer we are using. Hence the birth and success of online or web based software including Web based training software like eLeaP.
So what are the benefits?
- Web-based training software can be cheap – or inexpensive compared to traditional forms of training programs. You normally purchase the capacity you need, and most times you have no set up fees, maintenance contracts, or upgrade fees. What’s not to like.
- Web based training software is always on. Think about it. Web based training means you have training and e-learning on tap. You simply log in and take your training. For employees this can be a tremendous benefit giving our hectic work life. For employers this is totally awesome. Employees taking training on their own time (weekends) and you don’t have to pay for it.
- Web based training software is consistent and always updated training. When was the last time you got the updated version of the training on the CD ROM from that company? Yes. Web based training is easy to maintain and update and folks can have the latest training materials just by logging in.
- Web based training software means Interactivity. This is becoming a big deal as people have come to expect new age styles of training. Using video clips in your training. Using forums and discussion boards in your training and e-learning. Leveraging external web based resources to enhance your training all lead to better knowledge retention and Lord forbid, better skilled employees.
- Web based training software ensures Security: While many people don’t usually think about it, online systems can be the most secure. I know, I know. eLeaP is a web based platform that uses 256Bit encryption. For the non geeks, that is more secure than some financial institutions. Ok maybe not more secure but on par… But the point is that web based systems have easy access rules and security applications that ensure that content is secure and that only the right persons see the right materials.
- Web based training software has Reliability: Ahh, so the computer you had your Photoshop program or PowerPoint training crashed. What to do? Log in to your online account and continue your e-learning and training.
How to get Started.
- Web Based Training Software Platform (LMS) Uptime record: Uptime refers to reliability of your LMS vendor’s web servers. Do they experience interruptions in services? If you try to access your training and your browser keeps timing out or the web server is unavailable, then you might need to switch. You need to ask your prospective vendor about their uptime record. You can also access public sites like Netcraft to do independent research on uptime.
- Scalability: Can your LMS provider grow with your organization? You started at 25 employees but your business has expanded to over 4000, can your learning management system absorb your growing user base? How much more would it cost? How reliable is the capacity of the system to absorb the increasing levels of usage?
- E-Learning Standards Compliance: Perhaps you have heard about SCORM? What about AICC? Is your learning management system compliant with these government mandated e-learning standards? Is your LMS SCORM or AICC compliant? How about your authoring program?
- Data Exchange: Does your LMS provider allow you to download data/reports from your account? Can the learning management system easily interface with your HR information system? How easy is it to upload your content and user list? Can user self-enroll for courses/training in your LMS?
- E-Commerce Capability: For some content providers, e-Commerce (selling courses or trainings) is an absolute must. Does your LMS provider have e-Commerce capability? Is it easy to integrate into your existing website?
- Web Based Training Software Platform (LMS) Security: With phishing and data security being increasingly threatened on the Internet, your LMS should make security a cornerstone of their service. Does your LMS come with SSL encryption? How about password integrity? How is this maintained? Can you instantly activate and deactivate user accounts easily?
- Financial Solvency: Is your LMS provider some kid with a computer in the basement? How many years has your LMS solutions provider been in business? Ask for and follow up on all business references.
- Web Based Training Software Platform (LMS) Support and Customer Service: Once you have purchased the learning management system does your LMS vendor disappear? How is their customer service like? Do they provide online or live customer support? How about a knowledge center to help you get answers to technical questions?
- Web Based Training Software Platform (LMS) Cost: What is the total cost of ownership? Are there hidden charges or fees? What about set up fees? Is maintenance free? How about customer support? Do you have to pay for technical assistance? Make sure you get in writing all costs associated with your LMS purchase.
- Web Based Training Software Platform (LMS) Software Updates: Is your training software vendor a one trick pony? Do they have plans to improve or upgrade the LMS platform? What will it cost you to get upgrades? This is where the Software as a Service (SaaS) business model makes sense. Is your Learning management System vendor a SaaS LMS provider?
Go to www.eleapsoftware.com to create your free web based training software account so you can Save Money and Train Better.