Tuesday, 22 April 2008

SharePoint the Ideal Platform for E-Learning

The Return of E-Learning Many companies and organisations are following the Microsoft led trend and installing SharePoint. They have employed consultants, given the project a witty name, uploaded documents from the last century, designed forms for every task and become SharePoint groupies. Everyone in their organisation is now using SharePoint with information now freely available and presented in a more 'funky' way. But now these businesses want more from this powerful application. What else can it do now they have invested so much in it? One interesting area where SharePoint can excell and something that all Corporate and Public Sector organisations need is - 'Training'. Whether it is the correct way to climb a wooden ladder or how to use the new Purchase Order system people will always need training. The cost of instructor led training is not always cost effective though, so a few years ago the buzz word became 'E-Learning'. It was going to be the next big thing in Training, but in many ways it failed to really take off, much to the relief of many Training Managers who were worried that their P45's might be arriving. PCs and especially slow internet connections were just too unreliable. Also the standard of courses, were to say the least, uninspiring with often just very basic multiple choice questions and graphics that were about as appealing as the Testcard in black and white. PC, internet connections and flash animated courses have moved a long way forward in the last few years making E-Learning yet again a very appealing proposition, but still many companies have not taken the step forward. The reason for this standoff so often is cost because they need to buy expensive Information Management platforms like Knowledgebridge from Websoft. Very good systems capable of producing very good E-Learning systems, but what else can they do? Try to get them to store your Management Meeting Minutes or perform workflow on your expense forms and you realise that it is just an E-Learning system. Microsoft sees SharePoint as the ideal platform for E-Learning and have worked with a number of Partners to try to fill this gap. They developed the SLK (SharePoint Learning Kit), but even the most skilled SharePoint Engineers would find it difficult to turn this into a working E-Learning system. Enter Competentum and their award winning product ShareKnowledge. A fully Microsoft Integrated solution that takes SharePoint and the SLK and makes a complete E-Learning system. It can design courses, assign courses to employees, mark tests, manage training, monitor employee career development and all on a front end, 'SharePoint', that the user is comfortable to use. It really is the training tool of the future and so easy to use. You don't need to be an 'IT Geek' or an 'Arty Designer' to create courses. The software does most of the clever stuff, all you need to do is know the answers to the questions. officetalk are now bringing this software, which is already used in Moscow University, to the UK and you can find out more about it at http://www.office-talk.com/pages/shareknowledge.html