There were many vendors exhibiting and we just did not have time to see them all, which is a shame. There were many innovative solutions on show, with a major focus on “cross platform authoring” – with content being authored that could be delivered across mobile devices, tablets and to the desktop. The industry is really responding to the desire of learning practitioners to really deliver on the m-learning promise which is now really arriving (at last).
We were impressed by Claro with its simple but effective approach to create mobile learning and the PowerPoint conversion wizard. Learncast offered an interesting perspective on mobile learning with mobipoll and a feature rich mobile learning platform. Intuition is offering a mobile cross platform product that appears to be very popular. We were also impressed with Rapid Intakes mlearning studio along with sister company Litmos in the expo as well, these guys from the Callidus software stable will emerge as major players in the market in our opinion.
The Tools market still seems very popular for many companies, but we cannot help wondering if it is really big enough to support all these players. With Adobe and Articulate continuing to develop new impressive products and services other tool vendors seek to differentiate themselves. Articulate’s story line continues to get very favourable comment. Lectora with Snap is really putting some pressure in the market as well.
Never the less a number of tools developers grabbed our attention by their willingness to do something different and engaging: Zebrazapps is a well thought through solution for learning designers using visual logic who wish to build very interactive content quickly but are not skilled flash developers. It is pioneering an interesting business model as well, as it seeks to leverage networks to enhance the (Z)app library. The Creator level looks very well priced given what this solution can do. We wait with interest to see the professional and enterprise prices.
The LCMx from Breakthrough Performance was a fun and intuitive way of authoring content and introduced us to a new term – “Performance Drilling” this is really about linking learning to performance by developing incredibly quickly impactful e-learning courses addressing real issues in the context of the organisations learning requirements where interpersonal skills are a premium requirement . The solution comes with a very intuitive way of developing good content tightly focused on improving performance along with a whole bundle of applications and uses xML to achieve cross platform delivery. This is another example of a tools vendor really differentiating to add value, and we predict a market breakthrough!
Bespoke content development seems to be evolving as well, with new approaches to bring the price of development down and the speed of development up, Quick Lessons is an interesting model aimed to close the “content productivity gap”.
Yukon rapid course is a useful way to have courses built, and are really not only bringing the prices down, but seeking to fill a gap between bespoke learning and off the shelf learning.
iPal e-learning is a great example of bringing an effective e-learning methodology and development pack together from content organisation, scripting and storyboarding to development, allowing the learning developer to produce effective and engaging e-learning.
A word about the LMS market, while there were fewer LMS vendors no doubt than in previous years, the LMS is not about to go away. While they are easy targets to criticise, organisations still value the role they play in tracking and recording training. The LMS will continually evolve, it will probably be required to do less, but do it much better as an LRS – Learning Records Store. Intuition appears to have an interesting solution with its Advantage product we would like to know more about.
We are still looking for a way for legacy content to be effectively repurposed to be able to be delivered cross platform at the touch of a button. It is possible that content can be converted to XML, but few of the cross platform authoring tools could work on legacy content simply and effectively. In this context we were particularly interested in Xyleme, who seem to have a clear view of the future and are on the right track. (more later on Xyleme’s view of the world).