Audio files make excelllent additions to online courses. Typically, an audio file would be used as a narration. The learner may be observing an image or reading through some light text, while the audio narration plays, in order to clarify the concept involved. The most popular format for audio in online training is the "MP3" format. Like the MP4 video format, the MP3 audio format "streams". This means the file begins to play immediately, rather than waiting for the entire file to be downloaded to the client computer, where the browser is running.
In this learning model, the learners do not need to be logged on at the same time. Also known as "self-paced learning". Learners log in at their conveniance and consume course material, take tests, and otherwise complete coursework.
A modern, robust LMS will include the ability for the learner to print a completion certificate when he or she has finished an online course. The certificate should be flexible enough to include a completion date, the student's name, the course name, and a company logo. In addition, the certificate may be presented in a PDF format so that the learner can email it to a colleague, manager or to himself.
A broad term used to describe computer systems, programs, web browsers, databases, and other tools used to deliver online training over a network. E-Learning is short for "Electronic Learning". The growth and evolution of associated technology has made E-Learning possible for smaller companies and those with limited budgets.
Modern media software tools like Camtasia and Captivate not only allow you to create and edit videos. They also allow you to use "overlays" and additional content such as quizzes, with the video as background. They also allow you to create training screens that jump to specified points within your video, depending on the learner response. Camtasia calls these "hot spots". They add an aspect of interactivity to your video-based content, which helps with learning and knowledge retention.
These are also known as "tests" or in some circles "festivals". They give the learner a chance to demonstrate that knowledge has been acquired and will be retained. Knowledge Assessements appear in the normal flow of an online course, usually at the end but also many times at the beginning (as a pre-test) or even between lessons. FlexTraining has a flexible testing feature that supports multiple tests in a course, a user-defined passing score, item banking and other features.
This term represents the smallest unit of learning material within an online course. On the FlexTraining platform, for example, several Learning Screens would make up a lesson. These screens may contain text, images, videos, audio narrrations, external documents, external URL's, and even interactive exercises.
Lessons are finite units of training within an online course. A lesson is typically a set of learning content that focuses on a single toipic. A lesson may be a small micro-learning object or a larger group of screens organized to deliver a certain body of knowledge.
A test at the very beginning of an online couse is called a "Pre-test". It measures the learner's knowledge level that exists prior to taking the course. It is a valuable measurement, because it is expected that the course will increase the learner's knowledge level, and an additional test at the end of the course should demonstrate this. A report comparing Pre-course scores with post-course scores may be called a "360 report" or an "Effectiveness report" and can be used to demonstrate to management that the investment in a training platform was worth it. FlexTraining supports Pre-tests as an integrated, and optional, part of the course-building process.
A special kind of Pre-test is a "Pre-test-out". When the course author specifies and creates a Pre-test-out, then the learner has an opportunity to pass this test and then skip the remainder of the course. The learner is given credit for completing the course automatically, and this reflects a training concept known as "branching". In this scenario, the learner is said to have "tested out" of the course.
SCORM is a purported "standard" that allows a learning platform to communicate with an external training module or technology of some kind. It's status as a true standard is in doubt as a practical matter, since adherence does not really guarantee interoperability. SCORM comes in two flavors: SCORM 1.2 (fairly complex and fragile) and SCORM 2004 (Very complex and fragile).
Application software was traditionally enhanced and released in clear-cut, named "versions", much like Microsoft Windows. For example, FlexTraining had a version 4.1, a version 4.2, a version 5.0, etc. In the modern software industry, and mainly due to cloud deployment which is so popular, software is enhanced continuously and updates are very frequent. FlexTraining version 6.5 has been available for years, and has been through many, many small enhencements, and some significant ones as well.
Educational management frameworks that utilize synchronous training require that all learners are connected to the training delivery system at the same time. More of a true "virtual classroom", these tools allow screen-sharing, live interaction, and instant messaging.
A Universal Learning Platform is the next-generation platform, compared to the LMS. It enhanes the versatility of the training tools provided, with the emphasis on handling different formats and content sources. FlexTraining provides two built-in wizards to convert PowerPoint slide collections and video collections to online lessons. Lessons are the main element, along with tests, of an online course.
Under HTML5, videos are delivered to the browser with a "VIDEO" tag, rather than a complex OBJECT tag. With the Video tag, a reference to the actual video file is a parameter that lives withing the tag itself. The learning system will substitute the anme of the video at run time, so that videos may be kept in collections within folders or libraries. The most popular video file format is "MP4", which is a format that can be rendered by all modern web browsers. A video may be a lesson or a topic within an online course.