ADOBE CONNECT AND EJ4 JOIN THE HALL OF FAME.

In this, the second year of honoring  outstanding technologists in the Hall of Fame, Elearning! magazine so honors two new inductees — Adobe Connect and ej4 — both of which have been long-time winners in our annual “Best of Elearning!” awards.

What is the secret to consistently exceeding customers’ expectations in an ever- changing industry? We asked leaders of both Adobe Connect and ej4 to share their insights….

Adobe was founded in December 1982  by John Warnock and Charles Geschke (in Warnock’s garage). They established the company after leaving Xerox PARC. Steve Jobs asked to buy the company for $5 million in 1982, but Warnock and Geschke turned him down

Adobe has historically focused on creating multimedia and creativity software products, with a significant investment in the e-learning market. In addition to Hall of Fame winner Adobe Connect, Adobe also offers Adobe Captivate Prime (LMS), Captivate and Presenter Video Express.

Adobe has about 15,000 employees worldwide, about 40 percent of whom work in the San Jose, Calif., headquarters.

Elearning! magazine talked to Adobe Connect’s Senior Enablement Manager Alistair Lee. Here are his insights on the future of learning.

Q: CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING AN ELITE BRAND EARNING 9 BEST OF ELEARNING! AWARDS. WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE ADOBE’S CONNECT’S SUCCESS?

A: Adobe Connect offers several unique features including persistent rooms, collaborative apps that work inside a virtual classroom, and templates that ensure consistency. One of the biggest unique differentiators though is the ability to truly design your classroom experience. Adobe Connect gives hosts complete control over the look and feel of the virtual room by creating layouts that determine what is shown on the screen at any given time. We’ve found that this ability to craft a learning experience can lead to higher
levels of engagement and retention ensuring our customers are successful in being able to deliver exceptional experiences is our most important goal.

Q: WHAT IS YOUR PRODUCT ROADMAP? HOW HAS THE   SOLUTION EVOLVED AND HOW HAVE NEEDS OF YOUR CUSTOMERS CHANGED?

A: We’ve just launched version 10 of Adobe Connect, and it includes a brand-new HTML client for participants. Our roadmap includes continuous improvement of this HTML client to help our  customers eliminate barriers to entry for their virtual classrooms, meetings and webinars. Engagement has become ever more important with the evolution of the smartphone, social networks and other distractions, it has become critical to  enable our customers to create immersive experiences that engage participants.

Q: WHAT UNIQUE FEATURES DOES CONNECT OFFER THAT NO OTHER BRANDS OFFER IN THE E-LEARNING MARKET?

A: Adobe Connect offers several unique features including persistent rooms, collaborative apps that work inside a virtual classroom, and templates that ensure consistency. One of the biggest unique differentiators though is the ability to truly design your classroom experience. Adobe Connect gives hosts complete control over the look and feel of the virtual room by creating layouts that determine what is shown on the screen at any given time. We’ve found that this ability to craft a learning experience can lead to higher
levels of engagement and retention.

Q: WHAT NEW FEATURES DOES CONNECT PLAN TO OFFER CUSTOMERS?

A: We plan to continue to add additional capabilities to our new HTML client ensuring customers can quickly and easily attend — and even deliver — virtual classrooms using nothing more than a browser.

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Since 2004, ej4 has delivered the unexpected in the e-learning industry. Its unique style of microlearning training videos combines instructional design with adult learning theories and is delivered via contemporary video design methods. Its modern learning management system is simple, intuitive and mobile so employees have the freedom to learn anywhere, anytime.

With more than 1,500 courses, ej4’s video content library has just the right amount of important lessons that employees need to grow their skills.

Elearning! Magazine was delighted to talk with Ryan Eudy, CEO of ej4, who shared ej4’s vision of learning.

Q: WHO ARE MARQUEE CUSTOMERS CONNECT SERVES? IS THERE A UNIQUE CUSTOMER STORY TO SHARE?

A: Adobe Connect’s customer base spans multiple industries and sizes. Here are two examples of customers that have used Adobe Connect to provide great training experiences.

University of Arizona’s use of Adobe Connect enabled the development of robust online learning.

“We needed a synchronous online meeting tool to support both active learning and small-group work,” says Mark Felix, Director of Instructional Support, University of Arizona. “We also wanted a virtual classroom that could be customized. Adobe Connect offered these capabilities and more.”

In 2018, their implementation earned a 2018 Learning! 100 Award from Elearning! Magazine. Learn more about this implementation at: https://adobe.ly/2zgFtPm

Another customer, BPP wanted to transform learning delivery. They turned to Adobe Connect and saw revenues increase 5-fold with 35% of their courses offered online.

“Using Adobe Connect, the proportion of course delivery via Online Classroom Live versus in-center or other modes has grown from 0% in 2012 to up to 35% on some programs today,” says Malcolm Bell, Director, BPP Online Classroom Live.

The goal is to get 100% of the faculty online this year and to increase the number of online live courses.

“Adobe Connect helps remove their ‘triangle of pain’ of commuting from home to work to school and back,” says Bell. “It gives them the flexibility to log on wherever they are and till get the benefits of live learning.”

Learn more about this application at: https://adobe.ly/2zlfBlh

Q: WHAT TRENDS DO YOU SEE IN THE FUTURE? HOW IS CONNECT EVOLVING TO MEET THESE NEEDS?

A: The ability to collaborate online —sharing your video, voice and screen — has gone from being a distinct use case to a commodity that’s built into several applications today. Adobe Connect has evolved to go beyond simple screen sharing to ensure customers can meet the needs of more complex use cases such as immersive virtual classrooms. We’ll continue to focus on these use cases and the needs of our customers going forward.

 Q: EJ4 IS AN UNUSUAL BRAND NAME.HOW DID IT COME ABOUT?

A: The “e” stands for “electronic, as in e-learning.” And the 4j’s describe the services we provide: (1) Just as needed; (2) Just enough; (3) Just in time; and (4) Just right.

Q: CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING AN ELITE BRAND THAT HAS  BEEN NAMED BEST OF ELEARNING! 24 TIMES SINCE 2014. TO WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE EJ4’S SUCCESS?

A: We’ve been providing quality products and services since 2004, and to be chosen as a 2018 Elearning! Magazine Hall of Fame recipient proves that we are continuing to meet the needs of our customers. It starts at the top with our founder and leadership team giving our employees the trust and flexibility to do their jobs. We always look for new ways to add value to our client offering with innovative video content, and upgrades and enhancements to our platform and technology. We focus on consistent growth and foster a culture that allows us to achieve it. Our employees are dedicated, passionate about their work, and the most creative individuals I’ve had the pleasure of working with. We wouldn’t be where we are today without them.

Q: WHAT IS YOUR PRODUCT ROADMAP? HOW HAS THE SOLUTION EVOLVED AND HOW HAVE NEEDS OF YOUR CUSTOMERS CHANGED?

A: As we prepare new video content for the year, we review what our  customers and prospects have requested through our Learning Consultants. This process allows us to stay on top of current trends in the workplace all while providing our customers with a comprehensive and up-to-date library of videos.

Each year we also evaluate our current courses to make sure they are updated with information that is relevant to the current workforce of our customers. Through frequent updates to existing content and new content rollouts, our library provides a consistent learning experience to all users. 

This year, we updated our Thinkzoom LMS to include a new user interface with a customizable dashboard, increased our search functionality, and gave our clients a
way to manage classroom training.

Q: WHAT UNIQUE FEATURES DOES EJ4 OFFER TO THE E-LEARNING  MARKET?

A: ej4 is a source for fresh, regularly updated, mobile-ready video content,  delivered in a single consistent format. ej4’s expertise in creating microlearning videos
gives us the ability to offer both off-the-shelf and custom video content in a way that keeps the learner engaged. 

It’s not over after you’ve taken our off-the-shelf courses though. “4tify your Learning,” available exclusively on Thinkzoom, continues the training conversation long after a training session is over. For several weeks after learners complete a course, they will be prompted to answer a series of exam questions and watch a video recap to help them retain the information they’ve learned.

And if you have your own LMS, ej4 can integrate with any other LMS system.

Q: WHAT NEW SOLUTIONS DOES EJ4 PLAN TO OFFER CUSTOMERS?

A: We just launched enhancements to Thinkzoom, and last year, we mapped our content — through our Learning Tracks feature — to 36 Lominger competencies, and we will continue to make finding relevant content easier for the learner. This includes a more robust content suggestion engine that takes the learning habits of the learner into consideration when recommending new content.

Our product development team meets frequently to review trends in the learning landscape and to find new and innovative
ways to keep ej4 at the forefront of videobased content. We look at many different ways to evolve as the marketplace continues to expand its acceptance of video.

Q: WHICH MARQUEE CUSTOMERS DO YOU SERVE? IS THERE A UNIQUE  CUSTOMER STORY TO SHARE?

A: What’s great about the ej4 solution is that we fit into any organization.  We have proven success in many different industries from A to Y (agriculture to yard services). Clients range from Pepsi, Culligan and Dr. Pepper Snapple, to midsize organizations like The Corridor Group and Hillyard. I invite you to viewtheir stories online: https://www.ej4.com/ ej4-client-testimonials

Q: WHAT TRENDS DO YOU SEE IN THE FUTURE? HOW IS EJ4‘S SOLUTION  EVOLVING TO MEET THESE NEEDS?

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A: We released online microlearning videos before there was even a  market or widely accepted term for it. There’s a difference between a learning trend and a learning solution. We focus on providing solutions that change the behaviors of the learner. People grow business. We grow people. Our customers give us access to their most important resource, their employees. We take that very seriously, which is why we don’t use a “flavor of the month” approach to our content creation.

Published in Products Featured

Skills development is a top concern of Learning and Development (L&D) professionals and business leaders — and 69% of L&D leaders say talent development is their top priority. That’s why D2L has added rubrics for employees and managers in the new Magenta release. Rubrics are a tool that instructors leverage to create consistency and set clear expectations for their learners. Soft skills and good-quality feedback can be hard to assess — and measuring skills can be a key ingredient in helping employees continue to progress in their careers. With the Magenta release, Brightspace makes it easier for organizations to evaluate employee skills and provide clear and transparent feedback.

The Magenta Release includes the following powerful features for businesses and organizations:

>> A new user experience for rubrics makes it easier to evaluate employee learning and give clear and transparent feedback. Rubrics also help give more timely feedback to employees, allowing instructors to more quickly identify their learning needs.

>> The ability to assign and assess learning happening outside the digital environment— like presentations, skill demonstrations, or field work — providing an easy way to handle feedback and assessment in the moment.

>> Powerful new data and analytics tools — Magenta’s new Data Solutions Consulting packages help users focus on defining data-driven goals, completing a needs analysis and feasibility study and building a data solution required to gain insights and answer identified business problems.

>> A course adventure pack makes it easy for learning and development managers to create content integrating gamebased learning, storytelling, interactive assessment and awards leaderboard elements into training material to help improve employee engagement, retention, achievement and outcomes.

>> Improvements to quizzing — including a dynamic preview for question pools in quizzes, and more data on quiz attempts with character counts on quiz logs help to streamline the quiz- creation experience.

>> A Manager Dashboard helps keep employees on track by setting due dates and clear expectations for assignments. Employees can stay also stay better organized and navigate to their courses quickly by having their course cards grouped by role or department.

WHAT CORPORATE USERS ARE SAYING

“Our primary focus isn’t tests and written assignments—it’s asking students to demonstrate their coaching philosophy and how they put it into practice as they work with their athletes. Brightspace gives us a better way for them to capture those experiences and share them with their fellow students and mentors—for example, by making and sharing videos,” says Jason Sjostrom, Director of Coaching, Canadian Sports Institute Calgary.

“Now with one system in place on the Brightspace platform, we can track customers’ learning progress, which helps keep them on task. We also leverage D2L’s intelligent agents in almost all our live courses, which allows us to easily communicate directly with customers and large numbers of course registrants within the platform. Having a system that
allows you to reach out when you need to at certain points of a course, send reminders, and get people moving in the right direction or drive them to discussion boards is very important for our association and our members,” says Nancy Robert, former Executive Vice President, Chief Product & Marketing Officer, American Nurses Association.

“Brightspace allows us to provide rich content, improve an employee’s opportunities and improve their ability to execute while still allowing them the freedom to do their day-to-day work. This earns buyin from managers and employees alike and makes adopting a new learning program easier for the entire organization,” says Lisa Cairns, Director of E-Learning, Smith.

ABOUT BRIGHTSPACE

Brightspace is a cloud-based learning platform that makes online and blended learning easy, flexible and smart. Brightspace is a quantum leap beyond LMS – it is easy to drag-and-drop content to create engaging courses, supports all mobile devices, has industry-leading uptime and is accessible for all learners. Plus, Brightspace enables the future of learning with a gaming engine, adaptive learning, video management, intelligent agents, templated interactives for course design, full support for outcomes or competency-based learning, and actionable learning analytics.

D2L has transformed the way millions of people learn online and in the classroom. Learn more about D2L for businesses at www.D2L.com.

Published in New Products

Since 2004, ej4 has delivered the unexpected in the e-learning industry. Our unique style of microlearning videos combines instructional design with adult learning theories and is delivered via contemporary video design. Our modern learning management system is simple, intuitive, and mobile so employees have the freedom to learn anywhere, anytime.

ej4

EJ4’S OFF-THE-SHELF CONTENT

Our library has just the right amount of content for your learners on the topics you require: workplace compliance (antiharassment and employment law), safety (OSHA and DOT), communication, and more. We also offer a broad range of topics that your internal stakeholders request such as leadership, software skills, and selling skills.

Here are a few reasons our clients prefer ej4's off-the-shelf video content: 
>> Thoughtful visuals: Unexpected and surprising design elements, along with creative graphics, better engage learners.
>> On-screen presenters: Live people, not just voice-over, keep our videos personal, relatable, and engaging.
>> More updates: Fresh matters. Avoid the hassle of worrying which courses need updating; ej4 regularly updates our courses every two years at a minimum.

EJ4’S CUSTOM CONTENT

Do you love the thought of creating your own custom courses, but feel stretched too thin? Let ej4 help!

Give us the topic. Let us handle the script and storyboard, source the talent, create the graphics, and produce the course. We’ll do the work while getting your input and approval at each step along the way.

Give us the script on the topic you've done 100 times. We can edit the script and graphics for short-form video, allow-ing you to keep the course you created. This process works great for your topics that have a longer shelf life: boarding,product training, employee orientation, your sales process, and more.

EJ4’S THINKZOOM LMS

How is your learning technology? Maybe your company has finally gotten big enough that it's time for your first LMS Or maybe it's time to trade in your old, clunky, outdated LMS.

Thinkzoom is our modern learning management system that easily lets you track employee use, measure comprehension of material, create reports quickly and effectively, and assign classroom training. Imagine giving your CFO hard data on how effective your training dollars are!

Thinkzoom was created learner-first, mobile-first. All of these features are just a click away.

Mobile ready: 47% of learners engage on nights and weekends and 58% engage somewhere other than their office desks. Reach learners where they are with mobileready technology.

Competency-based learning tracks: Courses are mapped to 36 of the competencies in the Lominger Model, allowing you to align training to performance reviews and recruiting criteria.

Training reinforcement tools: Initial and follow-up quizzes are built-in to ensure the information is retained.

Authoring tool: Record your own audio or create short videos to complement your usual training with our award-winning authoring tool.

Classroom training: Create and schedule instructor-led courses from within our LMS. Users can self-enroll or be autoenrolled by admins. Attendance can be tracked in the system and learners can earn points for course completion.

Contracts with ej4 are "Everything but Ordinary!" Purchase our off-the-shelf content and get our LMS free!

Published in New Products

According to TechNavio, the artificial intelligence market will top $968.02 billion by 2022. Health-care applications will lead A.I. revenues with 15% market share. Deep Learning segment will grow 50%. And, the Americas will account for 38.5% of the A.I. market.

Source: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170516006055/en/Global-Artificial-Intelligence-MarketGrow-CAGR-51

Global A.I. to Grow

Published in Trends

Augmented reality, mobile and collaborative solutions top the list of fastest growing learning technologies learning leaders plan to deploy according to the 2018 Learning & TalentPlatforms Study conducted by Elearning! Magazine.

Fastest 1

Published in Trends

Open AR Community Launched

The global AR market is projected to reach $209.2 billion by 2022 according to Statista. As augmented reality apps and hardware continue to evolve, they still largely deliver solitary experiences that exist in isolation. Now a new industry group plans to develop an AR cloud in the hopes of linking all of these games and services into a shared platform that creates a singular augmented view of the entire world. The Open AR Cloud Organization was unveiled at the Augmented World Expo EU in Munich Join the community at: https://www.openarcloud.org/

Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/591181/global-augmented-virtual-reality-market-size/

 

Published in Latest News

In 2004, UC Berkeley had 300 data science graduates. This semester, the number of students spiked to 1,000 causing the university to add the new undergraduate degree to the School of Science and Letters. The degree is the first to be added in 16 years.

"No program has grown this fast at Berkeley," said David Culler, interim dean of the Division of Data Sciences, which was established in December.

Other UC campuses are scrambling to add the data courses to meet demands. UC San Diego, Santa Cruz and Davis have expanded programs. UC Irvine was the first to offer a data science degree in 2014.

Demand

Published in Latest News

Linking process improvements to business strategy is the top challenge for senior leaders in the year ahead according to PEX 2018 Report. Sustaining change (30%), ensuring customer focus (22%), overcoming short term focus (22%), and deploying new technologies (21%) round out the top 5 challenges. Skill shortage (10%), lack of alignment between business and departments (12%) and maintaining executive buy-in (16%) completed the list of concerns. To view complete report, 

Visit: https://register.processexcellencenetwork.com/pex-annualreport-2018-email-only/
Source: PEX 2018 Report 

Top Business

Published in Latest News

It’s been 14 years since the birth of the Best of Elearning! Awards. The first edition in 2005 featured 9 categories, 29 brands receiving 245 nominations. The 2005 class included GeoLearning, Centra, WebEx, Books 24x7, and Adobe. Many of these brands still reign under different owners. Yet, they represented the need for SaaS or Cloud systems, learner-directed online learning, and effective e-learning development tools. A lot has changed….yet much has stayed the same. In 2005, 49% of learning professionals reported they had referred an e-learning brand to a peer. In 2018, that figure is 85%. Professionals still look to trusted resources for information. The Best of Elearning! Awards were launched in 2005 to formalize this recommendation process through its online user’s choice awards format.

In 2018, the Best of Elearning! Awards recognized 73 brands across 23 categories with thousands of nominations counted. This year 20% of the brands are new to the awards program — continuing to inspire us with constant innovation. We welcome Strivr VR, Sumarian, Modest Tree, Brainier, and other first time honorees to the Best of Elearning! family.

We are entering an exciting time in the learning technology industry. We see Artificial Intelligence powered knowledge and data systems. Machine Learning enabling professionals to focus on strategic actions versus rote activities. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are entering the mainstream with Healthcare and Entertainment applications leading the way.

The heavy lifting in learning technology still lies at the feet of the stalwart brands that continue to innovate, evolve and inspire talent. These brands include Adobe, SumTotal Systems, a Skillsoft Company, Cisco WebEx, and Articulate who have earned honors every year since 2005.

We can’t forget the editors who have brought you these 14 years of innovation. John Watson, Jack Gordon and Jerry Roche have brought Elearning! Magazine to life — Earning 24 editorial, design, website and eNewsletter honors for excellence from the Western Publishing Association.

Thank you to you all who have voted for the Best of Elearning! this year or in the past. Thank you to the technologists and solution providers who innovate and inspire. And, a big thank you to John, Jack and Jerry for making it all happen.

Published in Insights

Learning leaders are continually challenged to meet the changing needs of their internal learners and business partners. There’s a constant need to evaluate and balance learner needs and prioritizing learning and development programs that drive meaningful business results. With unemployment at a 30-year low, many organizations are struggling with attracting and retaining talent. Immediately and in the many years to come, Chief Learning and Talent Officers will need to shift their focus on cultivating talent internally to developing and executing on strategies externally.

While many organizations may have strategies and resources dedicated to college campus or trade school recruitment, a new focus of developing a talent pipeline through high school relationships and apprenticeships is essential. There is value in exposing high school students to career pathing and/or apprenticeship programs early-on as there is a potential to combine work-based, on-the-job learning with relevant technical education in the classroom. Students who participate in these programs may graduate with a high school diploma, real work experience, and in some cases, earn college credits, and industry credentials. They also start on a career path that continues after high school graduation – whether that is a continuation of their employment, along with college, college only, apprenticeship only, or other full-time employment.

LEADING WITH STRENGTH
Vi invests heavily in talent development with the goal of leveraging Vi’s commitment to a learning as part of the company’s value proposition to attract and retain talent. In fact, many of Vi’s leaders joined the company in high school and have taken advantage of the company’s front-line Management Development Program, tuition reimbursement program, and certification programs to pursue careers in hospitality, nursing or general management. Nonetheless, with the growing challenges of hiring hospitality and healthcare talent, Vi has shifted efforts and strategies to cultivate interest in health care and hospitality careers with high school students leveraging and refining Vi’s strengths in learning and organizational development.

Leaders view

WHY WAS THIS SHIFT NECESSARY?
As the population in the United States ages, the senior living industry will add nearly 350,000 jobs by 2025 and senior living employment will exceed 1.1 million according to Argentum, the nation’s largest senior living industry association. To meet these needs, Argentum states that the senior living industry will need to recruit 1.2 million new employees by 2025. And this is just one segment of the healthcare industry. According to the Work Institute, the healthcare industry employs over 12% of the U.S. workforce ratio of health-care job openings to available health-care workers of 2 to 1. Additionally, Vi competes heavily for culinary and dining services professionals to serve Vi’s residents. And, with 14 million U.S. restaurant workers, there’s simply not enough applicants to fill jobs.

STRATEGIES LEVERAGED
Working with Vi’s culinary and nursing teams, Vi developed career ladders for culinary and entrylevel nursing positions. Vi’scareer ladder allows existing employees to drive their own career path by achieving specific skills through company-sponsored training programs and mentoring. An employee’s ability to progress through the career ladder is not limited to an open position — rather achievement of defined and demonstrated skills by role. Vi’s career ladder alongside the company’s Management Development Program and tuition reimbursement program provides Vi the value proposition necessary to be potentially be relevant to high school students.

Towards cultivating high school talent, Vi has created a specific career page and recruitment materials to not only paint a clear picture of career paths at Vi, but to also spark interest in meaningful work of making a difference in the lives of older adults.  Vi intends to expand community outreach to high schools and continue pursuit of apprenticeship programs.

IMPORTANCE OF PARTNERSHIPS – NOT ALONE
With the growing labor shortages, Chief Learning and Talent Officers do not need to tackle these challenges alone — leverage professional organizations and associations.

Vi joined Argentum’s recently launched “Senior Living Works” along with other senior living organizations. Senior Living Works is designed to support recruitment, retention, and training needed across the senior living industry — also known as “Careers in Caring.”  “Senior Living Works” initial launch included a website and a Recruitment Engagement Toolkit, with a range of resources to support connections with high schools,technical schools, community colleges, and universities.https://seniorliving.works/

Talent leaders should also consider organizations such as the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with more than 40 years of experience in workforce learning, including 30 years of experience working directly with employers of all sizes across multiple industries to create and deliver effective talent management strategies. From developing best-in-class career pathing software, to creating career and education advising programs for employees, to targeted consulting, CAEL works with leading companies across all industries to help them maximize their investments in learning and talent management for their entire talent pipeline. CAEL has worked directly with employers to plan and deliver innovative and impactful learning and talent management strategies that target all employees -- including the frontline and mid-level workforce. Companies use CAEL’s services to recruit, retain and engage their employees, and ultimately benefit from a pipeline of “right-fit” workers prepared to support their growth strategies. https://www.cael.org/

COLLABORATION IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER
We’re at the intersection of talent acquisition and talent development. While many learning leaders have developed leading learning solutions to increase productivity, sales, decrease expenses, accidents, improve quality, and/or develop leaders, it’s clear the labor shortage isn’t going away anytime soon. Collaboration between an organization’s chief Talent Acquisition and learning leaders alongside their business partners is now more important than ever to cultivate and develop talent.

Published in Insights
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