Disrupting e-learning

When the ideas for Keep the Trust (KTT) were being developed at Innovation Labs, there was an understanding that any existing free resources, especially e-learning, would be used in the final product.

The challenge for the KTT team is that while the content and style of this existing e-learning is still relevant (it has recently been “blind” reviewed by two young ex service users) it is not flexible or user-centred enough on its current platforms. We think we need to create new content that can be accessed more easily and is available in much smaller units. So instead of, say. a two hour programme of four modules, with each module broken down into six sessions, we will create (including crowd-create) mini sessions of up to five minutes duration.

We’ve been reviewing some sites that offer flexible production and hosting methods for e-learning, by following recommendations from blogs and forums and clicking through on the sites that came up most often. (These sites typically offer both published online learning and the ability for authors or teachers to also create e-learning. There is usually a license fee, although some offer free software.) Here’s a selection:

Educator and The Khan Academy 

These are both too schools focused for KTT purposes. We also thought they looked a bit rigid and controlling for content creators! Lots of maths and science at the Khan Academy.

Udacity

Udacity gives the user/author more freedom but its current content is focused heavily on business, technology and innovation – not a market place for KTT.

A British company we’ve used before, called CDSM, offers Pedagogue web based software, which unlike other programmes doesn’t just publish to their own learning platform or virtual learning environment (VLE). E-learning created in Pedagogue can be saved as a zip file and uploaded on to any website. See this example Self harm in children and young people on my own site.

We are tempted by Pedagaogue for its flexible hosting and interactivity (it’s also quite easy to learn the software). But an issue for KTT is that Pedagogue content runs on Flash and therefore won’t be available to Apple users.

Microsoft Content Learning Development System is free to use and also gives the option to create portable zip files. We really like the idea of learning snacks, which is where we are going with our content. But again the content is dependent upon Flash.

So far the favourite, offering social e-learning and a really modern interface is Udemy, using HTML5, which would solve our multi platform issue. Udemy describes itself below:

Udemy’s goal is to disrupt and democratize the world of education by enabling anyone to teach and learn online.

We like their style.

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3 Responses to Disrupting e-learning

  1. Commenting on my own post…..maybe need to take a second look at the Khan Academy:
    http://www.khanacademy.org/about/blog/post/11669374513/khan-academy-expands-to-art-history

  2. There are a few learning management systems that integrate straight into WordPress. The main contenders appear to be:

    http://www.wpcourseware.com/
    http://www.learndash.com/
    http://www.woothemes.com/products/sensei/

    These all use HTML rather than flash and don’t require any external hosting so should be good for platform compatibility and ongoing maintenance.

    http://chrislema.com/e-learning-on-wordpress-made-easy/ is also worth a look – by the author of an elearning program (coincidentally titled ‘Leveraging Trust’) and goes through the steps he took to set up paid courses on a WordPress site.

  3. Brilliant thanks Jonathon

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