A few effective tips for finding the best e-learning development company

Today, the world is taken over by the internet and people are willing to do everything online. This is the reason why the learning process has also become digital and most of the organizations, whether educational or corporate are turning towards e-learning tools for their training programs. When you decide to go digital with the training process, you need to develop a good interactive e-learning tool and for this purpose, you have to hire a professional service. However, it is not an easy task especially when you don’t know about what to look for in the company and which questions to ask them. It is important to choose a company that understands your objectives as well as requirements and challenges of the designing process. They must come up with the ideas you have never considered and provide you with the best solution in your decided budget. So, here are a few effective tips that will help you to find one of the best e-learning development companies.

  1. Do good research- When you decide to adopt e-learning for your training process, you must do good research to find out the reputed e-learning development companies in your area. You can visit their websites and check what type of work they do. You can also read the reviews about them written by their previous clients to get an insight into the quality of their work as well as the customer service. You can also ask for the references from your fellow businessmen and friends who have already used the e-learning solutions.
  2. Look for their skill set- A good e-learning company can let you know about their skill set exactly. Their team must include professionals with specialized capacities like instructional design, content writing, graphic design, various technologies and project management. You must also check for their experience and track record.
  3. Ask for work samples- If you are already using an e-learning authoring tool, ask for the samples from the company using that tool. This will help you hire a company that has developed samples on the platform you use. Don’t be satisfied by just looking at their list of clients and screen-shots of the work they have done. Dig deeper and check their portfolio to make sure they are able to handle your requirements.
  4. Insist on transparent pricing structure- E-learning development is an investment that required continuous and careful monitoring. Therefore, it is important to hire a company with the transparent pricing structure. This is because such companies plan the project to run in such a way that it will not exceed your decided budget.
  5. Collaborate with the development team- This is crucial to develop the e-learning materials that include what you want your employees to learn. The e-learning company you are about to hire must have collaboration in place for every phase of the process.
  6. Require varied experience- Developers with the experience of working with a particular industry are the experts of that industry only. While if they have worked with different industries, you can say that they are e-learning experts. You must check if the developer can develop technical as well as customer service training courses. They must be knowledgeable enough to work on K12 as well as many other modules of various industries. Even if you are a software company, you will require a developer who can produce the courses to train your marketing and sales team, accountants and many others.
  7. See if they have experience working with various interactive content- You are not hiring an e-learning development company to create a simple slide-show. Their team must be able to integrate videos, simulations, scenario-driven or any other interactive content. This content must be custom-made for the industry you are related to so that your workforce can learn about how to act in real scenarios they may come across.
  8. Check if they have a sales representative- He or she must be a productive member of your team while understanding the learning and development process. The person should effectively communicate in order to help you determine the right solutions for achieving your goal.
  9. Seek training and support and request for course prototype- The e-learning company you are about to choose must train your employees to handle the module and also provide you support for smooth execution. They should be available for troubleshooting whenever required.

The e-learning company should also provide you with a course prototype. This will help you to check what works and what does not work. You can also check what improvements can be done to enhance the learning experience.

By using all the above-mentioned tips, you can surely find a right e-learning development company that can help you train your employees in an effective way and permit your organization to be lively and progressive in the competition.

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Importance of video learning for the training in the manufacturing industry

These days, the video is being seen as the perfect medium for instruction for the classroom as well as online training. Many industries are also turning towards it, citing the fact that human can learn the things that they see very easily rather than what they read or listen. As we have seen in the movie ‘Drishyam’ that visuals generate a greater impact on the minds of the people. By using these visuals in the training process we can enhance the learning experience. E-learning and videos are like a perfect couple walking hand-in-hand. Learners understand what is being taught by means of videos as this type of learning can be done at learner’s own speed. Additionally, the learning process becomes more interesting when done with the help of videos. The best e-learning companies in Pune put the extra efforts and add videos in the courses they develop to make the course interesting and impactful.

Videos are considered as a resourceful tool by various industries including the manufacturing sector for their training needs.  Process training is the basic element of this sector and videos play a really important role in displaying the instructions for operating a device or tool, various procedures and products. These videos work as the best option for large manuals dictating the process as they offer visuals which cannot be forgotten easily. They prove beneficial to the employer as they save a lot of time and resources to be used for training the employees about the process. Let’s have a look at the importance of these videos and understand how they prove beneficial.

  1. Summarize and analyze the process- It is not easy to document the entire production process. This involves the creation of a large instruction manual that needs to be updated from time to time when any new step is brought up or the process is changed. So, it is recommended to develop videos demonstrating the production process. This work can be done by the e-learning development companies. You just need to record a video while the process is going on and provide it to the company along with other necessary details. They will develop an e-learning video based on the same. Additionally, these videos can be updated easily and quickly as soon as the change in the procedure occurs.
  2. Help in preserving the knowledge- When old employees or the ones with years of experience leave, the organization suddenly runs short of knowledge. This is because, those who have left have gathered the knowledge about the working of certain procedures, know the tricks for immediate on-site repairing and fixing of issues related to the failure of certain equipment through many years of experience. This information can be collected in the form of videos and added to e-learning course in order to access those processes and pieces of advice whenever required.
  3. Show operation complicated machinery- Some of the manufacturing companies make use of very complicated machinery in the processes. For the employees of such companies, videos can be very useful as they train the employees about how to operate such machines in an effective way. E-learning companies develop animated videos exhibiting step-by-step procedure and also provide details about how various parts of the machinery work. This helps the workers in operating these complex machines proficiently.
  4. Assist in following safety standards- Manufacturing companies make use of various machines, tools and materials and hence safety training is very much essential for the safe handling of them. As per the law, employees are required to be trained for workplace safety. E-learning development companies make videos on how to prevent accidents at the workplace, how to use personal protective equipment and how to perform complex operations while managing risks. These videos can be considered as the best choice for providing safety training to the workforce.

Day by day, the processes are becoming complicated, advanced machinery is being introduced and roles of the workers have become more complex. This has resulted in training being more intensive. So, rather than making the employees to read the heavy manuals or organizing boring classroom training sessions, it is better to hire a reputed e-learning development company and work with them to develop interactive videos demonstrating the complex procedures in a step-by-step manner. This will not only make the training process interesting but also make your workforce more efficient.

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Time: A Priceless Resource

“The trouble is you think you have time.”  –Lord Buddha.

And we tend to waste it. We waste it in the most ruthless manner. We waste it mercilessly.
In the face of cut-throat competition, we wish to be the shining star in the market but do not understand the value of this precious resource: TIME.

Many of us are so good with our finances but then why do we fail to acknowledge the gravity of ‘time’ and misuse it? Is it because of our general lackadaisical attitude or because it comes free of cost? Did it ever cross your mind that whatever you receive free of cost comes without any warranty period?
Even before you start cherishing it, it will be gone for good.

In the age of globalization, there is this constant urge to be the best amongst all. Factories are equipped with state of the art machinery; laboratories with sophisticated equipments and companies have the latest software installed to enhance performance and bring out the best out of its workforce.

Even technology with time will succumb to wear and tear. Technology that is new today will be declared old-fashioned tomorrow; a much sought after software today will become outdated tomorrow. With the significant development of science and technology all across the globe, we need to make optimum use of what we have today, for tomorrow it will cease to exist. It is imperative to understand the pivotal role time plays in the optimal management of technology.

Again, there is a specific timeframe or deadline attached to tasks that must be adhered to. For most advantageous utilization of time, each day at work has to be planned keeping in mind the tasks that need to be accomplished during the limited time span. The earlier we realize the fleeting nature of time we can handle time wisely and be more productive. Proper utilization of time can only be possible from rigorous self-management and self- discipline.

Each day is different for each individual. For some, there are deadlines to be met, for another there could be a medical emergency that needs to be taken care of and to yet another, it could be a red letter day of some sort. Since it is not feasible to predict the future we can to the best of our knowledge, organize ourselves and plan our day from ahead. This will enable us to gear ourselves better to face challenges that might just saunter in.

Time management and self management go hand in hand. There can be nothing more satisfying than a day well spent. It is futile to run after time. Lost minutes, hours and days cannot be bought back with a dime or a million dollars; the penalty we have to pay for lost time is heavy. Time is priceless and the most expensive resource we have at hand. We need to respect it and master the art to control time.

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Revisiting eLearning

I belong to that generation where I witnessed the transition from reading a novel out of a book to reading it from an iPad or Kindle. And it was not a step by step gradual process but its influx was with a big bang. This is not a sudden realization that dawned upon my mind one fine day but rather an honest confession of a mind who loves to read, learns and researches a lot on a daily basis.

The pleasure from reading out of a book can never be substituted by anything else. Being an avid reader, I agree to that. BUT, it is not possible to plan life situations every time as per our will.

With the availability of online books, one can have access to anything they are looking for in the most trying times. A student appearing for competitive exams might need to look up formulae and he is unable to find his Class IX mathematics text book! A click on his laptop or a quick search will do all the wonders; an entire module will be up on the screen.

An adult might need to brush up his English language skills and the book store may be out of Wren and Martin. Well, today the information is all available at his fingertips.

A new employee might need to look up something in a jiffy or be educated on a new subject; with the click of one button he will have a plethora of information available to him online.

This is where the concept of ‘eLearning’ and ‘learn on the go’ makes an entry in style. Both are synonymous to each other.

The thirst for knowledge of a working professional can be met if he has access to smart phones, tablets, laptops and the like. He can plan his learning schedule as per his convenience. The visuals along with the online tutorials can provide a sense of gratification to anyone not being able to attend a classroom lecture but has access to the internet. Moreover a company might find it cumbersome and cost intensive to organize training sessions at an Institute located further away from the workplace. There can be chances for the on the field sales people to lose out on potential business as they will be missing out interacting with their clients during those days. A simpler and pragmatic form would be to guide them through an online course which the sales team members can look through at ease and educate themselves on, without putting their work in jeopardy.

In short, with rampant globalization and proliferation of transborder data flow, eLearning is a boon. The world today has been transformed to what Marshall McLuhan says a ‘global village’. He need not restrict himself to information imparted by subject matter experts from his own country but can view informative sessions from experts all over the globe and can choose topics pertaining to his area of interest or need. The interconnectivity and overflow of information are sure to quench the thirst of an eager learner.

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Project Planning – Key to Projects’ Success

Success or failure of a project largely depends on its planning. A good detailed project plan can successfully drive a complex project to completion and a bad unclear project plan can even cause the simplest of projects to fail.

All project plans are governed by milestones. Every milestone carries a deliverable and a date. All the activities, processes, resources, and timeline revolve around these milestones. Projects run on milestones.

Every Project is exclusive because it has a particular set of operations designed to accomplish a goal. A Project is considered as a temporary entity as any project that starts has to end.

A project is said to be successful if
– all milestones are met as planned and
– the final product is delivered as per the scope and the clients’ expectations.

This calls for meticulous planning and execution.

All development activities are categorized into the following four phases of a project lifecycle:

  • Initiation Phase
  • Planning Phase
  • Execution Phase
  • Monitoring, Controlling & Closing Phase

Here we are discussing the planning phase in this blog. The planning phase covers a major part of the whole development process. It starts with the output of the initiation phase and ends by providing input to initiate the next phase i.e. the execution phase.

The most important step in the planning phase is creating a WBS i.e. Work Breakdown Structure. Detailed working at the WBS stage will help to successfully execute a project.  Based on the WBS one can be in a better position to define activities, plan schedules, align resources and commit a timeline.

In any project the most critical job is estimating the work effort and planning the resources to execute the tasks.

The first step will be to calculate activity duration. Once we estimate the number of work periods (weeks/months) required to complete the individual task with estimated resources we can work on how much time an individual task will take to get completed. Accordingly, based on the activity duration and scope, the resources can be categorized i.e. Fixed / floating resource and allocation on task/project.

Second step will be planning and aligning the resources on different task/project based on their skills vis-à-vis the project type. If the project is having scenarios then a resource with illustration skill has to be allocated, and if the project is of branching logic in HTML5 than a programmer with JavaScript skills has to be assigned on the programming task.

While planning the resources, the spotlight should also be on the longest path of the plan (Critical Path), which is going to use more time and money.

The next step will be to create a schedule where one has to analyze activity sequences, resource requirements, duration and schedule constraints. Three main factors need to be taken into consideration:
– Duration
– Task dependencies
– Constraints

On completion of this stage we will get to know the start date and finish date for each task.

The last stage of the planning phase is Control Schedule. At this stage the status of the project activities and processes are regularly monitored. If required, the schedule is updated accordingly and communicated to the team and client.

Finally, the Planning Phase ends here and Execution Phase begins. In the next blog we will discuss the Execution Phase.

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