Welcome to the 4th issue of eLearning Connection! Are we there yet?! was the general tone of my last column. For those of you who missed it, please refer to our sitemap for past issues. It will be too tiresome for everyone if I repeat all those mumblings I had (albeit some interesting ones J). In short, I can tick 2 months off my counting down of the crucial periods. BTW, my colleague Michelle gave birth to a huge baby boy on 27th October, weighing in at 8.14 lbs! Congrats to the new mummy for the latest addition to the eLCians!

To carry on the happy note this end year, as we are welcoming the festive season ahead, there will be no hardcore stuff this issue, just easy peasy tips and lots of offers. By now, you all should be familiar with the slogan, so
without further ado

go ahead and connect!

We are excited to announce the launch of the LearningBOX, a plug and play eLearning solution, for schools at a cost of less than $10K.

The
LearningBOX™ is a fuss-free solution that will be totally owned by you for less than $10K. Not only will you get a server, installed with a MS Server Operating System and SCORM conformant LMS; as part of the package, you will also be entitled to 12 man-days of maintenance and/or training which may include training in the products we carry, for example, Lectora.

This is an ideal solution for your school to build up your own repository without having to worry about where your content is being stored, or if the vendor has rights to the content your teachers created with much effort. This eLearning solution also encourages teachers to develop their own instructional content, which is inline with one of the intended outcomes of mp2.   When teachers upload instructional content or online assessments for the students, tracking of the students
progress is also possible if the content is SCORM compliant. Other features that you can find in the LMS include communication tools like the internal email, online chat, as well as a bulletin board. The perfect eLearning solution for your school and best of all, you have full ownership of the server and LMS. and total control of your content.

Words cannot fully express how great and easy to use this LearningBOX
is. I was told setup time is 10 mins max! So contact us at eLC ASAP and experience for yourself this great product!

WAIT!

Just an announcement that the
Lectora Competition will be closing in end Nov 2005, so please remember to submit your entries before that. Thats all for now folks! Tune in again in January 2006 J.

Contributed by: Benson Soong

For those of you who have been involved in eLearning implementation for awhile, you might be familiar with comments along these lines:

My eLearning courses are award winners, and my LMS is world-class. Yet, nobody appears to be interested in them. In fact, enrollment numbers are low, and lesson completion rates are even lower. Why!?   How can this be?!

Very often, eLearning project implementation takes a view that, like Kevin Costner
s Field of Dreams, if you build, they will come. In fact, some people go as far to say that if the eLearning content you provide is world-class, then people will flock to the LMS like bees to honey. If so, why is it that many eLearning initiatives fail to live up to their promise of being the heart of the Corporate University, or the soul of the Learning Organisation, or the like?

In 1999, a few fellow researchers and I asked questions like why is it that so many online learning resources are not fully utilized. Ultimately, we asked the question on what are the critical success factors that would predict the success (or failure) of eLearning initiatives.

After several months of research, we got our answers. These findings were published in the ranked journal, Computers & Education, in 2000, and have been fairly widely cited since ( see:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%22critical+success+factors+for+on- line+course+resources%22 )

Here is a brief summary...  

If you are to implement eLearning for a course you are teaching, and want to ensure:

High usage (of your eLearning content and/or the platform and its related    collaborative or communicative tools),
Learner enjoyment (for learning online),
Learner perception that the online resources are helpful, and
Learner perception that learning online provided a platform for deeper learning.


Then you
d have to ensure that these five critical success factors are met:

Human Factors
Adequate time and effort must be invested into the resources to ensure they are personally relevant to the learners, and functionally useful.   Also, the online facilitators must have strong motivational skills, and should constantly urge learners to use these online resources (e.g. eLearning courseware), especially at the beginning of the course.

Technical Competency
Both the online facilitators and learners would have to be fairly IT competent.

Mindset (about learning)
Both the online facilitators and learners should believe that learning is an active process of knowledge construction, and not merely knowledge absorption from instructor to student.

Level of Collaboration
The course design should encourage high levels of collaborations, especially online activities such as discussion board exercises,

Perceived IT Infrastructure
The learners must perceive the online resources to be user-friendly and useful. Also, there must be adequate technical support not only for training and supporting the online facilitators, but also for handling students queries throughout the duration of the course.

So, there you have it.   If you want to ensure successful implementation of your eLearning initiative, heed these five critical success factors holistically; the inadequacy of even one of these factors would have an immensely detrimental effect on the overall success!

Live Well!
Benson Soong

Contributed by: Andy
Contributed by: Ryan Foo
eLC Family of Products Working Together!
Lectora & Swishmax!


Wanting to do more with Lectora and Swishmax? Now you can! You can use flash buttons to work along with Lectora interfaces.

Step (1)
Import the background interface that you want to work with in Lectora.

 








Step (2)

Import the flash button that you have created in Swishmax with mouseover function.

  








Step (3)

Publish the Lectora file to html and you are done!
(Place your mouse over the buttons to see the effects)










Note
: All flash buttons can only work in html based.

Now is the moment some of you have been waiting fordrum roll pleaseta-da

eLC is proud to announce a specially designed programme, The Digital Arts Programme (DAP), for Primary and Secondary school teachers and students. This programme trains participants in creating interactive flash animations with a tool called SWiSH Max. SWiSH Max, a tool with tremendous capabilities, has been kept in the dark for far too long and we are here to unveil it to you!

With SWiSH Max, simple animations can be created within seconds! And, this is without the use of any programming! It is a dream comes true for many of us who wish to create interactive flash animations but do not have the know-how. For IT savvy teachers or students with programming knowledge, further enhancements to your animation can be incorporated either in a guided or expert environment depending on your level of competency. Best of all, SWiSH Max exports the final product in flash format, or commonly known as SWF.

As a pre-launch for this programme, we are pleased to offer schools at a
special rate of S$100 per license accompanied by a half day training session*.

For more information on this programme, please feel free to contact us at
DAP@elc.com.sg or (65) 6846 9040.

*The number of participants for the half day training session is dependent on the number of licenses purchased.

SWiSH Max sample animations (what you can achieve as a newbie J):



Jingle bellsjingle bellsjingle all the wayyup Christmas is approaching and I am sure many of us are looking forward to the festive season that is oh so near yet so far. Enough talk for today. Here are all of us from eLC wishing you a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year ahead! Remember not to overeat and mind your Ps and Qs this season. Signing off for the last time this year, be good because I am making a list of who is naughty and nice. If you write me at shandy@elc.com.sg, be "warmed"... be very very "warmed"...



Sincerely,



Shandy Ting
Editor
eLC
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