E-Learning Tricks and Treats

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This is Voodoo voodoo.  He is a little devil, wrapped in black and white fur that can create terror and joy in a single bound. Right after he jumps full throttle on me.   He looks so quaint.  Sure, he is eighty pounds, but he’s only two.    I mention Voodoo here, because the name screams the “mysterious, unknown,” and at the same time, just by seeing him here (he’s playing tug of war), you smile with, well a smile.

For 2017, Halloween edition of Tricks and Treats, Voodoo has reached into his bag of toys, and removed the ones he sees as “treats for 2017”.  He will keep those on the side for later.  He equally tore out a few that he views as “tricks” and tossed them into the yard for nevermore.

Because I have a background in ‘dog language’, I am able to deceipher his thoughts on this scary evening.  

Scare of The Night

No Halloween edition would be scary without having a couple of actual scary ghost photos/videos for the right mood.  Shot by yours truly, uh me, not the dog.  

a.  Video of orbs from the Drovers Inn in Scotland.  You start to see them around the 35-40 second mark.

b.  Image of ghost on the door. Look down towards the bed. Some people say it is a little girl ghost.  It didn’t appear until after I snapped the picture. 


c.  Bonus – Orb in the room.  16996470_10210523893272232_3339381654891452469_n


Litmos –  Deserving of two handful of candies, with next generation feature sets, a wonderful video assessment piece,  intiutitiveness and overall solid.  Still needs better data visualization, like to see more video capabillities (but I expect to see that in all systems, franklystein).    I expect big things for Litmos in 2018, one of which I hope is taking the e-commerce components from ViewCentral (an acquisiton) and using all that goodness into the Litmos system, along with a virtual wallet.   

dominKnow –  The cloud based authoring tool continue to strike a nice blend between authoring (its core) and the publish of responsive content that is actually responsive (not all authoring tools really can deliver that, fyi).  I see the system for future growth in true digial learning (my take on digital learning).  And beyond that? Only the Twilight Zone knows for sure (and yeah, the folks at dominKnow).

eLogic Learning –  Hands down the best functionality as a whole in the industry. Do they need some tweaks? Sure.  Data visualization, more video components, a touch of this and and a touch of that.  Still though, a continued hot fudge ice cream sundae (dairy free).

Evolve –  An authoring tool under the wraps.  Think of them as a candy not too many people know about, but once you get your hands on it, you can’t get enough.  Works will in conjuction with other tools, but for most folks will suffice as is.  A darling, if you could ever call an authoring tool, that.  Wait, I just did.

Mini Treats

A few high fives are in order

  • Growth Engineering – Gamification never looked so good or so crisp. Feature rich too.  Ideal for employees. 
  • Cornerstone Learning    New UI win on the learner homepage.  A big win finally.  Need though some continuance throughtout the rest of the learner side, but hey a win, is a win in my book.  
  • Unicorn LMS-  Financial Services’s superhero of a system.  Still doing it the right way, and if you are not FS, don’t worry, Minds-I (hands down the best mobile app for online learning out there) is available to you, even with your current LMS provider.
  • Create LMS – NextGen features galore with more on their way.  A system to watch in 2017 that delivered.  I’ll keep them on my system to watch again for 2018.  Reminds me of another little darling I spotted back when no one had them on their radar (Docebo).  Create has the potential to be even better. Definitely keep an eye on em.
  • Branchtrack – An authoring tool for creating scenarios that needs to be seen in the light. Easy to use, lots of possibilities.  Pushes the whole branching angle a bit, but it does deliver what it says it can.  You will just need to add your flavor to it (humans are extra).
  • Built-in authoring tools – More vendors are including them into their systems.  The other day okay a former post, said I saw three that could be a standalone.  I now say a fourth, via Eurkeos, a LMS.   They build their own authoring tool and with their background in course development it shows.   


Call them the brown and orange wrapped treats some homes like to give out – might as well as toss in some rocks while they are at it.  Candy corn is the name of the game here, with an occassional pixie stix from 1978 tossed in for good measure.

There are plenty of vendors who could be part of this tasty err trick, but I’m not one to call out folks, when they are doing what I see as not ideal in their techniques. 

Ha ha.   I’m kidding.

Saba –  Look the Learn side I like for the most part.  Its strong, their deep learning is top notch and mobile is solid, but why oh why for demonstations do they have to turn on every module, even if the customer is not seeking them in the first place? 

They did it to a recent client of mine and since then I have heard from others (not clients) mentioning similar experiences.  Saba tells me that the “we show everything” in the demo is standard practice, to show what is possible (an ecosystem angle with HCM).  That’s fine, but at least tell people who are in the room, that these XXXX are extra modules and not included in what they are looking at buying.  In my case, they didn’t.  Here’s a thought. Show what folks only what they are eyeing to buy (in your formal demonstration) and then mention others afterwards.

Docebo’s latest platform module.   I like what it has to offer for the most part, the skills assessment piece if you will (it has other items too), but why can’t it be part of the LMS to begin with, rather than an additional cost?  The same approach with coach/ask an expert/curation module.  Why not just sell the system, with it all included and let the person decide when to use it or not?  i.e. one flat price for it, not “included but extra costs tied into it’ or “extra cost for each.”   

Competency management and skills assessments are being seen quite a bit more, especially on the skills piece of the pie, but it should be all in, not cut up like that Jack o Latern you just smashed on Mr.Cunningham’s yard.

Skillsoft Percepio and other vendors who rush out systems not yet ready for prime time.  I just am at a loss here.  This approach of lets get it to the market, and then when you ask for some standard feature sets you see in LMSs and heck even in most learning platforms, the retort is “its on our roadmap” or “upcoming version”, should say – let’s have it before we launch.  

I’m not talking about extremes here, I’m talking about the core standards to any LMS (there are 16 that I identified to be considered an “LMS”, of which six are very common in learning platforms, hence the identification as such.) 

Previous entrants to this “launch now” angle included Adobe Captivate Prime (when they debuted, and still they are missing some core features), Linkedin Learning – missing a few LP commons and several core standards, and Bridge by Instructure (again, still missing some core).

Content marketplaces angle –   I’m a huge fan of course marketplaces and have noted that I saw them as a growth opportunity for quite a while.  I still think that way today, but what I’m not a fan of is the lack of transparency when course/content marketplaces are noted with vendors who offer them these days.  With some vendors the marketplace is implied (or can be my the reader) to be included as part of the system, i.e. everything in the marketplace, the courses, the resources, the content are free.   In reality though, most of it is not free.  Okay, majority plus is not free.    I’ll take an asterik for now if that is all you can do, but by doing nothing you are letting folks believe it is included – as in everything when they get the system, and they pay nothing.  

Vendors love to spin the “well, people know that,” pitch, but let me tell you something – they don’t.

Bottom Line

Nothing else to say.

Except one minor thing,

“Happy Halloween.”

(add your own scary sounds here).

E-Learning 24/7

Blog Nov 7th – Top Forecasts for 2018.






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