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Frequently Asked Questions about On-line Learning - What is eLearning, Whiteboard Animations and an

At Pathways Training and eLearning, we are frequently asked by new clients about the many services we offer. There is a heightened interest these days in eLearning, given the Ontario Government's new mandatory requirements to have all high-school students complete a certain number of courses through online learning.

Digital literacy is become more and more important for future success in the workplace, and given there is a renewed interest in this topic in Ontario (in light of this new requirement for Ontario high school students), we thought we would devote one of this week’s blogs to answering some basic common questions about eLearning and online learning modalities. In future weeks, we will build on these questions and answer some of the more complex questions that arise.

What is eLearning?

eLearning is learning that takes place over the Internet instead of in a traditional classroom environment. Educational activities can be built into the online course to ensure the learner is understanding the key concepts (such as quizzes, knowledge checks, drag and drops, click and reveals and other online activities). The common software that is used to develop eLearning courses are: Articulate Storyline360,

While these providers offer the software to create eLearning, experienced instructional designers and programmers are often required to create robust and educationally sound eLearning courses (for example, think about providing a Microsoft suite of products, to someone who doesn’t know how to use the software. If they don’t know how to use Word of PowerPoint, they will not be able to create documents. This is the same with eLearning courses, having the aforementioned software is helpful but having experienced programmers (like Pathways Training and eLearning does) who are very familiar with the software, is what you really need to create professional and educationally sound eLearning courses, in order to meet learners' needs.

What is a whiteboard animation?

Whiteboard animations are 2-3 minute videos that simulate the experience of a classroom instructor as live pictures are drawn to illustrate key concepts, in sync with audio. Many studies show that whiteboard animations are a great way to capture learners attention and to get your message across! Whiteboard animations have become increasingly popular for training as they can be created cost-effectively. Most whiteboard animations are created using the software VideoScribe or Vyond.

What is a Learning Management System (LMS)?

A learning management system (LMS) is a software application that allows you to administer who has access to eLearning courses. An LMS also allows you to track the enrollment and completion rates of learners who have been through courses. An LMS also allows you to report on quiz and test scores.

LMSs are very helpful for compliance and regulatory courses and to ensure all learners have taken the required courses to either complete a new hire program or to meet various regulatory requirements. Customized reporting can be easily set up with an LMS, to track the information that an organization needs around eLearning course completion.

Gone are the days of the million dollar LMS as LMS prices have fallen dramatically over the past decade. For example, Pathways uses Moodle the most widely used LMS software in the world and provides hosting options for our clients. This LMS solution can be easily customized and branded for each company’s unique needs and it can also be customized to each client’s budget and eLearning requirements.

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