ELearning - Helping SMEs Through Economic Downturn

ebook softwareThe evidence that sales at many companies are struggling and that companies have to lay off employees to maintain companies' running. Dell Inc, the world's No.

ebook software

The evidence that sales at many companies are struggling and that companies have to lay off employees to maintain companies' running. Dell Inc, the world's No. 2 PC maker, will cut about 1,900 of 3,000 jobs at its manufacturing plant in Limerick. DHL Express cut almost 15,000 people, and so on. This number is only the tip of the iceberg. To companies, laying off employees is not the only way to get through the economic crisis. The pivotal issue is to consider how to ensure your staff works more productive and efficiency to increase profit?

The other day, I read one report on web. It says: "Train to Gain has ploughed £2.4 million into an advertising campaign in a bid to highlight the importance of training to small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) during the recession. " This drives me to doubt the necessity of this investment. The SMEs don't realize the importance of training staff, do they? I don't think so. In my opinion, it’s the high cost and time recoil from their steps. Maybe it would be better to invest such money to SMEs for their training plan.

Most Companies know that investing in training is essential to their business but it is more important than ever in the current economic climate. But the issue is that they cannot afford the training programs. In the traditional face-to-face training, you should have to pay huge amounts of money to the trainers, in-class instructors, or experts. Moreover, you also have to pay for the expenses, such as travel and meals. Not to mention of the cost of time.

As a matter of fact, there are some good training solutions for the SMEs, such as eLearning - a type of Technology Supported Education/Learning (TSL) where the medium of instruction is computer technology. ELearning is used interchangeably in a wide variety of contexts. There are many outstanding advantages about eLearning. To be simplified, it is overall money-saving and time-saving. To be elaborated, here are some advantages:

-- Anytime. Learner can access the course at any time that is convenient - not just during the specific 1-3-hour period that is set for a conventional course. The episodes can be quick snatches at odd times or long late-night sessions. Cross-time-zone communication, difficult to arrange in real time, is as easy as talking to someone across town when using the Internet.

-- Anywhere. Eliminate the need for the physical presence of the teacher or learners in the learning process. That means they can be anywhere. International sharing is feasible. Individuals can log on at work, home, the library, in a community learning centre or from their hotel when travelling.

-- Substantial cost savings. ELearning eliminates the expense and inconvenience of getting the instructor and students in the same place. The expenses, such as travel and meals will reduce to minimum.

By taking a holistic approach, SMEs can arrive at a training process that is more engaging and effective through eLearning at an economical cost. In the circumstance, how to make eLearning for SMEs more feasible from cost and time? Many eLearning solutions are available for SMEs to adopt. Using Open Source, free authoring tools and Learn management system (LMS) would be the most money-saving way.

The combination Moodle & CourseLab would be a good solution for SMEs to carry out eLearning plan. And it's FREE. Especially, it is an ideal way in this economy downturn. Moodle is a free and open source e-learning software platform (also known as a Course Management System (CMS), or LMS). It is designed to help educators create online courses with opportunities for rich interaction. Its open source license and modular design means that people can develop additional functionality. CourseLab is a powerful e-learning authoring tool that offers programming-free WYSIWYG environment for creating high-quality interactive e-learning content which can be published on the Internet, Learning Management Systems (LMS), CD-ROMS and other devices.

Further more, if you want some advanced eLearning solution to create more high impact yet effective training plan, you could choose some cost-effective commercial tools. The combination Moodle & PPT2Flash would be recommended. PPT2Flash is powerful eLearning tool to let non-technical users create compelling Flash presentations and eLearning courses from PowerPoint with rich media, quizzes and simulations. PPT2Flash content could run on any Web server, any LMS.

"Our future. It's in our hands". "SMEs' future. It's in your investment on ELearning".

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