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Interactive e-learning takes giant step

Several online learning companies are improving their building blocks to make them smarter and more interactive for those who want to upgrade their skills. Increased choices of courses, testing and exam-assessment, and types and formats for interactive learning all are available for those who have an interest in Web-based training. Students now can enjoy real-time skill upgrading with instructor-led training, test themselves or their employees for their strengths and weaknesses, choose from a variety of classes and class formats, and self-pace their own education to satisfy their needs.

Software from SkillView Technologies in partnership with that from TeckChek producer of vendor-independent IT skills tests provides a way for either employers or employees themselves to take comprehensive adaptive online exams. Results are measured against the test-takers’ own expectations, the universe of other test-takers, or those of the employer. Either for work or personal improvement, people who desire to educate themselves via their computers now can self-assess their own proficiencies and deficiencies by using a comprehensive skills database.

With a new architecture for their distance-based e-learning, KnowledgeNet now is offering e-learning in multiple formats enabling students to select their preferred Internet delivery method. In contrast to former static-type learning via CD-ROM technology “force-fit” to the then applicable internet environment, KnowledgeNet has developed a new module called LIVE, that allows students to benefit from real-time, interactive, instructor-led training and tailor their learning experiences to their own needs.

Another of this firm’s enhanced learning facilities called KnowledgeNet Interactive, uses a next-generation internet technology and the course content embedded in LIVE, to deliver a multi-media-rich training environment that allows a student to learn over the internet -- or on a company intranet -- anytime, anyplace. A third learning block termed KnowledgeNet Campus, is an online learning facility that offers students the ability to “experience” the advantages of enjoying the perks of campus life.

For example, with Campus, students can register online, obtain round-the-clock mentoring, hands-on simulations, open forums, and chats with other students. In addition, they can “attend” seminars, and take advantage of campus resources such as books, white papers, articles and other reference materials, calendars and events, the latest industry news, career advancement and certification information, and other materials and supplies.

According to Jim Ayube, research analyst at Aberdeen Group “KnowledgeNet is able to produce engaging e-learning by combining the latest internet-enabled tools, skilled course designers, and real-world experts to teach and mentor students.”

The KnowledgeNet LIVE curriculum includes a full suite of certification training in Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA A+ and N+. According to company personnel, pricing for both LIVE and Interactive are 50% to 60% of the typical cost for traditional instructor-led classroom training.

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