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ASTD’s Learning Circuits Express – 8 October, 2001


Learning Circuits Express is a free information service provided by Learning Circuits, ASTD’s online magazine about e-learning (

1. E-Learning Survey
2. Bringing Classroom Curriculum Up to E-Speed
3. E-Coaching
4. Expect More from E-Learning
5. More Companies Eye LCMS Capabilities
6. Harvard Launches New E-learning Unit



Want to know how your company’s e-learning efforts stack up against initiatives in other companies? Recently, T+D and Learning Circuits conducted a brief Web-based survey investigating the current level of use of e-learning among its readers. A total of 671 responses were received. Here’s what they had to say.




In 1997, IT training company Global Knowledge began offering e-courses. As a result, the company soon recognized the need to streamline its curriculum development process and ensure that courses delivered through c-learning and e-learning would share instructional design standards, graphics, and text.




Business coaching has been through a rapid evolution, expanding from executive coaching exclusive to people at the top of an organization into individualized support for people at all levels. But according to Scott Blanchard, the founder and CEO of offshoot of The Ken Blanchard Companies--with the advent of technology, the transformation of business coaching has just begun.




It's often difficult to separate truth from hype when evaluating e-learning products. Here are a few characteristics of effective, interactive e-learning to help you sort the best from the rest.




Learning content management systems (LCMS) continue to gain momentum as companies seek to satisfy needs to develop and manage content.

THINQ Learning Solutions and OutStart have agreed to integrate the THINQ TrainingServer Learning Management System and OutStart’s fully functional LCMS called Evolution. The move will create a learning management foundation capable of creating, managing, and delivering mass-customized e-learning based on detailed learner profiles.

The integrated platform, to become available in the fourth quarter, will enable customers to convert existing proprietary instructor-led training into dynamic online learning. With the addition of Evolution's capabilities, the combined system also provides a learning object repository to manage content and foster collaborative authoring. OutStart customers gain access to detailed learner information captured by the THINQ TrainingServer LMS to more precisely customize learning.

THINQ says it evaluated 15 learning content creation and management vendors before
selecting OutStart. “While there are many viable LCMS offerings, OutStart came to the top of the list because of its track record, scalability, market approach, culture, and organization,” says THINQ CEO Hemang Dave. Customers of the two companies include Lockheed Martin, the U.S. Navy, and Autodesk.

Precision Response, a provider of Customer Relationship Management services, has acquired LCMS vendor Avaltus. PRC says the acquisition makes it the first outsourced customer care provider to add online training with a content management technology as a line extension of its existing offerings.

PRC, an Avaltus customer, last year awarded Avaltus a three-year, $5 million contract to convert, deploy, and manage its library of employee orientation training. A division of USA Networks, PRC says the acquisition augments its contribution to the portfolio of CRM services available through USA's Electronic Commerce Solutions’s third-party clients such as and CBS By horizontally growing its customer service footprint with content management technologies, it offers a broad array of fully integrated solutions to meet service and training challenges, it says.

“Learning content management technology will allow PRC to provide its clients with up-to-the-minute curriculum content, ultimately making it the most cost-effective learning tool possible,” insists Wes O'Brien, PRC president and COO. “As companies begin to focus on the need to more efficiently manage information across the enterprise, including corporate training and e-learning programs, we believe that many will look to outsource this function, similar to the outsourcing of CRM services.”



Harvard Business School Publishing has created a new division to offer corporations e-learning programs aimed at improving management practices and company performance. Called Harvard Business OnLine Enterprise Solutions, it seeks to capture the best practices in business and make them accessible and applicable throughout an entire employee population.

“We began our explorations of e-learning seven years ago with CD-ROMs, and have been observing, experimenting, investing, and learning about how technology can be used
effectively in corporations, working closely with 30 corporate friends from around the world,” said Jonathon Winder, senior vice president of the Enterprise Group of Harvard Business School Publishing. It will begin by offering 15 programs in three topic areas: leadership, strategy, and general management. Six additional programs are slated for introduction this year.

Each module is available in multiple media, technology platforms, and bandwidths to address the diverse needs and learning styles of individual employees and the varied approaches companies employ to manage, scale, and deliver information to desktops around the world. It has assembled a global network of distribution partners to provide local purchasing and implementation support around the world. The modules can be delivered via a pressure-tested Internet platform for organizations without an internal learning management system. Harvard ManageMentor is available in translation, with seven different languages currently available, to serve global populations effectively.

Harvard Business OnLine Enterprise Solutions is a division of Harvard Business School Publishing, a wholly-owned, not-for-profit subsidiary of Harvard University.



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Copyright 2001 by ASTD. All rights reserved.


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