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Our customers are always asking us, “what content authoring tool should I use?”.

First, I have to recuse myself because I am a collaboration fanboy.  I love sharing documents on Google Docs for instance, and I absolutely detest emailing MS Office documents around.  “Where’s the latest version?”  Anytime anyone asks this question, for me its like fingernails on the chalkboard.  STOP!

So that being said, I think this is actually a pretty easy call to make.

Do you want to collaborate on your courseware?  Do you have multiple people you want to be involved in the production process?  Content experts, designers, digital producers?  Then a collaboration oriented tool will be music to your ears.

Are you a one person wrecking crew who plans on doing it all yourself?  Then the overhead of using a collaboration tool will just drive you nuts.  Want to work on your project in the Gobi Desert?  Forget it.

Now for us, we use a team approach for content production, so we have to have a collaboration tool.  Where’s the latest version?  Where it always is, of course.


posted by | Comments Off on Aura Software in the eLearning Guild’s ebook: “53 Tips on Using the Cloud for eLearning”

The nice people over at the eLearning Guild asked us to contribute some tips for their ebook:

“53 Tips on Using the Cloud for eLearning”

Here’s some of our quotables:

ELearning systems are useless if there’s no content to put in them. Develop your con- tent strategy first, and then decide where to host it.

To those who regularly use cloud-based services, it’s quite familiar to use online provid- ers for tooling around business functions like training and competency development. But some IT departments, and potentially other parts of your organization, may oppose these initiatives for a variety of reasons. Be prepared for some internal IT politics. You may encounter resistance because your solution is “different,” “scary,” or because it shifts jobs out of the company. If you have incumbent systems, your cloud-based initia- tive is sure to kick up some dust.

Launch a pilot before you get in too deep on a cloud-based system. Generally this involves creating an internal working group assigned to use the system for a month or two and give feedback. Of course, this only works if the working group is actually working. That said, if you have disgruntled users by the end of the pilot, you are prob- ably digging in the wrong place.

Although it’s not exclusive to the cloud, maintaining your user lists in an eLearning sys- tem can be quite a chore. Therefore, the functionality provided around maintaining and segmenting your users will become very dear to you, so try to find a system with pow- erful management features in this area. Ultimately you may want to just “sync” your master user list into your learning system, which means adding users who don’t exist and deactivating users who have left the organization. Sounds easy, but it can be quite complex in practice.

While your new cloud-based eLearning system may have some compelling features, remem- ber that if you decide to switch vendors later, extensive use of those features may lock you in to a place you no longer want to be. Using a transportable content format like SCORM helps en- sure that you can at least migrate your content should you decide to move along.

Putting your eLearning in the cloud means some of your content and data now resides in systems you don’t completely control. The best thing you can do to protect yourself is to identify and implement basic security procedures. Simple things like using hard-to- guess passwords and deactivating unused accounts can go a long way. Have a secu- rity review before you launch.





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DevLearn 2011 - Bret Presenting

Rustici (of ScormCloud fame) are pretty keen on what we’ve been doing with their platform, so they invited Bret along to DevLearn to talk about what Aura have been up to.  Here are some shots of Bret giving the presentation.

Bret was talking to the assembled masses about how the Bright platform brings together WordPress, ScormCloud and analytics – and how that was enabling one of our Fortune 500 clients to completely crush it with their sales training solution.

|| Read more

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Aura has been invited to provide material for the ELearning Guild‘s new eBook:

50 Tips for Using “The Cloud” for eLearning.

Look for it this summer!

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Aura has been asked to present at the Geneva Entrepeneurs, “Recession Beaters”.

Here’s the blurb from their mailer: || Read more

posted by | Comments Off on ELearning Guild Online Forum from Aura Software

Some organizations find their requirements don’t match the functions delivered by traditional learning management systems (LMSs). These organizations need significantly more flexibility and more control over the learner experience. In many ways, these organizations  want a custom learning website where the trackable learning content (such as SCORM packages) is just a component of something else. || Read more

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See us in the e-learning guild’s “Using “The Cloud” for eLearning” online forum, June 7-8th.–8/?utm_campaign=olf95&utm_medium=some&utm_source=twitter

posted by | Comments Off on Aura Software in the E-Learning Atlas

“Aura Software combines technical expertise and a deep understanding of eLearning to deliver unique and effective learning solutions. They excel at using the latest technology, including cloud based technology, to build training platforms that address current requirements and room to meet future challenges.”

ASAP WebSoft


posted by | Comments Off on ASAP WebSoft

Aura Software LLC specializes in the agile construction of solid enterprise-class back-end solutions, using technology that is fully complementary to ASAP’s user-experience-centric solutions. When it comes to complex back-end data management and processing, I trust them like no one else to ensure a successful outcome. This is not just talk, but is borne out by many years of collaboration. Among their many services, Aura performs enterprise data analysis, migration, management, business intelligence tools, content managed site construction, business technology consulting and advice, and customized learning management solutions and content.