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November / December 2018 Volume 14 Issue 3 •

14th Annual Best of Elearning! Revealed pg 25

>> The Agile

Enterprise pg 16

>> 2018 Hall of

Fame Brands

pg 40




>> 73 Brands Named

Best of Elearning! PG 24

Celebrating their 14th year, the Best of Elearning! awards recognizes 73 brands across 23 categories, thanks to industry professionals who voted earlier this year. These awards honor best-in-class solutions across the learning technology marketplace. This year, 13 new brands enter the winners circle. By Jerry Roche

>> Essentials

>> Features

8 News 9 Deals 11 Trendlines

12 Learning! 100: Help Wanted: Cultivating Talent Outside Your Organization With unemployment at a 30-year low, many organizations are struggling with attracting and retaining talent. Immediately and in the years to come, Chief Learning and Talent Officers will need to shift their focus on cultivating talent internally to developing and executing on strategies externally. By Judy Whitcomb, Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Learning

16 5 Trademarks of Agile Organizations


Agile organizations – of any size and across industries- have five key elements in common. The trademarks include a network of teams within a people-centered culture that operates in rapid learning and fast decision cycles which are enabled by technology, and a common purpose that cocreates value for all stakeholders. By Wouter Aghina, Aaron De Smet, Gerald Lackey, Michael Lurie and Monica Murarka

40 2018 Hall of Fame Honors Two Inductees The Second Annual Hall of Fame Award recognizes extraordinary solution providers for innovation and leadership. This year’s honorees are Adobe Connect and ej4. Adobe Connect has earned accolades every year since its launch. Ej4 has collected 24 honors over the last five years. See how these brands are serving the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s learners. By Jerry Roche


November / December 2018 Elearning!


>> Essentials 8 9 11 11

roles, tools and processes were still under development. Meaning, no existing framework would be flexible enough to keep up with the pace of change. We had to shift to a more flexible process. By Joycelyn Gajeway

Top Business Challenges Employees Rate the Workplace Why Women Lag in Senior Roles Fastest Growing LearnTech

46 Inspiring Professional Development

>> Management

The Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions (The MGH Institute) is an innovative interprofessional graduate school of health sciences founded by Mass General. But their current programs required a new learning platform to improve engagement, faculty collaboration and student performance.

12 Leader’s View

Help Wanted: Cultivating Talent Outside Your Organization With low unemployment and competition for talent at an all-time high, CLOs have to look outside their organizations to cultivate talent There are six strategies to grow talent externally. By Judy Whitcomb

14 Business of Learning Elevating Learning & Development Today, training has evolved into L&D. Organizations that want to stay in business have realized they must continually invest in the development of their human capital. Start your journey by tapping insights and advice from these experts. By Nick van Dam

16 5 Trademarks of the Agile Enterprise Does your organization have these 5 key trademarks? Take a look at your strategy, structure, process, people and technology. There are 23 practices for organization agility shared inside. By By Wouter Aghina, Aaron De Smet, Gerald Lackey, Michael Lurie and Monica Murarka

44 Insights: Putting ‘Human’ Back into Human Resources If there’s one trend that has gripped business headlines this year and put HR squarely in the spotlight, it has been the growing concern over

compliance issues, particularly, safety, diversity/inclusion and workplace harassment. By Ryan Eudy

>> Tools & Practices 24 The 14th Annual Best of Elearning! Revealed The industry’s exclusive users’ choice award honors 73 brands across 23 categories. This year, 13 new brands make the list. See what users say about these best-inclass solutions from authoring tools to video learning. By Jerry Roche

40 2018 Hall of Fame Honors Two Inductees The Second Annual Hall of Fame Award recognizes extraordinary solution providers for innovation and leadership. This year’s honorees are Adobe Connect and ej4. By Jerry Roche


Learning! 100: Mission Mars 2020: Rapid Training Development in a Continuous Release Environment

>> Business 7

Editor’s Note Celebrating 14 Years By Jerry Roche

11 Trendline Statistics, figures and industry trends

12 Leader’s View Help Wanted By Judy Whitcomb

14 Business of Learning Elevating Learning & Development By Nick van Dam

44 Insights Putting “Human” Back into Human Resources By Ryan Eudy

47 Product Spotlight Ej4 and D2l

50 Last Word 14 Years of Product Innovation By Catherine Upton

When I started on the Mars 2020 project, I learned that many of the Elearning! November / December 2018


November / December 2018 VOLUME 14 ISSUE 3

Online@ Trending Topics AR Landscape

Learning! 100 Award-Winners Learning & Talent Platform Buyers Study

Most Popular Web Sessions Advanced Learning Technologies in L&D 2018 Best of Elearning! events/current-events

Events FGDLA’s Government LearnTech Symposium Best of Elearning! Awards Ceremony Nov. 29th, 2018 Washington DC events/current-events


November / December 2018 Elearning!

Catherine Upton >>

Group Publisher

Jerry Roche Executive Editor >> Adam Weschler

Manager Digital Programs >>

Jim Upton Vice President >> Robin Martino Sales Executive >> Kim Mabon Art Director >> Ed Tetter Production Manager >> Maria Perkins

Event Manager >>

Contributors: Wouter Aghina, McKinsey Group Aaron De Smet, McKinsey Group Ryan Eudy, ej4 Jocelyn Gajeway, NASA JPL Gerald Lackey, McKinsey Group Michael Lurie, McKinsey Group Monica Murarka, McKinsey Group Nick van Dam, McKinsey Group Judy Whitcomb, Vi

Elearning! Media Group is the property of B2B Media Company LLC 44920 W. Hathaway Ave. #1794, Maricopa, AZ 85139 USA • 888-201-2841 • 951-547-1131 Elearning! Magazine is published bi-monthly by B2B Media Company LLC, 44920 W. Hathaway Ave. #1794, Maricopa, AZ 85139. Application to mail Standard Class is filed with Denver, Colorado Post Office. POSTMASTER: Send all address changes to: Elearning! 44920 W. Hathaway Ave. #1794, Maricopa, AZ 85139. Subscriptions are free to qualified professionals in the USA. To subscribe, visit Elearning! Magazine is a trademark of B2B Media Company.

Editor’sNote Celebrating 14 Years IN THE AGE OF TECHNOLOGY, IT’S AN ETERNITY



very year, we here at Elearning! magazine all look forward to tallying the votes for the Annual Best of Elearning! awards. Among thousands of nominations, we see hundreds of brands — many that did not exist two or three years ago. This year, we honor 73 different solutions, of which 13 are new to the awards program. (See page 25.) To be a multiple-year winner is even more remarkable considering the rate of change. That’s why we launched the Hall of Fame awards last year: to recognize brands that continue to innovate and earn best-in-class accolades from their customers and larger learning community. This year, Adobe Connect and ej4 are recipients of the 2018 Hall of Fame Awards. (See page 40.) Congratulations to all 73 brands for investing in the advancement of learning technology. Elsewhere in this issue, the McKinsey Group shares “The Five Trademarks of Agile Enterprises” on page 16. We venture to guess many of the Best of Elearning! winners embrace these qualities. Discover the 23 practices of the agile organization inside. We are also honored to feature commentary and advice from Learning! 100 award-winners. The 2018 Learning! 100 top-ranked enterprise is Vi. Judy Whitcomb, Vi’s senior vice president, shares insights on how to compete for talent. (See page 12.) Jocelyn Gajeway, from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory — a first-time 2018 Learning! 100 winner — shares how she created rapid development practice for its Mars2020 project. (See page 45.) Hear more from the Learning! 100 winners in the upcoming Learning! Leadership Web Seminars. TIME TO GO… The pace of change is not subsiding, thanks to developments like artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented reality, virtual reality, mobile learning and video learning. However, the time has finally come for me to hand the gauntlet to another Elearning! magazine master — so I can play some senior basketball and softball, and devote more time to my inept Cleveland pro sports teams. Those who know me, know I have retired three times from this great publication, only to return again in varying roles. This time, it’s final. There is no better time to exit than when celebrating our industry’s excellence. Thank you for the 10 years of support, partnership and celebration. I will miss all of you (especially Catherine Upton, Jim Upton and Kim Mabon). Best wishes to you and every one of our loyal readers and partners. Have a wonderful 2019! Signing off, Jerry Roche (Ret.)

Elearning! November / December 2018


News Top Business Challenges

Linking process improvements to business strategy is the top challenge for senior leaders in the year ahead according to PEX 2018 Report. Sustaining change (30%), ensuring customer focus (22%), overcoming short term focus (22%), and deploying new technologies (21%) round out the top 5 challenges. Skill shortage (10%), lack of alignment between business and departments (12%) and maintaining executive buy-in (16%) completed the list of concerns. To view complete report, visit: Source: PEX 2018 Report

Demand for Data Degrees Spike

Fosway Ranks HCM Cloud Solutions The Fosway 9-Grids assists HR leaders in making informed decisions around their solution choices. It compares solutions based on their Performance, Potential, Market Presence, Total Cost of Ownership and Future Trajectory. Workday and Cornerstone also named 2018 Best of Elearning! honorees.

20 Minutes/Week

The average time allotted to corporate learning today —People Matters

In 2004, UC Berkeley had 300 data science graduates. This semester, the number of students spiked to 1,000 causing the university to add the new undergraduate degree to the School of Science and Letters. The degree is the first to be added in 16 years. “No program has grown this fast at Berkeley,” said David Culler, interim dean of the Division of Data Sciences, which was established in December. Other UC campuses are scrambling to add the data courses to meet demands. UC San Diego, Santa Cruz and Davis have expanded programs. UC Irvine was the first to offer a data science degree in 2014. 8

November / December 2018 Elearning!

Open AR Cloud Community Launched

The global AR market is projected to reach $209.2 billion by 2022 according to Statista. As augmented reality apps and hardware continue to evolve, they still largely deliver solitary experiences that exist in isolation. Now a new industry group plans to develop an AR cloud in the hopes of linking all of these games and services into a shared platform that creates a singular augmented view of the entire world. The Open AR Cloud Organization was unveiled at the Augmented World Expo EU in Munich Join the community at: Source:

Elearning! Hall of Fame Named Adobe Connect and ej4 were named 2018 Best of Elearning! Hall of Fame. Adobe Connect is one of only a handful of brands to win the Best of Elearning! honors every year for 14 years. Ej4 has earned more honors over the last 5 years than any other content provider. Ej4 has also expanded offerings including ThinkZoom learning platform and authoring solutions. The Hall of Fame Award was launched in 2017 with Adobe Captivate and BizLibrary earning first honors. Learn more about these brands on page 40.

“Focusing on customers is key to our success.”

—Adobe Connect’s Alistair Lee

“We always look for new ways to add value.” —ej4’s Ryan Eudy

Deals New integrations between ORACLE’S HCM Cloud and LINKEDIN have been revealed. Together, they are designed to help HR teams attract, engage and retain employees by growing their talent pool, improving the candidate experience, internal mobility and development opportunities. WEST, INC. completes acquisition on INXPO for undisclosed amount. West now owns two virtual event leaders.


conference organizer, acquired the ELEARNING GUILD, for an undisclosed sum. The eLearning Guild has a 40,000+ membership community of learning professionals. This followed CloserStill Media’s recent acquisition of Masie’s Learning events in September. NOVOED acquired by DEVONSHIRE INVESTORS to

accelerate expansion into the enterprise learning market. NovoEd will invest in product development, staffing and customer support. Elearning! November / December 2018


You’re the Best! YOU...

Create learning programs that deliver results! Innovate, collaborate and outperform your competitors! Master budget woes to woo your employees, customers and partners.

Now, let us honor you and your team’s excellence. Applications accepted Dec 1, 2018 – Jan 27, 2019 Apply at:

Learning! 100 is a product of Elearning! Media Group, a B2B Media Company.

Apply for the Learning! 100 Awards 2019

These awards honor the top 100 learning organizations across public and private sectors.

Global A.I. to Grow 51% to 2022

Fastest Growing Learning Technologies Augmented reality, mobile and collaborative solutions top the list of fastest growing learning technologies learning leaders plan to deploy according to the 2018 Learning & Talent Platforms Study conducted by Elearning! Magazine.

Mobile Authoring

178% According to TechNavio, the artificial intelligence market will top $968.02 billion by 2022. Health-care applications will lead A.I. revenues with 15% market share. Deep Learning segment will grow 50%. And, the Americas will account for 38.5% of the A.I. market. Source: home/20170516006055/en/Global-Artificial-Intelligence-MarketGrow-CAGR-51

Women Lag in Senior Roles Despite earning more bachelor’s degrees, negotiating equal salaries, and staying in the workforce like men, women remain underrepresented across all categories in business, reports McKinsey Group and Study. “This [disparity] should serve as a wake-up call: until companies close the early gaps in hiring and promotion, women will remain underrepresented, ” cites the authors. Download complete report at: gender-equality/women-in-the-workplace-2018?

Social/ Collaborative Solutions

158% Augmented Reality

120% Mentoring/ Coaching Tools

113% Download complete report at: http://information.2elearning. com/2018lmstmsstudy/

Elearning! November / December 2018


Leader’sView HELP WANTED:


L Judy Whitcomb

earning leaders are continually challenged to meet the changing needs of their internal learners and business partners. There’s a constant need to evaluate and balance learner needs and prioritizing learning and development programs that drive meaningful business results. With unemployment at a 30-year low, many organizations are struggling with attracting and retaining talent. Immediately and in the many years to come, Chief Learning and Talent Officers will need to shift their focus on cultivating talent internally to developing and executing on strategies externally. While many organizations may have strategies and resources dedicated to college campus or trade school recruitment, a new focus of developing a talent pipeline through high school relationships and apprenticeships is essential. There is value in exposing high school students to career pathing and/or apprenticeship programs early-on as there is a potential to combine work-based, on-the-job learning with relevant technical education in the classroom. Students who participate in these programs may graduate with a high school diploma, real work experience, and in some cases, earn college credits, and industry credentials. They also start on a career path that continues after high school graduation – whether that is a continuation of their employment, along with college, college only, apprenticeship only, or other full-time employment. LEADING WITH STRENGTH Vi invests heavily in talent development with the goal of leveraging Vi’s commitment to a learning as part of the company’s value proposition to attract and retain talent. In fact, many of Vi’s leaders joined the company in high school and have taken advantage of the company’s front-line Management Development Program, tuition reimbursement program, and certification programs to pursue careers in hospitality, nursing or general management. Nonetheless, with the growing challenges of hiring hospitality and healthcare talent, Vi has shifted efforts and strategies to cultivate interest in health care and hospitality careers with high school students leveraging and refining Vi’s strengths in learning and organizational development. WHY WAS THIS SHIFT NECESSARY? As the population in the United States ages, the senior living industry will add nearly 350,000 jobs by 2025 and senior living employment will exceed 1.1 million according to Argentum, the nation’s largest senior living industry association. To meet these needs, Argentum states that the senior living industry will need to recruit 1.2 million new employees by 2025. And this is just one segment of the healthcare industry. According to the Work Institute, the healthcare industry employs over 12% of the U.S. workforce ratio of health-care job openings to available health-care workers of 2 to 1. Additionally, Vi competes heavily for culinary and dining services professionals to serve Vi’s residents. And, with 14 million U.S. restaurant workers, there’s simply not enough applicants to fill jobs.


November / December 2018 Elearning!

STRATEGIES LEVERAGED Working with Vi’s culinary and nursing teams, Vi developed career ladders for culinary and entrylevel nursing positions. Vi’s career ladder allows existing employees to drive their own career path by achieving specific skills through company-sponsored training programs and mentoring. An employee’s ability to progress through the career ladder is not limited to an open position — rather achievement of defined and demonstrated skills by role. Vi’s career ladder alongside the company’s Management Development Program and tuition reimbursement program provides Vi the value proposition necessary to be potentially be relevant to high school students. Towards cultivating high school talent, Vi has created a specific career page and recruitment materials to not only paint a clear picture of career paths at Vi, but to also spark interest in meaningful work of making a difference in the lives of older adults. Vi intends to expand community outreach to high schools and continue pursuit of apprenticeship programs. IMPORTANCE OF PARTNERSHIPS – NOT ALONE With the growing labor shortages, Chief Learning and Talent Officers do not need to tackle these challenges alone — leverage professional organizations and associations. Vi joined Argentum’s recently launched “Senior Living Works” along with other senior living organizations. Senior Living Works is designed to support recruitment, retention, and training needed across the senior living industry — also known as “Careers in Caring.” “Senior Living Works” initial launch included a website and a Recruitment Engagement Toolkit, with a range of resources to support connections with high schools, technical schools, community colleges, and universities. Talent leaders should also consider organizations such as the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with more than 40 years of experience in workforce learning, including 30 years of experience working directly with employers of all sizes across multiple industries to create and deliver effective talent management strategies. From developing best-in-class career pathing software, to creating career and education advising programs for employees, to targeted consulting, CAEL works with leading companies across all industries to help them maximize their investments in learning and talent management for their entire talent pipeline. CAEL has worked directly with employers to plan and deliver innovative and impactful learning and talent management strategies that target all employees -- including the frontline and mid-level workforce. Companies use CAEL’s services to recruit, retain and engage their employees, and ultimately benefit from a pipeline of “right-fit” workers prepared to support their growth strategies.

Vi is an eight-time Learning! 100 award winner and earned #1 ranking in 2018 honors

COLLABORATION IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER We’re at the intersection of talent acquisition and talent development. While many learning leaders have developed leading learning solutions to increase productivity, sales, decrease expenses, accidents, improve quality, and/or develop leaders, it’s clear the labor shortage isn’t going away anytime soon. Collaboration between an organization’s chief Talent Acquisition and learning leaders alongside their business partners is now more important than ever to cultivate and develop talent.

Elearning! November / December 2018


Businessof Learning Elevating Learning & Development Insights and Practical Guidance from the Field BY NICK VAN DAM PH.D. - MCKINSEY PARTNER AND CLO, PROFESSOR L&D AT NYENRODE UNIVERSITY AND THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA.

A Nick Van Dam Ph.D., CLO, McKinsey Group

little more than 30 years ago—at the time when the first micro-computers arrived in the workplace—my career began in learning and development (L&D). It was very exciting to experience the first generation of computer-based training solutions and even the computer-based “management games” that were introduced for leadership development. In those days, the L&D function was called “training,” and most efforts were mandated for the workforce and focused on technical skills and training initiatives. Almost all training was delivered in a classroom or conference center, and research on people-capability building and corporate training was at a preliminary stage. Fast-forward to today. We are at the beginning of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is fueled by advancements in technologies, such as the Internet of Things, machine learning, robots, the autonomous car, 3-D printing, and the mobile Internet, to name a few. All these technologies have already had tremendous impact on what is required of people capabilities in organizations. The world and the workplace have changed dramatically. The good old personal computer has been replaced by the smartphone. It seems like the Internet has always been around: people work virtually from a variety of locations, technology has introduced and disrupted many business models, and IT has gained dominance over the way we work. Today, training has evolved into L&D. Organizations that want to stay in business have realized they must continually invest in the development of their human capital, and about 45 percent of all today’s formal learning is delivered through digital solutions. In many cases, these channels have replaced traditional classroom programs. Technology enables learning to be even more personalized and self-directed. The classroom of the 21st century is enabled by technology and provides people with immersive-learning experiences. The future is about high-tech and high-touch learning. Young professionals and leaders have told us that they benefit tremendously from time away from daily work, where they can collaboratively solve wicked problems, practice new skills, receive coaching, connect and learn from others, get inspired by new insights, and reflect on their own work and personal development. Additionally, individuals have realized that they need to embrace lifelong learning mind-sets to remain relevant and that their careers will involve multiple employers and roles. Research in multiple fields has contributed significantly to the L&D profession. Thanks to cognitive neuroscience we know more about how the brain works and

The defining attributes of the 21st-century economy and fourth industrial revolution are innovation, technology, globalization, and a rapid pace of change. Therefore, an organization’s capacity to enhance the capabilities of its workforce and create a culture of continuous learning are vital to remaining competitive. These trends make an effective learning-and-development (L&D) function more critical than ever. I am the editor and co-author of this book, a compendium of 20 chapters co-authored by McKinsey L&D experts and colleagues. It addresses a range of topics essential to the future of L&D, including function structure and governance, digital learning, and developing lifelong learning mind-sets, among others. Buy Book at: http:// 14

November / December 2018 Elearning!

how people learn. This research has provided evidence that because of the brain’s neuroplasticity, people can continue to learn and grow throughout their lifetime. Many universities have performed ground-breaking research in the broader field of adult learning, and L&D professionals benefit tremendously from these insights on how to design the most effective and efficient learning solutions. We also have a better understanding from developmental psychology research on what it takes to change people’s behaviors. Finally, the very promising field of positive psychology looks at what enables organizations and people to flourish, and these insights have been incorporated into the design of learning programs. I am very gratified that over the past 30 years L&D has also matured as a profession. There are now several bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate university degrees offered in this field, and a growing number of companies have acknowledged that L&D is a vital profession, akin to accounting, IT, and marketing. In these organizations, the role of a chief learning officer has become accepted, and the people appointed to lead L&D are specialists in this broad field of knowledge and expertise. It has been an amazing personal journey to watch the L&D profession make such an impact over the years. As I am passionate about how I can advance the profession, I reached out to my colleagues and invited them to co-author this book, Elevating Learning & Development: Insights and Practical Guidance. It focuses on a variety of learning topics that matter to every L&D professional. The book includes an introduction and 19 chapters with terrific perspectives from leading McKinsey L&D practitioners and thought leaders. This compendium of articles discusses every facet of professional development and training— from ensuring that L&D’s efforts are closely aligned with business strategy to elements of advancing the L&D function, designing learning solutions, deploying digital learning, executing flawlessly, measuring impact, and ensuring good governance. I couldn’t be prouder or more appreciative of all the amazing work that this team has accomplished, and I am delighted to present this book to you. For L&D professionals seeking to hone their organization’s efforts, Elevating Learning & Development: Insights and Practical Guidance from the Field is the ideal resource and I hope that you and your colleagues will benefit. All royalties from this book will be donated to the foundation: ( which has provided over 20 million children (age 5-12) with free access to digital learning (online/ offline) in elementary school subjects including Math, Science, Language Arts, Computers, Life and Health Skills. On behalf of the E-learning for Kids Foundation, I want to thank you for purchasing this book. – Nick van Dam, Ph.D is CLO of McKinsey Group and founder of E-learning for Kids Foundation. He is a thought leader, speaker and author serving the L&D community.

Elearning! November / December 2018



Trademarks of Agile Organizations agileorganizations

BY WOUTER AGHINA, AARON DE SMET, GERALD LACKEY, MICHAEL LURIE AND MONICA MURARKA This article was written collaboratively by the McKinsey Agile Tribe, a group of over 50 global colleagues bringing expertise from the digital, operations, marketing, and organization disciplines. They integrate their deep experience and thought leadership to extract the best from McKinsey’s global experience as it helps organizations transform themselves into agile organizations. 16

November / December 2018 Elearning!

Agile organizations—of any size and across industries—have five key elements in common. Our experience and research demonstrate that successful agile organizations consistently exhibit the five trademarks described in this article. The trademarks include a network of teams within a people-centered culture that operates in rapid learning and fast decision cycles which are enabled by technology, and a common purpose that co-creates value for all stakeholders. These trademarks complement the findings from “How to create an agile organization.” A view of the world—a paradigm—will endure until it cannot explain new evidence. The paradigm must then shift to include that new information. We are now seeing a paradigm shift in the ways that organizations balance stability and dynamism.

The old paradigm: Organizations as machines WHAT IS AN AGILE ORGANIZATION? The dominant “traditional” organization (designed primarily for stability) is a static, siloed, structural hierarchy – goals and decisions rights flow down the hierarchy, with the most powerful governance bodies at the top (i.e., the top team). It operates through linear planning and control in order to capture value for shareholders. The skeletal structure is strong, but often rigid and slow moving.

In contrast, an agile organization (designed for both stability and dynamism) is a network of teams within a people-centered culture operating in rapid learning and fast decision cycles that are enabled by technology, and that is guided by a powerful common purpose to co-create value for all stakeholders. Such an agile operating model has the ability to quickly and efficiently reconfigure strategy, structure, processes, people, and technology toward value-creating and value-protecting opportunities. An agile organization thus adds velocity and adaptability to stability, creating a critical source of competitive advantage in volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) conditions. First, the old paradigm. In 1910, the Ford Motor Company was one of many small automobile manufacturers. A decade later, Ford had 60 percent market share of the new automobile market worldwide. Ford reduced assembly time per vehicle from 12 hours to 90 minutes, and the price from $850 to $300, while also paying employees competitive rates. Ford’s ideas, and those of his contemporary, Frederick Taylor, issued from scientific management, a breakthrough insight that optimized labor productivity using the scientific method; it opened an era of unprecedented effectiveness and efficiency. Taylor’s ideas prefigured modern quality control, total-quality management, and— through Taylor’s student Henry Gantt— project management. Gareth Morgan describes Taylorist organizations such as Ford as hierarchical and specialized—depicting them as machines. For decades, organizations that embraced this machine model and the principles of scientific management dominated their markets, outperformed other organizations, and drew the best talent. From Taylor on, 1911 to 2011 was “the management century.” DISRUPTIVE TRENDS CHALLENGING THE OLD PARADIGM Now, we find the machine paradigm shifting in the face of the organizational challenges brought by the “digital revolution” that is transforming industries, economies, and societies. This is expressed in four current trends: >> Quickly evolving environment. All stakeholders’ demand patterns are

evolving rapidly: customers, partners, and regulators have pressing needs; investors are demanding growth, which results in acquisitions and restructuring; and competitors and collaborators demand action to accommodate fastchanging priorities. >> Constant introduction of disruptive technology. Established businesses and industries are being commoditized or replaced through digitization, bioscience advancements, the innovative use of new models, and automation. Examples include developments such as machine learning, the Internet of Things, and robotics. >> Accelerating digitization and democratization of information. The increased volume, transparency, and distribution of information require organizations to rapidly engage in multidirectional communication and complex collaboration with customers, partners, and colleagues. >> The new war for talent. As creative knowledge- and learning-based tasks become more important, organizations need a distinctive value proposition to acquire—and retain—the best tal-

ent, which is often more diverse. These “learning workers” often have more diverse origins, thoughts, composition, and experience and may have different desires (for example, millennials). When machine organizations have tried to engage with the new environment, it has not worked out well for many. A very small number of companies have thrived over time; fewer than 10 percent of the nonfinancial S&P 500 companies in 1983 remained in the S&P 500 in 2013. From what we have observed, machine organizations also experience constant internal churn. According to our research with 1,900 executives, they are adapting their strategy (and their organizational structure) with greater frequency than in the past. Eighty-two percent of them went through a redesign in the last three years. However, most of these redesign efforts fail—only 23 percent were implemented successfully. THE NEW PARADIGM: ORGANIZATIONS AS LIVING ORGANISMS The trends described above are dramatically changing how organizations and employees work. What, then, will be the dominant organizational paradigm for the next 100

Exhibit 1: The agile organization is dawning as the new dominant organizational paradigm. Rather than organization as machine, the agile organization is a living organism From organizations as “machines”... organizations as “organisms”

Top-down hierarchy

Quick changes, flexible resources

“Boxes and lines” less important, focus on action

Leadership shows direction and enables action

Teams built around end-to-end accountability


Detailed instruction


Source: McKinsey&Company

Elearning! November / December 2018


agileorganizations years? How will companies balance stability and dynamism? Moreover, which companies will dominate their market and attract the best talent? Our article “Agility: It rhymes with stability� describes the paradigm that achieves this balance and the paradox that truly agile organizations master—they are both stable and dynamic at the same time.

They design stable backbone elements that evolve slowly and support dynamic capabilities that can adapt quickly to new challenges and opportunities. A smartphone serves as a helpful analogy; the physical device acts as a stable platform for myriad dynamic applications, providing each user with a unique and useful tool. Finally, agile organizations mobilize quickly, are nimble,

Exhibit 2: There are five trademarks of agile organizations Trademark Strategy


Organizational - agility practices 1

North Star embodied across the organization

>> Shared purpose and vision >> Sensing and

Network of empowered teams

>> Clear, flat structure >> Clear accountable roles >> Hands-on governance >> Robust communities

seizing opportunities

>> Flexible resource allocation >> Actionable strategic guidance

>> >> >>

of practice Active partnerships and ecosystem Open physical and virtual environment Fit-for-purpose accountable cells

Rapid decision and learning cycles

>> Rapid iteration and


Dynamic people model that ignites passion

>> Cohesive community >> Shared and servant leadership >> Entrepreneurial drive >> Role mobility


Nextgeneration enabling technology

>> Evolving technology architecture,



>> Standardized ways of working >> Performance orientation >> Information transparency >> Continuous learning >> Action-oriented decision making

systems, and tools

>> Next-generation technology development and delivery practices

The 5 trademarks include 23 practices for oganizational agility; 18 are based on survey research. Five additional practices are included that have emerged from recent experiences with large global companies transforming into agile organizations. Source: McKinsey&Company



November / December 2018 Elearning!

empowered to act, and make it easy to act. In short, they respond like a living organism (Exhibit 1). When pressure is applied, the agile organization reacts by being more than just robust; performance actually improves as more pressure is exerted. Research shows that agile organizations have a 70 percent chance of being in the top quartile of organizational health, the best indicator of long-term performance. Moreover, such companies simultaneously achieve greater customer centricity, faster time to market, higher revenue growth, lower costs, and a more engaged workforce: >> A global electronics enterprise delivered $250 million in EBITDA, and 20 percent share price increase over three years by adopting an agile operating model with its education-to-employment teams. >> A global bank reduced its cost base by about 30 percent while significantly improving employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and time to market. >> A basic-materials company fostered continuous improvement among manual workers, leading to a 25 percent increase in effectiveness and a 60 percent decrease in injuries. As a result agility, while still in its early days, is catching fire. This was confirmed in a recent McKinsey Quarterly survey report of 2,500 business leaders. According to the results, few companies have achieved organization-wide agility but many have already started pursuing it in performance units. For instance, nearly one-quarter of performance units are agile. The remaining performance units in companies lack dynamism, stability, or both. However, while less than ten percent of respondents have completed an agility transformation at the company or performanceunit level, most companies have much higher aspirations for the future. Three-quarters of respondents say organizational agility is a top or top-three priority, and nearly 40 percent are currently conducting an organizationalagility transformation. High tech, telecom, financial services, and media and entertainment appear to be leading the pack with the greatest number of organizations undertaking agility transformations. More than half of the respondents who have not begun agile transformations say they have plans in the works to begin one. Finally, respondents in all

sectors believe that more of their employees should undertake agile ways of working (on average, respondents believe 68 percent of their companies’ employees should be working in agile ways, compared with the 44 percent of employees who currently do). The rest of this article describes the five fundamental “trademarks” of agile organizations based on our recent experience and research. Companies that aspire to build an agile organization can set their sights on these trademarks as concrete markers of their progress. For each trademark, we have also identified an emerging set of “agility practices”—the practical actions we have observed organizations taking on their path to agility (Exhibit 2). THE FIVE TRADEMARKS While each trademark has intrinsic value, our experience and research show that true agility comes only when all five are in place and working together. They describe the organic system that enables organizational agility. Linking across them, we find a set of fundamental shifts in the mind-sets of the people in these organizations. Make these shifts and, we believe, any organization can implement these trademarks in all or part of its operations, as appropriate.




From: “In an environment of scarcity, we succeed by capturing value from competitors, customers, and suppliers for our shareholders.” To:

“Recognizing the abundance of opportunities and resources available to us, we succeed by co-creating value with and for all of our stakeholders.”

Agile organizations reimagine both whom they create value for, and how they do so. They are intensely customer-focused, and seek to meet diverse needs across the en-

tire customer life cycle. Further, they are committed to creating value with and for a wide range of stakeholders (for example, employees, investors, partners, and communities). To meet the continually evolving needs of all their stakeholders, agile organizations design distributed, flexible approaches to creating value, frequently integrating external partners directly into the value creation system. Examples emerge across many industries, including: modular products and solutions in manufacturing; agile supply chains in distribution; distributed energy grids in power; and platform businesses like Uber, Airbnb, and Upwork. These modular, innovative business models enable both stability and unprecedented variety and customization. To give coherence and focus to their distributed value creation models, agile organizations set a shared purpose and vision— the “North Star”—for the organization that helps people feel personally and emotionally invested. This North Star serves as a reference when customers choose where to buy, employees decide where to work, and partners decide where to engage. Companies like Amazon, Gore, Patagonia, and Virgin put stakeholder focus at the heart of their North Star and, in turn, at the heart of the way they create value. Agile organizations that combine a deeply embedded North Star with a flexible, distributed approach to value creation can rapidly sense and seize opportunities. People across the organization individually and proactively watch for changes in customer preferences and the external environment and act upon them. They seek stakeholder feedback and input in a range of ways (for example, product reviews, crowd sourcing, and hackathons). They use tools like customer journey maps to identify new opportunities to serve customers better, and gather customer insights through both formal and informal mechanisms (for example, online forums, in-person events, and start-up incubators) that help shape, pilot, launch, and iterate on new initiatives and business models. These companies can also allocate resources flexibly and swiftly to where they are needed most. Companies like Google, Haier, Tesla, and Whole Foods constantly scan the environment. They regularly eval-

uate the progress of initiatives and decide whether to ramp them up or shut them down, using standardized, fast resource-allocation processes to shift people, technology, and capital rapidly between initiatives, out of slowing businesses, and into areas of growth. These processes resemble venture capitalist models that use clear metrics to allocate resources to initiatives for specified periods and are subject to regular review. Senior leaders of agile organizations play an integrating role across these distributed systems, bringing coherence and providing clear, actionable, strategic guidance around priorities and the outcomes expected at the system and team levels. They also ensure everyone is focused on delivering tangible value to customers and all other stakeholders by providing frequent feedback and coaching that enables people to work autonomously toward team outcomes.




From: “People need to be directed and managed, otherwise they won’t know what to do—and they’ll just look out for themselves. There will be chaos.” To:

“When given clear responsibility and authority, people will be highly engaged, will take care of each other, will figure out ingenious solutions, and will deliver exceptional results.”

Agile organizations maintain a stable top-level structure, but replace much of the remaining traditional hierarchy with a flexible, scalable network of teams. Networks are a natural way to organize efforts because they balance individual freedom with collective coordination. To build agile organizations, leaders need to understand human networks (business and social), how to design and build them, how to collaborate across them, and how to nurture and sustain them.

Elearning! November / December 2018


agileorganizations An agile organization composed of a dense network of empowered teams that operate with high standards of alignment, accountability, expertise, transparency, and collaboration. The company must also have a stable ecosystem in place to ensure that these teams are able to operate effectively. Agile organizations like Gore, ING, and Spotify focus on several elements: >> Implement clear, flat structures that reflect and support the way in which the organization creates value. For example, teams can be clustered into focused performance groups (for example, “tribes,” or a “lattice”) that share a common mission. These groups vary in size, typically with a maximum of 150 people. This number reflects both practical experience and Dunbar’s research on the number of people with whom one can maintain personal relationships and effectively collaborate. The number of teams within each group can be adapted or scaled to meet changing needs.

>> Ensure clear, accountable roles so that

people can interact across the organization and focus on getting work done, rather than lose time and energy because of unclear or duplicated roles, or the need to wait for manager approvals. Here, people proactively and immediately address any lack of clarity about roles with one another, and treat roles and people as separate entities; in other words, roles can be shared and people can have multiple roles. >> Foster hands-on governance where cross-team performance management and decision rights are pushed to the edge of boundaries. It is at this interaction point that decisions are made as close to relevant teams as possible, in highly-productive, limited-membership coordinating forums. This frees senior leaders to focus on overall system design and provide guidance and support to responsible, empowered teams that focus on day-to-day activities.

>> Evolve functions to become robust

communities of knowledge and practice as professional “homes” for people, with responsibilities for attracting and developing talent, sharing knowledge and experience, and providing stability and continuity over time as people rotate between different operating teams. >> Create active partnerships and an ecosystem that extends internal networks and creates meaningful relationships with an extensive external network so the organization can access the best talent and ideas, generate insights, and co-develop new products, services, and/or solutions. In agile organizations, people work hands-on and day-to-day with customers, vendors, academics, government entities, and other partners in existing and complementary industries to co-develop new products, services, and/or solutions and bring them to market.

Exhibit 3: There are different types of agile building blocks Agile blocks


Cross-functional teams


Self-managing teams

#3 20

“Flow to work” pools


Nature of work


Coordination among product owners on priority and vision; coordination across teams on how to deliver Teams composed of different functional expertise and from different levels of the organization.

Typically team-based, connected, and integrated.

Product development, product launch

Stable teams define their ways of working and are jointly accountable for endto-end performance against key performance indicators

Typically team-based, stand-alone, repetetive

Customer services, sales, manufacturing

Pool of individuals staffed to different tasks full-time, based on priority of needs; tasks can vary from hours to months

Typically individual, stand-alone, repetetive

Corporate services (HR, legal, etc.

November / December 2018 Elearning!

>> Design and create open physical and

virtual environments that empower people to do their jobs most effectively in the environment that is most conducive to them. These environments offer opportunities to foster transparency, communication, collaboration, and serendipitous encounters between teams and units across the organization. Like the cells in an organism, the basic building blocks of agile organizations are small fit-for-purpose performance cells. Compared with machine models, these performance cells typically have greater autonomy and accountability, are more multidisciplinary, are more quickly assembled (and dissolved), and are more clearly focused on specific value-creating activities and performance outcomes. They can be composed of groups of individuals working on a shared task (i.e., teams) or networks of individuals working separately, but in a coordinated way. Identifying what type of performance cells to create is like building with Lego blocks. The various types (Exhibit 3) can be combined to create multiple tailored approaches. The three most commonly observed agile types of performance cell today include: >> Cross-functional teams deliver “products” or projects, which ensure that the knowledge and skills to deliver desired outcomes reside within the team. These teams typically include a product or project owner to define the vision and prioritize work. >> Self-managing teams deliver baseload activity and are relatively stable over time. The teams define the best way to reach goals, prioritize activities, and focus their effort. Different team members will lead the group based on their competence rather than on their position. >> Flow-to-the-work pools of individuals are staffed to different tasks full-time based on the priority of the need. This work method can enhance efficiencies, enable people to build broader skillsets, and ensure that business priorities are adequately resourced. However, other models are continuously emerging through experimentation and adaptation.




From: “To deliver the right outcome, the most senior and experienced individuals must define where we’re going, the detailed plans needed to get there, and how to minimize risk along the way.” To:

“We live in a constantly evolving environment and cannot know exactly what the future holds. The best way to minimize risk and succeed is to embrace uncertainty and be the quickest and most productive in trying new things.”

Agile organizations work in rapid cycles of thinking and doing that are closely aligned to their process of creativity and accomplishment. Whether it deploys these as design thinking, lean operations, agile development, or other forms, this integration and continual rapid iteration of thinking, doing, and learning forms the organization’s ability to innovate and operate in an agile way. This rapid-cycle way of working can affect every level. At the team level, agile organizations radically rethink the working model, moving away from “waterfall” and “stage gate” project-management approaches. At the enterprise level, they use the rapid-cycle model to accelerate strategic thinking and execution. For example, rather than traditional annual planning, budgeting, and review, some organizations are moving to quarterly cycles, dynamic management systems like Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), and rolling 12-month budgets. The impact of this operational model can be significant. For example, a global bank closed its project-management office and shifted its product-management organization from a traditional waterfall approach to a minimal viable product-based process. It moved from four major release cycles a year to several thousand-product changes

monthly; it simultaneously increased product development, deployment, and maintenance productivity by more than 30 percent. There are several characteristics of the rapid cycle model: >> Agile organizations focus on rapid iteration and experimentation. Teams produce a single primary deliverable (that is, a minimal viable product or deliverable) very quickly, often in one- or two-week “sprints.” During these short activity bursts, the team holds frequent, often daily, check-ins to share progress, solve problems, and ensure alignment. Between sprints, team members meet to review and plan, to discuss progress to date, and to set the goal for the next sprint. To accomplish this, team members must be accountable for the endto-end outcome of their work. They are empowered to seek direct stakeholder input to ensure the product serves all the needs of a group of customers and to manage all the steps in an operational process. Following this structured approach to innovation saves time, reduces rework, creates opportunities for creative “leapfrog” solutions, and increases the sense of ownership, accountability, and accomplishment within the team. >> Agile organizations leverage standardized ways of working to facilitate interaction and communication between teams, including the use of common language, processes, meeting formats, social-networking or digital technologies, and dedicated, in-person time, where teams work together for all or part of each week in the sprint. For example, under General Stanley McChrystal, the U.S. military deployed a series of standardized ways of working between teams including joint leadership calls, daily all-hands briefings, collective online databases, and short-term deployments and co-location of people from different units. This approach enables rapid iteration, input, and creativity in a way that fragmented and segmented working does not. >> Agile organizations are performanceoriented by nature. They explore new performance- and consequence-management approaches based on shared goals across the end-to-end work of a specific process or service, and measure

Elearning! November / December 2018


agileorganizations business impact rather than activity. These processes are informed by performance dialogues composed of very frequent formal and informal feedback and open discussions of performance against the target. >> Working in rapid cycles requires that agile organizations insist on full transparency of information, so that every team can quickly and easily access the information they need and share information with others. For example, people across the unit can access unfiltered data on its products, customers, and finances. People can easily find and collaborate with others in the organization that have relevant knowledge or similar interests, openly sharing ideas and the results of their work. This also requires team members to be open and transparent with one another; only then can the organization create an environment of psychological safety where all issues can be raised and discussed and where everyone has a voice. >> Agile organizations seek to make continuous learning an ongoing, constant part of their DNA. Everyone can freely learn from their own and others’ successes and failures, and build on the new knowledge and capabilities they develop in their roles. This environment fosters ongoing learning and adjustments, which help deliverables evolve rapidly. People also spend dedicated time looking for ways to improve business processes and ways of working, which continuously improves business performance. >> Agile organizations emphasize quick, efficient, and continuous decision making, preferring 70 percent probability now versus 100 percent certainty later. They have insight into the types of decisions they are making and who should be involved in those decisions. Rather than big bets that are few and far between, they continuously make small decisions as part of rapid cycles, quickly test these in practice, and adjust them as needed for the next iteration. This also means agile organizations do not seek consensus decisions; all team members provide input (in advance if they will be absent), the perspectives of team members with the deepest topical expertise are given greater weight, and other team members, including leaders, learn to “disagree and commit” to enable the team to move forward. 22

November / December 2018 Elearning!




From: “To achieve desired outcomes, leaders need to control and direct work by constantly specifying tasks and steering the work of employees.” To:

“Effective leaders empower employees to take full ownership, confident they will drive the organization toward fulfilling its purpose and vision.”

An agile organizational culture puts people at the center, which engages and empowers everyone in the organization. They can then create value quickly, collaboratively, and effectively. Organizations that have done this well have invested in leadership which empowers and develops its people, a strong community which supports and grows the culture, and the underlying people processes which foster the entrepreneurship and skill building needed for agility to occur. Leadership in agile organizations serves the people in the organization, empowering and developing them. Rather than planners, directors, and controllers, they become visionaries, architects, and coaches that empower the people with the most relevant competencies so these can lead, collaborate, and deliver exceptional results. Such leaders are catalysts that motivate people to act in team-oriented ways, and to become involved in making the strategic and organizational decisions that will affect them and their work. We call this shared and servant leadership. Agile organizations create a cohesive community with a common culture. Cultural norms are reinforced through positive peer behavior and influence in a high-trust environment, rather than through rules, processes, or hierarchy. This extends to recruitment. Zappos, the online shoe retailer acquired by Amazon changed its recruiting

to support the selection of people that fit its culture—even paying employees $4,000 to leave during their onboarding if they did not fit. People processes help sustain the culture, including clear accountability paired with the autonomy and freedom to pursue opportunities, and the ongoing chance to have new experiences. Employees in agile organizations exhibit entrepreneurial drive, taking ownership of team goals, decisions, and performance. For example, people proactively identify and pursue opportunities to develop new initiatives, knowledge, and skills in their daily work. Agile organizations attract people who are motivated by intrinsic passion for their work and who aim for excellence. In addition, talent development in an agile model is about building new capabilities through varied experiences. Agile organizations allow and expect role mobility, where employees move regularly (both horizontally and vertically) between roles and teams, based on their personal-development goals. An open talent marketplace supports this by providing information on available roles, tasks, and/or projects as well as people’s interests, capabilities, and development goals.




From: “Technology is a supporting capability that delivers specific services, platforms, or tools to the rest of the organization as defined by priorities, resourcing, and budget.” To:

“Technology is seamlessly integrated and core to every aspect of the organization as a means to unlock value and enable quick reactions to business and stakeholder needs.”

For many organizations, such a radical rethinking of the organizational model requires a rethinking of the technologies underlying and enabling their products and processes, as well as the technology practices needed to support speed and flexibility. Agile organizations will need to provide products and services that can meet changing customer and competitive conditions. Traditional products and services will likely need to be digitized or digitally-enabled. Operating processes will also have to continually and rapidly evolve, which will require evolving technology architecture, systems, and tools. Organizations will need to begin by leveraging new, real-time communication and work-management tools. Implementing modular-based software architecture enables teams to effectively use technologies that other units have developed. This minimizes handovers and interdependencies that can slow down production cycles. Technology should progressively incorporate new technical innovations like containers, micro-service architectures, and cloud-based storage and services. In order to design, build, implement, and support these new technologies, agile organizations integrate a range of next-generation technology development and delivery practices into the business. Business and technology employees form cross-functional teams, accountable for developing, testing, deploying, and maintaining new products and processes. They use hackathons, crowd sourcing, and virtual collaboration spaces to understand customer needs and develop possible solutions quickly. Extensive use of automated testing and deployment enables lean, seamless, and continuous software releases to the market (for example, every two weeks vs. every six months). Within I.T., different disciplines work closely together (for example, I.T. development and operations teams collaborate on streamlined, handoverfree DevOps practices). In summary, today’s environment is pressing organizations to become more agile; in response, a new organizational form is emerging that exhibits the five trademarks discussed above. In aggregate, these trademarks enable organizations to balance stability and dynamism and thrive in an era of unprecedented opportunity. The next question is how to get there? In a rapidly changing commercial and social environment, some organizations are born agile,

some achieve agility, and some have agility thrust upon them. To learn more about how to begin the journey towards an agile transformation, stay tuned for another paper in the dynamic Agile Organization series, “The journey to an agile organization.” – Wouter Aghina is a partner in McKinsey’s Amsterdam office; Aaron DeSmet is a part-

ner in the Houston office; Gerald Lackey is a senior expert in the Washington DC office; Michael Lurie is a senior expert in the Los Angeles office, and Monica Murarka is a senior knowledge manager in the San Francisco office. The authors would like to thank the following contributors: Karin Ahlbäck, Clemens Fahrbach, Christopher Handscomb, Olli Salo, Elizabeth Seem, and Jannik Woxholth.

MCKINSEY ON AGILE TRANSFORMATIONS By the year 2000, product developers were facing a challenge—products were being released so slowly that by the time they were production-ready they were already obsolete and customer needs had moved on. This all changed in 2001 when 17 software developers who called themselves “organizational anarchists” were looking for alternative approaches to the typical waterfall approach to software development. They proposed a new set of values, methodologies, and ways of working that then swept through the productdevelopment and technology arenas over next 16 years. This became known as “agile software development” or “agile technology.” In 2011, McKinsey’s research into organizational redesigns uncovered a very similar problem—57 percent of companies were redesigning every two years with an average length of a redesign being 18 months. In other words, companies were barely finishing one redesign before changes in the market or customers were requiring them to start another redesign—a similar “waterfall” problem in organization design. A new emergent organization form addresses this issue. It leverages both established and novel principles of how to organize work, deploy resources, make decisions, and manage performance with the goal of helping organizations quickly adapt to rapidly changing conditions. Compared with the traditional organizational model, this new approach—which we called an “agile organization” in a nod to its roots—is emerging as a fundamen-

tally different and higher performing kind of organization, one designed for the complex, constantly evolving markets of the 21st century. McKinsey defines “agile transformations” broadly. For us, the term “agile transformation” is a holistic change that creates value for the enterprise. It necessarily requires a change in the operating model and ways of working. Often technology and digitization are pieces of the journey toward completing an agile transformation. We take a holistic view of a company’s operating model across people, process, structure, strategy, and technology—looking for both the stable and dynamic elements that must be in place to create agility. Such transformations can be done across an entire enterprise or within just a single function, business unit or end-to-end process. They should take an industry-backed perspective to inform the agile design, looking for the latest trends around digital, technology, talent, and supply chain that are posed to make disruptive changes in the market. They should also tie organizational agility tightly to the agile delivery of projects so that organizations build the skills necessary to deliver work quickly as well as create the right organizational environment to make those teams successful. —To learn more about agile organizations, see other articles in the Agile Organization series, or to learn more about agile technology transformations or digital transformations, please see articles on

Elearning! November / December 2018





Celebrating their 14th year, the Best of Elearning! awards recognizes 73 brands across 23 categories for excellence, thanks to industry professionals who took time to vote earlier this year, on an open-ended online questionnaire. These awards honor best-in-class solutions across the learning and technology marketplace. “Thanks to the thousands of users who participate in the Best of Elearning!, the industry’s exclusive users’ choice awards,” notes Catherine Upton, Elearning! Media Group’s publisher. “The Best of Elearning! awards have become a trusted resource for learning professionals who specify solutions. We congratulate each honoree for continuing to innovate and serve this robust industry.” THE WINNER’S CIRCLE The 73 award-winners earn an Award of Excellence or category Winner. To be a category Winner, the brand had to receive 10% more votes than the next brand. When votes are very close, the brands earn Awards of Excellence only. Among the 23 category winners, there were three companies with multiple category winners: >> dominKnow (LCMS, Development Tool, Simulation Tool, Mobile Authoring) >> Vado (Leadership Development, Soft Skills Training, Compliance Training, Sales Training) 24

November / December 2018 Elearning!

Brands Named

‘Best of Elearning!’

>> ej4 (Other Learning Platform, I.T. Train-

ing, Social Learning/Collaboration) In addition, 11 companies were category Winners: >> D2L (LMS Cloud) >> SumTotal Systems (LMS Enterprise) >> Workday (TMS) >> ElearnIt (Best Open-Source Platform) >> BizLibrary (Content Aggregator Portal) >> Articulate (Video Capture/Publishing) >> Cisco WebEx (Web Seminar) >> Adobe Inc. (Virtual Classroom) >> Strivr (Best Emerging Solution) >> TransPerfect (Translation & Localization) >> Savvy Training & Consulting (Outsourced Learning Services) As a testament to the dynamic e-learning marketplace, no fewer than 13 companies are new to the “Best of Elearning!” list this year. Two category Winners are first-time honorees: >> Strivr >> Savvy Training & Consulting An additional 11 first-timers captured Awards of Excellence: >> Instructure Bridge Learning >> Brainier Elan LMS >> DuoLingo >> Expii for Math Tutoring >> eLearning Chatter >> Zoom Meetings >> 6Connex Virtual Events Platform >> Modest Tree Modest3D Explorer >> Amazon Sumerian for VR development >> AccuTranslations >> Forward Eye Consulting >> Savvy Training & Consulting ©Copyright. No reproduction without permission.

The Best of Elearning! awards program was first implemented to formalize the recommendation and purchase process for the e-learning community. Research indicated 85 percent of readers had recommended an e-learning solution to a peer over the most recent 12-month period, and 61 percent claimed that award recognition “impacts their decision” to consider a product or service. The Best of E-learning! program formalizes this referral process. ABOUT THE VOTING PROCESS Elearning! Media Group community members, subscribers and online community were invited to nominate their solution provider via an online ballot during June 1 to October 8, 2018. The ballot was open-ended with 27 categories stipulated. At close, the ballots were reviewed and validated. Editors verified product types and categories before counting. The top vote earners in each category were identified as finalists. Those with a 10 percent lead over all other products in a category earned category winner status. Close vote counts and runners-up earned Awards of Excellence. To learn more, visit www.2elearning. com/ awards/best-of-elearning-awards. AND THE WINNERS ARE… Elearning! Magazine takes great pride in announcing the Best of Elearning! 2018 winners:


WINNER: D2L Brightspace LMS

Award of Excellence: Adobe Captivate Prime

Award of Excellence: Brainier Elan LMS

PRODUCT INFORMATION D2L Brightspace is an integrated learning platform or learning environment for students who are enrolled in seated, hybrid and online courses. Brightspace can run online, blended and CBE programs — or even MOOCs — at the same time on a single platform. It is LTI standards-compliant with a full API set and pre-built integrations. It lets you go beyond basic reporting by turning raw data into real insights that you can act on quickly to provide timely guidance.

PRODUCT INFORMATION Adobe Captivate Prime is a nextgeneration LMS that delivers personalized learning experiences across multiple devices. It allows you to align all online and offline enterprise-wide learning initiatives to skill, upskill and reskill your employees. Captivate Prime is engaging, with gamification, unified content playback and high-quality video streaming. Mobilefriendly, it offers personalized dashboards and course recommendations. Additionally, more than 30 help videos are contained within the product for stepby-step assistance on setting up your LMS that lets employees get onboarded faster with an online help center and 24x7 phone support.

PRODUCT INFORMATION Brainier is a Cloud-based solution that allows your curriculum and content to be 100 percent accessible anywhere, at any time, and by every registered user. Brainier delivers powerful video-based training across devices. Desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone — learners can access content however they choose, using any device, operating system or platform they prefer. Brainier replaced traditional LMS barriers with doorways to make access and education easier and more effective.

FEATURES/BENEFITS >> Instructional Design Wizard aligns content, objectives and instructional strategies >> Quizzes, surveys and assignments measure progress with optional TurnItIn integration >> Course delivery can be fully online, flipped, hybrid or blended CUSTOMERS Rochester Institute of Technology, Walmart, Babcock & Wilcox Canada CONTACT INFORMATION Address: 151 Charles Street West, Suite 400, Kitchener, ON, Canada N2G 1H6 Phone: (877) 352-7329 or (519) 772-0325 Website:

FEATURES/BENEFITS >> Modern UI built on single Web page architecture that eliminates navigating multiple pages with a friendly user interface and fast application performance >> Content-LMS integration that is virtually plug and play >> Track multi-format e-learning content such as PPTX, video, PDF, and DOCX files and xAPI-, AICC-, and SCORMcompliant packages. CUSTOMERS Publicis Media, BancSource, Prism HR

FEATURES/BENEFITS >> Social and collaboration tools to highlight subject-matter experts and promote learning >> Powerful, new reporting engine >> Enables you to customize each users’ access and role within a group >> Extensive, customizable library of materials that can be used to support or complete training needs CUSTOMERS American Equity, Concord Hospitality, Lutheran Social Services, Merrill Gardens & Pillar Properties CONTACT INFORMATION Address: 7801 E. Bush Lake Rd., Suite 450, Minneapolis, MN 55439 Phone: (800) 487-3393 or (952) 345-5555 Website:

CONTACT INFORMATION Address: 345 Park Ave., San Jose, CA 95110-2704 Phone: (408) 536-6000 Website: captivateprime.html

Elearning! November / December 2018 ©Copyright. No reproduction without permission.


Keeping “Lifelong Learning” Relevant in Today’s Changing Workforce (& Style) BY KIEL WELK, MARKETING MANAGER, BRAINIER SOLUTIONS At Brainier, we’ve noticed three distinct trends in today’s work style that have the potential to challenge the traditional LMS: >> the increasing number of remote employees; >> the rise of the contingent workforce; and >> the increase in flat and agile organizations. At the confluence of these factors, the limitations of the traditional LMS present themselves. Recent surveys show that roughly 43 percent of the U.S. workforce works

remotely at least one day per week. As of 2015, nearly 16 percent reside in that “other” category, which includes: temp agency work, on-call, contract, freelancer … you name it! Job duties are also changing. Employees are increasingly becoming highly-specialized to the point where an organizational chart is academic. In short, the “regular 9-to-5 employee” simply isn’t as “regular” anymore. So, why should their learning needs be “regular”? This lack of in-person, communal worktime chips away at traditional on-the-job, peer-to-peer learning. Without immediate feedback, the trend toward voluntary seclusion

makes it even harder to codify organizational standards. The faces that make up the workforce are also changing. Millennials are projected to represent 75 percent of the workforce by 2025. And workers over age 54 are expected to be about 25 percent. Reconciling the differences in learning preferences will be an ongoing challenge. The fate of lifelong-learning lies with pro-active LMS providers. More than ever, the task of the U.X. designer is crucial to adapt an LMS platform to the user. Here are some ways Brainier is adapting to this shift:

>> Mobile learning – meets learners at their level

>> Micro-learning – dense, snack-sized content

>> Gamification – promotes higher engagement

>> Self-directed content

– Promotes longer engagement >> Superior reporting – the burden of proven R.O.I. isn’t going away, but having data adds credibility While our software developers have no plans for prognosticating with their crystal ball, they are hard at work on developing the finest LMS on the market, The Brainier LMS.

We’re Brainier. Providing Your Employees Smarter Online Learning Solutions.

There is no one way to learn or a best time for study. That’s why our cloud-based, individualized learning management system (LMS) and learning content are 100% accessible and customizable to your employees’ needs, interests and abilities.

With Brainier, Our Award-Winning LMS Platform, Learning Has No Limits.

Knowledge is Power.

—Francis Bacon

• Brainier helps you create customized curriculums and content. • Brainier provides feature-rich, multi-lingual, powerful video-based training across any device, operating system, or platform. • Brainier feels like an immersive part of your brand experience, rather than a third-party add-on. Our Brainier e-learning experts will show your company how to turn learning and development into a strategic business advantage.

Call us at 800.487.3393 or visit us online at


November / December 2018 Elearning!


Winner: SumTotal Systems Learning Management

Award of Excellence: eLogic Learning eSSential LMS

PRODUCT INFORMATION SumTotal Systems delivers a modern, Netflix-style, user experience to deliver learning. The SumTotal enterprise LMS empowers informal learning by giving learners a complete set of social tools and communities-of-practice to collaborate and share knowledge around any topic or activity. It offers social ratings and feedback, including tools for agile creation of content by subject matter experts. With adaptable learning plans, a visual timeline of priorities and tasks and individualized insight into learning progress, employees have visibility into the measurable impact of their efforts. And recommendations are personalized to keep people engaged in continuous learning effortlessly.

PRODUCT INFORMATION The eSSential LMS makes delivering, tracking and reporting training activity faster, easier and more accurate. Founded on an agile development philosophy, eLogic continuously adds new functionality based on feedback from clients. You can cost-effectively deliver online training to your employees, customers and partners. And access training materials anywhere, anytime - at the touch of a button. And you never have to worry about a compliance audit again.

FEATURES/BENEFITS >> Includes best parts of Percipio learning experience platform >> Mobile App puts continuous learning within reach for both online and offline learning >> Social ratings and feedback, including tools for agile creation of content by subject matter experts CUSTOMERS Fallon Health, Capgemini, American Airlines CONTACT INFORMATION Address: 2850 Northwest 43rd St., Suite 150, Gainesville, FL 32606 Phone: (800) 933-1416 Website:

FEATURES/BENEFITS >> Displays seamlessly on any device >> Customize course descriptions and images >> Design branded templates (email, certificates, etc.) to promote training >> Wide range of standard reports and adhoc reporting CUSTOMERS Northern Tool & Equipment, Outback Steakhouse, Massage Envy Spa CONTACT INFORMATION Address: 14934 N. Florida Ave., Tampa, FL 33613 Phone: (813) 901-8600 Website:


WINNER: dominKnow Platform PRODUCT INFORMATION The dominKnow Platform is a Web-based authoring and publishing solution that helps teams collaborate in real-time, share and re-use content, and easily engage subject-matter experts in the review process. Content is ready for delivery from virtually any location — all from a single source. Included are all the features you need to create engaging, media-rich learning experiences, including customizable testing, flexible interactions and animation creation, advanced variables, branching, audio/video recording, software simulations, system and author-created templates and much more. FEATURES/BENEFITS >> Responsive and adaptive output >> Full-featured HTML5 authoring >> Content sharing and reuse >> Real-time collaboration >> Publish to LMS, LRS, apps, print CUSTOMERS Society of Actuaries, Underwriters Laboratories, Vital Learning, Larmer Brown CONTACT INFORMATION Address: 183 Michael Cowpland Dr., Kanata, ON Canada, K2M 0M3 Phone: (613) 800-8733 Website:

Elearning! November / December 2018 ©Copyright. No reproduction without permission.




Award of Excellence: ej4 Thinkzoom

Award of Excellence: BizLibrary LMS

Award of Excellence: Degreed (Degreed)

PRODUCT INFORMATION Thinkzoom is ej4’s comprehensive video training platform. With several interactive tools and resources, Thinkzoom helps employees during and after training. Thinkzoom allows administrators the knowledge of which videos their employees are watching and how well they comprehend the material with its built-in interactive exams. Score requirements can be set and additional student materials can be provided so learners can put their knowledge to practice. Thinkzoom also has a comprehensive reporting feature that allows administrators to create custom reports based upon users, groups, courses and topics. Understanding which courses are popular and which are lacking participation can help measure training progress and communicate future training goals.

PRODUCT INFORMATION BizLibrary’s learning management system is conveniently organized into three tiers to allow users the option to customize their solutions based upon the needs of their respective organizations. All three tiers offer approval agents, branded website design, a personalized user experience, online and dashboard reports, self-regulation or administrative course assignments, a Cloud-hosted online learning center and more. Learning Management, the highest tier, offers classroom management and on-the-job external training, certification management and virtual classroom integration via WebEx or GoToMeeting.

PRODUCT INFORMATION With Degreed resources, a company can onnect its people to all the resources they use to learn — millions of courses, videos, articles, books, podcasts and experts from thousands of sources, including any LMS. The product applies data science and machine learning to personalize development and skills that really matter — both to workers and management. Then get actionable insights on everything the workforce is learning, as well as their skill sets.

FEATURES/BENEFITS >> Personalized user experience >> Live end-user technical support >> Social ratings and reviews

FEATURES/BENEFITS >> Measure and certify employees in 1500+ skills >> Benchmark skill sets and growth >> Build a diverse, inclusive workforce blind to bias >> Make smarter, better investments in employees

CONTACT INFORMATION Address: 12125 Woodcrest Executive Drive, Suite 300, St. Louis, MO 63141 Phone: (314) 878-6700 or (816) 489-4660 Website:

CUSTOMERS Cormer Holdings, QS/1, Component Repair Technologies

CUSTOMERS Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Kia, Caterpillar, Mastercard, Ebay

CONTACT INFORMATION Address: 14500 South Outer Forty, Suite 500, Town and Country, MO 63017 Phone: (888) 432-3077 Website:

CONTACT INFORMATION Phone: (415) 935-3543 Address: 445 Bryant St., San Francisco, CA 94107 Website:


November / December 2018 Elearning!

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Winner: ej4 The Quad PRODUCT INFORMATION Employees can now join their friends when they use the online learning library. They can learn by watching what others do with The Quad, an intuitive social learning technology. It is a social community inside the Thinkzoom (LMS) campus created to encourage learners to connect with other learners. They can create their own informal network of peers beyond their formal, assigned learning groups. FEATURES/BENEFITS >> Leverages workplace friendships and connections to enhance the learning experience in an entertaining environment >> Learners can initiate friendly competition with lifetime leaderboards, knowledge sharing, and training reinforcement quizzes >> Employees can recommend courses and interact with their peers CUSTOMERS Kawasaki, Dr. Pepper/Snapple, Pepsi, Culligan, Mahindra CONTACT INFORMATION Address: 12125 Woodcrest Executive Drive, Suite 300, St. Louis, MO 63141 Phone: (314) 878-6700 or (816) 489-4660 Website:

Award of Excellence: BizLibrary Community PRODUCT INFORMATION In a knowledge-based world, employees need immediate access to information and data to perform at their full potential. BizLibrary’s Community puts the collective knowledge of an entire organization at everyone’s fingertips. It’s modeled after social networking tools your employees already use, and it’s essential for sharing knowledge, seeking information, and learning new things. It’s a great forum for sharing important articles, ideas for process, service or product improvements and funny or anecdotal stories.


WINNER: Adobe Connect PRODUCT INFORMATION The Adobe Connect Web conferencing software service offers immersive online meeting experiences for collaboration, virtual classrooms and large-scale webinars. With Connect, you can create and deploy engaging on-demand learning content using Microsoft PowerPoint plugin Adobe Captivate and Adobe Presenter. You can Use the features of a learning management system (LMS) at a fraction of the cost with Adobe Connect, or integrate it with your existing LMS.

FEATURES/BENEFITS >> Almost eliminates internal email >> Helps remote employees feel and stay connected >> A vital component of the company’s content management and learning management offerings

FEATURES/BENEFITS >> Measure live learner participation with engagement monitoring >> Brandable, customizable and persistent virtual classrooms >> Streamline live session management with intuitive backstage tools

CUSTOMERS Red Roof, FedBid, Watco Companies, Marquette Savings Bank

CUSTOMERS University of Arizona, SoDA (The Digital Society), Kentucky Labor Cabinet, BPP Professional Education

CONTACT INFORMATION Address: 14500 South Outer Forty, Suite 500, Town and Country, MO 63017 Phone: (888) 432-3077 Website:

CONTACT INFORMATION Address: 345 Park Ave., San Jose, CA 95110-2704 Phone: (408) 536-6000 Website:

Elearning! November / December 2018 ©Copyright. No reproduction without permission.




WINNER: The BizLibrary Collection PRODUCT INFORMATION The BizLibrary Collection contains thousands of employee training videos on key topics your employees need including business and soft skills, leadership, sales and customer service, human resources compliance, I.T., software, industryspecific content, workplace safety and more. Content formats offered meet the needs of all types of learners from short, micro-video lessons, to more in-depth video courses, interactive video programs and e-learning courses. Many of the lessons and courses include quizzes and additional support materials to extend the learning process, increasing both retention and the return on training investment. Administrators can deliver employee training videos across platforms: desktop, mobile and tablet. FEATURES/BENEFITS >> Thousands of micro-videos >> Follow-up Booster Program available >> Select content approved by HRCI and SHRM CUSTOMERS Humentum, United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, PGC CONTACT INFORMATION Address: 14500 South Outer Forty, Suite 500, Town and Country, MO 63017 Phone: (888) 432-3077 Website:


November / December 2018 Elearning!

Award of Excellence: Mastery Training Services Training Library PRODUCT INFORMATION Mastery can help you address your most pressing training needs and help you build your organization. Immediately access more than 800 course topics to address training on topics such as environmental concerns, health and safety, customer service, leadership, team building, and management and supervision. Mastery has a scalable solution to meet your needs. It trains workers across all industries, from service companies to heavy manufacturing operations. Employee training solutions for every size organization from 10 to 100,000 employees are available. FEATURES/BENEFITS >> MasteryNet LMS launches and tracks all of Mastery’s courses PLUS any custom course you create >> Courses are SCORM-compliant >> Powerful record-keeping and reporting system CUSTOMERS Renewable Concepts, Remetronix, Cactus Feeders CONTACT INFORMATION Address: 41214 Bridge St., Novi, MI 48375 Phone: (800) 258-3837 Website:

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Award of Excellence: OpenSesame PRODUCT INFORMATION OpenSesame Plus unlocks and delivers a broad range of courses (up to 5,000+ in all) without the burden of managing multiple systems or providers. A new dashboard and enhanced reporting allows users to glean meaningful insights and course-correct where necessary. The Insights feature includes an activity report and a powerful new dashboard that will at-a-glance show you meaningful metrics like percentage of seats used, enrollments per learner, percentage of courses completed, and the average rating for courses taken. FEATURES/BENEFITS >> Courses available on the following topics: business skills, safety, compliance, technology, certifications, plus many industry-specific topics >> Works with any LMS >> No worrying about cost per course CUSTOMERS Toshiba, Smuckers, Wyndham Hotel Group, Dish Network, Siemens CONTACT INFORMATION Address: 1629 SW Salmon St., Portland, OR 97205 Phone: (503) 808-1268 Website:


WINNER: Vado Leadership Development Learning Track PRODUCT INFORMATION Individuals build leadership skills that can help in any role, whether the person is an individual contributor, new supervisor or experienced manager. This course bundle includes bite-sized mobile-ready courses like “Keeping Customers Informed,” “Seek Out the Ideas and Opinions of Others,” “Show Good Judgment Regarding Creative Ideas” and “Performing an Integrity Review.” FEATURES/BENEFITS >> Helps learners apply learning on the job through step-by-step instructions and exercises >> All of Vado’s courses start with a short, high-definition instructional video >> Content optimized for the mobile learner CUSTOMERS Baylor Scott & White Health, Frasca Flight Simulation, Kingston General Hospital CONTACT INFORMATION Address: P.O. Box 390153, Minneapolis, MN 55439 Phone: (952) 545-6698 Website:


Award of Excellence: ej4 Leadership Content

WINNER: ej4 Software Skills Library

PRODUCT INFORMATION The philosophy espoused by ej4 is that great leaders aren’t born, they’re made. Employees take training more seriously when you invest in quality materials with relevant content. Not only that, but the material is engaging. When employees hear content that is relevant to them, delivered by people who look and sound like they do, retention and application of content is increased. Topics include “Becoming a Great Leader,” “What Is Mentoring?,” “The Importance of Succession Planning” and “Managing Interns.”

PRODUCT INFORMATION Want to know everything there is to know about I.T. training? Visit the ej4 “Software Skills” Library. There, you’ll find relatable information about gmail, SharePoint, Access 2013 and Excel 2010. You’ll discover how to tame your email inbox and how to interface with Outlook. You’ll also discover how to create an Access database and how to control data entry. And you’ll learn how important Excel workbooks are, how to format text and keyboard shortcuts.

FEATURES/BENEFITS >> “Plug-and-play” content fits any organization, providing information that is ready-to-use now >> Short formats and on-demand availability >> Line managers can look up the topics or skills they need on the spot then get back to work quickly having learned something new >> Learners can receive training at the workplace or at home, whichever is more convenient

>> Ten videos added to the library every

CUSTOMERS Kawasaki, Dr. Pepper/Snapple, Pepsi, Culligan, Mahindra


>> Short videos, with an average length of 7 minutes, 12 seconds week

>> Currently 1,500 videos covering not only software skills but…

>> More than 35 total categories CUSTOMERS Kawasaki, Dr. Pepper/Snapple, Pepsi, Culligan, Mahindra CONTACT INFORMATION Address: 12125 Woodcrest Executive Drive, Suite 300, St. Louis, MO 63141 Phone: (314) 878-6700 or (816) 489-4660 Website:

CONTACT INFORMATION Address: 12125 Woodcrest Executive Drive, Suite 300, St. Louis, MO 63141 Phone: (314) 878-6700 or (816) 489-4660 Website:

Elearning! November / December 2018 ©Copyright. No reproduction without permission.




Award of Excellence: Bigger Brains Microsoft Office Complete Library PRODUCT INFORMATION Bigger Brains offers expertly designed business skills courses in Microsoft Office, Google apps, sales, marketing, ethics, leadership and more. A unique “teacher/learner” format avoids a one-way information dump, creating an engaging conversation, with dialogue, questions and answers, humor and more. SCORM bundles allow organizations to load their LMSs with high-quality, searchable courses on Microsoft Office and other productivity topics. FEATURES/BENEFITS >> Courses capture and maintain your attention >> No tedious or boring lectures >> Requires only minutes to learn and master a new skill >> Topics focus on real-world, practical knowledge and skills CUSTOMERS ej4, OpenSesame, Halogen Software, Callidus Cloud CONTACT INFORMATION Address: 1520 E. Greenville St., Suite D, Anderson, SC 29621 Phone: (864) 421-6950 or (800) 743-2724 Website:


November / December 2018 Elearning!


WINNER: Vado Management Development Learning Track PRODUCT INFORMATION Vado offers numerous soft skill development courses for a variety of performance areas and competencies including: Career development, coaching, communication, conflict management, delegating work, development, employee engagement, feedback; Leadership, meeting management, onboarding, recognition, retaining employees, supervision basics, teamwork and work relationships. FEATURES/BENEFITS >> Helps learners apply learning on the job through step by step instructions and exercises >> All courses start with a short, highdefinition (HD) instructional video >> Content optimized for the mobile learner CUSTOMERS Baylor Scott & White Health, Frasca Flight Simulation, Kingston General Hospital CONTACT INFORMATION Address: P.O. Box 390153, Minneapolis, MN 55439 Phone: (952) 545-6698 Website:

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Award of Excellence: The BizLibrary Collection PRODUCT INFORMATION BizLibrary’s Business Skills Collection includes “Lean: Common Tools,” which is part of the company’s Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) course. It tells organizations how to eliminate waste and do more with less. Also included in the collection are “Business Etiquette: Best Practices,” “Total Quality Management: Creating a SIPOC Table,” “Customer Grid Analysis,” “Six Sigma: Process Control,” and more. FEATURES/BENEFITS >> Quizzes, handouts and additional support materials >> Mobile-friendly >> HRCI, SHRM, PDU accredited content >> Knowledgeable staff that focuses on customers CUSTOMERS King’s Hawaiian, American Red Cross, Dollar General, Red Roof Inn CONTACT INFORMATION: Address: 14500 South Outer Forty, Suite 500, Town and Country, MO 63017 Phone: (888) 432-3077 Website:

Use it—Don’t Lose it BY CINDY PASCALE CEO, VADO What is the best way to remember a person’s name? Many people suggest that when you are introduced to a new person, you should say that person’s name right away. It will help you remember the person’s name. This way you use it or lose it. The brain is built to retain information when it is used. Just like using a person’s name will help you remember it, if you use the training information right away – within hours of learning it, your brain will remember it. This is Learning Application. Currently, learners look at a training, whether it be an instructor led workshop or an

e-learning course, as an event that takes place in a conference room or on their laptop and that is where it stays – in the conference room or the laptop rather than

applied on the job. Afterwards, they go back to work, and it is “business as usual”. How about if we look at learning events differently? How about if we focus learning events on “on-the-job application and on-the-job development”. Learning Application focuses on applying the learning directly following the learning event. To do this, we need to set the expectation with learners that after they complete the learning event, they apply the course on the job. Give the learner an exercise to do directly following the training. Make it easy to do with step-bystep instructions, and a job aid will help them remember it and engrain the new behavior. This is Learning Application.

If you provide your learners with an on-the-job exercise implementing Learning Application, you are asking your learners to Use It - Don’t Lose It! –Cindy Pascale is the CEO and co-founder of Vado, an award winning off the shelf e-learning courseware provider ‘changing the face of learning’ by providing an on-the-job exercise in every course.

Download the full ”Use it – Don’t Lose It” article to learn more about Learning Application: http:// andRecordings/

on-the-job. microlearning. editable content. effective e-learning.

changing the face of learning

management & leadership development

employee business skills HR compliance


Elearning! November / December 2018




Award of Excellence: ej4 Business Skills Library PRODUCT INFORMATION ej4 defines it products as “Just products”: (Just as needed) means the products cover specific topics your employees need. (Just enough) means it’s easy to find the most useful, actionable material in an easyto-digest format. (Just in time) means the products offer content right when you need it with ondemand learning tools. And (Just right) means that ej4’s extensive library can be used to customize your own learning experience. Business skills courses include topics like leadership, supervision, safety, customer service, selling, and much more. FEATURES/BENEFITS >> “Plug-and-play” content that fits any organization >> Short formats >> On-demand availability CUSTOMERS Kawasaki, Allied World, Pepsi, Goodwill Industries CONTACT INFORMATION Address: 12125 Woodcrest Executive Drive, Suite 300, St. Louis, MO 63141 Phone: (314) 878-6700 or (816) 489-4660 Website:


Award of Excellence: Bigger Brains Bites Microlearning Bundle PRODUCT INFORMATION A new “Brain Bites” micro-learning library includes must-have, information-rich short courses. Available in SCORM, AICC, xAPI, or MP4 formats with available handouts, they use a combination of video and animation to convey important business topics quickly and effectively, in five-minute microlearning lessons. These courses are written by highly experienced subject-matter experts and presented in a two-person video-based style. FEATURES/BENEFITS >> Topic: “Email Management” gives employees the skills they need to turn their email from a stressful chore to a productive tool. >> Topic: “Organizing Files” is the first step in making sure everyone in your company is using a consistent and safe system for saving and searching documents and spreadsheets. >> Topic “Staying Safe Online” teach employees what to watch out for in emails, SMS messages and websites. >> Topic: “Time Management,” a perennial favorite to improve productivity. CUSTOMERS ej4, OpenSesame, Halogen Software, Callidus Cloud CONTACT INFORMATION Address: 1520 E. Greenville St., Suite D, Anderson, SC 29621 Phone: (864) 421-6950 or (800) 743-2724 Website:


November / December 2018 Elearning!

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WINNER: Vado H.R. Compliance Tool Kit PRODUCT INFORMATION This training starts with the laws but goes beyond by teaching people how to behave toward others, and teaching how they can expect to be treated in return. The Preventing Discrimination and Harassment Toolkit: “Preventing Discrimination and Harassment for Employees” (30 minutes) (available in Spanish); “Preventing Discrimination and Harassment for Managers” (60 minutes); and “Preventing Discrimination and Harassment for California/Connecticut Managers” (2 hours). FEATURES/BENEFITS >> Creative, flexible, interactive, experiential training >> Episode-based, broadcast quality and Millennial friendly CUSTOMERS Frasca International, IEWC Global Solutions, McKinstry CONTACT INFORMATION Address: P.O. Box 390153, Minneapolis, MN 55439 Phone: (952) 545-6698 Website:



Award of Excellence: ej4 Workplace Compliance Library

Award of Excellence: VuBiz Compliance Library

Winner: Vado Relationship Selling Toolkit

PRODUCT INFORMATION ej4’s libraries of courses consist of ready to use solutions for your organizations specific needs. They are broken up by topic in Business Skills, Workplace Compliance and Microsoft Office that can be deployed on any platform. Programs included are: “AntiHarassment,” “Anti-Harassment for California, Connecticut, and Maine,” HIPAA, FLSA, FMLA, “Hiring and Firing procedures,” and more. When the regulations change, programs are updated accordingly, so you don’t have to keep track of the changes.

PRODUCT INFORMATION Almost 100 titles comprise the Vubiz Compliance Library. Some of the most popular titles include “Diversity in the Workplace,” “Fair Labor Standards Act,” “Healthcare Fraud and Abuse,” “Managing Workplace Stress,” “Sarbanes-Oxley Act Primer,” and “The Affordable Care Act.”

PRODUCT INFORMATION The Vado Relationship Selling Toolkit emphasizes how sales is a way to help people and how treating connections is a future business asset. These are the foundational principles promoted by Jim Cathcart of the highly respected Cathcart Institute. He looks at selling through the eight steps in the sales cycle that include targeting the right people in the right way, assessing their needs and solving their problems—rather than just selling them a product. Vado courses help learners apply learning on the job. The combination of short videos followed by step-bystep instructions helps learners put into practice the learning they just completed, which means organization leaders are confident that the transition from learning to application on the job actually happens, and organization capabilities are increased.

FEATURES/BENEFITS >> Short, tactical e-learning >> Fully customizable >> Multi-platform, including mobile >> Most video titles are 10 minutes or less in length >> Off-the-shelf programs can be customized using ej4 Thinkzoom CUSTOMERS Kawasaki, Dr. Pepper/Snapple, Pepsi, Culligan, Mahindra CONTACT INFORMATION Address: 12125 Woodcrest Executive Drive, Suite 300, St. Louis, MO 63141 Phone: (314) 878-6700 or (816) 489-4660 Website:

FEATURES/BENEFITS >> Full service: content, development and delivery software >> Thousands of hours of off-the-shelf content available for purchase as-is or tailored to a specific situation >> Large, diverse e-learning library with more than 4,000 online hours CUSTOMERS Bumble Bee Foods, Canon, Davita Health Care, Goodrich Corp., Lockheed Martin CONTACT INFORMATION Address: 2872 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90404 Phone: (310) 358-9583 Website:

FEATURES/BENEFITS >> Written by Jim Cathcart, the author of 18 books, including multiple international bestsellers, and inductee to the Sales and Marketing Hall of Fame in London. CUSTOMERS IEWC Global Solutions, McKinstry, Kingston General Hospital CONTACT INFORMATION Address: 7895 Highway 65 NE, Spring Lake Park, MN 55432 Phone: (952) 545-6698 Website:

Elearning! November / December 2018 ©Copyright. No reproduction without permission.





Award of Excellence: ej4 Selling Skills Content

Award of Excellence: BCI (Sales Training)

WINNER: dominKnow Capture

PRODUCT INFORMATION ej4’s libraries consist of ready-to-use solutions for your organization’s specific needs. They are broken up by topic in Business Skills, Workplace Compliance and Microsoft Office that can be deployed on any platform. The company’s Business Skills Library offers courses in Professional Productivity, Communications, Sales, Project Management, Leadership, Supervision, Safety and Presentation Skills — to name a few.

PRODUCT INFORMATION BCI’s unique blend of training, technology and learning reinforcement is said to improve retention, change behavior, and produce high-performers. BCI is committed to helping companies and individuals achieve world-class (top 2%) performance. It’s where top athletes find their home, where top sellers receive double-comma incomes, where leaders take their teams to new heights, and where companies leave their competition behind. And surprisingly, BCI has shown that it sometimes takes only a small change in some of the fundamentals. The company’s approach begins with unique classroom and online training. It then uses a mobile learning reinforcement tool and gamification to augment more traditional individual, manager and team coaching.

PRODUCT INFORMATION Use dominKnow’s Capture to create cross-platform, software simulations for stand-alone use or integration with other learning content. Capture is a hybrid tool – it allows you to work from your local desktop for speed and efficiency but stores your work to the Cloud immediately — and it works on both Windows and Mac. Once you’ve made a Capture, you can quickly add highlighting or arrows using the Draw tools. Or add tips using the Markers tool to help your learners better navigate the learning process.

FEATURES/BENEFITS >> Other titles: Assertive Verbal Skills, Business Travel, Business Statistics, Business Writing, Time Value of Money, and more >> Library expands every month, based on customer feedback >> Course titles can be added upon customer request CUSTOMERS Kawasaki, Dr. Pepper/Snapple, Pepsi, Culligan, Mahindra CONTACT INFORMATION Address: 12125 Woodcrest Executive Drive, Suite 300, St. Louis, MO 63141 Phone: (314) 878-6700 or (816) 489-4660 Website:


November / December 2018 Elearning!

FEATURES/BENEFITS >> Ability to embed online training inside most CRMS and other software >> Learning and coaching is provided during normal workflows CUSTOMERS Moog, SpawGlass, HighMount Exploration and Production, Denali Alaskan FCU CONTACT INFORMATION Address: 10333 Richmond Ave., Houston, Texas, 77042 Phone: (877) 253-8506 or (713) 627-7700 Website:

©Copyright. No reproduction without permission.

FEATURES/BENEFITS >> Real-time collaboration >> Publish to LMS, LRS, apps, print >> Built-in features, including customizable testing, branching, etc. >> Ability to receive feedback from content reviewers CUSTOMERS Vital Learning, Larmer Brown, Módulo GRC, Worldwide Interactive CONTACT INFORMATION Address: 183 Michael Cowpland Dr., Kanata, ON Canada, K2M 0M3 Phone: (613) 800-8733 Website: Address: 244 Fifth Ave., Suite 2960, New York, NY 10001 Phone: (800) 861-4880 or (646) 706-7596 Website:



Award of Excellence: dominKnow Claro

Award of Excellence: Adobe Captivate

Winner: dominKnow Flow

PRODUCT INFORMATION Claro courses are designed for a fixed page size, but are HTML5-based so they are still viewable on laptop and desktop computers as well as mobile devices. Using Claro can be as simple as importing a PowerPoint file and publishing. Or use a PowerPoint file as a starting point, adding learning activities and assessment questions for a fuller learning experience. Plus, you can also easily create complex events like hiding and swapping content all the way through to inter-page branching.

PRODUCT INFORMATION Adobe Captivate 9 introduces 360-degree media support to help deliver immersive learning experiences in VR that allow learners to navigate near real-life situations in a risk-free environment. Use VR to deliver experiences such as virtual tours, safety drills, product walk-throughs, firstresponder situations and more. Captivate 9 transitions seamlessly from storyboarding to responsive e-learning design. Users can dip into the asset store or use from Adobe Stock to enrich content to create amazing courses that run seamlessly across desktops and mobile devices. The responsive e-learning design includes multiscreen responsive authoring, multi-device previews, iOS device capturing capabilities and native support for HTML5 objects.

PRODUCT INFORMATION Flow outputs fully responsive and adaptive content so you don’t have to worry about specific devices or multiple versions of the same content. Flow is easy to get started with but packed with options to customize page behavior and create engaging and visuallystunning content. The Flow authoring stage is a live-author environment. View your page across all screen-width settings as you make it, or pop open a preview to see the page come to life.

FEATURES/BENEFITS >> Responsive and adaptive output >> Full-featured HTML5 authoring >> Content sharing and reuse >> Self-described “world-class support” CUSTOMERS Meridium, ViaSat Inc., Society of Actuaries, Underwriters Laboratories CONTACT INFORMATION Address: 183 Michael Cowpland Dr., Kanata, ON Canada, K2M 0M3 Phone: (613) 800-8733 Website:

FEATURES/BENEFITS >> Adobe Captivate Draft allows users to convert ideas into storyboards >> Storyboards can be reviewed in real time in the Cloud >> PowerPoint presentations easily uploaded into the program CUSTOMERS Dun & Bradstreet, Royal London Financial, Eaton Corp. CONTACT INFORMATION Address: 345 Park Ave., San Jose, CA 95110-2704 Phone: (408) 536-6000 Website:

FEATURES/BENEFITS >> Built-in widgets like tab sets, panels and carousels >> Design and tracking tools are built in >> Project assets stored in one central location >> Comments logged and tracked for streamlined review CUSTOMERS Gabrielli Consulting, Meridium, ViaSat Inc., Vital Learning CONTACT INFORMATION Address: 183 Michael Cowpland Dr., Kanata, ON Canada, K2M 0M3 Phone: (613) 800-8733 Website: Address: 170 West Tasman Dr., San Jose, CA 95134 Phone: (800) 553-2447 or (408) 526-7209 Website:

Elearning! November / December 2018 ©Copyright. No reproduction without permission.




WINNER: Strivr Training PRODUCT INFORMATION Strivr was created by a world-renowned expert in virtual reality and a football coach looking to give his players an extra edge. Stanford University and its football team were the testing ground for the Strivr product. The result was a revolutionary way for individuals to prepare for important situations—and the world of training changed forever. With Strivr, you can experience a situation as if you are actually there. Learning retention rates can be as high as 75 percent, versus just 10 percent for reading or a lecture. It’s easy to use in a classroom environment, during coaching or in self-guided sessions. It’s simple to deploy and allows managers to provide return-on-investment (ROI) insights through their reports. FEATURES/BENEFITS >> Authoring tool for immersive learning >> Easily edit and refresh training programs >> Incorporate proven VR training methodologies CUSTOMERS Walmart, United Rentals, Chipotle, Verizon CONTACT INFORMATION Address: 90 Middlefield Rd., Menlo Park, CA 94025 Phone: (650) 384-6889 Website:


November / December 2018 Elearning!



WINNER: Transperfect Translation & Localization

Award of Excellence: Artisan E-learning Micro-learning

PRODUCT INFORMATION TransPerfect can provide multi-language translation of company training materials or a centralized e-learning solution to serve an internationally distributed workforce. TransPerfect’s education experts can help you enhance sales force effectiveness, drive customer satisfaction, and deliver on-demand research and collaboration to take your global learning and training programs to the next level. TransPerfect offers multiple levels of service based on client needs, ranging from draft / summary translation up to certified translation, featuring our threestep process with a translator, editor, and proofreader, all designed to meet the evolving needs of global businesses. Its Human Translation Quality Assurance
 process assigns three professional linguists — translator, editor and proofreader — to create each translation.

PRODUCT INFORMATION Does your organization need great e-learning courses that get you clear business results, yet you don’t have the time or know-how to develop courses internally? Artisan works with you and your subject-matter experts to gather, organize, design, write and build engaging, interactive e-learning courses. Whether you are working with policies and procedures, compliance, product knowledge, computer systems, business skills, or just about any other topic, Artisan can help bring your content to life. Its people can start from scratch or convert your existing classroom training into media-rich, interactive e-learning courses that track to your learning management system (LMS) using SCORM standards, or that track to your learning record store (LRS) using xAPI.

FEATURES/BENEFITS >> Network of more than 4,000 linguists, all of whom are native speakers of the target language, experts in their subject areas, and accredited by numerous translation and interpretation industry organizations

FEATURES/BENEFITS >> Get your course text translated properly while managing voiceovers, reassembling the course, and testing the content across several browsers >> Customer-responsive team includes Section 508 and WCAG experts, usability professionals, and tech-savvy designers

CUSTOMERS Adams Globalization, Epic Global Solutions, WorldLingo, eTranslate

CUSTOMERS JLG Industries, Crystal River Cruises, American Red Cross, Community Associations Institute

CONTACT INFORMATION Address: 3 Park Ave., 39th Floor, New York, NY 10016 Phone: (212) 689-5555 Website:

CONTACT INFORMATION Address: 52 Tuscan Way, Suite 202-379, St. Augustine, FL 32092 Phone: (904) 800-9395 Website:

©Copyright. No reproduction without permission.








D2L (Brightspace)



dominKnow (Claro)

Awards of Excellence:

Adobe (Captivate Prime), ePath Learning (ASAP), Instructure (Bridge Learning), Intellum (Exceed), Brainier (Elan LMS)

BizLibrary (The BizLibrary Collection)

Awards of Excellence:

OpenSesame (OpenSesame), Mastery Training Services (Mastery Training Library)

Awards of Excellence:

Adobe (Captivate), Articulate (Articulate 360)





ej4 (Software Skills Library)

Awards of Excellence:

Bigger Brains (Microsoft Office Complete Bundle), LinkedIn Insights (Developer Training)

Awards of Excellence:

SumTotal Systems (SumTotal Learning Management) ICS (Inquisiq), eLogic Learning (eSSential LMS)


dominKnow (Platform)

Award of Excellence:

Xyleme (LCMS Platform)


Workday (Talent Management)

Awards of Excellence:

Cornerstone on Demand (Unified Talent), Saba (TMS)


Articulate (Replay 360)

Award of Excellence:

TechSmith (Camtasia)


Awards of Excellence:

ej4 (Leadership Content), The Ken Blanchard Companies (Situational Leadership II), Harvard Business (ManagerMentor)


Awards of Excellence:

DuoLingo (App), Moodle (Moodle), Expii (Expii App for Math Tutoring)

BizLibrary LMS, Degreed (Degreed)

Articulate (Storyline 360)

Vado (Leadership Development Learning Track)

ElearnIt (Forma LMS)

ej4 (Thinkzoom)

Award of Excellence:



Awards of Excellence:

dominKnow (Capture)









Awards of Excellence:

Vado (Management Development Learning Track) ej4 (Business Skills Library), BizLibrary (The BizLibrary Collection), Bigger Brains (Brain Bites Microlearning Bundle)


Award of Excellence:

dominKnow (dominKnow Flow) Articulate (Rise)


Strivr (VR Training)

Awards of Excellence:

Modest Tree (Modest3D Explorer), Amazon (Sumerian - VR Development)


TransPerfect (Translation & Localization)

Awards of Excellence:

Rosetta Stone (Totale), AccuTranslations (Translations)



Vado (Compliance Toolkit)



ej4 (The Quad) BizLibrary (BizLibrary Community), eLearning Chatter (eLearning Chatter), Docebo (Coach and Share)

ej4 (Workplace Compliance Library), Vubiz (Compliance Library), Savvy Training & Consulting (SavvySmart Content Library)


Awards of Excellence:

Awards of Excellence:

Savvy Training & Consulting (Consulting)

Awards of Excellence:

Artisan E-Learning (Microlearning), Forward Eye Consulting (Digital Learning), Designing Digitally (Custom Training Solutions)


Cisco WebEx (Meeting Center)

Awards of Excellence:

LogMein (GoToMeeting), Zoom (Meetings)


Adobe (Connect)

Award of Excellence:

Cisco WebEx (Training Center)


Vado (Relationship Selling Toolkit)

Awards of Excellence:

ej4 (Selling Skills Content), BCI (Sales Training)


* First time winners are in Bold

INXPO, West (Virtual Events), On24 (CE Platform), 6Connex (Virtual Events Platform) ©Copyright. No reproduction without permission.

2018 Hall of Fame Honors Two Extraordinary Brands


November / December 2018 Elearning!


ADOBE CONNECT AND EJ4 JOIN THE HALL OF FAME. In this, the second year of honoring outstanding technologists in the Hall of Fame, Elearning! magazine so honors two new inductees — Adobe Connect and ej4 — both of which have been long-time winners in our annual “Best of Elearning!” awards. What is the secret to consistently exceeding customers’ expectations in an ever- changing industry? We asked leaders of both Adobe Connect and ej4 to share their insights….



Hall of Fame Inductee: Adobe Connect Adobe was founded in December 1982 by John Warnock and Charles Geschke (in Warnock’s garage). They established the company after leaving Xerox PARC. Steve Jobs asked to buy the company for $5 million in 1982, but Warnock and Geschke turned him down. Adobe has historically focused on creating multimedia and creativity software products, with a significant investment in the e-learning market. In addition to Hall of Fame winner Adobe Connect, Adobe also offers Adobe Captivate Prime (LMS), Captivate and Presenter Video Express. Adobe has about 15,000 employees worldwide, about 40 percent of whom work in the San Jose, Calif., headquarters. Elearning! magazine talked to Adobe Connect’s Senior Enablement Manager Alistair Lee. Here are his insights on the future of learning.


CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING AN ELITE BRAND EARNING 9 BEST OF ELEARNING! AWARDS. WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE ADOBE’S CONNECT’S SUCCESS? We believe that focusing on the customer is key to our success. While it’s important to understand industry trends and the broader technological landscape,


Best of Elearning! Honors Adobe Connect Best Virtual Classroom 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

ensuring our customers are successful in being able to deliver exceptional experiences is our most important goal.


WHAT IS YOUR PRODUCT ROADMAP? HOW HAS THE SOLUTION EVOLVED AND HOW HAVE NEEDS OF YOUR CUSTOMERS CHANGED? We’ve just launched version 10 of Adobe Connect, and it includes a brand-new HTML client for participants. Our roadmap includes continuous improvement of this HTML client to help our customers eliminate barriers to entry for their virtual classrooms, meetings and webinars. Engagement has become ever more important with the evolution of the smartphone, social networks and other distractions, it has become critical to enable our customers to create immersive experiences that engage participants.





Adobe Connect offers several unique features including persistent rooms, collaborative apps that work inside a virtual classroom, and templates that ensure consistency. One of the biggest unique differentiators though is the ability to truly design your classroom experience. Adobe Connect gives hosts complete control over the look and feel of the virtual room by creating layouts that determine what is shown on the screen at any given time. We’ve found that this ability to craft a learning experience can lead to higher levels of engagement and retention.

Q: A:

WHAT NEW FEATURES DOES CONNECT PLAN TO OFFER CUSTOMERS? We plan to continue to add additional capabilities to our new HTML client ensuring customers can quickly and easily attend — and even deliver — virtual classrooms using nothing more than a browser.

“Ensuring our customers are successful in being able to deliver exceptional experiences is our most important goal.”

– Alistair Lee, Adobe Connect

Elearning! November / December 2018



Adobe Connect Resources Adobe Connect HTML Demo

View: Download Training Brief

Adobe Connect Training Solution Brief View:

Q: A:

WHO ARE MARQUEE CUSTOMERS CONNECT SERVES? IS THERE A UNIQUE CUSTOMER STORY TO SHARE? Adobe Connect’s customer base spans multiple industries and sizes. Here are two examples of customers that have used Adobe Connect to provide great training experiences. University of Arizona’s use of Adobe Connect enabled the development of robust online learning. “We needed a synchronous online meeting tool to support both active learning and small-group work,” says Mark Felix, Director of Instructional Support, University of Arizona. “We also wanted a virtual classroom that could be customized. Adobe Connect offered these capabilities and more.” In 2018, their implementation earned a 2018 Learning! 100 Award from Elearning! Magazine. Learn more about this implementation at: https://adobe. ly/2zgFtPm Another customer, BPP wanted to transform learning delivery. They turned to Adobe Connect and saw revenues increase 5-fold with 35% of their courses offered online. “Using Adobe Connect, the proportion of course delivery via Online Classroom

Live versus in-center or other modes has grown from 0% in 2012 to up to 35% on some programs today,” says Malcolm Bell, Director, BPP Online Classroom Live. The goal is to get 100% of the faculty online this year and to increase the number of online live courses. “Adobe Connect helps remove their ‘triangle of pain’ of commuting from home to work to school and back,” says Bell. “It gives them the flexibility to log on wherever they are and still get the benefits of live learning.” Learn more about this application at:

Q: A:

WHAT TRENDS DO YOU SEE IN THE FUTURE? HOW IS CONNECT EVOLVING TO MEET THESE NEEDS? The ability to collaborate online — sharing your video, voice and screen — has gone from being a distinct use case to a commodity that’s built into several applications today. Adobe Connect has evolved to go beyond simple screen sharing to ensure customers can meet the needs of more complex use cases such as immersive virtual classrooms. We’ll continue to focus on these use cases and the needs of our customers going forward.

Hall of Fame Inductee: ej4 Since 2004, ej4 has delivered the unexpected in the e-learning industry. Its unique style of microlearning training videos combines instructional design with adult learning theories and is delivered via contemporary video design methods. Its modern learning management system is simple, intuitive and mobile so employees have the freedom to learn anywhere, anytime. With more than 1,500 courses, ej4’s video content library has just the right amount of important lessons that employees need to grow their skills. Elearning! Magazine was delighted to talk with Ryan Eudy, CEO of ej4, who shared ej4’s vision of learning. 42

November / December 2018 Elearning!

Q: A:

EJ4 IS AN UNUSUAL BRAND NAME. HOW DID IT COME ABOUT? The “e” stands for “electronic, as in e-learning.” And the 4j’s describe the services we provide: (1) Just as needed; (2) Just enough; (3) Just in time; and (4) Just right.


CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING AN ELITE BRAND THAT HAS BEEN NAMED BEST OF ELEARNING! 24 TIMES SINCE 2014. TO WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE EJ4’S SUCCESS? We’ve been providing quality products and services since 2004, and to be chosen as a 2018 Elearning! Magazine Hall of Fame recipient proves that we are continuing to meet the needs of our customers. It starts


at the top with our founder and leadership team giving our employees the trust and flexibility to do their jobs. We always look for new ways to add value to our client offering with innovative video content, and upgrades and enhancements to our platform and technology. We focus on consistent growth and foster a culture that allows us to achieve it. Our employees are dedicated, passionate about their work, and the most creative individuals I’ve had the pleasure of working with. We wouldn’t be where we are today without them.




As we prepare new video content for the year, we review what our customers and prospects have requested through our Learning Consultants. This process allows us to stay on top of current trends in the workplace all while providing our customers with a comprehensive and up-to-date library of videos. Each year we also evaluate our current courses to make sure they are updated with information that is relevant to the current workforce of our customers. Through frequent updates to existing content and new content rollouts, our library provides a consistent learning experience to all users. This year, we updated our Thinkzoom LMS to include a new user interface with a customizable dashboard, increased our search functionality, and gave our clients a way to manage classroom training.

And if you have your own LMS, ej4 can integrate with any other LMS system.

Q: A:

WHAT NEW SOLUTIONS DOES EJ4 PLAN TO OFFER CUSTOMERS? We just launched enhancements to Thinkzoom, and last year, we mapped our content — through our Learning Tracks feature — to 36 Lominger competencies, and we will continue to make finding relevant content easier for the learner. This includes a more robust content suggestion engine that takes the learning habits of the learner into consideration when recommending new content. Our product development team meets frequently to review trends in the learning landscape and to find new and innovative ways to keep ej4 at the forefront of videobased content. We look at many different

Best of Elearning! Honors ej4 >> Thinkzoom (Winner 2015, Winner 2017, Award of Excellence 2018)

“We focus on providing solutions that change the behaviors of the learner.”

– Ryan Eudy, CEO, ej4

>> The Quad (Award of Excellence 2017, Winner 2018)

>> Software Skills Library (Award >> >> >>

Q: A:

WHAT UNIQUE FEATURES DOES EJ4 OFFER TO THE E-LEARNING MARKET? ej4 is a source for fresh, regularly updated, mobile-ready video content, delivered in a single consistent format. ej4’s expertise in creating microlearning videos gives us the ability to offer both off-the-shelf and custom video content in a way that keeps the learner engaged. It’s not over after you’ve taken our off-the-shelf courses though. “4tify your Learning,” available exclusively on Thinkzoom, continues the training conversation long after a training session is over. For several weeks after learners complete a course, they will be prompted to answer a series of exam questions and watch a video recap to help them retain the information they’ve learned.

ways to evolve as the marketplace continues to expand its acceptance of video.

Q: A:

WHICH MARQUEE CUSTOMERS DO YOU SERVE? IS THERE A UNIQUE CUSTOMER STORY TO SHARE? What’s great about the ej4 solution is that we fit into any organization. We have proven success in many different industries from A to Y (agriculture to yard services). Clients range from Pepsi, Culligan and Dr. Pepper Snapple, to midsize organizations like The Corridor Group and Hillyard. I invite you to view their stories online: ej4-client-testimonials




of Excellence 2015, Winner 2016, Winner 2018) Leadership Content (Award of Excellence 2016, 2017, 2018) Business Skills Library (Winner 2015, Award of Excellence 2016, 2017, 2018) Workplace Compliance Library (Award of Excellence 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018) Selling Skills Content (Winner 2014, Winner 2015, Award of Excellence 2016, Winner 2017, Award of Excellence 2018)


We released online microlearning videos before there was even a market or widely accepted term for it. There’s a difference between a learning trend and a learning solution. We focus on providing solutions that change the behaviors of the learner. People grow business. We grow people. Our customers give us access to their most important resource, their employees. We take that very seriously, which is why we don’t use a “flavor of the month” approach to our content creation.

Elearning! November / December 2018


InSightsCompliance InSights Putting the “Human” Back into Human Resources



f there’s one trend that has gripped business headlines this year and put HR squarely in the spotlight, it has been the growing concern over compliance issues, particularly safety, diversity/ inclusion, and workplace harassment. Slowly, decision-makers are understanding that compliance training can’t be limited to a oncea-year training session and be successful. They are coming to understand that a safe environment is needed, along with training, and that there are many ways in which we can do better. They’re beginning to realize that they need to put the “human” back in “Human Resources.” HR GETS IT This will not be news to many of the clients we work with on a weekly basis. Many of ej4’s client contacts are in HR, and we’ve found that HR professionals get it. They truly do care about their people and are always frustrated when their efforts at creating a better environment are not fully supported.

Ryan Eudy, CEO, EJ4

WHAT’S CHANGED? What has changed is that it’s now obvious that the status quo isn’t enough. In the past, our sales reps noticed that most organizations wanted to spend “the bare minimum” on compliance training. The idea was to hedge against legal risk—and that’s all. If an annual training with a set of antique videos fit the bill, that would be enough for most companies. SIMPLY “BEING IN COMPLIANCE” IS NOT ENOUGH It should be obvious why this is not enough. Most compliance training focuses on clarifying the law, and corporate policies with regard to the law. Laws about workplace harassment, discrimination, and safety represent the bare minimum of what companies should be doing to create safe, productive environments. That’s because these laws are designed around what is measurable and enforceable by government agencies. When training focuses solely on being in compliance with the law, it will likewise have minimal effect. LET’S GET BEYOND THE LEGAL Imagine what would happen if we paused and thought about compliance in more than just legal terms. Think of your employees as people. People with hopes and dreams. People with families and friends. Imagine if they were a part of your family. Would you want your daughter working at your place of business? Or your neighbor? When we start thinking in human terms instead of just legal or economic terms, compliance takes on a whole new meaning. It becomes less about liability and more about atmosphere. It doesn’t just stick employees in front of a video for an hour (or a live lecture, for that matter). It seeks to engage, discuss, and follow up. STILL A BUSINESS DECISION...OF SORTS Revamping your compliance training is largely a business decision, and there has to be a business case for it. I’m not asking folks to ignore the bottom line. (I’m the CEO of my company. I get it.) My point is that, when we think of everything in economic terms, including people, that’s when problems start. If you still want to see that business case, I recommend downloading our whitepaper from our website, “Why Compliance Training is More Than a Checkbox.” It has some sobering stats about workplace compliance issues. For example: >> Workplace bullying costs U.S. businesses close to $360 billion annually. >> 48% of employees who experience bullying, as victim or bystander, end up leaving their companies. Alongside those statistics, this whitepaper provides actionable advice for organizations to do better when it comes to comprehensive compliance training efforts. We all know it needs to happen. We all know that we can do better. Companies will be better for it. Learn more about our training content at —Ryan Eudy is CEO of ej4, a multiple winner of the Best of Elearning!


November / December 2018 Elearning!

TipsRapid Development

Mission: MARS 2020

Challenge: Rapid Training Development in Continuous Release Environment BY JOCELYN GAJEWAY, TECHNICAL TRAINING SPECIALIST, NASA’S JET PROPULSION LABORATORY Typically, when presented with a new project, learning professionals tend to use either a waterfall method or a modified iterative approach to develop the system and materials. These approaches remain best practices when working with content that is in a relatively complete state at the time development begins, but are not nimble enough to keep up with some project’s rapid development and release cycles. Structuring the development to an AGILE framework seems like the next most logical choice, but when speaking with colleagues, it seems as though it was making additional work, and sending teams back to square one with every sprint. How, then, to take advantage of integrating the development of training with the content without falling into the trap of starting over every month? THE MISSION In June of 2017, I was presented with the opportunity to collaborate with the Mars 2020 project as they began development of the Rover Mission Operations Training System. When I started, I learned that many of the roles, tools, and processes for Mars 2020 were under development. Meaning neither of these approaches would be flexible

enough to keep up. Instead, after an initial extensive needs analysis and curriculum design phase, each phase of development would be in short cycles targeted to iterations and development of training for each release. This prevented the rebuilding the entire program with each change, enabled rapid implementation of changes based upon learner feedback, and provided current and highly specific training materials throughout the life of the training program. As we began, it became apparent that in order to develop the flexible, scalable program, we needed to hold in-depth interviews with subject matter experts, team leads and other supervisors, [role archetypes] with experience performing similar tasks on other flight projects. It was critical to involve them in the development of the new tools and processes. These interviews delved into the skills and knowledge required to perform the dayto-day duties of the job, including the unspoken “soft skills” exercised regularly, rather than a strict task analysis. These interviews and the resulting analyses formed the foundation of the competency-based curricula for each role. The competency-based approach allows the development of the course material to proceed at the same pace as the development of tools and processes, with the same outcomes.

At the same time, refinement of training content is linked to new software features. Revisions to the initial source content are aligned to the planned feature releases for the development sprints, and the changes are made using either ADDIE or a modified iterative approach, allowing instructionally sound content to be developed and deployed. This also allows the training content to scale to the project’s needs. The training content is always complete and current to the state of tools and processes are in development. Of course, running parallel to this sprint style development is a slower, more traditional development cycle for the static content, mostly foundational knowledge considered “nice to have”, rather than a critical skill. This was actually one of the most interesting takeaways from the interview period. Background knowledge is ultimately required for a trainee to be proficient in their role, but it is possible to structure the

training flow and pipeline to allow new trainees to reach basic qualification and begin to work in their roles in a shorter timeframe. Prioritizing the development of roles and topics in this manner allows the training system as a whole to be more efficient, creating a steady pipeline of qualified individuals. Having enough qualified personnel means that there is also room for additional refresher and advanced training to continue throughout the project without affecting operations. In order to develop a truly effective training system, training cannot be an afterthought, shoehorned in at just before release. Instead, the paradigm of training development needs to shift to more flexible processes, allowing learning professionals to be a part of the team, to truly understand the user stories and outcomes, and develop effective, engaging content to support those needs. – JPL is a first-time Learning! 100 winner in 2018.

Elearning! November / December 2018


TipsLearning Tips Inspired Professional Learning at Mass General

Professional Education Powered by Brightspace The Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions (The MGH Institute) is an innovative interprofessional graduate school of health sciences founded by Mass General. Health science academic programs include Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physician Assistant studies, Nursing, Communication Science & Disorders, Health Professions Education and PhD in Rehab Science. The MGH Institute seeks to be preeminent in educating graduates to be exemplary leaders in healthcare.

CHALLENGE: The MGH Institute has leveraged D2L Brightspace platform to facilitate its growth and expansion. When the school first migrated to Brightspace from its home-grown LMS- going live just 20 days after making its decision- the school had just 900 students enrolled in its programs. Today it supports 46

over 1600 students and an expanding online presence for the MGH Institute. “Most of our growth has occurred over the last 9-10 years. Brightspace has allowed us to support the full continuum of learning from self-directed, to blended, to online, while realizing our strategic growth goals,” says Denis Stratford, Chief Information and Facilities Officer, MGH Institute of Learning. Every program delivered at MGH Institute and every faculty member uses Brightspace in some capacity. “At a bare minimum, the LMS is used for distribution of course materials, which eliminates our use of paper,” explains Stratford. “However, we work with many faculty who are web-enabling their courses and using Brightspace Discussion Tool to facilitate interprofessional conversations. Students complete tests online and submit their assignments via Brightspace. Faculty post grades and feedback via Brightspace as well. More and more are using Adobe Connect with Brightspace to bring guest speakers into their lectures. And, some are even doing a flipped classroom, using Brightspace to capture and record a lecture, pushing it out to students for discussion prior to the class meeting.” The school also has all its course syllabi stored within Brightspace Learning Reposi-

November / December 2018 Elearning!

tory. This boosts the productivity of new instructors, who can quickly pull down and access course syllabus when teaching in a program for the first time. MGH Institute’s students enroll in the prelicensure graduate programs with a bachelor’s degree and satisfy the science prerequisites. Depending on the student’s academic or continuing professional development they take some of their courses online. That said, the work is far from independents. Through its IMPACT Practice (interprofessional education) curriculum, MGH Institute promotes collaborative interprofessional and team-based learning for all prelicensure students, facilitated by Brightspace, with students supported by health mentors, simulations, and health professionals from various local clinical partners. In the Gradate Program in Occupational Therapy, one of the Institute’s newer academic programs, the faculty with support from the IT staff, use the Brightspace competency function to map over 270 predefined competencies and course objectives mandated by the professional association. In addition, the Institute faculty have defined a standard set of core competencies for students in all entry level health professions programs which will eventually be mapped to individual curricula. The Institute’s core competencies are

modeled after IPEC and Institute of Medicine as universal competencies for all healthcare professionals. The MGH Institute has also recently implemented Insights. It will eventually provide the dataset for the core competency initiative allowing the MGH Institute to perform outcome analysis. The use of Brightspace has also allowed the MGH Institute to explore new online earning programs and revenue streams. The school offers pre-requisite courses for students entering graduate health science education program including their own academic programs. Over the last few years, it has begun marketing and offering these science pre-reqs entirely online to students in other geographies, and who are enrolling in other programs and education institutions. RESULT Back in 2009 when MGH Institute first conducted its evaluation of LMS offerings, the clear choice was Brightspace, and nearly a decade later the school continues to feel confident about its decision. “ The functionality of Brightspace, the vision, and the direction of the company articulated to us back in 2009 has manifested itself many times over since that time, says Stratford. “It has gone far beyond our expectations.”

ProductSpotlight: Brightspace New Magenta Features Put Employees on the Fast-Track to Master New Skills

Skills development is a top concern of Learning and Development (L&D) professionals and business leaders — and 69% of L&D leaders say talent development is their top priority. That’s why D2L has added rubrics for employees and managers in the new Magenta release. Rubrics are a tool that instructors leverage to create consistency and set clear expectations for their learners. Soft skills and good-quality feedback can be hard to assess — and measuring skills can be a key ingredient in helping employees continue to progress in their careers. With the Magenta release, Brightspace makes it easier for organizations to evaluate employee skills and provide clear and transparent feedback. The Magenta Release includes the following powerful features for businesses and organizations: >> A new user experience for rubrics makes it easier to evaluate employee learning and give clear and transparent feedback. Rubrics also help give more timely feedback to employees, allowing instructors to more quickly identify their learning needs. >> The ability to assign and assess learning happening outside the digital environment — like presentations, skill demonstrations, or field work — providing an easy way to handle feedback and assessment in the moment. >> Powerful new data and analytics tools — Magenta’s new Data Solutions Consulting packages help users focus on defining data-driven goals, completing a needs analysis and feasibility study and building a data solution required to gain insights and answer identified business problems. >> A course adventure pack makes it easy for learning and development managers to create content integrating gamebased learning, storytelling, interactive assessment and awards leaderboard elements into training material to help

improve employee engagement, retention, achievement and outcomes. >> Improvements to quizzing — including a dynamic preview for question pools in quizzes, and more data on quiz attempts with character counts on quiz logs help to streamline the quiz- creation experience. >> A Manager Dashboard helps keep employees on track by setting due dates and clear expectations for assignments. Employees can stay also stay better organized and navigate to their courses quickly by having their course cards grouped by role or department.

WHAT CORPORATE USERS ARE SAYING “Our primary focus isn’t tests and written assignments—it’s asking students to demonstrate their coaching philosophy and how they put it into practice as they work with their athletes. Brightspace gives us a better way for them to capture those experiences and share them with their fellow students and mentors—for example, by making and sharing videos,” says Jason Sjostrom, Director of Coaching, Canadian Sports Institute Calgary. “Now with one system in place on the Brightspace platform, we can track customers’ learning progress, which helps keep them on task. We also leverage D2L’s intelligent agents in almost all our live courses, which allows us to easily communicate directly with customers and large numbers of course registrants within the platform. Having a system that allows you to reach out when you need to at certain points of a course, send reminders, and get people moving in the right direction or drive them to discussion boards is very important for our association and our members,” says

Nancy Robert, former Executive Vice President, Chief Product & Marketing Officer, American Nurses Association. “Brightspace allows us to provide rich content, improve an employee’s opportunities and improve their ability to execute — while still allowing them the freedom to do their day-to-day work. This earns buyin from managers and employees alike and makes adopting a new learning program easier for the entire organization,” says Lisa Cairns, Director of E-Learning, Smith. ABOUT BRIGHTSPACE Brightspace is a cloud-based learning platform that makes online and blended learning easy, flexible and smart. Brightspace is a quantum leap beyond LMS – it is easy to drag-and-drop content to create engaging courses, supports all mobile devices, has industry-leading uptime and is accessible for all learners. Plus, Brightspace enables the future of learning with a gaming engine, adaptive learning, video management, intelligent agents, templated interactives for course design, full support for outcomes or competency-based learning, and actionable learning analytics. D2L has transformed the way millions of people learn online and in the classroom. Learn more about D2L for businesses at Elearning! November / December 2018




ince 2004, ej4 has delivered the unexpected in the e-learning industry. Our unique style of microlearning videos combines instructional design with adult learning theories and is delivered via contemporary video design. Our modern learning management system is simple, intuitive, and mobile so employees have the freedom to learn anywhere, anytime.

EJ4’S OFF-THE-SHELF CONTENT Our library has just the right amount of content for your learners on the topics you require: workplace compliance (antiharassment and employment law), safety (OSHA and DOT), communication, and more. We also offer a broad range of topics that your internal stakeholders request such as leadership, software skills, and selling skills. Here are a few reasons our clients prefer ej4’s off-the-shelf video content: >> Thoughtful visuals: Unexpected and surprising design elements, along with creative graphics, better engage learners. >> On-screen presenters: Live people, not just voice-over, keep our videos personal, relatable, and engaging. >> More updates: Fresh matters. Avoid the hassle of worrying which courses need updating; ej4 regularly updates our courses every two years at a minimum. EJ4’S CUSTOM CONTENT Do you love the thought of creating your own custom courses, but feel stretched too thin? Let ej4 help! 48

November / December 2018 Elearning!

Our library has just the right amount of content for your learners on the topics you require. Give us the topic. Let us handle the script and storyboard, source the talent, create the graphics, and produce the course. We’ll do the work while getting your input and approval at each step along the way. Give us the script on the topic you’ve done 100 times. We can edit the script and graphics for short-form video, allow-

ing you to keep the course you created. This process works great for your topics that have a longer shelf life: onboarding, product training, employee orientation, your sales process, and more. EJ4’S THINKZOOM LMS How is your learning technology? Maybe your company has finally gotten big enough that it’s time for your first LMS. Or maybe it’s time to trade in your old, clunky, outdated LMS. Thinkzoom is our modern learning management system that easily lets you track employee use, measure comprehension of material, create reports quickly and effectively, and assign classroom training. Imagine giving your CFO hard data on how effective your training dollars are! Thinkzoom was created learner-first, mobile-first. All of these features are just a click away. Mobile ready: 47% of learners engage on nights and weekends and 58% engage somewhere other than their office desks. Reach learners where they are with mobileready technology. Competency-based learning tracks: Courses are mapped to 36 of the competencies in the Lominger Model, allowing you to align training to performance reviews and recruiting criteria. Training reinforcement tools: Initial and follow-up quizzes are built-in to ensure the information is retained. Authoring tool: Record your own audio or create short videos to complement your usual training with our award-winning authoring tool. Classroom training: Create and schedule instructor-led courses from within our LMS. Users can self-enroll or be autoenrolled by admins. Attendance can be tracked in the system and learners can earn points for course completion. Contracts with ej4 are “Everything but Ordinary!” Purchase our off-the-shelf content and get our LMS free! Visit us at for more information. Sign up for a full-featured, fulllibrary, 15-day free trial of our Thinkzoom LMS at

Do You Make the

PopQuiz Quiz



Which of the following LearnTech is the fastest growing: a. Mobile Authoring b. Social/Collaborative solutions c. Augmented Reality d. Mentoring/Coaching tools e. all of the above


6-7 correct makes you Mensa material. 4-5 correct means you are a skimmer — and can learn oh-so much more. Fewer than 4? This issue is your Sunday reading assignment. Try again!

2 3

Why are women not well represented in the C-suite? a. Lower entry level participation b. Less education c. Less time on job d. Lower paid staffers e. All of the above What are the trademarks of an agile enterprise? a. North Star across enterprise b. Empowered team c. Rapid decision-making d. Next-gen technology e. All of the above


Best of Elearning! Award is which of the following? a. Vendor paid program b. User’s choice awards c. Editor’s pick awards d. Best of Show event

5 6

Who won Best Virtual Classroom Solution this year? a. Cisco WebEx b. LogMeIn GoToWebinar c. On24 d. Adobe Connect e. INXPO Which of the following won the Hall of Fame award? a. SumTotal Systems b. Cisco WebEx c. ej4 d. Articulate e. none of the above

Editorial Index 2018 Learning & Talent Platforms Study http://information.2elearning. com//2018lmstmsstudy Best of Elearning! 2018

People Matters PEX 2018 Report Statista


pg 2, 40


pg 3


pg 26

Elevating Learning & Development



University of California, Berkeley

McKinsey & Company


NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Learning! 100 Awards  pg 10


Vado Inc.


pg 47,51


pg 48,52

pg 33

Answers: (1) e, (2) a, (3) e, (4) b, (5) d, (6) c

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Elearning! November / December 2018 49



14 Years of Product Innovation

t’s been 14 years since the birth of the Best of Elearning! Awards. The first edition in 2005 featured 9 categories, 29 brands receiving 245 nominations. The 2005 class included GeoLearning, Centra, WebEx, Books 24x7, and Adobe. Many of these brands still reign under different owners. Yet, they represented the need for SaaS or Cloud systems, learner-directed online learning, and effective e-learning development tools. A lot has changed….yet much has stayed the same.

In 2005, 49% of learning professionals reported they had referred an e-learning brand to a peer. In

2018, that figure is 85%. Professionals still look to trusted resources for information. The Best of Elearning! Awards were launched in 2005 to formalize this recommendation process through its online user’s choice awards format.

Catherine Upton, Publisher, Elearning! Magazine

In 2018, the Best of Elearning! Awards recognized 73 brands across 23 categories with thousands of nominations counted. This year 20% of the brands are new to the awards program — continuing to inspire us with constant innovation. We welcome Strivr VR, Sumarian, Modest Tree, Brainier, and other first time honorees to the Best of Elearning! family. We are entering an exciting time in the learning technology industry. We see Artificial Intelligence powered knowledge and data systems. Machine Learning enabling professionals to focus on strategic actions versus rote activities. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are entering the mainstream with Healthcare and Entertainment applications leading the way. The heavy lifting in learning technology still lies at the feet of the stalwart brands that continue to innovate, evolve and inspire talent. These brands include Adobe, SumTotal Systems, a Skillsoft Company, Cisco WebEx, and Articulate who have earned honors every year since 2005. We can’t forget the editors who have brought you these 14 years of innovation. John Watson, Jack Gordon and Jerry Roche have brought Elearning! Magazine to life — Earning 24 editorial, design, website and eNewsletter honors for excellence from the Western Publishing Association. Thank you to you all who have voted for the Best of Elearning! this year or in the past. Thank you to the technologists and solution providers who innovate and inspire. And, a big thank you to John, Jack and Jerry for making it all happen. – Catherine Upton launched Elearning! Magazine in 1999 with Advanstar. In 2004, B2B Media Company acquired the brand and Catherine continued to serve as Publisher.

TAKE A TRIP BACK TO THE FUTURE! We invite you to view the 2005 Best of Elearning! edition of Elearning! Magazine at:


November / December 2018 Elearning!

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Elearning! Magazine November/December 2018  
Elearning! Magazine November/December 2018