Online Training and e-Coaching Tips

Using Training Materials From Others

April 1, 2013 18:08 by

How do you create your training programme in no time at all? Just buy the training materials and use them to compose your own online training sessions inside your learning management system.


A scorm package is a container which facilitates sharing online training materials

Every modern learning management system (lms) supports a universal standard for exchanging training materials: SCORM. Scorm stands for Shareable Content Object Reference Model, but you can forget about that (I always do). The really important thing about scorm is that you can create learning content or a training unit, package it in a scorm zip and export it to another lms. Of course, the reverse is also true: you can import somebody else’s scorm package as well.

But what do these words mean, learning content, training unit? Most scorm packages I have encountered so far, consist of fifteen, thirty to 120 minute sessions about a specific topic. The training participant logs in to your lms, opens the scorm package (just like any other online training activity, usually by hitting a button or clicking a link), does whatever is inside the package and receives a score (or at the very least a “completed” check mark).

Once the user clicks the link to the scorm unit, the scorm player takes over. The scorm player is the software inside the lms that “reads” the scorm package and “plays it back”. In the background, it does the presentation, evaluates any answers the participant may enter and computes the final score (if there is one). The score is transmitted to the lms, which stores it together with the name of the user for future reference (e.g. to make it available in a grade book).

How does this differ from using a training activity provided by the lms itself (e.g a quiz or test)? Well, it doesn’t until you would want to export the activity to another training platform. Okay, I told you to forget what scorm stands for, but one part is important: the shareable part. A scorm package can be shared across all e-learning systems which support the standard (and there are a lot of those out there).

Practical Note on Using Scorm

Your lms should already contain a scorm player, but I’m going to tell you to get another one. This way, in case of any problems with a scorm package you can always verify that the problem resides with the scorm package and not the settings of your lms. Simply try to play the scorm package in your standalone scorm player. If the problems persist, there’s probably nothing wrong with your lms’ settings.

Download SCORM training materials

So where do you find scorm trainings? Here are a few online markets where you can download scorm packages but also offer your own for sale.

Post comment

Automating Boring Stuff with Your LMS

March 4, 2013 9:00 by

Scheduling, planning and gathering trainees’ data is like taking out the garbage. You simply have no other option than to do it, or you will hear about it from your significant other. Or, your training sessions will run amok.


Unfortunately, there are no household trash robots yet

Unfortunately, there are no solutions. There is no household robot yet which can stuff your trash in a container and then move the container in the street at the exact right day. (Was this Monday or Tuesday? I always forget.)

But wait! For organizing your training sessions there’s always the option to use a learning management system. A learning management system, or lms, offers several tools to alleviate the boredom of simple administrative tasks. These tools are:

  • User profile
  • Intake form
  • Bulk email

User Profile

Every learning management system that I know offers a user profile where training participants specify their name, title, activities and introduce themselves with a little story. And maybe they even put a portrait online. All in all, this is information that is absolutely not specific to the training they are about to get. Which brings us to the intake form.

Intake Form

The intake form is used to gather data about the trainee which usually pertains to the training. Using an lms means you don’t have to scan, copy and paste or even type in the data yourself. What’s more, if you need to perform a simple statistical analysis (the median age or something like that), most learning management systems support that.

Bulk Email

Data Entry

Tedious manual data entry

Once you’ve collected everybody’s email address (the user profile form has a field for that), you can send out an email message to everybody, or a selected group of training participants. This helps you communicate things like changed schedules and welcoming messages.

Here’s how one training company, Reframe, used the tools mentioned above to remove a lot of tedious paperwork and manual data entry.

Case: Self-Registration for Online Training

Training company Reframe is specialized in aggression management. In preparation of their training sessions, they used to send out paper intake forms to the participants. The data was manually processed.

At some point they started using the learning management system Moodle to put the intake forms online. But they still had a lot of manual operations: registering the training participant as a user in Moodle and adding them to the course containing the online form.

There is, to be sure, always the option to have trainees self-register in Moodle. But this was not deemed secure because anybody who knows the internet address (the “url”) can register, not just trainees.

Also, once a user in Moodle, you still have to enroll in an online training (Moodle can hold multiple online training sessions at once). Reframe is using Moodle for many clients, so self enrollment in an online training was not an option. That would have meant that any client’s trainees would have been able to enroll in the training session for another client (using Moodle’s “enrollment key” would have been a solution for that).

Voucher Based Registration

We created a solution for Reframe based on the concept of vouchers. As a trainee, you get a voucher for a specific course. If you visit the Reframe learning management system for the first time, you use the voucher code to register as a new user. This simply means filling in the user profile form, including the username and password fields.

Once you are registered as a user, you are automatically also enrolled into the correct online training sessions. Needless to say, this saves Reframe employees an enormous amount of time previously spent on peddling data.

Not as great as a household robot but still tremendously useful.

Post comment

The Marketing Power of Your Email Signature

February 4, 2013 10:39 by

Here’s a quick tip: turn your email signature into a marketing instrument by telling everybody exactly what you do. Let’s take a look at an example signature.

Sample Email Signature

Email signature containing a mini sales brochure

Right after the closing text (“Kind Regards”, etc) this trainer starts marketing. The email signature not only contains the complete name and address of the trainer, but also a mini sales brochure. And almost every item is also a link to a relevant part of the trainer’s website. There’s even a call to action: “Request Now”, which takes you to a form where you can leave your email address.

Just like with putting commercial lettering on a car, the effect is limited to people who actually see the message. But unlike spray painting your car or putting on a sticker, expanding your email signature is totally free.

If you email a lot, putting your marketing message in your signature may be even more effective than this!

Many learning management systems support sending out email to training participants. Include your offering in this email as well. Maybe you can even automate updating your signature through such a system, since you’ve presumably got all titles of your training on offering in the learning management system.

If you’re not using an automated solution to update your email signature, don’t forget to edit the training titles whenever you change your offering. You should also click the links every now and then to see if they’re still working properly.

1 comment
Free checklist!

Fill in the form and receive the free checklist with 5 steps to attract more customers with your online training platform!

E-mail: *