Lucid Way reached another milestone – a Youtube Creator Award.
It’s not often we get to boast about our E-learning projects, but today is one of those days. The Youtube Channel known as Engineering Technology Simulations for Learning has reached 100,000 subscibers and just under 10 million views at the time of this writing. The project focused on taking complicated engineering topics and condensing them down into bite-sized conceptual learning pieces that could be distributed to the world free of charge.
The large-scale project, funded by the Department of Labor in conjuction with Eastern Iowa Community Colleges (EICC) entrusted Lucid Way to devise a plan to make this happen. A team was formed between the college and Lucid Way to create over 140+ 3D simulations that could be used in classrooms around the world. The team consisted of EICC engineering staff, project managers, narrator, 3D artist, industry experts, and a slew instructional designers.
In light of the current events surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Lucid Way is prepared to ramp up support for Quad City Area businesses and beyond. We can help! Our service offerings include but are not limited to:
Instructional Design services (Needs Assessment/Development/Deployment) of educational materials/work related systems)
Out of hundreds of entries, we were selected. The project that was submitted is a joint project between the Eastern Iowa Community Colleges and Lucid Way eLearning Group We revamped their Engineering Technology courses by offering over 140 custom 3d simulations dealing with engineering related topics.
Over 140 Power Concepts Developed
Each engineering simulation was custom developed based on the instructor specifications. Working with the faculty at EICC, Lucid Way was able to develop short concise simulations on a variety of topics that students had trouble with. Subjects like process control, physics, electricity, hydraulics, motors, automation, and math could now be visualized online anytime like never before.
Storyboarding the concepts
Each simulation went through a rigid instructional design process that involved detailed storyboarding, approval processes with the instructors, narration, development, and deployment.
Each concept was packaged with self-check learning quizzes and put into the college’s online learning portal to be accessed anywhere. All 140 simulations are also available online for free to anyone who wants to use it. Through the Creative Commons license, any of these simulations can be embedded, downloaded, modified, and reused in any educational setting. This means that any school or training facility in the world can use these same simulations to help their students. Each simulation can be viewed online, through a phone, or downloaded for offline use. Instructors could also show them in a classroom setting (on a projector for example).
We were excited to have been part of this project and even more excited to be awarded for our efforts. To learn more about this project please contact us.
Where Sensei may be lacking, LearnDash may pick up the slack. Here are the features we are looking forward to most. We’ll also review LearnDash when it comes out so be sure to check back.
SCORM Tin-Can API integration. I’m very curious how they have this implemented. This alone would put LearnDash ahead of the crowd. It seems they have done work for the government in the past, so my inclination is that they needed to develop a solution for SCORM and now they are rolling it out to the masses. Very cool!
Certificate creation: Upon passing score of quizzes, users can download a certificate on the spot. We like this for training courses so that workers can download a certificate to present on job sites.
User Management: Any LMS needs this. Apparently users will be allowed to sign up manually or the administrator can add them. This is a key feature to any serious LMS.
Reports: LearnDash is signaling a Reports feature which will be a great addition to the LMS. It is unclear if it is for SCORM files or for all activities in the course.
Pre-Set Course and Lesson Scheduling: Allowing users to access portions of the course based on a set schedule is a great feature. We think this is a cool thing any LMS should have.
I’m curious to know if there are Roles for Teachers, Students, Administrators, etc. Different LMS management access is key to giving certain permissions to certain people. I think this could also be done with other WordPress plugins like Members. We’ll have to wait and see.
We are looking forward to the release of the LearnDash WordPress LMS. Do you use WordPress for delivering e-learning? If so, tell us about it below.
As stated in my previous post, I’ll give an unabashed review of Wootheme.com’s new WordPress plugin known as Sensei LMS. As a pre-cursor, it should be known that this is the very first version released. There is no doubt that they will improve upon the blueprint they have here, but we’ll review it in it’s current form.
Overview of Sensei LMS
First impression: Simple, fresh, cool.
The plugin adds a “Lessons” menu on your administrative side that has some basic functions such as Courses and Lessons.
You can add a “Course” and then add a “Lesson” inside of the course.
You can see a simple Analysis screen of the Users and their Scores in the Course.
The Settings link offers some simple interface and set up options for the courses and lessons and some Woocommerce options if you wanted to sell your courses.
Adding a Course
Adding a course is as easy as making a new post in WordPress. The problem is that there is no category structure. How do I organize my courses into categories? You can’t.
You can add Course Prerequisites (must complete Course 1 to access Course 2), Feature the course on your courses page, add video, etc. Basically it’s a post.
Simple, save and done.
Adding a Lesson
The Add Lesson screen is very similar to the Add Courses screen.
There are a few differences such as Lesson Length, Lesson Prerequisites, Lesson Complexity dropdown, and Lesson Quiz.
The Lesson has the ability to assign a pre-requisite lesson prior to being allowed into the next lesson. So you must complete Lesson 1 to be able to open and take Lesson 2.
Lessons also have a Quiz (which is very simple) See next section.
There are no other forms of assessment. Quiz only.
The Lessons require you to have a quiz. If you do not have a quiz in your lesson, a warning message will be shown to the student unless you make some template file changes. Yeah, really.
Quizzes offer only one type of question type: Multiple Choice.
You can’t add additional answers, or much more than what you see here.
You can integrate Woocommerce (shopping cart) into the so called LMS, to sell courses. Basically, you’ll create a product and then in the Courses area, you’ll select the product that corresponds to the course you want to sell. That will create the button to buy the course. It’s a cool feature.
The Analysis screen shows an overview of your courses and users inside of the course. It also shows you who completed it and what their score is.
What is looks like on the front end
Love the progress bars that show the student how much they need to do prior to completing the course.
The LMS Breakdown
What We Liked
Simple interface, easy to set up a course, easy to associated a lesson to a course, and content creation seemed to be fairly straight-forward.
The integration with Woocommerce – Cool. Selling courses is attractive and if you can use Woocommerce with all of it’s built in credit card processors to do it – then it’s a bonus.
Beautiful front-end interface. All of the WordPress goodness and easy customization comes along with this light-weight plugin.
Woothemes advertises that other plugins will integrate nicely here so if your favorite plugins shouldn’t have any problems playing nice with Sensei.
What We Didn’t Like
On its surface, we know it’s Version 1. Fine, we get it. There needs to be more work done. However, to charge for this plugin in its current state is preposterous.
It’s buggy. Flat out. It seems their testing was not thorough at all. I downloaded, installed, and played around with this plugin for 2 hours before I found multiple issues ranging from bugs, to layout issues, to theme compatibility problems. I do not recommend this version for any kind of production environment.
Assessments: The LMS offers 1 type of assessment in the form of a MC quiz. It’s not 1995 anymore 🙂 E-learning training and Online learning requires more options for assessment than a quiz. Assignments, Uploads, Discussions, etc. It just isn’t here.
Groups: There are no group options in this version.
SCORM: No support for SCORM, however I did talk with SCORM Cloud yesterday and was really impressed with their products. So if you really needed SCORM support in WordPress, you’d want to look at their pricing. I do not see this as something Woothemes will take on because of it’s complexity. Perhaps they can form a partnership of some sort but for now it’s just not there.
Reporting: Reports are weak. There should be ways to break down courses, lessons, users, etc. You should be able to see export options, charts, etc. It’s not there.
User Management/Grading: One of the biggest things that shows as a red flag is the ability to manage users in the courses. You cannot enroll or unenroll students into courses. The only way is to have the student register themself. You cannot change grades, you cannot give a student credit manually, etc. There is no backend control.
Student Dashboard: It’s the WordPress Dashboard. There should be a more refined dashboard for students to see the courses they are in, what their scores are, etc. Or just lock them out of the dashboard altogether and have everything handled on the front end. Yes, we know this can be done with some custom WP work, but for the average user and wide adoption of this plugin, it should be done for them.
The talk around LMS’s in WordPress lately appear to come from the overly bloated and overly expensive LMS systems on the market. This looks like a good start, but there is much more to do to be taken seriously in any large marketplace. At this point, it’s too simple. Your thoughts?
Well it’s finally here. A new Learning Management System (LMS) plugin for WordPress made by Woothemes.com. There is a demo there that you can play around with as the role of “student.” It looks a bit jumbled right now, but before we pre-judge Sensei, we’ll be buying it and testing it out – We’ll report the results back here after some thorough testing.
Face value from we see now is that it’s cool – really cool. I especially like how it is integrated with the shopping cart plugin WooCommerce so you can sell courses that you develop. As with all V1 releases, it needs to be refined based on user feedback. I would also assume that Woothemes.com will open up the floodgates to developers who can offer additional functionality to the LMS.
Definitely one to keep an eye on. The next thing we need to look at is server load testing which we will also be reporting back here.