Moodle 4.0 – What we know so far

Moodle 4.0 – What we know so far

If you haven’t heard already, you’re about to start hearing (a lot) that there is a new update in line for the Moodle Learning Management System. Called Moodle 4.0 this is a major upgrade to the platform scheduled to be rolled out towards then end of this year. In the words of former US President Donald Trump – This is going to be big. The developers have been engaging with users all at all levels, all over the world to inform the design direction for the 4.0 release. As a result, there are a number of user led changes and improvements coming. The key change being a focus on a new user interface and improved user experience to make it easier for students, teachers, course creators and administrators to use and navigate the system. The developers are also working to make it look more ‘modern’, clean and fresh. The Moodle 4.0 changes are being framed as ‘a new personality’ for Moodle (expect to hear this phrase more) and based on what we’ve seen so far, it looks like they’ve done a good job. Ever since we started working with and supporting Moodle back in 2011, we have constantly heard ‘it doesn’t look modern’ or it ‘looks to moodly’. This update is intended to address that and to align it with some of the more modern LMS alternatives. There was a lot of information announced earlier in the year (including some sample navigation mock ups), but its been pretty quiet for the past few months so we’re expecting an avalanche of information and announcement to begin rolling out given the...
10 Years in business. Happy Birthday to OTrain

10 Years in business. Happy Birthday to OTrain

This month OTrain celebrates 10 years of partnering with organisations to help put their training online and helping to make their online training work. Whilst we don’t usually like talking about ourselves, this mark felt like it was a worthy exception to take a moment out and reflect on the decade past, and some of our milestones and learnings along the way. Since commencing in 2011 we’ve helped Island Resorts train and onboard their staff; helped keep Australian airports and airport workers safe; helped educate school teachers and others on how to deal with common medical conditions in the classroom; helped train a large swath of registered trainers and assessors and much much more. As a full service provider of all things online training, we’ve been lucky enough to work across so many sectors with so many different providers and needs. As a result, today we don’t have 1 year of experience repeated 10 times but instead we have 10 years of varied experience – helping clients from all sectors with a raft of different needs and use cases. In fact, after 10 years we are still surprised and amazed by the opportunities we get to work on, the companies (and people) we get to work with and by what is being put online. And for this we thank you, and are truly grateful. One of the benefits of working at OTrain is we get to embed with our clients for extended periods of time – years in fact. This means we get to see how the online platforms and content we’ve helped create or influence are implemented and...
5 Tips for your Training Budget

5 Tips for your Training Budget

With the new financial year less than a month away, a lot of organisations are now finalising their next years budgets (if they haven’t already) or considering how they will deploy whats left in this years budget to finish out the quarter and get a start on next years goals. Here’s 5 areas specific to online training platforms and content to consider when putting together your  budget for the year to come: 1. Platform Maintenance All platforms will need some form of maintenance over the coming 12 months. This includes your Learning Management System and possibly your website and Student Management System. Whether its software maintenance to keep the platform code in a safe, stable and secure working order or data maintenance to keep your information clean, updated and relevant (or both), make sure you put some budget in there to maintain your existing sites and data. 2. Upgrades and improvements Your platforms should not be set and forget. As business changes there will be opportunities to improve your processes and productivity. Maybe you want to add a new feature or plugin or integrate better with your reporting or financial system. Or maybe even its time to consider refreshing your theme to align with your new website or brand. Allow some budget this year to upgrade and improve. 3. Refresh a Course Just like your platform, your online course should not be set and forget. Its important that you keep your courses fresh and relevant. Just as you might update your PowerPoint deck or classroom notes with new examples or more recent images its important to do the same...
5 Tips for your Training Budget

5 Tips for your Training Budget

With the new financial year less than a month away, a lot of organisations are now finalising their 2019/20 budgets (if they haven’t already) or considering how they will deploy the training budget to get the best returns and hit their 2020 goals. Here’s 5 areas to consider when putting together your online training budget for the year to come: 1. Platform Maintenance All platforms will need some form of maintenance over the coming 12 months. This includes your Learning Management System and possibly your website and Student Management System. Whether its software maintenance to keep the platform code in a safe, stable and secure working order or data maintenance to keep your information clean, updated and relevant (or both), make sure you put some budget in there to maintain your existing sites and data. 2. Upgrades and improvements Your platforms should not be set and forget. As business changes there will be opportunities to improve your processes and productivity. Maybe you want to add a new feature or plugin or integrate better with your reporting or financial system. Or maybe even its time to consider refreshing your theme to align with your new website or brand. Allow some budget this year to upgrade and improve. 3. Refresh a Course Just like your platform, your online course should not be set and forget. Its important that you keep your courses fresh and relevant. Just as you might update your PowerPoint deck or classroom notes with new examples or more recent images its important to do the same with your online training content. Set aside some budget this year to...
Whats in the budget for Training Companies?

Whats in the budget for Training Companies?

There’s been lots of talk over the past few weeks about the upcoming budget and what might be in it for training companies. There’s also been a lot of talk on the election, and what both Labour and the Coalition might offer to ‘save’ the VET sector. I’ve got bad news. Neither the budget or the election are going to make much difference to you and your operation. The truth is, whilst governments, policy and funding might change, the good businesses will continue to do well, and the poor businesses will continue to struggle. At OTrain, we get to work with a number of RTO’s and are privileged to have some insight. In the 8+ years we’ve been working in the space, we’ve effectively seen 5 governments (from both sides) and numerous policies and funding priorities. The one thing that has remained true across the entire time is the good businesses continue to do well, and poor businesses continue to struggle. When policy is favourable, the good businesses excel. Sure the poorer businesses have an uplift, but not necessarily enough to make a real difference. Sure they might go ok for a little while, but not sustainably and certainly not for the long term. In 2016, I wrote a blog post called “Hey Chicken Little” Iooking at why some people in the sector were thriving, whilst others were just surviving. In thinking about the budget tonight, and reviewing the previous post, I’m convinced the more things change, the more they stay the same. In the previous post I noted my observations on why the successful businesses continues to do well...
The most important 90 seconds in Online Training

The most important 90 seconds in Online Training

Beginnings are always the hardest. You have to draw people away from what they’re doing and try and hold their attention. Nail it, and the rest is easy. Mess it up, and you may never recover. We all know this from delivering any form of communication; from meetings and marketing material to any level of face to face training. But did you know when it comes to online training, its even more important to nail the first 90 seconds. In a face to face environment you can change your voice, ask a question or run you nails down the blackboard to regain attention, but in an online environment when the message is set, if you haven’t got the first 90 seconds right, you may never recover. And in online training it is about more than an interesting opening line. Or a large loud noise or any of the other traditional methods to grab and hold attention. It’s a formula for success with each piece being equally important. Get it right and you set your students up for success. Get it wrong and you can alienate your students and demoralize their efforts regardless of how good your content and messaging is. So how do you get the first 90 seconds right? It starts with your LMS, and specifically the ease in which your students can find it, login and navigate to the course. Any friction here can leave the students with negative feelings towards the process, your content and your training organisation or department. Once a negative bias is developed, its hard to recover from. Make it easy. Have short...
Positive SSL