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What Happens in Vegas Doesn’t Have to Stay in Vegas! Takeaways from DevLearn 2018

By November 12, 2018 No Comments
DevLearn 2018

The eThink Team was excited to attend another DevLearn conference last month in Vegas. Not to mention, we brought a few new eThinkers with us this year to join in on the fun! (To see our recap of last year’s event, click here.)

During the show, our team had a jam-packed few days. We were able to attend and present sessions, enjoy some face-time with valued partners and clients, and identify key trends and interesting new tools that our clients might benefit from.

Here are some of our highlights and takeaways from DevLearn 2018…

eThink Education in the Totara Village

Once again, eThink’s booth was nestled in the Totara Village alongside New Zealand-based Totara HQ and other Totara Partners. With all the Totara players in one spot, HQ did a great job of explaining the work they’re doing on the project, what new features are headed to market with the next version, and how the Totara Partner network operates.

Inevitably, the heavy traffic from the Totara HQ booth trickled to our own. Attendees joined us to take a deeper dive into Totara Learn during live demonstrations with our Customer Solutions Team. They highlighted different features, functionalities, and how they’ve helped customize unique solutions to meet our clients’ needs.

Our team also had the ability to get on stage with Totara HQ at the conference to highlight how eThink client, Vistaprint, is using Totara Learn to empower and educate their global network of CARE specialists.

Oliver Sendatzki, Manager of CARE Learning at Vistaprint, flew in from Germany to join us at the show. He shared how “the whole experience has changed” now that he is working with eThink. “My team can now concentrate on the administration, creation, and maintenance of content and have a strong partner when it comes to the implementation of new ideas and visions. We are no longer wasting time struggling with technical challenges and issues.”

It was great to be able to collaborate with the Totara HQ Team and our client Vistaprint at this year’s DevLearn. We effectively highlighted the features, functionality, and the pure number of options that an organization has for meeting their eLearning needs when using an open solution like Totara. Thank you again to Oliver for joining us for a great session!

A Need for a Simpler “Lightweight” LMS, Support & Integrations

One of the top themes mentioned from attendees at DevLearn 2018 was that attendees were tired of their clunky, complicated, and under-supported LMS. Many attendees were looking for a “lightweight” LMS that provides prompt and effective product support. They need something that’s easy to set up, easy to use, and flexible enough to integrate with 3rd party solutions.

In that vein, poor LMS support and service was also the top complaint we heard amongst attendees. Conference goers were not only looking for technology to support their eLearning initiatives, but for a partner that offers reliable support and consulting that could help them reach their goals.

Furthermore, the top question we received from attendees was: “How well do you integrate with ____?”

It was in these areas that the power of open-source Moodle and Totara really shined through and we were able to dazzle conference goers with our eThink mantras. Specifically, we emphasized eThink implementation and support, customer satisfaction percentages, and stats around our average speed of response (which is under an hour!).

The power of open-source Moodle and Totara resonated with eLearning professionals. Attendees were excited to learn about the endless integration opportunities and “future-proofing” that open-source software affords. Combined with the fully-managed support model that eThink offers, attendees having LMS pains were happy to learn of eThink’s comprehensive LMS solutions.

Hot, New Focus: The Learning Experience Platform (LXP)     

Many of the discussions we had this year highlighted a growing interest in the Learning Experience Platform (LXP). We heard a big buzz about the LXP solutions provided by both EdCast and Degreed. Attendees loved the idea of including a “Netflix” of learning content (as EdCast likes to put it) into their training programs. However, with most people in the early stages of their LXP journey, many still did not seem to fully understand how they could utilize this technology within their learning ecosystem.

Luckily, our team has that explanation covered for you. To learn more about how the LXP can work with the LMS to make eLearning more engaging for users, check out this webinar with our partners at EdCast. During the session, EdCast also discusses how artificial intelligence provides an innovative way to navigate the learning content landscape. Further, AI suggests content that is relevant to your learners for a more personalized learning experience.

xAPI Continues To Be A Focus

Although definitely still a hot topic, the xAPI piece of the eLearning conversation did not seem to have the same hyped appeal as in years past. We think this is because people have a firm grasp now on what xAPI is. Most industry leaders are aware of how it can be used. And, there’s less overall mystery about how to get started using the standard to improve efficiencies. The market now seems to be educated on and ready for xAPI, and companies have begun to successfully utilize the standard within their programs.

There are certainly many ways that xAPI can be used and, therefore, a market for xAPI consultants and experts to help clients identify the ways they can use the standard to meet their needs. This is particularly true when it comes to showing the value and ROI of trainings and identifying areas of improvement. One area xAPI really excels in is providing organizations with a way to aggregate valuable data and pull reports to enable informed decision-making.

To Wrap It Up…

Overall, DevLearn 2018 offered eThink the opportunity to connect with prospects, partners, and more eLearning industry professionals at an exceptional conference. The big takeaways were:

  • Common complaints we hear around the LMS continue to surround the rigidity of closed-source systems and unresponsive support from vendors.
  • xAPI continues to be a focus. More and more organizations understand the advantages of using the standard to connect systems and aggregate data.
  • The LXP, and how it works in conjunction with the LMS, was a hot topic during the conference.
  • Organizations are learning the value of an open, lighter weight, flexible LMS in helping to build a sustainable eLearning ecosystem.
  • Open-source learning platforms like Moodle and Totara are leading the way in providing the flexibility and functionality. The Corporate Professional Education market needs such platforms to stay ahead of evolving trends and technology.

We hope you enjoyed learning about eThink’s experience and key takeaways from this year’s DevLearn event. If you’d like to learn more about eThink’s solutions or talk eLearning best practices, get in touch!

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P.S. Looking for more conference takeaways? Subscribe to the eThink blog for more inside looks into all the conferences our team attends and presents at.

And don’t miss our upcoming live webinar: Best of the U.S. MoodleMoot: Lessons Learned Pt. 1 where we’ll discuss the 2018 U.S. MoodleMoot that just took place in Denver!

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