Adding A Dose Of Reality To Training Courses

June 25, 2002

OutStart announced the Evolution 2 learning platform today. Evolution 2 provides “content-centric” functionality required for enterprises to create a learning infrastructure that transforms knowledge into business performance.

“Evolution 2 is everything a learning platform should be, and for Challenger, it’s going to be a competitive weapon,” said Bob Sweeney, CEO and president of Challenger Corporation, a firm that specializes in the creation and distribution of high-quality clinical educational material for physicians throughout the United States and Latin America. Challenger recently selected Evolution 2 for its institutional sales platform. “The flexible and robust deployment range and capabilities of Evolution 2 will save us an enormous amount of time and money. Its ability to deliver exactly what the learner needs, when the learner needs it and in blended learning environments, optimizes the learning capabilities of our customers’ physicians. And its scalability will offer Challenger a true enterprise platform on which to base all of our customers’ learning initiatives.”

Captures Knowledge, Delivers Results

Anyone within an enterprise can contribute learning content to Evolution 2 using standard desktop applications like Microsoft Word and PowerPoint. Easy-to-use authoring and simulation tools – and support for both connected and mobile usage – further simplify learning content development, allowing subject-matter experts to develop content with no assistance from programmers. Initial deployments prove that these capabilities reduce content-development costs and time by more than 50 percent.

“Evolution 2 demonstrates OutStart’s focus on providing a comprehensive, scalable platform that caters to the needs and preferences of learners,” said Cushing Anderson, Research Director at IDC, a premier IT market advisory firm. “As global demand for blended learning grows, companies such as OutStart that can demonstrate the link between their tools and business performance will emerge as leading players.”

New Capabilities Improve Learning Effectiveness Evolution 2 includes a broad range of innovative new features in the following areas:

* Content Creation – Evolution 2 allows virtually anyone in an organization to contribute content using familiar tools, such as standard desktop applications and even enterprise applications. Evolution 2 converts content into reusable learning objects, which can be easily shared across the organization. A new, intuitive drag-and-drop interface makes it fast and easy for educators to develop learning content, without having to type any code. Furthermore, new support for mobile authoring allows educators to develop content without being connected to a network, and upload it when they have connectivity. These capabilities mean that subject-matter experts, rather than programmers, can develop learning content, and do it at half the cost and time than is required when using other learning tools.

* Reporting – The Evolution 2 Report Manager provides powerful new capabilities to display the status and activity of the development lifecycle, allowing organizations to better manage projects, quantify advancements and calculate return on learning initiatives.

* Learner Interaction Management – Evolution 2 offers comprehensive capabilities for managing the entire learner lifecycle, from identifying learner profiles and preferences, to evaluating pre-assessments that drive prescriptive learning, to analyzing post-assessments to certify learner competence.

* Scalability and Integration – With an enhanced, highly scalable Java-based delivery engine, Evolution 2 can scale to meet the needs of any enterprise-learning environment. The platform also provides full integration with complementary solutions, such as THINQ or Saba’s learning management system.

* Standards Compliance – Evolution 2 deepens compliance with learning industry standards, including SCORM metadata and AICC.

In his 2002 E-Learning Content Magic Quadrant, James Lundy, research director, Knowledge and Information Management, at leading industry analyst firm Gartner, concludes, “Effective content is a critical success factor in e-learning deployment.” He also adds, “The e-learning content market is moving from one that historically focused on computer-based training to one in which content is richer and the delivery mediums are varied.” Evolution 2 is specifically engineered to lead both of these trends, by simplifying the creation of powerful content by subject matter experts, and delivering it intelligently to optimize the impact on individual learners.

“Evolution 2 allows our customers to capture best practices – wherever they may reside – and propagate them across the enterprise in the form of individualized learning,” said John Alonso, chief technology officer for OutStart. “This means our customers can fill any knowledge gap in any learner quickly and efficiently in a blended learning environment. This gives customers like Autodesk, Boeing, Cisco and Verizon a powerful, sustainable competitive advantage.”