Click2learn Announces Synchronous Addition to Aspen Suite
Click2learn (Nasdaq:CLKS) announced today
that the next version of its award-winning Aspen Enterprise Learning Platform™
will include a full-featured synchronous module that will provide companies
with virtual classroom, Web conferencing and instant messaging capabilities
as an integrated component to the Aspen suite.
These capabilities, married with Aspen’s learning content development and management
system (LCMS) and learning management system (LMS) modules, will allow organizations
to offer a truly blended approach to technology-delivered learning by being
the first to combine synchronous (live, Web-based, instructor-led learning)
and asynchronous (pre-developed, online coursework) capabilities in a common
Aspen’s new synchronous module — which will be available this summer as a component
of Aspen 2.0 — will not only enable instructors to deliver a compelling virtual
classroom experience to remote students via the Web, but also will provide users
with other common synchronous applications such as Web-delivered conferences
and meetings. Aspen’s synchronous technology will be significantly more robust
than other synchronous products in the marketplace because of its ability to
blend features of a traditional LMS and LCMS and thread these capabilities throughout
the product suite.
"We have recognized for some time that our customers want a truly integrated,
common platform for their e-Learning initiatives," said Kevin Oakes, chairman
and CEO of Click2learn. "Most LMS or LCMS vendors have tried to address
the synchronous needs of their customers by asking them to pay for integration
with an external synchronous product, or by private-labeling third party products
they don’t control. Our synchronous offering is built into the Aspen platform,
minimizing integration costs. We expect it to be highly competitive in comparison
to other products on the market today."
"By integrating synchronous functionality with Aspen’s LMS and LCMS, we
will provide our customers with new and innovative ways to deliver knowledge
to their end users, and to maximize the return on the organization’s e-Learning
investment," added Oakes. "The addition of this technology to Aspen
marks a significant milestone in our efforts to offer the most comprehensive
end-to-end e-Learning platform on the market."
The synchronous module for Aspen was made possible through a previously unannounced
technology acquisition Click2learn made in February 2002. Since then, Click2learn
has been integrating the technology into the newest version of Aspen. Similar
to other components of Aspen, the synchronous component can be purchased and
deployed as a stand-alone product, or in combination with the Aspen LMS and
LCMS components. When deployed together, all the Aspen components work in unison
as a single application sharing a common database, single sign-on, security
model, user management, course management, administration, registration, tracking,
reporting and consistent user interface.
Companies have the option to externally host their synchronous solution with
Click2learn, or deploy it on their corporate networks. The Aspen synchronous
product will support multiple languages and will connect to either SQL or Oracle
Aspen’s new synchronous product offers a rich set of functionalities to uniquely
address synchronous learning and collaboration. Some features include:
- Application sharing, which can be used to share and
collaborate on any software application
- Live video and audio broadcasting, audio conferencing and
pre-recorded audio and video streaming
- Support for Word, PowerPoint, HTML and numerous other file
formats for uploading as presentation material
- Shared digital whiteboard, whose contents can be saved for
- Chat and instant messaging functionality to facilitate
participant collaboration and peer interaction
- "On the fly" polling by instructors to seek instant feedback
- Ability to record, archive, and redeliver synchronous sessions
for future use
- Separate break-out rooms to facilitate communication and
collaboration between subgroups of participants
The combination of synchronous and asynchronous technologies integrated within
the Aspen platform enables several other unique blended learning capabilities
not found in most of today’s e-Learning offerings. For example:
- Archived synchronous sessions can be made available through
Aspen’s LCMS, segmented into "learning objects," or nuggets of
information, edited and enhanced with additional content and
assessments and added to the learning catalog as personalized
asynchronous learning experiences, saving time and money in
asynchronous content development.
- Users of synchronous courses delivered through Aspen can take
advantage of the personalization and expert community features
available through the Aspen. Besides enriching the overall
learning experience, this also contributes to the overall
knowledge base in the organization by capturing tacit and
implicit knowledge into a tangible, reusable asset base.
- Instructors can design and create assessments for students to
complete prior to, during or after a synchronous session.
Results are stored in the participant’s training history.
Instructors can then review the individual results, as well as
aggregate results of the assessments anytime before, during or
after the session.
- Asynchronous courses can be launched, delivered, and tracked
as part of the agenda in the middle of a synchronous session.
- Components of the synchronous technology will be available in
other parts of the Aspen suite to enable informal live
collaboration between users anytime.
Pricing and Availability
Aspen’s synchronous capabilities will be available in the next major version
of the Aspen platform, Version 2.0, which will ship this summer. Full pricing
information will be available prior to the shipment of this new version. Demonstrations
of this new technology are available today by contacting the company at 800/448-6543
from North America, or 425/462-0501 from outside the United States, or online
Click2learn (Nasdaq:CLKS) is a provider of enterprise software for Global 2000
organizations seeking to capture, manage and disseminate knowledge throughout
their extended enterprise. Using Click2learn’s Aspen Enterprise Learning Platform,
organizations can deploy highly interactive, personalized learning initiatives
to achieve strategic business objectives. Many of the world’s best-known corporations
use Click2learn’s technology to improve workforce performance, educate customers,
and publish large volumes of learning content. Click2learn’s clients include
Accenture, Albertsons, American Airlines, AstraZeneca, Century 21, Fidelity
Investments, Fujitsu, Microsoft, Pfizer, Symantec, and Towers Perrin. Based
in Bellevue, Wash., Click2learn (www.click2learn.com,
800/448-6543) operates offices in the United States and Europe.
Jeff Howlett, 425/637-1514
This announcement contains forward-looking statements that
involve risks and uncertainties, including information contained in this document
where statements are preceded by, followed by or include
the words "believes," "plans," "intends," "expects,"
"anticipates" or similar expressions. For such statements, The Company
claims the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained
in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may
differ materially from the results predicted, and reported results should not
be considered as an indication of future performance. Factors that could cause
actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements
include, market acceptance of Click2learn’s e-learning solutions and competing
e-learning offerings, the ability to successfully implement Click2learn’s solutions
and increase revenues, the ability to successfully address technological developments
and standards and the risk factors set forth in filings the Company has made
with the SEC.
Click2learn, Aspen and ToolBook are trademarks of Click2learn. All other company
and product names are the trademarks of their respective owners.