Knowledgenet Course Attains E-Learning Courseware Certification With Astd Certification Institute

March 7, 2002

KnowledgeNet® Inc. announced it is one of a select group of companies that comprise the groundbreaking E-Learning Courseware Certification (ECC) Vanguard Circle. As the leading provider of next-generation e-learning — KnowledgeNet currently offers over 1,000 courses that feature state-of-art instructional design and rich, engaging multimedia content — KnowledgeNet was part of an industry review group that assisted the institute in the definition of its assessment criteria, and was subsequently invited to submit courseware for evaluation against the ECC standards. After review of the KnowledgeNet course, the Institute officially certified it and bestowed Vanguard Circle membership on KnowledgeNet.

“A key role played by the ASTD is that of sounding board for the industry and, as such, we frequently hear that there is much confusion concerning what constitutes quality e-learning,” said Anne Blouin, ASTD’s director of E-Learning Certification. “The E-learning Courseware Certification program aims to develop standards to ensure that training consumers have a reference point against which they can compare other e-learning products. KnowledgeNet’s certified course exemplifies the key characteristics of excellent instruction.”

The course submitted by KnowledgeNet for ASTD certification as exemplary of next-generation IT e-learning is titled “Internetworking Concepts Overview.” The course, part of its popular “Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices” interactive courseware, presents an overview of internetworking terminology and examines the types of devices that are used to support specific internetwork requirements. It features KnowledgeNet’s hallmarks of e-learning quality: up-to-date content; solid instructional design that increases the learner’s understanding of concepts presented; true, multi-step, interactive hands-on lab simulations; diverse interactivity opportunities that challenge learners; and consistent, MP3-quality audio throughout entire course.

The ECC is a newly inaugurated program formed by the ASTD Certification Institute. The ECC program was created by the Institute to improve the overall quality of e-learning for the marketplace through rigorous evaluation of courseware to ensure it meets key criteria for quality and best practices of instructional design. The ECC aims to set the standard for quality instruction, encouraging trainers to demand only ECC courses, and course publishers to release only courses that have been certified by the ASTD Certification Institute.

Studies show that there clearly is a need for improved quality in some e-learning products. In a recently published report from IDC, titled “Selling E-learning Vertically – A Demand Side Study,” data revealed that respondents were only moderately satisfied with the e-learning content they had purchased. On a five-point scale, quality of e-learning offerings was rated at a 3.7, and interactivity was rated at 3.4. “We expect these numbers will go up over the next 24 months as vendors continue to build out next-generation e-learning,” stated Cushing Anderson, Program Manager of IDC’s Learning Services Research. “Programs like ASTD’s ECC program will help companies identify e-learning of high quality and solid instructional design.”

“The ASTD’s new program is well-timed, since it coincides with increasing demand for top-quality e-learning courseware from companies of all sizes,” commented Tom Graunke, CEO and co-founder of KnowledgeNet. “Training managers who evaluate e-learning solutions quickly come to realize that not all e-learning offers the essential mixture of up-to-date content, effective instructional design, engaging audio-visual characteristics and overall attention to quality and detail. A certification program from the industry’s leading professional association clearly provides a vital service to those looking for training of the highest quality, and we are honored to have been invited to participate as a Vanguard member in the program.”

About the American Society for Training and Development

ASTD is the world’s leading association of workplace learning and performance professionals, forming a world-class community of practice. ASTD’s 70,000 members come from more than 100 countries and 15,000 organizations ? multinational corporations, medium-sized and small businesses, government, academia, consulting firms, and product and service suppliers. Started in 1944 as the American Society of Training Directors, ASTD is now a global force, widening the industry’s focus to connect learning and performance to measurable results, and is a sought-after voice on critical public policy issues. For more information, visit For more information on the ECC program, visit

About KnowledgeNet Inc.

KnowledgeNet delivers next-generation, internet-based training — “e-learning” — that enables enterprises and individuals alike to enjoy online training with the freshest content and best instructional design possible with hands on experience. The Company’s over 1,000 courses of synchronous and asynchronous content delivery solutions represent an integrated suite of e-learning products that can be easily customized to suit individual learning styles. KnowledgeNet has received nearly a dozen industry distinctions for its e-learning solutions. KnowledgeNet is a Cisco Learning Solutions Partner, and is a Microsoft Certified Technical Education Center (CTEC) as well as a Microsoft Certified Partner. Customers include blue-chip companies and institutions such as AT&T, Cisco, EMC, GE, Lockheed Martin, Sun Microsystems and WorldCom. Founded in 1998, KnowledgeNet is a privately held company based in Phoenix, Arizona and is backed by Cisco Systems, Morgenthaler Ventures, Sierra Ventures, Trinity Ventures, and Berkeley International Capital Corporation.

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