E-Learning for the BC Tech Industry: 

An opinionated monthly column exploring the current use, future potential, and commercial value of e-learning in BCs high tech sector.

E-Learning Value Chain/Market Map and BC E-Learning Companies: January 25th, 2002

By Paul Stacey

The e-learning marketplace is large. Hundreds of companies are providing products and services. One of the challenges everyone faces, vendors and buyers alike, is having a mental map of the e-learning market and an understanding of how different companies and organizations are positioned in it.


To help I have created an E-Learning Value Chain and Market Map. Sectors and terms used in the Market Map are fairly simple and straightforward so that those of you not involved in e-learning will still get the gist of it.


Click here to access E-Learning Value Chain.


(Click a sector to see description. Click Back button to return to original.)


This map shows the whole e-learning territory at a high level, and the interlocking way in which pieces fit together. As a value chain there is a flow from sector to sector each feeding the next. I often imagine looping the map such that Markets connect back to Content, providing ever important feedback.


Content is king as they say so the map begins with Content. From an e-learning perspective content is made up of learning objects, units, modules, lessons, courses, programs and even entire curricula. E-learning content can be for credit or non-credit leading to certification, certificates, and degrees.


Currently the most popular forms of e-learning content are:

- technology

- business

- social sciences

- health & medicine

- personal interest

- education

- science

- vocational

- arts


E-learning content can be purchased in a prepackaged form "off-the-shelf", or custom developed to fit the particular needs of your organization. Another alternative is to purchase off-the-shelf content and customize it by using it or adding to it in a way unique to your organization.


The top middle portion of the map depicts the e-learning Technology sector.


Authoring & Development Tools are used to create e-learning content. There are a wide range of options available for authoring and developing e-learning including software applications for:

- multimedia creation

- audio and video capture and edit

- design

- authoring html and xml

- developing flash animation's

- Java programming

- and so on


Enterprise Systems are applications that tend to be centralized and deployed for the whole organization. These are the applications that manage e-learning from development to delivery. Software applications in this space include Learning Management Systems, Learning Content Management Systems, and Knowledge Management Systems.


Delivery and Collaboration tools are an exciting area including applications for course delivery, live learning, collaboration, threaded discussion, sharing applications and doing things like audio or video over IP.


With the maturation of the e-learning marketplace technology vendors are merging and acquiring each other. As a result, some vendors now have integrated tools and applications from each of the Technology sectors creating an integrated all-in-one system. Applications like WebCT or Blackboard for example offer elements of authoring, learning management, and delivery. There is blurring between the sectors.


The middle portion of the Market Map is a small sector for Learning Specific Hardware. Inherent in e-learning is the need for computers and networks. However, in actual fact there are really very few learning specific hardware components on the market.


Traditionally e-learning hardware architectures have been client/server. However its worth noting that currently there is a lot of talk about peer-to-peer e-learning and mobile e-learning via cell-phones and PDA's. Its also worth noting that some vendors are now deploying their e-learning on specifically configured hardware to optimize ease of adoption and performance.


The bottom of the map shows the Services sector. This is a really big sector and there are numerous services you can buy - everything from consulting on strategy and deployment to technical support. One way to conceptualize Services is to think about the help you or your organization will need as you progress from planning e-learning, to implementing pilots, to assessing results and scaling up. At each stage different parts of the organization will need help and this is where Services come to the fore.


Content, Technology and Services all lead to eventual distribution to Markets via the Portals, Distributors, and Integrators sector. This is where end users actually get to see and buy finished product.


The far right hand side of the map shows e-learning Markets. Primary e-learning markets are K-12, Higher Education, Workplace and Consumer. Each Market sector has different needs and requirements. At this point in time Content, Technology and Service providers are typically addressing only one of these four markets. The WebCT and Blackboard applications mentioned earlier, for example, are primarily targeting higher education. If you are in the corporate market these applications may not be for you.


This Market Map incorporates how the investment community sees and tracks the e-learning space with Content and Services being two large sectors frequently reported on by analysts. Technology, the third sector analysts refer to, should be thought of as an integration of the Authoring & Development Tools, Enterprise Systems, and Delivery & Collaboration Tools sectors shown on the map.


On behalf of the New Media BC eLearning Special Interest Group (http://www.newmediabc.com) I compiled an inventory of BC based e-learning companies and placed them on the Market Map based on the sectors they are playing in. If you would like an Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) version or hard copy brochure of the Market Map and all the companies positioned on it send me an e-mail (stacey@techbc.ca) If you want a hard copy please provide your mailing address.


Did you know there are over 50 e-learning companies and organizations in British Columbia?


Below I have pasted the list of BC e-learning companies and their url's.


1. 7th Floor Media - http://www.7thfloormedia.com

2 Act 360 Media - http://www.act360.com

3. Aeronett - http://www.aeronett.com

4. BCIT - http://online.bcit.ca

5. BearPaw Productions - http://www.esl.tv

6. Brainium - http://www.brainium.com

7. Bridges - http://www.bridges.com

8. C2T2 - http://www.c2t2.ca

9. CEDARlearning - http://www.cedarlearning.com

10. Chalk Network - http://www.chalk.com

11. Chancery Student Management Solutions- http://www.chancery.com

12. Etraffic Solutions - http://www.etrafficsolutions.com

13. GeoMetrix Data Systems - http://www.trainingpartner2000.com

14. Global Educators Network - http://www.vu.vlei.com/GEN/welcome/welcome.html

15. Greenwood Multimedia - http://www.greenwood.ca

16. Hypersmith Consultants - http://www.hypersmith.com

17. IBM Pacific Development Centre - http://www.can.ibm.com/services/innovation/

18. Imago Systems - http://www.drivr.com

19. InfoPoint - http://www.infopointer.com

20. Ingenia Training - http://www.ingenia-training.com

21. Ingenuity Works - http://www.ingenuityworks.com

22. InternetESL - http://www.internetesl.com

23. Kamariss Educational Services - http://www.kamariss.com

24. jAmBone Comics - http://www.jambone.com

25. Knexa - http://www.knexa.com

26. Lunny Communications Group - http://www.lunny.com

27. MGI International Marine Safety Solutions - http://www.mgi-intl.com

28. Nortia Learning Systems - http://www.nortialearning.com

29. Numen Communications - http://www.numencommunications.com

30. Odyssey Learning Systems - http://www.odysseylearn.com

31. Open Learning Agency - http://www.ola.ca

32. Recombo - http://www.recombo.com

33. Resultor Software Group - http://www.resultor.com

34. Serebra - http://www.serebra.com

35. Silicon Chalk - http://www.silicon-chalk.com

36. Skillscape - http://www.skillscape.com

37. SmartPixels Multimedia - http://www.smartpixels.com

38. TAP Ventures - http://www.tap.ca

39. TechBC Corp. - http://www.techbc.com

40. Telelearning Solutions Inc. - http://www.telelearn.ca

41. TELEStraining - http://www.telestraining.com

42. Telus - http://www.telus.com

43. Thinq - http://www.thinq.com

44. ThoughtShare Communications - http://www.thoughtshare.com

45. TM New Media - http://www.tmnewmedia.com

46. TransTech Interactive - http://www.transtechinteractive.com

47. Trimeritus eLearning Solutions

48. UBC Continuing Studies - http://www.tech.ubc.ca

49. Virtual Learning Environments - http://www.vlei.com

50. Webbed Feat - http://www.webbedfeat.com

51. WebCT - http://www.webct.com

52. Westwood Dynamics - http://www.westwood-dynamics.com

53. YouAchieve - http://www.youachieve.com

54. Zoom eLearning Networks - http://www.zoomelearning.com

Paul Stacey is Director of Corporate Education at the Technical University of British Columbia http://www.techbc.ca, a long time education professional in the high tech private sector, and the Canadian Correspondent for LearningWeek Live http://www.learningweek.com an interactive webcast from New York featuring stories about the people, technology and business of learning. Contact: Paul Stacey

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E-Learning: An opinionated monthly column exploring the current use, future potential, and commercial value of e-learning in BCs high tech sector.

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