Below is our recent interview with Catherine Garland, VP of Marketing & Sales at Edvance360:
Q: Catherine, tell us something more about Edvance360 Learning Management System and your history?
A: Edvance360 Learning Management System was founded in 2004 on the concept that we learn through our relationships, not just content. Instead of focusing on just the course itself, we were the first to provide a learning management system on a secure social network and incorporated user-based (not course-based) collaborative tools to facilitate learning of all types – from traditional courses at colleges to just-in-time learning for employees to apprenticeships and mentoring-focused learning. Back when the term “social learning” was brand new and no one understood where it would go, we did. And we’ve been leading the way ever since. Our CODiE awards for “best” LMS continue to reinforce that we deliver on our commitment to provide easy-to-use tools that help learners LEARN.
Q: You’ve recently been awarded #2 spot in Gartner’s Capterra top 20 most affordable LMS vendor list; could you tell us something more?
A: That’s correct. In our 14 years of business, we’ve ensured our costs remain affordable for nonprofits, Bible colleges and seminaries, and start-ups, as well as they “big guys”. We do this by staying lean and strategically adding features our users need, not things they don’t. A start-up can get into our LMS – with training AND technical support and ALL the features (not some “lite” version) for just $3k a year.
Q: What are the key benefits of your platform?
A: I’d say it’s actually our people. Our trainers are incredible. Our technical support is rave-winning. But on the technical side, I’d say its value-add features we include at no cost that others charge a-la-carte for: video conferencing tools, ePortfolios, Learning Object Repository, competencies and skill-based reporting, implementation, and more. Then again, in different markets, different features might stand out. For those selling business to business, our Mothership or multi-tenant option allows them to deploy client sites for their own clients with their own database and URL, brand them to the specific branding, and push down their expert content, and run reports across sub-sites. For start-ups, it’s definitely the hands-on training and the wizards. For nonprofits, it’s the cost and the ability to manage the LMS without spending too much time no it. For churches, it’s the ability to organize and augment their entire community. For nursing schools, it’s the ability to foster debate, facilitate journaling during clinicals, manage clinicals, and have multiple and EQUAL instructors. For colleges and universities, it’s the support and the ease of use – especially if they’ve been treated like small fish in a big pond and have paid thousands in tech support to support their own students. For corporations, it’s the on boarding, mentoring, and a beautiful dashboard that gives live business intelligence.
Q: What are the education trends you see coming down the pipeline?
A: I’d say the biggest thing I see finally congealing is credentialing (also known as badges) which hasn’t taken off like most thought it would, mostly because of authenticity issues, standards, and also the users just didn’t want to sign up for yet another account just to maintain their badges! I see large corporations like Facebook and LinkedIn getting in on this and eliminating these issues.
Q: What can we expect from Edvance360 in the future?
A: Biggest thing for 2018-2019 is a revamp of our user interface, focusing on how users take courses and course designers build them. And also divergent paths – where a what a learner already knows is figured into their learning path and what they are struggling with is accounted for, so that every learner doesn’t start from square one. Customized learning paths is another term for this.