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About eFront

1. What is eFront

eFront is a state-of-the art eLearning and Human Capital Management platform.

It is the result of a dedicated team of developers, several thousand hours of work and a
huge deal of caffeine.

2. Who should use eFront

If you need to train people or manage human resources either for a company or
organization then probably eFront is what you are looking for (even if you do not realize it
yet)

3. In simple words, what eFront can do for my company

In today’s flexible work environment the need for people to master new subjects and feel
comfortable with different-from-their expertise topics is very common. Traditionally, this
need was matched with traditional classrooms. eLearninghas open new opportunities
allowing people to study new subjects without time barriers, without leaving their work
place and at their own pace. eLearninghas also provided a measurable way for the
organization to improve the quality of its human capital at a fraction of the cost of
traditional learning . eFront can deliver all the above, but there is more…

4. Is it eFront only an eLearning tool?

No. eFront has matured to be more like a company’s “Swiss pocketknife”. The core of the
system is its eLearning and course management infrastructure. But on top of it we have
developed a big number of add-on tools like Surveys, Blogs, Calendar, File sharing etc that
can help people inside an organization communicate and get organized. Starting from
version 3 eFront is not just an eLearning tool but a complete Human Capital Management
system that tracks the total progress of humans inside an organization.

5. There are a lot of eLearning tools, what make eFront different?

Here is a small list of eFront highlights:

– eFront was initially developed from a professional and dedicated team of


developers. Its code is well structured, documented and extensible.
– It is suited both for academic and company usage
– It is beautiful, user friendly and extensible – we cannot say the same for most of
eLearning tools out there
– It is backed up by a real company. Even though we have open the code, you know
that when the time comes to get additional services there will be someone to help
you
– Does SCORM, Unicode, LDAP, AJAX means something to you? It means something
for us

6. What is the history of eFront

The initial development of eFront started at late 2001. At that time we got a fund to
prototype an eLearning tool with a few advanced characteristics like lesson-student
matching and artificial intelligence components. The first version was ready at the middle
of 2002 and was used at an EU project (TEXNOMATHEIA). We got some important
feedback, a few good words  and some funds to continue development. At the middle of
2003 a few new members joined our core team of developers bringing fresh ideas. More
companies showed interest on using our platform and a lot of feedback produced. At the
beginning of 2004 the development of our SCORM module began. We also show the need
to integrate advanced collaboration tools to the platform using new technologies. This
trend led to the integration of several AJAX tools to the system. Version 2 was a reality at
the beginning of 2005. We had a very hectic next year due to several unforeseen
problems, but this was for the better. From the middle of 2006 we came stronger
producing a stable 2.5 version, selling the platform to big companies in Greece and
improving our code standards. We also shift to a multilingual and components based
system. This brings us to the current system version, v3, a milestone on the development
of the system targeting a wider audience. We used all the inside information, feedback and
features request, programming and eLearning expertise we gathered through time to
produce this version from the ground up. At the beginning of 2007 we decided that it was
time to open eFront’s source and let other people contribute to the system

7. Do I need another software in conjunction with eFront to be productive?

No, eFront is self-sustained. All needed tools to create content, collaborate with others,
track progress, create reports etc is integrated to the system. However, eFront is SCORM
compatible so you can import SCORM content produced by third-party vendors.

8. What is the license model of eFront


eFront uses the GPL license and it is an open-source project starting from 2007. Please
read here for the exact license. You can modify our source code as needed to fit your
needs. If you build a solution that you want to be integrated to the main open-source
system don’t hesitate to contact us.

9. What is the needed server infrastructure to use eFront

eFront is built upon PHP 5 and mysql 5 (although it can installed on top of other databases
as well). It has been successfully installed on most Linux flavors and Windows
98/XP/NT/Vista. Actually, it can be installed wherever PHP 5 and mysql 5 is supported (and
a web server present). Note that there are a few additional options like LDAP for which you
might have to activate some modules.

10. What is the needed client infrastructure to use eFront


A simple browser is sufficient. We suggest Firefox 2+ but you use IE 6+ as well.
11. Are there multilingual versions of the platform?
eFront has integrated multi-language support. The translation process is very simple and
based on a single language file. Currently eFront is available in English and Greek. If you
are interested in helping with the translation to other languages then you are more than
welcome.
12. I’ve created some eLearning content in another system. Will I be able to
import it to eFront?
If your system can export content in SCORM compatible format then you are able to
import it to eFront. If not, then you should have selected eFront at the first stage! (eFront
allows you to export content in SCORM format, which means you can re-use the content
with any SCORM compatible platform)
13. What type of support do you offer?
At a minimum the community will be happy to answer simple (or not that simple)
questions. Other than that we offer support packages depending on your needs. Please
contact us for more info on this.
14. Do you offer a hosted solution?
Yes, you can have your own myname.efrontlearning.com site. We host your site on our
infrastructure, you don’t need to worry about any low level technology issues. Contact us
for more info and pricing for these solutions.
15. Are you interested in partners?
Yes, we are interested in international partners. If you want to provide full solutions of
eFront at your country or want to help improving its source base then you are extremely
welcome. Please contact us for more info on this.
eLearning Specific
1. Will eLearning make traditional classroom obsolete?
The vast movement towards e-learning is clearly motivated by the many benefits it offers.
However much e-learning is praised and innovated, computers will never completely
eliminate human instructors and other forms of educational delivery. What is important is
to know exactly what e-learning advantages exist and when these outweigh the limitations
of the medium. Blended learning tries to mix the best out of traditional learning and
eLearning.
2. What are the unique features of e-Learning
Like no other training form, e-learning promises to provide a single experience that
accommodates the three distinct learning styles of auditory learners, visual learners, and
kinesthetic learners. Other unique opportunities created by the advent and development of
e-learning are more efficient training of a globally dispersed audience; and reduced
publishing and distribution costs as Web-based training becomes a standard.
E-learning also offers individualized instruction, which print media cannot provide, and
instructor-led courses allow clumsily and at great cost. In conjunction with assessing
needs, e-learning can target specific needs. And by using learning style tests, e-learning
can locate and target individual learning preferences.
Additionally, asynchronous e-learning is self-paced. Advanced learners are allowed to
speed through or bypass instruction that is redundant while novices slow their own
progress through content, eliminating frustration with themselves, their fellow learners,
and the course.
In these ways, e-learning is inclusive of a maximum number of participants with a
maximum range of learning styles, preferences, and needs.
3. What about the human-to-human interaction?
All collaborative learning theory contends that human interaction is a vital ingredient to
learning. Consideration of this is particularly crucial when designing e-learning, realizing
the potential for the medium to isolate learners. With well-delivered synchronous distance
education, and technology like message boards, chats, e-mail, and tele-conferencing, this
potential drawback is reduced. However, e-learning detractors still argue that the magical
classroom bond between teacher and student, and among the students themselves, can
not be replicated through communications technology.
4. What are the advantages of e-Learning to the Trainer or Organization?
Some of the most outstanding advantages to the trainer or organization are:

• Reduced overall cost is the single most influential factor in adopting e-learning.
The elimination of costs associated with instructor's salaries, meeting room rentals,
and student travel, lodging, and meals are directly quantifiable. The reduction of
time spent away from the job by employees may be the most positive offshoot.

• Learning times reduced, an average of 40 to 60 percent, as found by Brandon


Hall (Web-based Training Cookbook, 1997, p. 108).

• Increased retention and application to the job averages an increase of 25


percent over traditional methods, according to an independent study by J.D.
Fletcher (Multimedia Review, Spring 1991, pp.33-42).

• Consistent delivery of content is possible with asynchronous, self-paced e-


learning.

• Expert knowledge is communicated, but more importantly captured, with good


e-learning and knowledge management systems.

• Proof of completion and certification, essential elements of training initiatives,


can be automated.
5. What are the advantages of e-Learning to the Learner
Along with the increased retention, reduced learning time, and other aforementioned
benefits to students, particular advantages of e-learning include:
• On-demand availability enables students to complete training conveniently at
off-hours or from home.

• Self-pacing for slow or quick learners reduces stress and increases satisfaction.

• Interactivity engages users, pushing them rather than pulling them through
training.

• Confidence that refresher or quick reference materials are available reduces


burden of responsibility of mastery.
6. What are the disadvantages of e-Learning to the Organization
e-learning is not, however, the be all and end all to every training need. It does have
limitations, among them:

• Up-front investment required of an e-learning solution is larger due to


development costs. Budgets and cash flows will need to be negotiated.

• Technology issues that play a factor include whether the existing technology
infrastructure can accomplish the training goals, whether additional tech
expenditures can be justified, and whether compatibility of all software and
hardware can be achieved.

• Inappropriate content for e-learning may exist according to some experts,


though are limited in number. Even the acquisition of skills that involve complex
physical/motor or emotional components (for example, juggling or mediation) can
be augmented with e-learning.

• Cultural acceptance is an issue in organizations where student demographics


and psychographics may predispose them against using computers at all, let alone
for e-learning.
7. What are the disadvantages of e-Learning for the Learner
The ways in which e-learning may not excel over other training include:

• Technology issues of the learners are most commonly technophobia and


unavailability of required technologies.

• Portability of training has become a strength of e-learning with the proliferation


of network linking points, notebook computers, PDAs, and mobile phones, but still
does not rival that of printed workbooks or reference material.

• Reduced social and cultural interaction can be a drawback. The impersonality,


suppression of communication mechanisms such as body language, and
elimination of peer-to-peer learning that are part of this potential disadvantage are
lessening with advances in communications technologies.
8. Do the Benefits of e-Learning Outweigh the Drawbacks?
The pro's and con's of e-learning vary depending on program goals, target audience and
organizational infrastructure and culture. But it is unarguable that e-learning is rapidly
growing as form of training delivery and most are finding that the clear benefits to e-
learning will guarantee it a role in their overall learning strategy.