Happy new year everyone!

I wanted to kick off the new year by highlighting a really innovative e-learning partner solution built using SharePoint and Silverlight technologies. E-Learning is something I'm hearing a lot more about lately and many customers have asked me how to approach E-Learning for their organizations. Point8020, a SharePoint partner, just released a compelling E-Learning solution: Beta 2 version of LearningPoint that you can download and try out for free.

LearningPoint is a solution that can be installed on top of WSS 3.0 or SharePoint Server 2007. It's easy to install and takes advantage of SharePoint for storage and the collaboration functionality and leverages Silverlight for the user experience. It's SCORM compliant and has all the bells and whistles of what you would expect in an E-Learning solution: you can add courses, assign courses, manage users & courses, look at course/user reports and even create courses! The creating courses piece is really innovative and what I found most differentiating. You can create something as simple as a few videos and images strung together or something more complex.

Another side benefit for folks out there is that Point8020 is willing to share its source code. So if you're a partner who needs to develop an E-Learning solution or you are interested in seeing how Point8020 built the Silverlight + SharePoint integration, it's a good thing to check out. Caveat: I'm not familiar with the licensing or pricing when it comes to source code. I am aware that the beta application is free of charge.

Here's a link to the LearningPoint PowerPoint presentation. Over the holiday break I took some time to explore LearningPoint and was impressed with its ease of use. I even created a really simple course. :-) Here are just a few screenshots that I took after installing LearningPoint on a vanilla SharePoint 2007 environment.

 

Once you walk through the installation steps, all you have to do is add a Web Part to get started. It's a slick Silverlight UX. 

As you can see, depending on your role, you can take courses or manage courses.
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As a learning manager, you can create/upload courseware in a number of ways. A popular way, for example, is to upload SCORM compliant E-Learning (option 2 listed). But some more innovative and simple ways of creating courseware is using the innovative Silverlight course creator or simply linking to a YouTube video.

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After choosing the "Link to YouTube Video" option on the previous screen, here I'm linking to an "Introduction to Calculus" video.
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A course can be as simple as a YouTube video (or series of YouTube videos) and once the course is assigned, it can be launched from the browser.
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LearningPoint also allows you to create (nested) pages and different types of pages. By going through a simple wizard, a non-technical person can put together a course.
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Here I've created a simple page with a picture and some text.
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Here I've launched the course! Now I can navigate through the course.
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