Elluminate Launches Learning Suite, Planning Software for Online Learning

Ed tech developer Elluminate Monday announced new collaborative learning bundles--the Elluminate Learning Suite and the Elluminate Next bundle--and launched a new tool for planning online learning sessions called Elluminate Plan! The company also told us it's revamping its education licensing structure, moving away from a concurrent user model to a structure based on the full-time enrollment of educational institutions.

Elluminate Next
The Elluminate Next bundle incorporates Elluminate Publish! and the all-new Elluminate Plan!, a tool designed to help instructors and instructional designers organize and package content for online sessions prior to the session being conducted live.

Gary Dietz, product marketing manager for Elluminate, provided us with a preview of Plan! last week. He explained that the software allows users to plan a template, structure, and framework in a non-real-time environment. It allows the structure used for interaction to be, essentially, packaged in advanced. "You can take the actions and content from a rich environment and provide this plan, which is a single file [and] runs on any system," he said. (It will be compatible with Elluminate Live! version 8.5, which is slated to be released at the end of June.) "It's like moving back to old planning book."

Although planning and packaging happens in advance in Plan!, Dietz said that deviation from the planned material is fully supported.

One beta user, Val Brooks, deputy director of Stockton City Learning Centre in the UK, shared some experiences with us via e-mail: "Plan! is just what I have needed--to be able to organise my activities in a way that will make them easy for me to handle within an Elluminate session. I had always found it cumbersome to have a series of actions that I had to remember to load at the appropriate times. Multi-tasking is not easy at any time, so Plan! will 'free' me to make the overall learning experience smoother and even more valuable."

Publish!, which is also part of the Elluminate Next bundle, is still fairly new. It's used to create "portable, reusable learning content from Elluminate Live! session recordings." It provides support for playing back audio from sessions on MP3 players. It also supports offline viewing in the Elluminate Unplugged! multimedia presentation environment.

Elluminate Learning Suite
The Elluminate Learning Suite is an expanded collection of Elluminate's collaborative learning tools. It includes the Elluminate Next bundle and Elluminate's flagship Live! e-learning software.

Elluminate Live! is an e-learning, conferencing, and online collaboration tool designed for use in education. It includes features like note taking, two-way interactive video, archiving and automatic indexing of e-learning sessions, various tools for teachers (timers, pop-up announcements, sorting of participants by hand raising, etc.), whiteboarding, and various other collaboration tools.

Live! also provides support for a variety of learning management systems, including Blackboard, Moodle, Sakai, WebCT, and eCollege. Integration with Angel LMS is also planned for the near future. Elluminate provides an SDK called "Bridge" for integrating its technologies with LMS and portal solutions.

New Licensing Approach
Pricing for the Elluminate Learning Suite ranges from $3 to $32 per FTE student, based on enrollment at an institution. FTE pricing applies to K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and virtual schools.

Other plans are also available for more limited deployments through Elluminate vOffice and Elluminate vClass. Elluminate vOffice supports 10 to 50 concurrent users. Elluminate vClass supports 10 to 200 simultaneous participants. Pricing starts at $999 for an annual license. These packages include one license of Elluminate Next.

Elluminate is also continuing to offer a free version of Elluminate vRoom, supporting three users in a single meeting room.

Further information about licensing options can be found here.

About the Author

Executive Producer David Nagel heads up the editorial department for 1105 Media's education publications — which include two daily sites, a variety of newsletters and two monthly digital magazines covering technology in both K-12 and higher education.

A 21-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192 or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education). A selection of David Nagel's articles can be found on this site.


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