I wanted to provide easy, distributed training (Orientation, Policies, Procedures, etc) for employees. I found a few “Do It Yourself” web-based tools but all were expensive (at least to my way of thinking). So I wrote my own online training framework that allows me to create a module, with one or more lessons. An assessment can be added at each lesson level and at the Module level. It is simple (HTML / CSS based). The training units are easy to create and maintain and assessments are scored automagically.
I realized that there might be a market for a low-end, web-based, Do-It-Yourself training tool (especially for home-schoolers and small businesses). With two – to - three weeks effort I could transform this into a commercial web-based product. The plan would be to host it on my own servers so that clients would only need a web-browser to create and serve training. Unlike other available tools I would allow the client to create and re-use attendee accounts and training modules. The product would have a yearly subscription fee based on level: (1-10 attendees, 11-50 attendees and so on) and up to “n” (50 to 100) active training modules (meaning you could delete attendees or modules and reuse the slot for each with out incurring additional cost).
My question to you is would you (as a small business owner) be interested in such a product, and what would you be willing to pay for such a product?
Thank you for your comment. You had me wondering for a moment. I had never heard of MOODLE so I went to their site and created an account. It is an interesting concept but widely different from what I am doing. Through this I am not attempting to tear down MOODLE (which is probably a good product) but I want to contrast what I am doing in relation to this product.
MOODLE appears to be a software product that you have to install on to your own hardware.
The product I am working on is web-based and requires nothing more than a web-browser.
MOODLE does not appear to support easy integration with your current web site without a lot of modification.
The solution I am working can be used stand alone or can be imbedded to your own site using a simple IFRAME statement.
MOODLE is also complicated enough that the website promotes two different books that teach you how to use the product. Since I have not set MOODLE up myself I cannot speak to the ease or difficulty with which MOODLE can be installed but the existence of the books speak volumes. Also, throughout the site the documentation mentioned asking your system administrator to do this and that.
The solution I am working on requires no skill other than basic mouse and keyboard skills. It does not require you to hire a technical guy.
MOODLE appears to be geared to work with large organizations (though the web-site does say that it is intended for one to any number of users).
The solution I am working on will be geared to smaller groups and those who want to prepare a quick presentation without a lot of mess.
As a developer what I liked about MOODLE was that it is opened sourced and extensible both of which excite a technical person. My product is not open source and (while customizable) is not extensible – not as exciting to a programmer. However my market is not technical people but those who are non-technical.
Now, why do you want to pay for something when you can get something similar for free? Free is very enticing. But please add up the cost of free. In this instance the cost of a server plus maintenance, plus the time required to learn the product (both books are more than 250 pages long). If you cannot do the technical work yourself you will need to pay for a technical person to do the installation, upgrades etc.
If you have any question please do not hesitate to email me.