Online training providers find new ways to deliver education

Online training providers find new ways to deliver education

Vendors tinker with bandwidth, media and pricing to attract would-be students to their sites

By Mark A. Kellner

Special to GCN

INDIAN WELLS, Calif.'Online training took center stage during the recent Demo 2000 conference.

NotHarvard's CodeWarrior U offers online training courses through the Web site of Metrowerks Corp.

Jeff Snipes, president of Ninth House Network of San Francisco, said his company's broadband LAN approach to training has been used by the Federal Aviation Administration, IRS, Justice Department and Navy.

The training combines interactive learning tools with a sitcom-style video that changes monthly.

Organizations pay $499 per user per year for unlimited access to courses. Snipes said restricting the delivery to broadband LANs gives the trainees a 'TV-quality experience.' of Deerfield, Ill., a start-up funded by Oracle Corp. chairman Larry Ellison, will sell its training programs to government users through Oracle's federal division.

Company president Don Norman said the problem-based-learning approach teaches new financial managers, for example, how to read and use a balance sheet by immersing them in real-life work situations.

The on-screen content is kept to a minimum, Norman said. 'When there's a lot to read, we mail you the textbook,' he said. The courses, which range up to the equivalent of a master's degree in business administration, cost $1,500 to $2,000 for a five-unit group.

Free user education that drives'but does not depend on'product sales is the strategy of notHarvard.Com of Austin, Texas. The start-up begun by former employees of PC maker Micron Electronics Inc. of Nampa, Idaho, designs courses that product makers can give away to spur sales.

NotHarvard's CodeWarrior U, on the Web site of Metrowerks Corp. of Austin, at, is offering an introductory C+ for Microsoft Windows course. A $79 copy of CodeWarrior software costs $49 through the site.

CodeWarrior U requires registration by name and e-mail address, which can be a private, free e-mail account.

NotHarvard president Judy Bitterli said the service would not gather user information surreptitiously.

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