I’m a firm believer in the idea that you only get the true measure of a company when there are issues or conflict. Some businesses react poorly and others treat it as an opportunity to improve and engage, so when Kevin Stuart from Career Academy reached out to me I wondered which way it would go.
Straight off the bat it became clear Career Academy fall in to the positive thinking group and that not only does Kevin know his stuff but that I had make some errors and incorrect assumptions in my initial review of the course (Kevin let me down gently when pointing these out!). Kevin also very enthusiastically told me about Career Academy’s plans as they are already well in to the process of re-engineering their platform on all fronts (many of which address most of my concerns).
So straight off, let me list the mistakes, corrections and clarifications:
- The course video player does have a zoom button
I incorrectly assumed that there was no way of making the video larger but it turns out there is. Near the bottom of the player is a small button that says ‘large’ and pressing this doubles the size of the video. There is still no full screen button but this is less of an issue with the larger video. Clearly I’ve overlooked the button but I would definitely recommend it is made more prominent and more intuitive for the less perceptive of us.
- The courses do work on IOS devices (iPhone, iPad, etc.)
I had assumed that as the course content was delivered using Flash and as no alternative was presented on my android device that there was no mobile ready content – as it turns out if you own an iOS device there is an alternative platform that distributes the video in MP4 format delivered in a HTML framework.
The Future with Career Academy
So it seems Career Academy are putting a lot of effort in to modernising their platform and while Kevin didn’t have any specific launch dates for me, it seems many of them are due to go live before the end of the year, below is a list of the core developments coming:
As I wrote in my previous review and as I stressed to Kevin in our discussion, this is a big deal for me simply because mobile compatibility maximises flexibility and for those of us juggling busy schedules that’s worth a lot.
Given that the course content can already be delivered via HTML and MP4 to Apple users, Career Academy have obviously already done the encoding of their content to MP4 which is a big step in itself (although for maximum compatibility they should encode to WebM and OGG too!).
Personally I think this is where I think the focus of their efforts should be, as a standards oriented HTML5 training system will work on all platforms and devices (Windows, Linux, Android, Windows Phone and Apple).
New Course Interface
Kevin discussed the developments in progress right now, one if which is an entirely new student interface will provider a simpler, cleaner interface for browsing course content that remembers what you were last doing (to enable you to immediately pick-up where you left off) – obviously this will be cross-platform.
In my review I discussed my frustrations with the end of module quizzes and Kevin has confirmed this is also being revamped to as it is one of the older elements in their training platform. For me their current system isn’t flawed, it just has usability issues which should hopefully be addressed by their new front end.
So in summary, while the technology for mobile learning isn’t currently cross-platform and there are a few usability issues, the Career Academy e-learning environment is about to be re-imagined and I for one am very excited to see where it goes and looking forward to using and reviewing the new developments.
As mentioned in my previous review, the course content itself is very good, it was purely the delivery mechanism that I found lacking and, once this is updated, Career Academy will have both great content and a great platform, putting them well ahead of the competition. Watch this space!