Web conferencing vs. virtual classroom solutions

This morning, a Canadian visitor of our test portal made us aware of a gap in our evaluation of online meeting solutions:

I noticed online training in your Applications sidebar, but you evaluated the WebEx Meeting Centre. WebEx Training Centre provides enhanced functionality specifically designed for training. Have you evaluated this product against competitors in that field?

Since webconferencing-test.com is a non-profit initiative we only have limited time to spend on reviewing different solutions. Unfortunately this means that we are not able to add a new branch to our website by testing special-purpose online meeting solutions for classroom-like online trainings. We’ve got our hands full with keeping our ranking up-to-date and comprehensive as is.

But of course we do have something to say on the topic:

The biggest challenge to evaluating web conferencing solutions tailored to classroom, training, and online exam requirements is the intransparency of this niche market. This market includes vendors like WebEx (Training Centre) and Citrix Online with GoToTraining, who extended their underlying web conferencing technology to serve online training purposes. Others like Saba and Elluminate provide a blended web conferencing / eLearning solution – and there are dozens of vendors delivering solutions dedicated solely to virtual classroom scenarios, like Learning Management Systems (LMS), Skytap, eLecta and GC Learning Services.

Elluminate vOffice replaces vRoom

We have taken Elluminate vRoom out of our ranking and replaced the tool with Elluminate’s vOffice. vOffice is an interesting web conferencing solution since it originated from an eLearning environment. The tool offers a good solution for virtual team work but has its downsides, e.g. too many features which make usability awkward.

Read the full evaluation.

Thanks for the great site

We received the following feedback from Jamie on May 19, 2008:

Hi. I am starting a business called goginet.com and I need an interactive e-learning tool. I have been using your information to evaluate the different systems, and have found I agree with 95% of your recommendations/observations. Thanks for the great resource. I also like your openess about the affiliate programs, etc. Very cool to disclose it all. I have found Yugma to be very good. Perhaps it has evolved somewhat from the point you did the tests. Webex has what seems to be the only ecommerce package, but it is so expensive. Thanks again,
Jamie Robe