ANGEL Learning

ANGEL Learning is a company based in Indianapolis that was founded in July 2000. They have two particular pieces of software that they market, a learning management system (ANGEL Learning Management System), and an e-portfolio tool (ANGEL ePortfolio) that they develop and market. ANGEL originally began as a research tool for Indiana University in 1996 and has since evolved into a whole learning management system.

Face #1: Market Focus. Who is ANGEL’s target market?

ANGEL’s learning management system was originally developed for Higher Learning, but since then has grown and developed and is now a system designed for all learners. A quote from the website says, “Honed by use, our products serve millions of students and instructors from K to corporate.” (http://www.angellearning.com/media/about_us/default.html). As such they serve the three options available for Face #1 – Public Schools, Higher Learning, and Training needs.

One customer is the University of Waterloo.

Face #2: Types of Offerings

ANGEL main offering is the infrastructure for a learning management system. Included in this they also will manage the infrastructure for their clients to provide them with exactly what they need, and offer hosting in case a company / school needs to ‘outsource it’. ANGEL also offers documentation and online help with their system.

ANGEL also provides courses online (self led or instructor led) or onsite to teach their clients how to use their product effectively (specifically designed for “instructors, instructional designers, course developers, system administrators, developers and others who use ANGEL”).

ANGEL’s offering seem to be most specifically geared towards Infrastructure, but they also offer various Services to ensure that their system works for each client (“tailorable user interface [and] flexible backend database integration).

Face #3: Who is the Buyer?

ANGEL fits most of the categories available on this face as well. I believe that the most prominent buyer would be Higher Education facilities, such as the University of Waterloo in Ontario (one of their clients). The learning management system was originally intended for use in higher education and so it seems to follow that this is their biggest stake. In this manner ANGEL’s buyer would be Learning Bought for Learner.

Learning Bought Centrally – Local Guide Offers to Learner. As ANGEL is also targeting the k-12 and corporate market, this would also be an important category.

ANGEL’s learning management system is not intended for individual buyers (Learner buys Personally), and although they sell their product globally (“profitable firm with global reach”) they are more targeted towards corporations and companies than countries, so while some countries might buy the product, I don’t believe that Learning Bought Nationally – Open to Regions – Local Guide Offers to Learner is an intended buyer.

Face #4: Global Markets

ANGEL serves Wired Anglophone Countries, European Countries with Language Skills, and European Countries Requiring Translation (i.e. their software is used in the Colegio de Estudios Superiores de Administracion in Columbia). I am unsure of exactly what the numbers are, or whether ANGEL serves any more of the categories in this face as their website doesn’t clearly provide this information. I have emailed the company and will post an update in a comment if/when I receive a reply.

Face #5: Development of the Market:

I would have to say ANGEL is: Market Supports Export Oriented Learning Technologies and Substitution of Imports. As ANGEL’s market is very large, it would be impossible to suggest that there are not competitors within it, such as WebCT by Blackboard, or Desire2learn. However ANGEL seems to be very confident with its ability to attract customers and to maintain good relations with those customers so that it will not be replaced with those competitors.

Face #6: Learning Technology Competing with Other Forms of Learning

I believe the goal is Learning Technology Works with a Well-Developed Learning System. What I mean is that the goal of the company I believe would be to integrate it into existing learning systems, such as university campuses. This way the students would have online access to notes etc., and various courses would be completely online, but students would also have the option of taking classes in the physical classroom. (This integration was achieved at my university, Wilfrid Laurier, with WebCT fairly well).

The ANGEL software I don’t believe is imposed, I believe that professors at universities (and instructors at corporations, teachers at k-12 schools) have the ability to incorporate it into classes or use it on its own for distance education (such as at Waterloo University), but there may still be tensions between those that are used to a physical environment trying to teach in a completely online environment. ANGEL does however provide services, including ‘webinar’s’ to try to minimize this discomfort.

September 26, 2008   2 Comments

The article by Prahalad and Hart

I found the article by Prahalad and Hart to be very interesting. In my Social Studies 11 class we study world living standards and one of the videos that I often show my students is Gwynne Dyer’s, “The Bomb Under the World” http://www.nfb.ca/collection/films/fiche/?id=31901 . In it he actually looks at the efforts of Hindustan Lever to tap into the huge market made up of the poor, rural population. The whole idea of small profit margins combined with sheer volume of consumption made for an interesting argument. Dyer also made the point that in the developing world, people are becoming more aware of the consumer items the developed world has easy access to. With this increased awareness comes a greater desire to share in that consumer wealth. The video is a little out of date (1994) but much of what he says rings true. It is interesting to note that during the filming of this video terrorists bombed the Bombay stock exchange and Dyer made the comment that it wouldn’t be long before the focus of terrorism shifted to the developed world.

Cheers,

Ken

September 26, 2008   5 Comments