Face One: Market Focus

CASUS In.struct is a system developed in Germany beginning in 1994. It currently combines an authoring tool, player and learner tracking to create and deliver online cases for undergraduate and continuing medical education to help prospective physicians practice making diagnosis and other decisions about patients. It’s market focus is higher education and training related to continuing education.
Who we are. CASUS. 2009. Retrieved September 23 from

Face Two: Types of Offerings

CASUS In.struct is primarily an infrastructure provider offering an authoring tool software, some guides on how to use it to create case content, and a server to host the player and the cases created by the customer. The system has been developed to the extent that CASUS has several licenses for different uses of the system. An authoring license allows the customer to create cases on CASUS. The course license allows the grouping of several cases under a course administration tool which provides detailed assessment information on each student user. An Exam license allows the use of the cases as exams for testing students online, and a faculty model license is an arranged customization of CASUS In.struct at a negotiated cost.

Face 3: Who is the Buyer?

The buyers of CASUS In.struct are notably not medical students – not the end users. The buyers appear to be all in higher education or continuing education and are either medical faculty, medicine related programmes or departments.

Face 4: Global Markets

CASUS has clients both wired anglophone countries and “european” countries with language skills. The first clients were in Germany, and then new clients were established in North America. Most notably, a slight customization was dubbed CLIPP (Computer-assisted Learning in Pediatrics Program) and the 31 or more cases developed in it are in use by over 80 medical schools in the United States and Canada.

CASUS Projects. CASUS. 2009. Retrieved September 23 from

Face 5: Development of the Market

It appears that clients in Germany, Europe, and North America comprise a market that supports import of content and infrastructure. That they buy licenses to use the German server hosted system suggests that they support importing the infrastructure, and the sharing of content in the form of cases created by different clients and contributed to CLIPP in North America suggests that clients in the United States and Canada are willing to import content.

Face 6: Learning Technology Competing with Other Forms of Learning

The medical schools in Germany and North America already have well developed learning systems in the form of instructor-led courses. However, they are under pressure to achieve competencies in a growing curriculum as, for example, new illnesses, clinical treatments, technologies, and pharmacology are added each year. Many schools are under pressure to increase enrollments as there is a shortage of physicians and medical faculty to train them. Consequently, there is a little of all three levels of competition with other forms of learning. In some instances and aspects the cases are readily accepted into the existing mix of learning technologies which tend to be teacher led. In other instances, for lack of lecturers or scheduled class time, cases are used for independent study. In a third instance, the use of online cases is imposed on faculty and students who prefer lecture delivered content instead of problem-based learning or independent study.

September 23, 2009   2 Comments

PBworks cubed

PBworks, formally called PBwiki, is a collaboration service that has taken advantage of the growth in popularity of wikis. Their website claims: “PBworks is the world’s largest provider of hosted business and educational workspaces. We host over 800,000 workspaces, serve millions of users per month, and 96% of PBworks business users would recommend PBworks to a friend.”

Face 1 – Market Focus

I actually had a little difficulty with this. What is their market focus? Public schools, higher education, or corporate training needs? Their service seems blended. Although, their website does indicate that their major markets would be higher education and corporate consumers. PBworks has separate services, such as “Project Edition” and “Campus Edition”, which seems to support this multi-market ambition.

Face 2 – Types of Offering

PBworks is mainly a service providing a product and infrastructure for managing course and students content; although, wikis can be used for numerous other things, including asynchronous communication.

Face 3 – Who is the buyer?

I see two options here, being:

  • “Learning bought for Learner” – perhaps, for example, it is mainly for higher education courses where the instructors wish to include wikis in the course; and
  • “Learning Bought Centrally” – perhaps, for example, a university or schools district has adopted the idea of wikis and wishes to provide this type of learning environment for the entire institution.

This seems evident in the various packages that they provide.

Face 4 – Global Markets

PBworks is mainly focused on “Wired Anglophone Countries, although there is a small market in other areas.

Face 5 – Development of the market

PBwork saw a niche in the market. MediaWiki and Wikispaces would be the two other major competitors; however, PBworks, perhaps seeing the growth of wikis in education and corporate use, simplified the enduser’s experience with wikis. The international market freely imports content and infrastructure, although I’m not aware of many (if any) local companies that produce wiki packages.

Face 6 – Learning Technology Competing with Other Forms of Learning

PBworks would fit under the category: “Learning Technology Substitutes for Others Forms of Learning”. For one thing, their product and service may have to compete with the various LMSs, other Social Media platforms, such as NING, blogging platforms and other services, such as Google Docs. But that’s just “eLearning”. PBworks would have to compete with face-to-face appracs to collaborative approaches to learning.

September 23, 2009   6 Comments

PBWorks – the mother of all Wikis

Originally, known as PBWiki, PBWorks is an online collaborative environment that allows users to create wikis fairly easily. It operates on the “freemium” model (free low level features plus a fee for higher levels that offer more features) and uses its own proprietary software which seems to evolve and improve year by year. When it was first released, it was markedly simpler to use than other wiki programs and has added more functionality such as more stringent security measures and audit logs which holds appeal for commercial applications. I have some experience with the company/product through doing a wiki for a History 12 class. A great product/service that I feel educators should explore given the time. So…

Face 1: Market Focus-(K-12, higher education, commercial)

PBWorks has and is being used by all three of the above categories. Save lower level grades (which might not be able to use computers until a certain age), this product has huge appeal for middle school and high school, universities/colleges, and businesses as well. According to their website, commercial ventures are their main focus with the claim to fame that they have users in half of the Fortune 500 list.

 Face 2: Types of Offerings-services rendered/product description

Obviously, the company offers workspaces for individuals, companies, cohorts etc to collaborate on various projects or personal quests. Simply, a wiki is a set of interlinked web pages that allows the user(s) to edit and share information in particular field or application. These wikis allow for different levels of access and editing/deletion abilities so as to preserve the integrity of the work being done. One is able to navigate fairly easily through a number of pages in specific folders and users can leave comments and insert both links to other pages/sites and actual multimedia files.

 Face 3: Who is the Buyer?

The buyer fits into seven different categories including:

 Master Pricing Guide









Annual Price

(unlimited guests)


(unlimited staff/clients)






 The basic/free level appeals to individuals and those needing only basic services. The “Public” level is aimed at libraries/institutions while the differences between the Classroom and Campus editions is the number of users and number of workspaces. Standard, Legal and Project editions all allow for unlimited storage measured in Gigabytes. The differences between all seven categories is fairly substantial. For more go to:

 Face 4 – Global Markets

According to PBWorks, the only language that it is offered in is English (main business language) “PBworks itself (tools, help, support) is not available in languages other than English.” However, it utilizes Unicode meaning that any language that you can type in from your computer will be displayed in the workspace pages. So, you can use other languages but if you need help it is going to be in English. Customers include companies from Australia, the US, the UK, South Korea, Canada and China. A company like Bracewell and Giuliani has ten offices around the world and 450 attorneys. Basically, the nature of the product/service makes it very attractive for anyone with Internet access that wants a collaborative experience.

 Face 5 – Development of the Market

Arguably, PBWorks is the giant in the wiki business. Over 50 000 businesses subscribe, they host over 900 000 workspaces and millions of users utilize it each day. According to various sources, the company does spend time/money developing new features that reflect what their customers are telling them or are based on observed trends.

 Face 6 – Integrating the product in the education system

The product itself is relatively easy to use and includes very substantial and well developed webinars and technical support – that is a strength of the company. Hardware needed to run this is minimal and speed of the internet connection is not absolutely crucial. The playing of multimedia might be an issue. Getting students to use this would not be hard as it imitates blogging in some ways; however, some might feel self conscious posting comments/ideas using their own names. Cost is quite low and can be free unless many features are needed. Evaluating user contributions can be eased by paying more for a higher level edition.


September 23, 2009   4 Comments

A tiny nudge about Assignment #1

Just a reminder that your immersion in M2 and now M3 should be inspiring your thoughts toward Assignment 1, which will likely be using some of the same techniques for a broader and deeper analysis of a venture or market environment of your choice.

If you have any questions about your ideas for A1, I’m eager to hear them.   General questions can respond to this post, and more specific questions can be emailed to me.

Good luck!


September 23, 2009   5 Comments

Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone  is a second-language learning software which pairs a combination of images, text, and sound with new language vocabulary. This removes the ‘translation’ step and allows the learner to attach the new language to real objects rather than their native language words.  This approach more closely mimics how people learn their first language as children. The projected total revenue of $245.0 to $248.0 million of 2009 includes their recent (April 15, 2009) IPO on the NYSE under the symbol RST. (from

Face 1 – Market Focus

Rosetta Stone claims to be “a leading provider of technology-based language learning solutions”. A large portion of their sales is to retail outlets for consumer training but they offer online versions and various bundling options for schools and corporations.

Face 2 –  Types of Offerings

Rosetta Stone offers pre-packaged content for second language learners starting with beginner levels up to common conversational.

Face 3 – Who is the Buyer?

Retail buyers are purchasing the products directly for their own use.  Schools and corporations purchase licenses for their students or employees.

Face 4 – Global Markets

Rosetta Stone’s products are sold in 150 countries, teaching over 30 languages.  It has an international focus and fills wired Anglophone countries, European countries with English language skills, European countries requiring translation, and Asian countries with quality internet.

Face 5 – Development of the Market

In the case of Rosetta Stone the “Market Supports Export Oriented Learning Technologies and Substitution of Imports” is the most representative.  Other companies can (and do) make language-learning software but Rosetta Stone is a leader in many markets.

Face 6 – Learning Technology Competing with Other Forms of Learning

As a prepackaged product, Rosetta Stone products are often a substitute for other forms of learning. In a school or corporate setting the technology may be used to support other systems of learning.

September 23, 2009   7 Comments

Team Help by Jen W

Team Help Cubed

Face One:  Market Focus

Distance learners, remote learners and students who need more assistance at home.  The software that is developed is utilized by students who have access to a computer and their assistance is from teachers online.  These students are being home schooled but online.  At any point in time, the teacher can take over the computer of the student and guide the student in what or how to solve any problems.

Face Two:  Type of Offerings

This type of offering is definitely a support system for the students.  They can provide guidance and direction when students are confused.  It is a stepping stone for the students so that they can move onto the next stage.

Face Three:  The Buyer

The buyers are school districts.  The purchasers within that district can access how many hours of this help line they would like to purchase.  They should also decide how many teachers per subject should be hired.

Face Four:  Global Markets

The software and hardware is available for Personal Computers and Macintoshes’.  For now, the project is in its’ preliminary stages and therefore is closed to Alberta right now.  Once the program has been working fine and the bugs have been ironed out, there will be availability to other provinces and even other countries.  We must look at hiring teachers who can speak French and other languages of school boards that are interested in the program.

Face Five:  Development of the Market

Roll out for such a program will begin in the rural areas.  In addition, it is also being offered for students wanting to study other languages because many students would like to enter University (or post secondary education) with a second language.  Often it is difficult to find teachers that can speak other language.

Face Six:  Integration of the Program

It will be easy to introduce this program into the homes of students who need help.  It would save the parents from having to hire a tutor.  It would be available for students in the evening hours and weekends.  Students would not have to leave their homes and have a larger success factor in all their courses.

September 23, 2009   2 Comments

Applying the cube to is a major provider of online training. They offer prepackaged video and interactive tutorials for nearly all of the popular software applications that are used in the design and development environments. This ranges from basic lessons in writing a Word document, to complex and intricate lessons on texture and lighting in 3-D modeling applications.

Face 1: Market Focus
Because has so many resources that cover so many applications, they have a very broad market focus. They mainly differentiate the markets based on pricing and access to their resources. For instance, public schools would most likely invest in a few lessons for the applications that they use, but at a multi-user price point. Higher education and corporations may look at larger site licenses, or they may opt to have the end users purchase only what they need.

Face 2: Types of Offerings
Lynda’s offerings are mainly pre-packaged content, either available online subscription or by purchasing hard copies of the software or videos.

Face 3: Who is the Buyer?

Again, because of the large market focus, there are many types of buyers. Single package licenses are available for individual learners, right up to large corporate site licenses, where all employees have access to all of the available resources on company computers.

Face 4 – Global Markets
As they are produced in English, the main users of Lynda’s resources would be wired Anglophone countries, European countries with language skills, and possibly, thanks to the closed captioning, European countries requiring translation.

Face 5 – Development of the Market

Lynda would fall under the category of “Market Supports Export Oriented Learning Technologies and Substitution of Imports.”  It is assumed with this sort of resource that the market is always ready to accept the newest technologies, and that end-users will need training to run them effectively, or more importantly, competitively.

Face 6 – Learning Technology Competing with Other Forms of Learning
Because of its prepackaged nature, the resources that Lynda provides would be a substitute for other forms of learning. These tutorials and videos could be used in addition to other forms of instruction, but there would likely be a lot of redundancy. That being said, these resources may not meet the learning needs of everyone using them, so having a proficient instructor would be important for success, especially in that K-12 environment.

September 23, 2009   4 Comments