World Online Teaches Online, Part Two

CAPE TOWN — When we published our original article about World Online’s (WoL) offer of online training, Product Manager Sean Sandell was — appropriately enough — on study leave. Since then, has spoken to him, discovering some interesting facts about the future direction of the project.

We discovered that the online academy – which has been live, if not actively marketed, for a year — is being revamped and remodeled, with a new version going live in less than 4 weeks.

Several things will have changed by that time. No longer will monthly or half-yearly subscriptions be available: students will have to subscribe for a full year to get access to study information.

A month, comments Sandell, is simply not enough to establish a customer relationship, nor is it profitable to WoL. The need for profitability has also led to a four-fold price increase, with clients of WoL’s ISP service still receiving a discount.

Sandell maintains that the old prices were unrealistic and unsustainable, especially given the costs of the courseware – developed by foreign web-training company, MindLeaders. These courses are still divided into the End User and Technical categories.

The most popular courses, in Sandell’s opinion, are the Technical ones, although there is fair interest in the End User course, with Sandell foreseeing a large market for the Microsoft Office courses.

After the launch, he believes WoL will receive 20-30 new subscriptions a month. International subscribers are welcome, although they’ll have to make arrangements to pay WoL unfortunately, their payment system has not yet been automated. Even so, taking advantage of South African webucation opportunities, whether with WoL or other institutions, may prove to be a cheap way for First Worlders to improve their skills.

WoL South Africa is currently the only member of the international network of sites to offer online training.

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