by Stephanie Miles
Published on 18 April 2013
Employee training is big business. In the U.S. alone, organizations spend an estimated $156 billion on employee learning each year, according to the American Society for Training and Development.
Mindflash is an innovative platform that can help firms reduce those costs, enabling human resources and training departments to host employee training classes and company seminars online for a fraction of the price.
In this Mindflash review, I will evaluate this online training platform and see whether the cloud-based courses and videos that users can create are truly as effective as in-person training seminars. I will find out what types of businesses the platform was designed to work best for, and learn exactly what's involved in putting together a professional presentation using the application.
Mindflash is a web-based training platform that gives business owners, learning & development professionals and human resources managers the tools they need to create online courses for their employees and clients. These courses can be designed to utilize multiple types of content for learning purposes, including PowerPoint, Word, PDF, videos, quizzes, and surveys.
Mindflash courses can be designed around any topic, allowing managers to host company orientation seminars, compliance training, sales training and information sessions in a virtual setting.
These online seminars save companies' time and money, especially when managers are able to re-use the courses they've designed (as is the case for company orientation seminars, for example). Employees can take part in courses from any PC or iPad with an Internet connection, allowing telecommuters to access important company information without having to step foot in the office.
When companies use Mindflash, they can host training seminars and educational courses online. The web-based application takes the documents that trainers would typically use for training new employees or educating staffers about new company protocols, and turns them into organized training courses. Courses can be designed to include PowerPoint, PDFs, videos, quizzes, surveys and other features that require participation on the part of the employee.
Upload existing training files in PowerPoint, Word, or PDF format, and arrange them in the order you'd like them to appear in your course. Mindflash accepts audio files, videos, quizzes, and surveys, as well. Before sending the course to trainees, invite trusted colleagues to collaborate and offer their feedback. Mindflash supports inter-office collaboration, allowing users to share draft versions of their courses with peers before they're fully complete. You can have multiple trainers and assign them different permissions so access to files and billing can be controlled.
When your course is complete, you can send it to trainees through the Mindflash platform. Enter a list of the employees you'd like to participate, and Mindflash will invite those users via email on your behalf. The platform also sends reminders, which are useful in cases where certain employees have a delayed response. Mindflash tracks how many employees have taken the course you've designed, and how many of those who've taken the course have passed all the requisite quizzes, thus relieving you of the duty to collect and analyze statistical data.
Mindflash provides businesses with a way to increase the effectiveness of their training seminars, while simultaneously reducing the associated costs. Rather than requiring remote employees to come into the office to participate in regular training sessions, companies can host those seminars in the cloud. This saves employees time (by not requiring them to come into the office), as well as travel costs.
Mindflash also saves businesses time and money. Managers who would otherwise be hosting training courses and orientations in person can sit back and let Mindflash do the work for them. They can require participants to achieve minimum scores on all quizzes as a way to ensure that the material being presented is actually understood, and they can make better use of the free time they've gained by working individually with employees who need one-on-one support. Businesses don't have to worry about unexpected IT or engineering costs, since complete platform support is included in the price of a monthly Mindflash subscription.
Mindflash offers a streamlined platform, guiding business users through every step of the process when developing their first courses. From the dashboard page, users can choose whether to create a new course from scratch, or by using one of Mindflash's free course templates. Users can also browse through the courses they've already made, filtering their projects by keyword or development stage. To create a custom course, users should upload their files (known as "course content") and add any surveys, quizzes, videos, or handouts they'd like to include. Files can be rearranged and customized at any time. Courses can be delivered individually or included as part of a series of courses.
From the "Quiz Editor," users can select the types of questions they'd like to add to their quizzes, along with the questions themselves. Users also have the option to set minimum quiz scores that must be reached before a course is "passed," and they can choose whether the correct answer should appear after a trainee has locked in his submission.
Clicking the "Preview" button gives course designers a way to experience their courses through the eyes of a trainee (simulating the Mindflash course player), flipping through slides in full screen mode. Previews can be sent to collaborators for feedback before a final version of the course is created.
Mindflash provides business users with an advanced support section, providing the answers of dozens of frequently asked questions and an email address where users can send more detailed queries. Mindflash's support section features detailed information on technical requirements, reporting, and billing procedures. Businesses that upgrade to Pro accounts have access to unlimited phone support, in addition to email and chat.
After completing a free 30-day trial, business users are encouraged to select one of Mindflash's three pricing options. Small businesses that are just getting started can utilize the platform for $149 per month with Mindflash's Basic plan. Larger businesses can select the Advanced or Pro plans, which cost $499 and $999 per month. After reviewing the options, I would recommend that businesses select a pricing plan based on the number of trainers and trainees they expect to have creating and taking their online seminars each month.
Another key difference between plans is the ability to place courses in a Series of Courses.
Employee training costs businesses billions of dollars each year. Mindflash has created a way for companies to cut costs without sacrificing quality, which is why I heartily recommend this platform to any business that is hosting courses, seminars, or training sessions multiple times per year. Mindflash courses flow in a way that makes sense to the average trainee, and the platform's feedback data and analytics tool help managers pinpoint specific employees who may need extra help understanding new concepts or systems. The web-based application is also an ideal solution for businesses that employee a largely remote workforce or have multiple offices.
Ratings: ease of use 5/5, features 4/5, value 5/5 and ease of deployment 4/5