DigitalChalk is a great example of an eLearning tool that tries to be good at everything, and mostly succeeds.
Yes, “mostly” is the operative word here.
DigitalChalk’s two main goals are in the training and course creation ouvres, but it attempts to offer several other services as well. However, the lack of examples and the clunky, awkward way the site is presented always makes us leery of trusting this site blindly.
Our experiences with DigitalChalk, however, have been primarily very positive. The students we engaged had little trouble learning from the system, and we were overall fairly pleased with the way that the technology of the DigitalChalk eLearning platform performed.
- DigitalChalk eLearning Tool: Summary Overview?
While DigitalChalk claims that no IT experience is needed in order to set up the software in the first place, we highly recommend having a qualified implementation partner come and assist you if you choose to go with DigitalChalk. Check out our guide to Implementation Partners in this guide to find out which companies work with DigitalChalk in your local area, or outside of it.
- DigitalChalk: Who It’s For
The two primary motives of DigitalChalk are to enable people to sell courses and train staff.
This says very clearly that DigitalChalk is for companies and individuals who have a large volume of staff, and who are willing to spend money rather than time in training them well. DigitalChalk is a good website, and the prices are much more friendly than companies like BlackBoard and Kenexa Learning Suite which don’t even give an accurate pricing plan because they want to make sure they’re fitting your needs.
Companies will do well with DigitalChalk. However, any school may not do quite as well. There aren’t as many programs here for engaging students in active learning discourse. Yes, it could be used for that effect, but the primary focus of DigitalChalk seems to be less about making learning fun and interesting and more about making and saving money.
The other focus, as well as saving money, seems to be in making sure that employees get trained as quickly as possible
- DigitalChalk: Core eLearning Features
For the two plans primarily offered by DigitalChalk, the features are fairly comprehensive.
For the people who want to sell courses, that side of DigitalChalk is very helpful. It’s not as comprehensive as our favorite site for selling courses, Siminars, but it’s still a very solid platform through which you can design and create courses to sell.
If you think you have a market through which you can market a course, DigitalChalk is a great way to get your product name out there. The DigitalChalk eLearning platform can help market and promote a course, but the original content has to be yours.
For the people who want to train staff, the course creation is very simple, and can seriously work in your favor. DigitalChalk offers secure and cloud-based solutions, which means your content is accessible anywhere by you, at any time from your computer, mobile phone, or table. It is tablet and iPad compatible, so you don’t need to worry about switching it over.
Another great feature of DigitalChalk is the constant complimentary phone support and training. While we still recommend going with a local implementation partner of DigitalChalk for the setup, it is good to know that the system itself does provide free support, should anything go wrong and your technician be unable to come.
- DigitalChalk Review: What’s Great About DigitalChalk
One thing we like the most about DigitalChalk is that it’s a well-integrated system that manages to be fairly comprehensive while still maintaining a small stature. DigitalChalk offers a lot of services, but doesn’t go overboard. It’s not a system like BlackBoard, that offers systems and branches for every aspect of collegiate or business life.
Instead, it focuses on several things (too many, we think) instead of everything, and does them fairly well. The training of staff is a great way to make use of this project. If you can use it to train your staff all at the same time without time or space restrictions, it can be a fantastic asset to the future of your company’s training regimen.
- DigitalChalk Review: What’s Not So Great About DigitalChalk
While we like DigitalChalk, the site does get kind of bare-bones in a lot of places. For example, there are no testimonials except in video format, and very few examples of successful courses. When we created our own course, we weren’t walked through nearly as well as we were with our top pick of websites for course creation, Siminars.
When we let our students try the courses created on DigitalChalk, we got a few more complaints that they were “confusing” and “boring” than we did when trying out a lot of other companies.
This resulted in us being somewhat less than satisfied with the end product. However, we do want to mention that with a little extra time, we believe that we could have managed to create much better courses, once we had completely learned how to use the system. Learning just took us longer than we’d anticipated.
- DigitalChalk Pricing / Cost Explained
DigitalChalk is one of the only programs for eLearning that is straightforward and upfront about its pricing plan. There are three primary and customizable plans available: Pro, Business, and Enterprise.
Pro: Offers no hosting fees, a shopping card, free tech support, 1 administrator, and HDLearn. Cost: $4.95-$19.95 per unit, one-time set-up fee of $399.
Business: Offers no hosting fees, a shopping card, free tech support, 5 administrators, HDLearn, and API integration. Cost: $4.95-$19.95 per unit, one-time set-up fee of $799.
Enterprise: Offers no hosting fees, a shopping card, free tech support, 10 administrators, HDLearn, API Integration, Single Sign-on, and Facilitators. Cost: $4.95-$19.95 per unit, one-time set-up fee of $1,095.
- The Final Word: DigitalChalk Conclusion
We like DigitalChalk. We don’t love it, but we like it well enough. It’s a decent system. More than that, if you have the kind of needs that would benefit from a system like DigitalChalk, it’s probably the best one that a limited budget can afford.
If you don’t have a limited budget, it should go without saying that you should try BlackBoard instead. And if you have no budget at all, you certainly can’t do better than Moodle.