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Lotus boosts distance learning line

Lotus Development is boosting its distance learning offerings with a new batch of courses and plans to deliver hosted distributed learning applications based on Lotus LearningSpace Anytime.

Lotus Development is boosting its distance learning offerings with a new batch of courses and plans to deliver hosted distributed learning applications based on Lotus LearningSpace Anytime.

The IBM subsidiary has rolled out the Lotus CoursePak Provider Network, a course content distribution program that offers "one-stop" access to a portfolio of prepackaged and customizable online courseware.

The CoursePak Provider Network is part of Lotus's strategy to build a worldwide market around the company's distributed learning platform, Lotus LearningSpace, the company said.

Lotus LearningSpace software allows customers to conduct and manage learning over the Internet or within intranets.

LearningSpace 3.0 is due to launch by the end of next month. The new product will include LearningSpace Forum, an asynchronous version of the product; LearningSpace Live, a synchronous version; and LearningSpace Anytime, which is a combination of both the asynchronous and synchronous versions. The product includes a "live" virtual classroom environment, making it easier for instructors to deliver remote presentations, share applications, and tour Web sites with participating students.

With the new CoursePak Provider Network, Lotus has built a network of distributed learning-solution providers, consisting of more than 230 LearningSpace Specialty Partners worldwide, who offer a range of training, consulting, content development, and hosting services.

With the announcement of "the Lotus CoursePak Provider Network and new training offerings from U.S. Technologies, Instruction Set, Tactics, and others, dozens of new online courses will become available to LearningSpace customers through one convenient, global channel," Peter Rothstein, general manager, Lotus Distributed Learning Business Group, said in a statement. "This new program marks an important step in our continuing efforts to build the kind of comprehensive solutions industry around LearningSpace that we have built for Notes and Domino."

Along with the new network, Lotus also announced that Interliant, a strategic business partner, will deliver hosted, turnkey, and customizable distributed learning applications based on the Lotus LearningSpace Anytime platform.

Beginning in the third quarter of this year, hosted LearningSpace will allow organizations to deploy and maintain customized, distributed learning environments with minimal IT infrastructure and resources, the company claimed.

Lotus considers hosted applications as important, new distributed learning deployment options that further extend the company's market position in offering learning environments with LearningSpace.

Interliant is planning the beta program for this new hosted LearningSpace service, beginning later in Q2 1999.

CoursePak Provider Network solutions and pricing will be available in July, the company said.