HHS to use GeoLearning courseware

The Department of Health and Human Services has awarded a $1.26 million contract to GeoLearning Inc. to provide Web-based learning capabilities for government employees.

The company will provide and host off-the-shelf courseware for basic business and technology skills, among others, for the department's 66,000 employees in what's being called the Health & Human Services University, said Will Hipwell, GeoLearning's vice president of marketing.

The e-learning platform will be available to a limited audience beginning mid-August with a full deployment in October, he said. Under the contract, up to 100,000 workers, possibly including some state, local, nonprofit and other individuals, could be offered the e-learning courseware, he added. The contract covers software leasing and help-desk features for the first year.

Department officials will also develop agency-specific content using the company's GeoMaestro product, which enables them to collect, create, manage and share knowledge to improve productivity.

Other product features include live Web conferencing, a class and event scheduler, and a product library to manage the inventory of education materials. Other modules will allow officials to measure employees' performance and learning as well as return on investment.

GeoLearning, based in West Des Moines, Iowa, has set up similar systems for about 45 to 50 other federal departments and agencies, including the Social Security Administration, Department of Housing and Urban Development and Commerce Department. It also provides software for the Office of Personnel Management's Gov Online Learning Center, or GoLearn, which is a governmentwide training program that offers online programs, tools and services to federal employees.

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