HCL Learning, the education and talent development division of HCL Infosystems, has launched a new (beta) version of its cloud-based learning initiative, called ‘Learn On Cloud which offers various personalized learning courses in the IT segment to students.

Features: According to the company, these courses will offer virtual labs, assessments, discussion forums, webinars and the ability to ask queries to a mentor. When we checked the portal, we observed that the site currently offers courses in Java programming language, Android application development, and digital integrated circuit designing with plans to offer courses in web designing and English learning courses in the future.  The platform is powered by education solution provider IPintentio, which offers a web-based IC (Integrated Chip) design platform.

These courses provide learning material in various modules and users can opt for either an animated or a non-animated presentation depending on their broadband speed. Users can also toggle these presentation modes during the presentation. Going forward, the company says that it will also provide relevant job listings and services like certification on the portal.

Pricing: The portal currently offers both free and paid courses. Users can sign up for these free courses by providing necessary details like name, contact details, college name, and location, while they can purchase the paid courses from the HCL store. Users can pay for this course through various online payment modes like credit card, debit card, net banking and offline payment modes like cheque, demand drafts and direct bank transfers.

Other Players: Sparsha Learning Technologies has a similar platform which allows professors to create and deliver activity based learning content to their students. This platform also features simulated virtual labs to provide a physical hands on experience to students and allows students to generate reports and screenshots of the results. Sparsha works on a subscription based model with pricing starting at $2 per month per lab and is currently available on the Windows platform.

The company had received an angel round of funding from Blume Ventures and TempusCapital in September 2011 and was working on an online assessment platform for IEEE in June 2012. Sparsha had claimed to have sold 12000 licenses till June 2012 and had plans to launch 40 courses in the next four years, open up its authoring platform to professors, diversify to more platforms and introduce its tablet offerings in the future.

Other education businesses include Educomp Solutions LtdPearsonEdServ SoftSystems among others. Earlier in the month, Technium Labs which operates the digital learning platform LurnQ had raised and undisclosed amount of funding from Seedfund, while the eLearning Company LIQVID had raised $3 Million From SBI Holdings subsidiary.