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Happy new year! We’re diving head first into events this year. Tim Martin is acting as our fearless leader as he presents two sessions at ATD TechKnowledge–one about xAPI and one about Jobs to be Done (JTBD)–in San Jose and attends Learning Technologies in London.

Tim Martin will talk about Clayton Christensen's idea of Jobs to be Done at ATD TechKnowledge

Tim Martin will talk about Clayton Christensen’s idea of Jobs to be Done at ATD TechKnowledge

 

To kick us off, his ATD TechKnowledge session, “Uncovering the true jobs to be done of L&D software,” takes place Wednesday, January 24 from 11:30 – 12:30 in room 210BF. He gave a similar presentation at DevLearn that I was lucky enough to attend. I walked away with an understanding that the software we think we need rarely solves the problem we have. The brainstorming strategy Tim will provide is great at helping you identify the “job” of your solution. I’d recommend this session if you’re going through a software procurement process or plan to in the next year or two. I’d also recommend this session if you are a vendor looking to understand the reason consumers ultimately purchase your product.

A Learner Report that includes attachments associated with an xAPI course

A Learner Report that includes attachments associated with an xAPI course

 

Next up, Tim has been invited to take part in the xAPI Showcase and will present a case study that illustrates a capability of xAPI not available with SCORM — specifically how to add attachments to a course created in Lectora. The Showcase, coordinated by Megan Torrance, will include hands-on exercises and real-world examples from RISC, xapiapps, and Yet Analytics. If you’re hoping to drink from the xAPI fire hose, this is the session for you. xAPI Showcase takes place Thursday, January 25 from 2:15 – 3:00 in the Disrupt Room, 211AB.

Lastly, we look forward to heading to Learning Technologies to learn what’s happening in eLearning on the other side of the pond!

If you’re attending the events and want to talk about JTBD, SCORM, xAPI, AICC or anything else standards-related, we’d love to chat. Shoot us an email and we’ll find a time to meet up. Otherwise, we hope you have a chance to attend one of Tim’s sessions at TechKnowledge!

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I always find it worthwhile to make our customers aware of what other customers are doing in case they find it helpful. Recently, our customer Steven Westmoreland, did some work around the SCORM Cloud API that I thought was worth sharing.

We occasionally have people contact us looking for a JavaScript, or Node.js specifically, client library for our SCORM Cloud API. We don’t create one ourselves at this time. However, Steven has done the community a huge solid by open sourcing his SCORM Cloud API Wrapper and providing some instructions for getting started with Node.js for Cloud on his site.

If you’re someone looking to integrate SCORM Cloud into your Node application this could be a great place to get started. The wrapper Steven has created currently supports most of the SCORM Cloud API Services and is available from both npm and GitHub.

If you’re aware of other interesting community efforts built around our projects, please let us know! We’d love to share them and promote people’s work.

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Content Controller v2.0 updated UI

We’ve gotten a lot of feedback about Content Controller since we started working on it back in 2015: feature requests, bug reports, criticisms and praise. We also have conversations with customers and potential customers about what problems Content Controller solves for them and where it falls short. This feedback is valuable because it tells us where we should focus our efforts to improve our software. There is one criticism that we’ve heard very frequently: performing routine tasks in the UI requires too much clicking. So with Content Controller v2.0, we’ve tried to do something about it.

Consider a common scenario: You’ve just signed on a new client who needs access to your entire course library under your popular “10,000 learners per course, per year” plan, and now you need to add all of those courses to the new client’s Content Controller account. This is a daunting endeavor with Content Controller v1.2, because you’d need to add each course individually, clicking through the same dialog and selecting the same options for each. With two license limits (a learner limit of 10,000 and an expiration date one year in the future), that works out to about 13 clicks per course. With library of hundreds of courses, you’d be in for a long, boring day of clicking. Content Controller has long had an API that can be used to automate this sort of task, but clearly some improvements were needed for our UI users.

So what’s changed in Content Controller v2.0? For one, we’ve added license templates so you can define a set of limits with a descriptive name, and then quickly apply the template when adding courses to an account. We’ve also added autocompletions and tag support to Content Controller’s search bars, so you can more easily find the courses you’re looking for.

But most importantly, we’ve replaced the UI for adding courses to an account with an entirely new UI that allows you select your entire course library, or just a subset, and add all of the selected courses at once while applying the same license limits to each. Populating an account with your entire course library, no matter how large, takes as few as nine clicks with the new UI in Content Controller v2.0. If you have 100 courses in your library, that’s a 99% reduction compared to Content Controller v1.2.

This isn’t the only improvement we’ve made in Content Controller v2.0 (see the release notes for a full list), but if I had to guess, I’d say it’s the one that will have the biggest impact for day-to-day use. But we can’t know that for sure until we start getting feedback from users. If you’ve tried out Content Controller v2.0, and think of ways we could make it better, let us know! We want to hear from you.

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Most eLearning content providers send their courses off into the world with no ability to manage them once released. Content Controller lets you centrally host your content so you can automatically make updates, gain insight into usage and enforce licenses. And in Content Controller v2.0, we’ve updated the user interface so that managing your licenses, courses and accounts is even easier.

Latest features like tagging and search help you efficiently organize content and manage your growing course catalog. Our updates to licenses let you seamlessly assign license types, view history and renew licenses to reflect your growing client list.

So, without any further ado, here are the highlights.

New Features in Content Controller v2.0

 

Licenses

Course Bundles

Combine courses into a bundle that is licensed as a single unit in order to save time setting up licenses. For example, create a “Gold” bundle that includes every course in your catalog. Or create a “Golf” bundle that includes golf-related courses. Then, associate bundles with licenses to quickly apply license terms and easily deliver the bundle to customers in a single file.

License Templates

Use license templates to create and save licenses you enforce across multiple accounts and content. If you consistently sell a “One Year or 10,000 Learners” license, you can create a license type that allows access for up to one year or 10,000 learners. Create the license type once and assign it to multiple accounts, saving you the trouble of having to create those same limits every time you set up an account. Any licenses you created in v1.0 will still apply.

License Renewals

Use renewals to ensure your client always maintains access and never experiences down time. Set accounts and content to automatically or manually renew into existing license terms or into new license terms. Easily view license history to see how a client’s usage has evolved over time.

License Extensions

Access license settings in order to edit individual license limits within an account or content. Support client extensions by simply increasing access granted within an existing license.

Alert Emails

Set up your internal team with alert emails that notify you of accounts that are approaching or have exceeded license limits. Use alerts to inspire client conversations supporting renewals or up-sells.

Tagging and Search

Manage your content library quickly and efficiently. Tag courses to reflect your internal organizational structure. Then, search content by user-applied tags or course name. Content search makes search simple by including auto-completions for tags and course names.

Bulk Operations

Select tens or hundreds of courses, equivalents and licensing bundles at once using Content Controller’s improved UI flow along with tagging and search. Then, assign selections to an account with just one click.

cmi5

Support cmi5, using Content Controller’s latest cmi5 import feature. Then, make it available to LMSs that support SCORM or AICC.

Learn More

Interested in learning more about the benefits of Content Controller or upgrading your version to 2.0? Get in touch! We’d love to talk about how you can more effectively manage your content.

Want to learn more about how each feature works? Check out our Knowledge Base. While you’re there, you can also check out a full list of what is included in Content Controller v2.0.

 

 

 

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As a recent Rustici Software hire, I’ve been impressed to see that the spirit of collaboration we so actively promote in our office also extends to how we work with our clients.

The case is made in the collaborative relationship we have with D2L, who wanted to make their Brightspace LMS 508 Compliant. While SCORM Engine has never needed to be compliant itself, it is a building block for other eLearning applications and it’s important for us to provide the accessibility features our customers need. That way, our clients can confidently provide the support they desire for their customers! When D2L wanted to improve Engine’s player so it could more easily cooperate with screen readers, we were game.

Throughout the process, we worked closely with two Quality Assurance Analysts at D2L who made a big impact on us. Their team is passionate about creating the most positive user experience possible. As a result, they provided us with great advice and resources (if you’re looking for resources, we would highly recommend this Section 508 Checklist and Deque’s aXe for testing).

The thing that made the biggest difference for us, however, was the help we received from one of D2L’s QA analysts, who is blind. She was able to show us exactly how she used Engine’s player and what needed to be improved. When we shared the final revision with her and she cried because she was excited to be able to use the platform for learning…well, it pretty much made our year.

As we have worked on updating, changing and improving Engine’s user interface, we’ve also been able to make significant changes to the way we structure Engine’s player so it can more easily cooperate with screen readers. We redid the Player’s menu, buttons and navigation so that VoiceOver can now read them properly. We also updated Engine so that Landmarks (this is like a shortcut popup that allows users to quickly navigate to pages) get properly populated.

Learn more about the additional changes made to Engine in the 2017.1 release here. And if you have any questions about 508 compliance in eLearning or want to talk to us about an upgrade, just contact us.

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