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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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Image from Scraawl

I/ITSEC is going to be here before we know it! Rustici Software will be exhibiting again this year–booth 413–and are looking forward to heading to Orlando in November.

If you’re not familiar with I/ITSEC, it’s an incredible conference that showcases the latest training tools and technologies used by various government and military agencies around the world.

Along with seeing all of the amazing innovations within the training and simulation space, we are also excited to participate at I/ITSEC this year given that the DoDI 1322.6 was recently re-issued. We were involved in researching and creating the latest DoDI and are excited about the inclusion of the Experience API within the instruction to further enhance interoperability across learning systems. With the inclusion of xAPI (along with SCORM), we expect many people to have questions on how to best utilize and implement these standards. That’s what we’re here for! If you have questions about the new DoDI and how to implement xAPI (or SCORM), please come by booth 413 and see us.

As exhibitors , we’re also happy to share passes to I/ITSEC. Our pass entitles you to visit the exhibit hall all four days of I/ITSEC. The show takes place in Orlando, FL from November 27 – December 1. If you want a pass, just reach out. We’ll be happy to share!

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We’re looking forward to DevLearn 2017 in Las Vegas (and HR Tech in Vegas tomorrow!). Our CEO, Tim Martin has a DevLearn session about the “Jobs to be Done” by L&D software. I’ve had a sneak peak of the upcoming content and I have to say, thinking about seeking a solution by considering its “job” is, for me, a new and astute way of going about the technology selection process.

Uncovering the True Purpose of L&D Software” will be helpful for anyone looking to purchase a new product or better understand the L&D ecosystem. It takes place 10:45 – 11:45 am Wednesday, October 25. Tim will also be giving a shortened, workshop version of this presentation at HR Tech Connect.

I’ll also be attending DevLearn this year. This is the first conference I’m attending via Rustici Software and there are a number of sessions I’m excited about. Plus, I’ll get to check out xAPI Camp before the show. I look forward to providing a report from a newbie’s perspective post-show.

If you’re going to DevLearn and want to meet up, we’d love to connect. Just let us know.

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Rustici Software awarded CLO Award

We are thrilled to share that Chief Learning Officer (CLO) magazine announced the winners of the 2017 Learning in Practice Awards and Rustici Software won a Bronze Award for Excellence in Technology Innovation! Our submission recognized the work the SANS Institute has done using Content Controller to update their content distribution strategy. We are very thankful they allowed us to highlight their story and thrilled to consider these industry leaders our clients.

The SANS story

SANS’s use of Content Controller is an interesting story in and of its own, which we have explored in the SANS Content Controller case study. But to submit the award we also dug into the overall landscape. The difference between what SANS is doing to distribute content and what the industry has historically done is pretty staggering.

The Learning Management System (LMS) marketplace is expected to be valued at $7B/year by 2018 and is primarily split into two deployment models: on-premise and SaaS. LMSs have been supporting off-the-shelf eLearning content via third-party content providers since 1997. The model may appear simple: content providers license (for a certain number of users usually) courses to client who then access content via their own LMS. But this twenty-year old model has inherent flaws: content creators have found a lack of license control, a risk of inaccurate content, multi-language pain and a lack of data regarding course engagement.

The SANS Institute has solved these traditional challenges by shifting their distribution model. Using Content Controller, SANS centrally hosts their content to easily deliver the latest, most accurate content to learners and streamline their license admin. They’ve seen a 90% reduction in time spent updating existing content, saving $100K in employee costs per year. If you want to learn more about their story, check out the SANS case study.

Celebrating other clients who won CLO awards

In addition to our win, we were pleased to see that a number of other Rustici clients were also CLO award winners. The Learning in Practice Awards celebrate those who have crafted new and innovative education initiatives. Booz Allen Hamilton won A Silver Business Partnership Award and their Director, David Sylvester, won a Gold Trailblazer Award. Our client Grovo won a Bronze Excellence in eLearning award. Hats off to them!

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cmi5-exanded-pens-support
One thing we love about supporting eLearning standards is that by helping others comply with the specifications that best suit their needs, we get to watch them be more impactful in the space. To that end, we’re happy to include cmi5 and expanded PENS support in our SCORM Engine 2017.1 release and seeing what folks do with it.

PENS

The Package Exchange Notification System (PENS) is a great example of a feature that’s inspired by our customers. PENS is a specification that allows one-click publishing from an authoring tool to an LMS (you can learn more about how PENS works here). In this release we’re moving forward with a plan to expand PENS support in SCORM Engine. While we’re confident the PENS specification will catch up to new and emerging learning standards such as xAPI and cmi5, we don’t want to stand in the way of our customers using PENS for these new standards. To that end, we have included support for content types in PENS of “cmi5”, “xapi”, and “tcapi”. Any of these will now be recognized in the PENS request and processed.

cmi5

Earlier this year, you may have read that cmi5 support was made available in SCORM Cloud as well as SCORM Engine and SCORM Driver. Tim’s blog post did a great job of discussing why cmi5 was so important but in short, cmi5 is like “xAPI on rails.” In addition to allowing you to track anything (particularly actions that occur outside a LMS) it also provides specificity around content launch. Content launch has traditionally been the biggest challenge of xAPI, and we believe cmi5 will be intrinsic to the transition from SCORM to xAPI.

If you have questions about PENS or cmi5 in general, or you want to learn how to make use of this expanded support please let us know.

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