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We recently started a large project to update the content and modernize the user experience across SCORM.com, ExperienceAPI.com and RusticiSoftware.com. Yep, it’s a pretty big endeavor and you’ll hear more from us about it as we get closer to launching the new sites. So, don’t panic! You’ll still have access to all of this great content, hopefully in a much improved, easier to digest format.

During this process, we’ve discovered this: the definition of roles within the eLearning industry are not as clear cut as they once were. Traditionally in the world of eLearning you would likely fall into one of three categories: Content Creator, LMS Provider or Customer (of an LMS Provider or Content Creator). But things have changed. With greater demand for customized learning experiences, an increased interest in extended enterprise training and content specific platforms on the rise, the roles of Content, Platform and Customer have gotten pretty blurry.

Then vs. Now

Then:

Content creators might rely solely on their customer provided LMS as the delivery mechanism for connecting learners to courses. In most cases the content creator would hand off fully packaged courses (as a SCORM file) to a customer who would then run them through their LMS. Primary goal? CREATE content.

LMS providers focused on the user management side of the equation, ensuring assignment and reporting functionality. For the most part, they relied on content being provided by their customers. Primary goal? PLAY content.

Customers provided the content they wanted to deliver to their employees/learners. And the LMS would provide the system to manage those learners and track course usage. Primary goal? TRAIN employees.

Now:

Content creators are discovering that the best way to experience their courses might not always be easy to package up and send off to a third party system. Dynamically generated courses, database driven content and media rich assets make great content but it’s not that easy to package those things up. So rather than handing off courses to their learners, they are bringing learners to their courses, allowing them to fully control the learner experience. New goal? CREATE + PLAY + DISTRIBUTE content.

LMSs are bringing more to the table than just the platform. Rich course catalogs (whether created in house or acquired through partnerships) are the norm these days, leading to more specialized learning platforms targeting specific audiences and industries. New goal? PLAY + DISTRIBUTE content.

Customers are no longer just consumers of content; we see more companies getting into the extended enterprise space. Customers are increasing their focus on content, investing more time and money into delivering customer and/or partner training online. Suddenly customers are now content creators. New goal? TRAIN employees + CREATE content + DISTRIBUTE content.

While it’s exciting to see how the roles are getting redefined, it definitely adds some complexity to the site redesign. So, stay tuned! And along the way we’ll keep you in the loop on our progress. Better yet–let us know which circle you think you fall into.

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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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