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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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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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