Claro's easy learning curve, real-time collaborative development and HTML5 mobile compliancy featured in eLearning Industry article

Claro , e-learning technology , LCMS features

Todd Macey, Product Manager at Vital Learning Inc., recently discussed his experiences with Claro — dominKnow's web-based eLearning and mobile-learning authoring tool.

In an article published at eLearning Industry, Macey describes a very successful deployment of Claro to meet a difficult challenge at Vital Learning . 

"Our workgroup got up to speed and started building a course in just a few weeks (far faster, in my experience, than for Adobe products)," Macey says in the article. Claro’s reusable content features also save development time and the web-based platform means easy collaboration with remote team members. The project was completed under budget, in 5 months."

Sound interesting? Take a few minutes to read How Vital Learning Built 25 HTML5 Compliant eLearning Courses In 5 months, Under Budget

Macey cites Claro's easy learning curve, web-based real-time collaborative development features and HTML5 mobile compliancy as key reasons for Vital Learning's choice. 

Perhaps these are features that your company is looking for in an authoring tool? If so, let's talk. Shoot us an email at info@dominknow.com, and let's see how Claro can help your team!

Starting out the New Year with new honours for Claro!

Claro , e-learning technology , HTML5 , LCMS features No Comments »

Last week our team let out a double “woot!” as we learned that Claro has picked up two more honours from the eLearning world.

On Wednesday we learned that Claro has earned a Gold medal from the Brandon Hall Group’s Learning Technologies awards program, in the category Best Advance in Content Management Technology. This is the fourth year in a row we’ve earned a Gold medal in these awards, and we are truly honoured for the recognition Claro has received. The Brandon Hall Group is well known in our industry, and its awards program is one of the longest running and best-respected.

Then, on Friday word came over the Interwebs that we had again been named to TrainingIndustry.com’s list of Top 20 Authoring Tool Companies. The TrainingIndustry.com website has a huge number of resources available for practitioners at all levels in the learning and development field, and we’re truly honoured to have been named to this list for a second year in a row.

Over the past 12 months we’ve taken Claro into some really exciting new areas of functionality. We’ve broadened out from our early focus on eLearning and mLearning to include print documentation. And we’re taking our elearning and mLearning focus to the next level with our current work on Flow, our design environment for creating responsive web-based learning content.

All of which is makes us ask ourselves – what can we do next?

It’s a fun question to ask, and it’s part of what drives our team’s passion for Claro.

And along the way, we earn a bit of recognition for that passion! 

 

Chris Van Wingerden is Vice President Learning Solutions at dominKnow Learning Systems.

Tin Can API or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Spec

Claro , e-learning , e-learning technology , instructional design 4 Comments »

I’m not a programmer, I’m an instructional designer.

And for the past decade or so I’ve been pretty satisfied with my level of understanding of the SCORM standard. I know what I need to know, you know?

That’s how I’d been approaching the Tin Can API over the past few months. I had a high-level understanding of it, and knew I could talk to any of our development team here at dominKnow any time I needed more details (we’re among the early adopters of the standard).

But a few weeks back, watching the #TinCanAPI hash tag go by in the Twitter stream, I had this crazy thought – maybe I ought to actually dig in a bit deeper.

So I downloaded the latest version of the specification document and kind of held my breath as the PDF opened, not too sure what I was really in for.

The Tin Can API is a project being led by the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Inititiative, the group that has responsibility for the SCORM standard.

And although it’s been described by some as the next generation of SCORM, what I found in the spec is that the Tin Can API is actually very different in ways I think could really change our industry.  Where SCORM set out the standard by which data was passed from a course to a Learning Management System (LMS) for storing, the Tin Can API opens up the data flow so much more.

What the Tin Can API sets out are the parameters and rules for passing data statements about learning activities from one thing to another thing. (And I’ll come back to what those things could be in a bit more detail in a minute, because that’s pretty cool.) 

Those data statements take the shape of a sentence with an actor, a verb and an object. And in bit of a flashback to those elementary-school grammar lessons we’ve all had and mostly forgotten, the actor is the person or group of people involved, the verb is the action that was accomplished, and the object is the context around that action.

 If Allison finished an online course called The Five-Step Sales Process or Kumar passed an online test in calculus, the statements could look something like this:

 Actor Verb Object

Maybe you’re thinking this doesn’t look too much different than what we can already do in SCORM. After all, we can already track completion of a course or passing of a test in our Learning management System (LMS), can’t we?

The Tin Can API moves beyond SCORM in that the verbs themselves can go well beyond the data we currently get to track and measure. And these aren’t numbers we’re passing, it’s data about actions that were completed.

In fact, with version .95 of the Tin Can API specification, the verbs themselves are open – creators of things can define their own verbs to measure achievements in ways that are most meaningful to their own business processes.

 So instead of just passing around data such as test scores and completion information, the Tin Can API will let you track data around any verb you need to track.

When Allison goes back to her job and uses the skills she learned in the online sales process, you can now track a statement like, “Allison applied the five-step sales process.” And you can even flesh out the object with further context to say, “Allison applied the five-step sales process to increase her weekly sales totals by 15%.”

If you’re a fan of the Kirkpatrick Model for evaluating the effectiveness of training, this should really open up some possibilities for you. This type of data can begin to allow us to see the business results that arose from Allison’s completion of the sales process course.

If you’re a fan of Bloom's Taxonomy, you’re probably also seeing some neat opportunities here to track learning tasks further up towards the top of that famous triangle.

That’s the first part of what’s exciting about the Tin Can API – it sets out a new language structure for tracking different data than we’ve ben able to track before.

The second part of my excitement over the Tin Can API brings us back to those “things” I mentioned earlier. The API isn’t about online courses passing data back to LMSs, it’s about any online thing  (or any thing with some form or aspect of online connection) generating and passing data to any thing designed to capture that data.

The generating and passing part of that equation can include online courses, but it can also include apps for mobile devices, games and simulations, web-based performance support tools, documents like help files or tip sheets and almost any other thing we can imagine, leaving the future much more wide open than SCORM does.

For users of Claro, it means any thing created in Claro could be trackable as a learning activity without requiring an LMS to launch it. We can already create performance support tools or other just-in-time/time-of-need learning products in Claro that can be used without the need for an LMS. With the Tin Can API, these other learning products will now be trackable as well, whether it’s an app on a mobile device or a performance support tool on an organization’s intranet.

The capturing part of the equation opens up some neat possibilities as well. The Tin Can discussion has presented us with a new acronym, the Learning Record Store (LRS) to describe a new type of tool.

Even though it’s three letters long and still starts with “L”, an LRS could be something very different from an LMS. (And it could be an LMS, too, it just doesn’t have to be.) An LRS could be a simple database, or it could be part of or integrated into any of the innumerable other data collection tools already in use by organizations.

This means that data from things spread across an organization’s entire learning and development ecosystem can be more readily combined with other data within an organization – and that offers some really neat possibilities for better analytics to help guide decisions from top to bottom in the organization, as well as better opportunities for customizing and focusing learning paths for individual learners.

And here’s a crazier thought - potentially our own learning data doesn’t have to be trapped in an LMS anymore. Personal LRSs are a possibility – an ongoing record of your own learning accomplishments, like a data portfolio.

For the past few weeks, my head has been spinning with all of these possibilities. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stopped and thought, “Oh, what about…?” as another possibility percolated up to the surface for me.

So I guess I’m proof that everyone in our space – not just programmers – should be getting excited by all the potential the Tin Can API represents.

Chris Van Wingerden is Vice President Learning Solutions at dominKnow Learning Systems.

 

Play it again, Sam! Taking up the piano challenge in Claro

Claro , e-learning , e-learning technology , HTML5 2 Comments »

Last week Joe Ganci, who goes by the Twitter moniker @elearningjoe and who is a frequent contributor to the eLearning Guild's Learning Solutions Magazine, had a neat idea in his elearning newsletter.

Joe created a piano exercise in a trio of elearning authoring tools to show how each was able to handle the same design/authoring task. In the examples, he shows a piano keyboard that the learner can use to select keys and play the notes of a full octave.

Here's a link to Joe's YouTube video where he shows off one of his examples. And here's a link to see the full example information in the July 9 edition of Joe's newsletter.

Joe also issued a challenge to his readers to create the same exercise in their favourite tools - and the team there at dominKnow team said, "We're up for that challenge!" We rolled up our sleeves and had a go at recreating the example in Claro.

And since this is a demonstration of elearning authoring, we added a further level of learning to the example. In the Claro version users can play the piano keys -- but they can also take a lesson and learn to play Beethoven's Ode to Joy. In the lesson mode, learners can listen to a clip from the song and see the keys highlighted in time with the audio or they can explore a copy of the sheet music to see where each note on the staff is played on the keyboard.

So, check out our version here

Since this was made in Claro, the published course doesn't require a browser that supports Flash in order for it to work. So the one published version runs on an iPad or Android tablet as well as on Windows browsers like Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome along with Safari, Firefox and Chrome on Macs.

Use the comments below to let us know what you think!

Ah, Orlando in the spring…Learning Solutions 2012 here we come!

Claro , dominKnow Inc. , e-learning , e-learning technology , HTML5 , instructional design , Learning Solutions 2012 No Comments »

Okay, it's not as well-known a phrase as "Paris in the spring", but for those of us in training and development Orlando in March has become famous for the annual Learning Solutions Conference and Expo put on by the eLearning Guild.

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