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AllenComm Portal Newsletter #2

We like to keep you up to date on advances in technology, innovative ways to use existing technology and how your portal can enhance your training. Keep reading for interesting new work, updates you should know and news from our end.

GamificationYou’ve at least heard about gamification, and you may even be incorporating it into your content or looking at how it can work for you. We’ve been excited about the different ways to use gamification too, and have been working with clients to develop games and gamification strategies right in the portal’s user interface. These games reinforce our philosophy that your portal is more than just a tool that delivers, tracks, and reports on training; it’s actually part of the learning experience as well.

A well-designed game can better engage users, and help them learn even when they don’t think they’re learning. If you are using games in your training content, you may wonder how gamification in the portal is different. Here are a few highlights of how a game in the portal might differ from a game within a course:

  • The user doesn’t have to access the course to play the game. This means a well-designed game can be used outside of the context of the course to continue reinforcing learning.
  • It can be reusable. We can design the game structure so that it can be used for different purposes—in different areas of content or different learning paths. The game logic is the same, but the content of the game is different.
  • It can be portable. The game can live in the portal, but could also be accessible as an app on a mobile device.

In our next newsletter, we will feature a game design that will be available to you as part of our core product. Leave a comment below with how you think portal gamification can work with your content.

Performance Support

The portal is a great place to provide performance support in addition to training content. Providing access to information or tools to users at their moment of need is what performance support is all about. A great performance support design reduces time-to-competency, which is a compelling driver to incorporate it into your strategy.

Performance-SupportWe have been following the founders of The Performance Support Community, Bob Mosher and Conrad Gottfredson for a couple of years now, and we love their vision for how performance support fits with learning strategies: a user needs to first learn (formal training), then transfer the knowledge (apply to the job), finally sustain that knowledge (everyday, informal performance support). The portal can provide one-stop support for all three of these stages.

We are designing and building portals that are heavy on performance support for some of our clients, and we’ll highlight some of those in the future. Until then, let us know if you’d like to talk about expanding your use of the portal to provide performance support to your users.

The Allen API

APIYou may know that Allen has its own API built directly into your portal, but are you aware of what we can do with our API? We have used our API for a broad range of things like integrations/web service calls between our portal and other systems, having a course make calls to our portal to retrieve data that populates into the course, and also supporting mobile strategies to allow learning experience in an app. If you are familiar with Experience API (also known as xAPI or Tin Can), some of these scenarios may sound familiar to you. While we do support xAPI, we have actually been using our own API for some of the xAPI use cases for years.

Next quarter we’ll be rolling out a blog and infographic to give you a bigger picture about xAPI and other eLearning standards. Wondering how you could leverage our API in your portal implementation? Get in touch.

Let us know what you’d like to hear about in the next newsletter, and if you have a use case or case study you’d like to share with other Allen portal clients, drop us a note!