By Colin Gause, Director of Product Management
It’s January and you know what that means – time for a quick reflection on our feature improvements of 2017 and then a glimpse forward to 2018’s plans for Intrepid Learn. (To see the recently rebranded-to-Intrepid-Discover’s look forward/look back please see https://blog.vitalsource.com/vitalsource-content-studio-we-were-busy-in-2017)
Here are a few of 2017’s updates to the Intrepid Learn platform:
Direct awards of points and badges, aka I see what a great job you’re doing on the job!
In addition to the badges and points awarded automatically for learner activity quantifiable within the platform (ie completing content, submitting Missions and peer reviews, etc), we expanded our gamification to include “direct awards”. This means that instructors and administrators can directly award points or badges (individually or in a batch) for various other scenarios such as exceptional contributions to a discussion session or, and just as importantly, improved performance or contributions observed outside the platform as learned concepts are applied in the workplace.
Accessibility, with benefits for everyone
We partnered with a client that champions these capabilities to advance Intrepid Learn’s support for the WCAG 2.0 (international) accessibility standards. While we already had capabilities targeted at other types of accessibility needs, we focused on enhancing support for users with vision impairments navigating with keyboards and assistive, screen-reader technologies. Bonus for others: easier keyboard navigation, which I and many others like to use anyway. (For more on this, see my earlier “Let’s Get Accessible, Accessible” blog post https://www.intrepidlearning.com/accessibility)
“Pop-up” style notifications to celebrate important events
Alert learners to key events related to their activity within an Intrepid Learn class, with a new (very obvious) “hover” notification that appears on login to a class. This new notification complements the existing menu bar notification feature (which is more subtle and handles a broader range of events) as well as our announcement feature (which goes to all learners vs. being specific to each learner).For example, if a learner receives a direct points or badges award from an administrator or instructor, they will now see an obvious (and celebratory) “hover” notification.
We also made a number of updates to the administrative experience including:
- A new capability to define custom user property fields for administrative use.
- Simplification of the “syllabus” page use for timed release of content and usability updates such as adding draggability of dates (for easy rearrangement).
- Ability to make much more extensive edits to quizzes after a quiz is published (to address changes to text or even typos that don’t impact the structure of the quiz).
- Additional controls for managing access to your site (aligned with industry security standards – SOC2 – that help in conversations with internal IT groups).
Looking Ahead to 2018
We’ve already been laying the groundwork for a number of capabilities in 2018 (and there’s one less distraction now that the Vikings have conveniently swan-dived out of the picture…again)! We’ll keep you updated as we go along, and here’s a quick preview:
- Enabling administrators to define multi-criteria “completion” requirements for a class supporting easier administration, communication with learners, reporting, integration and possibly even world peace (can’t hurt).
- Enhancing access to learner activity data through dashboards and data warehouse
- Create, manage and execute class email communication plans directly from Intrepid Learn
- Improvements to multi-language support
- Our usual commitment to continually improving our administrator experience!
And now, your moment of tech zen: