Shaping the future of learning: a year of innovation at Kineo
Shaping the future of learning
Driven by our passion to improve performance through learning and technology, we love to explore new ideas. Having just recently returned from our biggest industry event of the year, what's been really evident is the simple fact that we're always on the move, and the last twelve months leading up to the show have been no exception.
This year's revelation of our top innovations
We design solutions that have real impact by starting with business challenges in mind. From the development of Adapt and Totara the same drive still rings true to this day. Over the past year we've been busy at work thinking of new ways to solve common challenges and deliver great workplace learning. Here are just 5 areas of learning where we've been stirring things up:
Getting interactive with video
This time last year, we talked about how video was about to get disruptive, and it certainly has. We’ve been creating interactive video for some time, having worked with several interactive suppliers. Learning from the common challenges we and our clients' faced when creating digital learning, we also recently built our own framework to enable us to create elearning in a environment that's faster, more effective, and produces responsive content that works on all devices (and for those techy folk out there who've worked with interactive video, it even works seamlessly on iPhones – I know, we're just as surprised as you are!). Interactive video has evolved to be so much richer and immersive than just branching scenarios, and it's also become an affordable solution too. Make sure you download Kineo's guide to interactive video to get the tools you need to decide if interactive video is right for your particular training need as well the nuts and bolts to build something that has real impact.
Shaking up the LMS
Looking back at where Totara LMS was in 2010, I'm sure Kineo, Flexible Network Group (now part of Kineo) and Catalyst IT had aspirations for the LMS, but couldn't have imaged it would be where it is today. Year on year, Totara LMS has gone from strength to strength under the Totara Learning leadership as more learning providers have joined the open source network and added their wealth of knowledge to the core functionality of the platform.
Because Totara Learning now has a solid LMS with robust functionality right out of the box, we've recently decided to help bring the features of the platform to those who need something quick and simple. By coupling Totara LMS with our own unique set of enhancements, our SaaS LMS offering provides a UX unlike anything you'll find elsewhere on market with the ability to brand it as your own. We're excited to have expanded our LMS offering over the past 12 months and have also been working hard to develop custom plugins so that we can deliver bespoke LMSs that are faster and simpler to implement and update (we touch on the benefits of a flexible LMS in this post).
This time last year, we all knew social and collaborative learning was something big. It topped many polls and pieces of research as the new big thing in L&D.
At Kineo we're into fad-busting, so we took a good look at what social learning really means - back to the roots of research into how humans learn and what's so social about it. Forget the technology you use to get there, we wanted to strip back to 'social learning' as a verb, not a noun. Our own research, and our work with clients, shows that there is already a strong social and collaborative learning culture in many businesses. Our latest white paper on social learning thus looks at how to nurture and encourage the behaviour that naturally drives us to learn socially and share our knowledge.
So it's a people first, tech second approach. But once the fundamentals are in place you may well need a platform to support it. Our collaboration with Totara Learning on Totara Social has led to new enhancements and simplified processes to make it really work as part of any Totara Learn.
Adapting for the future
Adapt Learning has come a long way since we decided to make it an open source project. Since that decision, the community has grown into the thousands and there are eight collaborators driving the project forward. Over the past year, Kineo has done some of our own work on the side to create a maintenance tool for our clients. We're strong supporters of our clients having the freedom and control to create and maintain their own elearning, and are excited that we can give them the tool to do so with Adapt.
As head of the steering group, Kineo is invested in continuing to make Adapt a success and work with the Adapt collaborators and community to determine the direction of the framework. Last year Adapt had 9 new updates and we're pleased to say that the roadmap for the framework and authoring tool have many exciting features on the horizon. The community has played a big part in driving development ahead, and in the past year we've added functionality to the website to help make this happen – such as with improved community forums and plugins. Since being added to the site, there are over 130 plugins available for download, with over 30 of those plugins having been developed by Kineo and our staff.
Get WISE with learning design
A few months ago we debuted our philosophy for modern learning design, based on the belief that digital learning needed to WISE up. We're in the business of creating great learning content and design, and want our clients to do the same. We've always been big on providing capability training to our clients' staff and this year we put the finishing touches on The Art of Design, a course on the fundamentals of learning design taught by none other than one of Kineo's founders, Mark Harrison. If you're interested in knowing more or getting a trial, read more about The Art of Design.
Where's my badge?
Kineo got a new sister in 2016 with the incorporation of DigitalMe into the City & Guilds Group. DigitalMe is an open badges company, and we're excited that this partnership enables us to provide our clients with a more sophisticated version of the new global standard for recognising skills and achievements. The badges serve many purposes, such as offering companies the opportunity to market their learning through branded badging on sites like LinkedIn, with learners using them to validate their expertise. Proving that the applications for badges are expansive, we recently had a large, multi-chain restaurant business introduce badges as an effective method for recognising training and skills to cut costs and easily enable employees to work in multiple restaurant chains within the business or cover shifts.
Having just scratched the surface, it's clear it's been an exciting 12 months here at Kineo. So much has happened and it's amazing to step back and admire some of what we've done in that space of time - especially when we think about the work we've done with our clients to bring their projects to life. As the saying goes, time flies when you're having fun, and I can tell this year will be gone in a blink.