Monday, 2 December 2013

SkillsServe 4.6 Release Notes

Overview

The SkillsServe team are pleased to announce SkillsServe 4.6, which will be available from early December 2013.

What’s new in this version?

CPD Record Submission

Is it a new feature or an upgrade?

This is a new feature which has been added to the CPD system in SkillsServe.

   
How it works…

CPD users can now quickly and easily submit their CPD record to participating professional bodies.

When this feature is enabled, the user simply visits their CPD log, clicks on the Submit CPD Record button and enters the date range of CPD activities they would like to submit:

image

image

After the date range has been confirmed, the user will be prompted with a confirmation page containing details of the CPD activities within that date range.

On submitting, the CPD activities including attachments will be sent to the professional body to review.

Once submitted, the Actions box within the CPD log will update to display the date range and date/time of when the record was last submitted.

There are no restrictions on how many times a CPD record can be submitted.

   
Why is this beneficial?

It provides CPD users on SkillsServe a quick and easy process to submit their CPD record for review when requested.

   
Default or configurable?

This feature is configurable, so please contact your account manager for further details.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

SkillsServe 4.5 Release Notes

Overview

The SkillsServe team are pleased to announce SkillsServe 4.5, which will be available from mid-October 2013

What’s new in this version?

  1. Route Map Themes 
  2. Reporting Performance Enhancements

1. Route Map Themes

Is it a new feature or an upgrade?

This is an update to the content management functionality in SkillsServe related to programmes which display as route maps.

   
How it works…

Using our design expertise, Unicorn Training can design and build attractive visual route maps for your learning journeys which are structured as programmes in SkillsServe:

image

A route map theme can be applied to a programme on the activity details page for the programme:


image 

A single route map theme may be applied to multiple programmes. Programmes which use route map themes will syndicate the theme between sites alongside the programme.

   
Why is this beneficial?

This feature is beneficial for both content administrators and theme designers as multiple programmes can share a common route map theme which can be updated in one place and applied to all programmes which use them. This means content administrators have greater control over how programmes display for users by being able to select a theme for programmes displayed as route maps.

   
Default or configurable?

Route map themes are available by default on all SkillsServe 4.5 sites. If you’re interested in having a visual route map designed for a learning journey you’ve created, please contact your account manager.

 

2. Reporting Performance Enhancements


Is it a new feature or an upgrade? This is an upgrade to the reporting functionality in SkillsServe.
How it works…

We’ve made several system level enhancements to improve the performance of the reporting area of SkillsServe, including report previews, export functionality and scheduled email reports.

A small user interface change has been made to improve the layout of the report preview page:


image
   
Why is this beneficial? This is beneficial to users and administrators using the reporting area due to the increased speed of generating report data.
   
Default or configurable? This upgrade is standard across all SkillsServe 4.5 sites.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

SkillsServe 4.4 Release Notes

Overview

The SkillsServe team are pleased to announce SkillsServe 4.4, which will be available from late September 2013.
What’s new in this version?
  1. Document Activities
  2. Automatic CPD Time Capping
  3. Administrator Editing of Activity Time Spent
  4. Registration Rule Enhancements
  5. Custom Portlet Editor
  6. Site Settings Security

1. Document Activities

Is it a new feature or an upgrade? This new feature makes it simple to upload documents to the content manager, training plan and catalogue.
   
How it works… Document activities can be created and managed through the Content Manager.

image

A new document activity can be created by either uploading a file or providing a URL to a document on another website. SkillsServe supports the following file types: Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx), Microsoft Excel (.xls, .xlsx), PowerPoint (.ppt, .pptx), images (.gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .tif, .tiff, .png), PDFs (.pdf) and plain text files (.txt).

Document activities can be placed in a catalogue. Once users are registered, the document activity will appear in their training plan. Content administrators can choose how an uploaded document is viewed (e.g. online or downloaded) and deny access to print documents.

image
   
Why is this beneficial? The document activity enhances the existing document upload functionality giving greater control to content administrators and improved viewing options for users.
   
Default or configurable? Document activities are available by default on all SkillsServe 4.4 sites.

 

2. Automatic CPD Time Capping


Is it a new feature or an upgrade? Automatic Capping is an upgrade to the CPD system.
   
How it works… Administrators can set the number of Recommended CPD Hours for an activity, thereby limiting the amount of hours registered users can automatically accrue for online activities:

image

This field can be found under the Advanced Settings tab of the activity when viewed in the Content Manager.

If a registered user exceeds the number of CPD hours set by an administrator they’ll still be able to view the activity but their CPD Log will be capped at the level set above. This will only affect attempts from when the cap is set. If a user re-attempts an activity once a cap has been set, the cap will come into force with all previous attempts prior to capping remaining as is.
   
Why is this beneficial? This gives administrators more control over the amount of CPD hours users are earning on online activities.
   
Default or configurable? This is a configurable feature so please contact your account manager for further details.

 

3. Administrator Editing of Time Spent on Activities


Is it a new feature or an upgrade? This new feature enables administrators to amend the time spent by users on online activities such as eLearning, assessments, eBriefings and audio/video. This is in addition to users currently being able to amend the time they’ve spent on eBriefings.
   
How it works… Administrators can now increase or decrease the duration of each attempt a user has made at an online activity, thereby adjusting the overall time spent on the activity.

image
image
   
Why is this beneficial? This allows for a more realistic reading. For example, you can reduce the time spent on an activity accidentally left open or increase the recorded time spent for a user who printed activity material to read offline.
   
Default or configurable? Editing of time spent is enabled by default.

4. Registration Rule Enhancements


Is it a new feature or an upgrade? This is an upgrade to the way selection groups work for registration rules on activities in SkillsServe.
   
How it works… When you select an organisation unit in a registration rule filter and include child units, the included child units will automatically update from that point on.

image
   
Why is this beneficial? This means new registration rules no longer need to be manually amended to reflect changes to your organisation’s structure. These updates will be applied automatically to the selection group for the registration rule.
   
Default or configurable? This improved behaviour will be available across all SkillsServe 4.4 sites.

5. Custom Portlet Editor


Is it a new feature or an upgrade? This is an update to the way the content of custom portlets can be edited in SkillsServe.
   
How it works… You can now edit the content of custom portlets from within the portlet’s settings page under Site Settings > Portlet Configuration.

image
   
Why is this beneficial? This means client administrators can create and maintain custom portlets and enable custom content to be displayed on users’ homepages.
   
Default or configurable? The updated custom portlet editor is available on all SkillsServe 4.4 sites, although access is configurable by security. Please speak to your account manager for further information.

6. Site Settings Security


Is it a new feature or an upgrade? This upgrade to the Site Settings area gives administrators access to site-wide settings such as themes and URLs, custom profile fields, CPD schemes, system roles, portlet configuration and webinar accounts.
   
How it works… New security permissions can be assigned to users/groups to give them access to the Site Settings area of SkillsServe.
   
Why is this beneficial? This enhancement allows client administrators to configure more areas of SkillsServe.
   
Default or configurable? This upgrade is configurable by security so please speak to your account manager for further information.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

SkillsServe 4.3 Release Notes

Overview

The SkillsServe team are pleased to announce SkillsServe 4.3, which will be available from mid-September 2013.

What’s new in this version?

  1. Video Portlet Custom Playlists

1. Video Portlet Custom Playlists

Is it a new feature or an upgrade?

This is an enhancement to the video portlet in SkillsServe.

How it works…

A new configuration option has been added to the video portlet configuration settings which can be found under Site Settings > Portlet Configuration, followed by selecting the video channel portlet.

A direct URL to a YouTube playlist can be specified. This will populate the video portlet with the videos from this playlist:

image

 

Why is this beneficial?

This enhancement allows videos from ‘unlisted’ YouTube playlists to be viewed in the video portlet by linking directly to a YouTube playlist.

 

Default or configurable?

The updated video portlet is available by default on all SkillsServe 4.3 sites.

Monday, 19 August 2013

SkillsServe 4.2 Release Notes

Overview

The SkillsServe team are pleased to announce SkillsServe 4.2, which will be available from the end of August 2013.

What’s new in this version?

  1. Safari Books Online Single Sign-On Portlet
  2. Deleting CPD Records
  3. User Details Synchronisation

 

1. Safari Books Online Single Sign-On Portlet

Is it a new feature or an upgrade?

Safari Books Online is a new paid-for online book service enabling users to access a vast number of technology related books from within SkillsServe.

How it works…

In SkillsServe 4.2 we’ve enabled access to Safari Books Online direct from the SkillsServe homepage via a new Safari Books Online portlet:

clip_image001

Administrators can take out a Safari Books Online subscription and give their users access to the service. When users access Safari Books Online via the portlet, an account is automatically created for them if they’ve not used the service via SkillsServe before. Subsequent access is authenticated using the user’s SkillsServe credentials.

In addition to access to the Safari Books Online website, links to specific books can be placed in the Catalogue and users’ Training Plans.

Why is this beneficial?

The new Safari Books Online homepage portlet enables easy access from within SkillsServe to a great learning resource. Single sign-on means users don’t have to remember an additional set of credentials in order to access the service.

Default or configurable?

This feature is configurable, subject to a Safari Books Online subscription. Please contact your account manager for further details.

 

2. Deleting CPD Activities

Is it a new feature or an upgrade?

This new feature enables users to permanently remove personal offline CPD activities from their CPD Log.

Any CPD activity can be removed from a user’s CPD Log and placed in Removed CPD. They can be restored at a later date if needed. Deleting CPD activities takes this a step further, allowing permanent deletion of personal offline CPD activities.

How it works…

In a user’s CPD Log, within Removed CPD, personal offline activities can be permanently deleted by clicking on the dustbin icon alongside the activity they wish to delete:

clip_image001[4]

Users can choose to permanently delete an activity when they remove it from the CPD Log. An additional checkbox option is shown as part of the removal process:

clip_image002

It’s also possible for users to permanently delete personal offline activities from their Training Plan.

Why is this beneficial?

Permanent deletion of CPD activities enables users to better manage their CPD activity logs and training plans, so they’re concise and relevant.

Default or configurable?

This new feature is included by default on all SkillsServe 4.2 sites.

 

3. User Details Synchronisation

Is it a new feature or an upgrade?

This is an update to the same sign-on web service which is used to authenticate users logging into SkillsServe via a 3rd party system.

The user’s username, password, first name, last name and email address are updated on SkillsServe 4.2 via updated information from a 3rd party authentication service.

How it works…

When a user logs into SkillsServe and is authenticated via a 3rd party system, any changes to their username, password, first name, last name and email address will automatically be updated.

Why is this beneficial?

This ensures user details on SkillsServe are in line with details held on 3rd party systems.

Default or configurable?

This feature is configurable and depends on the information provided by a 3rd party authentication service. Please contact your account manager for further details.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

SkillsServe 4.1 Release Notes

Overview

The SkillsServe team are pleased to announce SkillsServe 4.1, which will be available from the start of August 2013.

What’s new in this version?
  1. Registration Improvements
  2. Event Management System Enhancements
  3. Wiki Page Enhancements
  4. Due Dates on Activity Email Reminders
  5. Top 10 List
  6. Video Embedding
1. Registration Improvements

Is it a new feature or an upgrade?

The activity registration wizard now includes new existing registration options, an improved layout and contextual help text.

How it works…

When registering users on to activities, administrators are now presented with a new layout that includes help text. This offers administrators guidance on the options that have been selected.

RegistrationImprovements 

The due date options have been moved to the top of the screen as these are more commonly used.

The registration reset options now include:

  • Option to reset progress on all registrations
  • Option to reset progress on completed registrations older than a specified time
  • Option to limit resetting completed registrations once per calendar year

Why is this beneficial?

This gives client administrators more choice when resetting registered users on activities. The help text will also clarify which options have been chosen.

Default or Configurable?

These improvements come as standard on all SkillsServe 4.1 sites.

 

2. Event Management System Enhancements

Is it a new feature or an upgrade?

A number of changes have been made to improve SkillsServe’s event management system including the ability to archive/delete event programmes, linking to an event programme from within an event and more.

How it works…

When creating an event, the associated event programme is now displayed.

clip_image004

The event programme can be opened directly from the new event wizard or when editing an event.

You can now create an event directly within the event programme. A “New Event” option is available for event administrators within the Common Tasks menu:

clip_image006

Event administrators can now also archive event programmes or delete them altogether if no users have been registered on to its events.

Why is this beneficial?

These new improvements benefit event administrators and provide them with an easier and faster way of managing events.

Default or Configurable?

These improvements come as standard on all SkillsServe 4.1 sites.


3. Wiki Page Enhancements

Is it a new feature or an upgrade?

The administrative tools within the Wiki Pages area of SkillsServe have now been improved to allow for full width wiki pages.

How it works…

Improvements have now been made so that the full width of the page can be used for wiki content. The administrative options and attachments now appear in drop-down menus at the top of the page:

clip_image008

These drop downs will only appear if there are attachments or the user has appropriate permissions.

Why is this beneficial?

The means it is now possible to have wiki pages which look much more like full normal webpages and turns the wiki area into a true online content management system.

Default or Configurable?

These improvements come as standard on all SkillsServe 4.1 sites.

 

4. Due Dates on Activity Email Reminders

Is it a new feature or an upgrade?

The activity email reminders on SkillsServe now include the ability to add the due date of the activity into the email.

How it works…

When creating a reminder email, administrators will be able to insert the activity due date by selecting the new custom field from the right hand side of the screen:

clip_image010

Why is this beneficial?

This is beneficial to administrators who frequently use these emails to remind users of completion due dates.

Default or Configurable?

This addition is default to SkillsServe 4.1 sites.

 

5. Top 10 List

Is it a new feature or an upgrade?

The existing Top 10 list in the catalogue has now been made configurable so that a time frame can be set and filtered to only show activities that users have registered themselves onto.

How it works…

The Top 10 list in the catalogue now includes two configurable options:

· Time frame

· Only include activities users have registered themselves onto

With the addition of these two options, clients can now request that a Top 10 list displays in their catalogue that shows the most popular activities that users have registered onto over a given period.

clip_image012

Why is this beneficial?

This is beneficial to administrators who wish to view the most popular activities on the site and for users who wish to register onto a popular activity without having to search through the catalogue.

Default or Configurable?

This is a configurable option that is available on all SkillsServe 4.1 sites. By default, it will display the top 10 activities that users have been registered on to with no time restrictions. Please contact your account manager for further details.

 

6. Video Embedding

Is it a new feature or an upgrade?

Videos uploaded via the Content Manager can now be embedded or listed within wiki pages and portlets on the homepage.

How it works…

A new configurable option has been added to SkillsServe that will enable administrators to access the URL of videos uploaded to the Content Manager.

clip_image014

This URL can then be used to embed videos into portlets on the homepage or in wiki pages.

clip_image016

Why is this beneficial?

This new option will benefit client administrators who wish to upload and share/embed videos that do not need to be tracked.

Default or Configurable?

This is a configurable option that is available on all SkillsServe 4.1 sites. Please contact your account manager for further details.

 

Friday, 19 July 2013

SkillsServe 4.0 Release Notes

Overview
What’s new in this version?
  1. iPad compatibility
  2. New integrated SkillsServe Help forum
  3. Reporting improvements
1. iPad Compatibility
 
Is it a new feature or an upgrade?
This is a new feature. SkillsServe is now fully compatible with Safari on the latest version of Apple iOS on the iPad.
How it works…
SkillsServes navigation and user interfaces will now work on the iPad. SkillsServe will automatically detect the type of platform being used and adapt accordingly.
PDF and e-briefing content, plus mobile compatible eLearning are fully compatible with the Apple iOS.
Why is this beneficial?
It's now possible to access SkillsServe on the move – for example accessing compatible eLearning, taking assessments or running reports in meetings.
Note – a Wi-Fi or 3G/4G connection is required.
Note – not all content is tablet compatible Please contact your Account Manager for information on courses that are compatible with the iPad.
Default or Configurable?
iPad compatibility is default on all SkillsServe v4 sites.

2. Help Integration

Is it a new feature or an upgrade?
The integrated Help forum is a brand new feature that can be configured to work with all v4 sites.  Its purpose is to enhance the customer service experience and enable clients to get answers to queries without having to contact the Help Desk.
How it works…
Client administrators will now be able to raise a ticket with our Support team, provide feedback or access a range of user guides quickly and easily by simply clicking on the new “Help & Discussions” box on the left hand side of the page:

Doing so will open up a window that gives administrators these options to choose from clearly and concisely.

Any feedback raised by clients will be regularly reviewed and responded to by the Unicorn team.
Why is this beneficial?
This feature provides a quick and easy way for all client administrators to raise a ticket with our Support team, provide feedback and get guidance on the SkillsServe platform without having to pick up the phone/wait for the answer to an email.
Default or Configurable?
The Help Integration feature is configurable on all v4+ sites.



3. Reporting Improvements
Is it a new feature or an upgrade?
An upgrade has been made to SkillsServe’s reporting system. Improvements include relative date filtering, new reporting fields, performance improvements and the ability to create bespoke reports more easily.
How it works…
The filtering section of reports has been extended to include relative dates.  This means reports can be filtered to display data within days, weeks, months or years of the report running.  For example, you can run a report that identifies which users have logged in to the system in the past week.  This option is available on all date fields on the platform.
Other performance enhancements speed up the generation of reports and add some new report fields. These are:
  • Senior Manager Full Name
  • Senior Manager First Name
  • Senior Manager Last Name
  • Senior Manager User Name
  • Senior Manager Email
A new custom data source has been created on SkillsServe that will allow our development team to create tailor made reports for clients.  This is ideal for clients who need to report on data in instances where the standard data sources do not accommodate their needs. This new feature can be used to enable outbound data feeds to the client’s systems (e.g. HR feed, other tracking systems). 
Why is this beneficial?
You can now create reports such as “who has completed a course in the last seven days” or “who hasn't accessed the platform for over a month” and have this information emailed directly to you without having to log in and change date filters.
The new report fields provide additional useful information for those that need it.
Finally the new custom data source provides the Unicorn team with the ability to meet more complex bespoke reporting and analytics requirements that go beyond the existing reporting wizard.
Default or Configurable?
These improvements come as standard on all SkillsServe v4+ platforms.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

SkillsServe 3.13 Release Notes

1. eBriefing Time Spent
 
Is it a new feature or an upgrade?
The eBriefing Time Spent release enables the user to manually edit time spent for an eBriefing both up and down to reflect the actual amount of study time. Time spent studying eBriefings which have been printed out can therefore be accurately reflected in the system records. Previously only actual time spent viewing online was recorded and could not be changed.
 
How it works…
Within both the user’s CPD log and also the My Activities/To Do List the actual amount of time spent on an eBriefing is displayed as a default (image 1). You may wish to change this to more accurately reflect time spent studying the eBriefing.
 
Image 1- showing automatically recorded time spent in CPD Log
 
To make this change go to the My Activities/To Do List, filter on Completed/All activities to find the activity that you wish to amend. Open the Completion Status information drawer (image 2).
You are now able to amend the Time Spent and Completion Status by clicking on the relevant links. The Edit button also enables these fields to be amended but only appears if the eBriefing has already been completed.

 
Image 2 – showing the opened Completion Status drawer in the My Activities/To Do List (Edit button only appears if status is ‘Completed’)
Users are able to edit the amount of time spent up to a maximum value that is capped for each eBriefing as detailed in the Recommended CPD time. (Image 3)
Image 3 – editable details for eBriefing status, time spent and reflective statement.
  
The edited details now show in the CPD area (if used) and amended time reflected in the total CPD time.
Image 4 – showing revised time spent and total CPD hours
Why is this  beneficial?
This development ensures the recorded study time correctly reflects the actual amount of time spent on an eBriefing regardless of the method of study (on-line or printed out).
 
Default or Configurable?
These changes automatically apply to all sites that use eBriefings as well as the CPD system.
 
 
 

 

Thursday, 18 April 2013

SkillsServe 3.12 Release Notes

1. Retired Questions

Is it a new feature or an upgrade? The Retired Questions release enhances the assessment creation/management area for administrators. Questions are frequently retired or updated due to changes in legislation and compliance rules; this release prevents associated assessments from ‘breaking’ and assists the administrator in altering affected assessments without impacting on their availability to the user.
 
How it works… On the day that questions are updated or retired by question bank authors an email is issued to each administrator who has created or modified assessments using the associated question bank. This email will list the assessments that have been affected by the update.

clip_image002

 










Each of these affected assessments will be tagged and marked in Content Manager as ‘Requires Attention’ both beside the Assessment name and also as a filter on the left of the screen. The assessment will remain available for users to launch and will continue to include retired questions until the administrator edits the assessment by selecting it from Content Manager.

clip_image005 




















The Details and Questions tab of the assessment are both marked as
below:

clip_image007






Retired questions are identified when ‘Editing Questions’ so can easily be removed and alternatives added if required.

clip_image009


















Within Reports you can now track individual questions through the ‘Question Status’ data field which shows as either ‘Active’ or ‘Retired’ for each question. Assessments can also be tracked through reports using the ‘Activity Validity’ data field which shows if the overall assessment is ‘Active’, ‘Invalid’ or ‘Requires Attention’. The ‘Invalid’ status relates to historic assessments that were affected by retired questions prior to this release.

Why is this beneficial? Previously an assessment would become ‘invalid’ if the required questions were retired thus preventing users from launching the assessment. Administrators would previously need to manually search within Content Manager to identify and update the invalid assessments. The 3.12 SkillsServe release ensures access to the assessment is uninterrupted for users whilst administrators are guided to assessments that ‘require attention’. Through the use of Assessment marking, Question marking and using the Filters administrators can easily identify and update assessments following question bank updates.

Default or Configurable? These changes automatically apply to the Content Manager area on all versions 3.12+ sites.