Spoke® Updates: Course Ratings & Reviews & More

With the latest Spoke® release, learners get three new enhancements that give them a more personalized, effective, and interactive experience. Are you ready? Here they are!

Course Ratings & Reviews

The Course Ratings & Reviews feature allows learners to—you got it—rate a course after they’ve completed it. And, because we know learners are busy, we kept the user interface simple. Learners can give the course a star rating from 1 to 5, and then briefly say why they chose that rating.

Only course administrators can see course ratings and reviews, and they can (and should!) use the data to identify gaps and improve the learning experience on an ongoing basis.

Spoke-course-reviews-image

Custom Certificate Image

Some of our Spoke admins wanted to go above and beyond and further personalize their training certificates. We said, “Sounds good!” so now Spoke offers a Custom Certificate Image option. This allows course administrators to replace the default certificate background image with a custom image.

For course admins who want to keep it simple, who say, “Default is just alright with me!”, the custom certificate image feature will only be enabled upon request. Don’t worry. We’ve got you.

spoke-custom-certificate-image

“Follow A Person” Hover State

Spoke’s core principles are simple, social, and engaging—and our clients have shown us some amazing discussions happening in their Spoke communities. One of the best ways users can learn best practices being shared on Spoke is by following colleagues and leaders who share great ideas, resources, and feedback.

That said, we didn’t want the decision to follow a colleague to mean a series of disruptive new screens and clicks. Because, we all hate it when that happens, right? Instead, we wanted learners to be able to stay engaged in the Spoke discussion.

So, we introduced the “Follow a Person” Hover State, which allows learners to follow colleagues by simply hovering over a person’s name with their mouse or trackpad. Learners can choose to “follow” multiple people without ever leaving a community discussion or dashboard page. The hover state is available any time a learner’s avatar and user name is displayed.

Spoke-follow-person-hover-state

Learners can always keep track of who they’re following via their account settings page.

Be Heard

We prioritize Spoke enhancements based on user feedback. Do you have something you’d love to see? Tell us what’s on your wish list!

If you’re not currently using Spoke and want to take a closer look, we’d love to give you the grand tour.

Spoke® Updates: Reporting API and More Simplicity

You asked. We delivered. The latest Spoke® release includes 6 new enhancements that all align with the core principles of the platform – simple, social, and engaging.

Here is the list of enhancements, and below you’ll find an overview of each one:

Reporting APIs

Many organizations use a mix of tools, either installed or SaaS, to run their business and manage their people. Knowing this, we wanted to make it easy to get training-related data out of Spoke and into other systems. The latest additions to our growing list of APIs allow you to get reports on Training Status by User and Course Status. Here’s an explanation and example for each.

Training Status by User – Get a report showing how each user is progressing on assigned training. For example, see how your newest sales rep is progressing through his onboarding training.

Course Status – Get a report showing learner completion by course. For example, measure how many of your sales reps have completed Overcoming Objections 101.

With these two new APIs, you now have the ability to use Spoke’s built-in, interactive report or pull the data into another system for analysis.

Link Resources to Courses

Training courses often cross-reference supporting materials such as operations manuals and company handbooks. To make it easier for users to find this additional content, you now have the option to link Resources to Courses.

Spoke-Links-Courses-To-Resources

When users launch a course from the Spoke Training page, they’ll see the course details, related community discussions, and a list of additional Resources to explore. These Resources can include things like PDFs, Microsoft Office files (Word, Excel, PPT), audio and video files, external links, etc. This enhancement makes it easy for users to find everything related to a course in one place. #keepitsimple

Resources Search

We organize Resources in Spoke by category. And even though users only see Resource categories that are relevant to them, we heard that users wanted the ability to quickly search and find the content they needed.

So, meet the new Resources search bar.

Spoke-Resources-Search

Now, if you know what Resource you’re looking for, you can get it in seconds. Well, that was easy.

Following Tab

The Spoke Community exists to allow users to connect with, learn from, and share best practices with one another. It’s technology-enabled social learning at its finest. A few releases ago, we made it possible for users to follow one another. In this release, users can now see the list of people they’re following, as well as the people who are following them.

Spoke-Following-Tab

user experience enhancements

It’s always been important to us that the Spoke user experience be ridiculously pain-free for both users and admins.

If your teams access their training from a mobile device on the go, you’re not alone. To keep Spoke simple from any device, we’ve enhanced the mobile experience when launching a training course.

We’ve also polished our step-by-step admin wizard to make it even easier to manage your Spoke environment.

If you’d like to see these, or any of the enhancements from this release, give us a shout to schedule a demo.

Be Heard

By now you should be sensing the theme that we prioritize enhancements based on user feedback. Do you have something you’d love to see in Spoke? Speak up!

If you’re not currently using Spoke and want to take a closer look, give us a shout.

Spoke Updates: Course Deadlines & Compliance Testing

Getting people up to speed quickly is always one of the goals of a good training program. If you’ve ever managed a team, you’re probably thinking, #truth!

The Spoke team wants to make it as easy as possible to manage course deadlines and compliance settings. So, we’ve released two feature enhancements. We hope you love ‘em!

Setting Course Deadlines

Okay, this is as simple as it sounds. You can set course deadlines:

  • based on a specific date
  • based on a timespan

Let’s go over each one.

Specific date: Let’s say the go-live date for a new point of sale system is July 13. As part of the transition plan, you want to make sure all of your managers and frontline reps complete the training by July 11. Learners will easily see callouts letting them know if a deadline is approaching or overdue.

Timespan: Your company invested in a great manager training program this year—kudos! Now, any time an employee receives a promotion to manager, he or she has three months to complete Leadership 101. This is the perfect scenario to set course deadlines based on a timespan.

And don’t worry, your learners will receive email notifications letting them know a course deadline is approaching. Not bad, huh?

Setting Compliance

Continuing with the simplicity theme, you now get to choose how long a learner remains compliant after completing required training – either forever, or a custom time span of years, weeks, or days.

For example, say your employees are required to complete an annual course on information security. The compliance settings in Spoke allow you to create that recurring reminder to employees to retake the course and renew their certification.

In the screenshot below, you’ll see how course deadlines (courses marked Due Soon and Overdue) and compliance reminders (courses marked Expired and Retake Soon) appear to learners in a course pack.

Deadlines and Compliance Settings in Spoke

Speak Up

As always, we love getting user feedback and want to hear from you. If you’re a current Spoke user or admin, drop us a line or leave a comment below.

If you’re not using Spoke yet and want to see it in action, contact our Spokes-people to set up a demo.

Spoke® Updates: User API and Okta Integration

In today’s world of technology, integration can be a beautiful thing. And with the latest Spoke release, we’ve delivered just that – more integration options. With an enhanced user API and Okta integration, it’s now easier than ever to manage your learners in Spoke and save them from having to remember yet another username and password.

User API

Spoke now provides a REST—yep, that stands for Representative State Transfer—API for registered applications to create, read, update and delete users in Spoke. The REST API is super-helpful for organizations that already manage their personnel in a separate system other than Spoke, like an HRIS. Instead of managing users in two different systems (a recipe for redundancy and errors!) admins can now manage Spoke users from just one system.

Of course, admins still have the option to add, update, and delete users either one at a time, or via the bulk uploader.

API Documentation

In addition to our user API functionality, we’ve outlined all the documentation details here. That includes a fully-featured API explorer your IT department can experiment with before integrating.

Okta Integration

If your company uses Okta to manage different software apps, you can now use Okta as your Single-Sign-on provider. Once configured, users will see a Spoke icon on their Okta dashboard, which they can click to access Spoke. Or if they go to Spoke directly, they will see an Okta sign-in screen instead of the Spoke login screen. This can all be set up in just a few steps that don’t require an engineer.

Spoke is also listed in the “OAN” — Okta Application Network. This is a list of ready-to-go apps that can be used in Okta. Admins simply go their Application section, find Spoke in the list, and say they want to use it.

Speak Up

We love getting user feedback and want to hear from you. If you’re a current Spoke user, drop us a line or leave a comment below.

If you’re not using Spoke yet and want to see it in action, contact our Spokespeople to set up a demo.

Spoke Updates: Prerequisites & A Redesigned Training Page

If you’re feeling like this is déjà vu, it’s not. The Spoke team is on a roll. We just added more social learning features to Spoke less than a month ago, and here’s another great set of enhancements to the world’s simplest social LMS.

We have to thank our users for their thoughtful and continuous feedback. The latest release is, once again, a result of their input.

Organizing Training Content

The latest release helps admins better organize training content, and learners find it and complete it. So, before we jump into the new features, here’s a quick overview of how Spoke organizes training content.

  • Courses – individual eLearning or instructor-led courses. For example, upload an eLearning course that explains the features and benefits of a specific product.
  • Course Packs – groups of related courses. For example, group all of your product training courses into a Course Pack called Product Training.
  • Curriculums – groups of related course packs. For example, group your Onboarding, Product Training, and Sales Behaviors Course Packs together into the New Hire Sales Rep curriculum that you assign to all of your new reps.

And now, onto the new features.

Prerequisites

We get it. Sometimes it’s OK to complete training in any order. In other cases, you want to make sure your learners progress through their learning journey in a specific order.

Spoke now gives admins the option to set prerequisites at the Curriculum and Course Pack level, which ensures learners complete their training in a prescribed sequence. Just check the box and drag the Courses or Course Packs to reorder them how you want your learners to complete them.

Set Prerequisites in the Spoke LMS

The experience is just as simple for your learners. When they view their Training page, courses with unsatisfied prerequisites will be marked as locked. In the example below, learners must complete the Mood Beats: Product Features and Benefits course before the two Sales Strategies courses.

Spoke - Prerequisites for learners

Training Page Redesign

This update also includes a completely redesigned (and renamed) Courses page. Now called the Training page, it’s easier than ever for learners to search, filter, and focus on their remaining coursework.

The Training page now displays all of a learner’s assigned Curriculums with their included Course Packs and the number of Courses in each Course Pack. To reduce the noise, it’s pre-filtered to In Progress, so learners will only see their remaining training.

Spoke's redesigned training page
Learners can dive into Course Packs to see individual Courses, or use the new search bar to find exactly what they’re looking for.

Spoke training search bar

Even the Course details window has been redesigned to provide a better experience.

Spoke course details

Speak Up

We love getting user feedback and want to hear from you. If you’re a current Spoke user, drop us a line or leave a comment below.

If you’re not using Spoke yet and want to see it in action, contact our Spokes-people to set up a demo.