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Tuesday May 15, 2012

Online training platform to make assessment and certification easy

We would like to announce the release of our new Assessment and Certification Tool (ACT) that will enable customers to develop a full spectrum of customized evaluation instruments for their training programs.

ACT’s evaluation instruments can range from informal quizzes to formal certification exams that promote individualized learning paths, help evaluate user knowledge and skill levels, and support professional certification programs within a targeted user community or organization.

Formal certification exams can be easily created and customized with this new tool to ensure learners demonstrate the critical knowledge and skills to perform their role. Exam results can drive learner motivation by placing learners on a customized learning path that provides clear direction on how to enhance their own skills and knowledge base through the online training.

Features of the new assessment and certification tool include: randomized question banks, customized delivery settings, learning paths, certificates of completion, tracking and reporting and a resources option for the exam.

A description of features is below:

1. Question Bank: ACT allows administrators to create a bank of questions from which they can draw a designated number of test items for each offering. This question bank can be
optionally stratified into topical question pools for further refinement of their assessment. The question bank can also be expanded over the life of their program.

2. Customized Delivery Settings: Options for each exam include randomization of test
items, timing of the exam, number of retries and the passing score.

3. Learning Paths: Once the user has completed a test, based on their performance they
can be directed towards a designated area or level of training that addresses their
current learning needs. From their custom entry point, they can then progress to the next level within the certification path or training program.

4. Certificates: Certificates can be generated, when appropriate, once a user has achieved
the passing criteria on the assessment.

5. Tracking and Reporting: All user activity, progress and test results are tracked within the
KOD platform and available through our reporting engine. Reporting data can also be
exported for further analysis.

6. Resources: There is an option to associate related course content to any or all of the exam questions so the learner can easily access it for review or remediation upon completion of the exam. This provides reinforcement of key concepts and allows learners to immediately address any areas of weakness.

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Monday Feb 27, 2012

Three reasons to get excited about Windows 8

By Robert Hodges

With the said release of Windows 8 Preview, Visual Studio 11 Beta on February 29, many are talking about Windows 8. Since I have read the developer preview guide, I came up with three reasons I am excited about Windows 8.

1. It is going to have a completely different feel and style that is great for tablets. Consumers and businesses alike are using tablets more and more for common tasks. Many employers are now adopting bring your own device (BYOD) policies and enabling employees to bring their own devices into the work environment. Windows  8 caters to tablet users and considers how a finger swipe works vs. a mouse click. A new Start menu with Apps rather than icons and two options for touch keyboards are just some of the items that Windows 8 incorporates to enhance the tablet user’s experience.


2. Windows 8 for business-availability to connect anywhere. According to the Windows developer preview, professionals can provide users with bootable USB storage devices containing a copy of Windows 8. On this USB, they can save their business-specific tools, apps, data and settings. If the user uses the USB, he or she will be able to success those apps and settings on any computer that has capability to run Windows 8.

3. Security and management additions/options. In the preview, Windows 8 is said to have new capabilities through AppLocker that enable IT professionals the ability to create security boundaries/policies which specifically control who is allowed to see which applications. This is a powerful tool we use in our learning platform. By catering the content and apps to specific users, you not only secure your environment but also aid in productivity because your users have what they need, not more nor less.

Feel free to let us know any other features you are excited or concerned about adopting. As we prepare for our Windows 8 Training course, we’d like to hear what you would like us to incorporate.

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Wednesday Jan 25, 2012

Feedback from KeyStone user

By: Robert Hodges

“I recommend KeyStone's LMS System to all of my clients; it provides outstanding out of the box trainings that minimize IT/HRs trainings, and trainings can seamlessly be captured and published on demand. An easy user interface ensure adoptions from your business teams- allowing for a means knowledge capture and collaboration.”

- Lisa M. Chipetine, PMP, President, QC Consulting, LLC 

This was a testimonial one of our sales representatives recently received. We are always excited to receive feedback from our customers, and one of the things I love about KeyStone is that our users are as passionate about our products as we are. We value their opinions, and it is encouraging to hear how KeyStone OnDemand is making a difference in the lives of those using it.

As Ms. Chipetine pointed out, our platform integrates into your HR/IT training techniques by providing a real-time OnDemand solution for your training needs. Our product makes it easier for you to focus on higher priorities by enabling you the opportunity to create short articles and videos on common tasks that acquire many questions.

We are always excited to hear how KeyStone products are working for our users, so be sure to let us know your feedback or questions at marketing@keystonelearning.com.

 

 

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Wednesday Dec 28, 2011

Overwhelmed in Outlook 2010? You?re not alone..

Great Ways to Get & Stay Organized in Outlook 2010 (Part 2)

By Deanna Reynolds

Okay, so now that you have been applying the steps I mentioned in my first post, I am excited to share four additional steps that will help you save time in Outlook 2010. If you did not read the first post, the below steps will still help you, but feel free to read the first post here. Below you will see steps 4-7. Enjoy, and become more efficient in Outlook 2010.

4. Do a Quick Search: If, after applying categories, creating Rules and using Quick Steps you still have trouble finding Outlook 2010 items, remember to use the Quick Search bar at the top of each view. It searches as you type. You can enter a sender’s name or any term that might be in the items. If it’s there, Outlook’s Quick Search will find it. And, if just typing a word or phrase doesn’t narrow your search enough, just by clicking inside the Quick Search box grants you access to a Search contextual tab with all sorts of Search criteria fields you can use.


5. Activate Favorites in the Task Pane: It took me a while to realize this was available, but  since I did, I’ll never look at the Navigation Pane the same way again. If you don’t currently see “Favorites” at the top of the Navigation Pane’s folder list, display the ribbon’s View tab. Then, from the Navigation Pane option, enable “Favorites.” Now, for any folder you view more often then others, right-click it and choose “Add to Favorites.” Now, you can switch between different folders way faster because you’re not searching through all of your folders just to get to the ones you need most often

6. Open your calendar (or other favorite view) in a separate window to stop switching back and forth: Make multi-tasking easier by right-clicking your calendar (or other view) in the Navigation Pane and choosing “Open in New Window” from the resulting context menu. Now, you can tile your Outlook windows side-by-side or be able to switch to another view without losing your place in your current view. Brilliant!

7. Close Outlook! I know this sounds counter-intuitive to productivity, but how many times do you get sidetracked from a task because that little message flashes on the lower-right corner of your screen. I know…it’s crazy. One of the best ways to get your productivity back is to close Outlook from time-to-time, just while you’re working on another project. Between projects, you can open Outlook again, check out the new arrivals and see what you have coming up. But, really, does it need to be open 24/7?
 

For more information on KeyStone's Outlook 2010 training course click here. To read part 1 to this post click here.

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Thursday Dec 08, 2011

New Features from 2011

In review of 2011 we wanted to highlight a few of our favorite new features.

Here at KeyStone, we are always looking for ways to enhance and increase learner productivity through our platform. The below features are great ways administrators can create an effective learning environment for their organization.


1. Share your content: You can now share your KeyStone OnDemand created screencasts on your website, blog or other source.


2. Embed your favorite videos: Embed YouTube or other videos for easy sharing and they are instantly available by keyword search.



3. Creating custom content: Unlike many other training platforms, KeyStone OnDemand does not require third-party programs to create content. You can create screencasts and articles directly within the platform. So whether you have HR related needs or employee introduction courses to create, you can create all new content directly within the platform.

 


 

4. Customizing the environment to fit your organization: With the platform, you can add your logo as well as your organization’s colors to the platform for seamless integration to your learning environment.  You can also create your own “Featured Tip.”

 

For more information and a tour of KeyStone OnDemand click here. To start your free trial click here.

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