And before you know it, here we are again! We’ve been coming to Learning Technologies for long enough to have true veteran status but we’ve never had a show quite like this!
This year, we’re delighted to have used LT as an opportunity to launch our latest concept – the Learning Ecosphere.
As you may have seen if you’ve come across our press releases or recent blogs, the Learning Ecosphere is a concept that reimagines the dichotomy of traditional, ‘enterprise focused’ learning, and new, device-based ‘learner focused’ methods. Rather than seeing the two as mutually exclusive, or indeed in conflict, the Learning Ecosphere can help businesses reconcile the new possibilities presented by modern technology with existing LMS and classroom based methods.
We knew the Ecosphere concept would be hard to miss at the show – after all, we have a 3metre version of it across the side of our stand! But the appetite for a service provider who genuinely understands both sides of the coin (or as we’ve put it, both sides of the ecosphere!) is possibly more profound than even we anticipated. By the end of day 1 we were very nearly out of hard copies of our free whitepaper, and had welcomed nearly 500 people to play our latest app, QuizCom. Naturally, the fact that we had two enthusiastic quiz hosts dressed head-to-toe in orange – as well as fluffy Unicorns as prizes – might have had something to do with the sheer number of players, but we’re not complaining!
In fact, one of the highlights of the day was definitely awarding the Unicorn prizes to our top scoring players!
Keep an eye out as we live blog from Day 2 of the Learning Technologies conference, as well as lift the lid on all this year’s core learning trends. Follow us on Twitter for more event insight: @unicorntraining
If you’re remotely connected to L&D, this is shaping up to be a pretty big week! Learning Technologies returns to Kensington Olympia across Wednesday 1st and Thursday 2nd February – bringing together over 7000 visitors all keen to get their hands on the latest in education tech. From tomorrow, we’ll be joining over 200 of our contemporaries from across the learning industry as we exhibit at this year’s show. If you’re swinging by, here are the top 5 things you can look forward to:
- Get your hands on the free ‘Learning Ecosphere’ whitepaper.
Discover how learning technologies can smooth the dichotomy between traditional and modern learning with the Unicorn Learning Ecosphere – the subject of our whitepaper launching at the show.
The underlying need for an enterprise to define, manage and report on the competence of its staff has not changed. Environmental, safety and other regulatory demands on organisations are here to stay, while data security requirements are greater than ever.
But how does this fit with such concepts as social learning, collaboration and BYOD? How do we dip our toes into this fast flowing stream of opportunity in a way that is effective, relevant and affordable, and consistent with the practical day to day demands on our time, budgets and resources? What tools should we be using? What are the implications for e-learning design?
Pick up your free copy at stand P14.
- If you need a little persuasion, go and see our very own Mark Jones giving you an overview at one of his two free seminars
12:30-13:00 on both Wednesday and Thursday, Theatre 8. Where are you in the Learning Ecosphere?
Mark will seek to explore some of the issues facing businesses wishing to explore new learning methods. We’ve all heard the buzzwords and seen a flurry of new micro learning and learning Apps, but how do we really go about introducing effective ‘learning reinforcement’ – and where do we start? In a world where learning is changing, and we’re increasingly urged to explore new training formats, how do we ensure that we’re doing is going to work?
Join Mark to find out more, as well as discover our brand new mobile reinforcement app, Minds-i.
- Come and have a go at QuizCom and you could win a Unicorn!
Yep, you read that right – come and try your hand at our giant swipe game and you could be the proud owner of your very own Unicorn. Our enthusiastic quiz hosts will be tough not to spot, as they’ll be sporting bright orange blazers and encouraging you to try your luck with our latest game. Loaded with questions covering everything from learning trends to star wars trivia, this is the perfect way to trial a brand new product from Unicorn aimed at getting your staff engaged whilst challenging them to prove their knowledge in a topic of your choice.
Winners announced at 4pm each day, plus bonus prizes for two players picked at random!
- Check out Mike Hawkyard giving you a little insight into learning games and apps in corporate learning.
15:30-16:00 on Thursday, Theatre 8: Learning games and engagement.
We’ve all heard 101 talks lately about ‘gamification’, but this isn’t one of those talks. Mike is the Managing Director of an award winning games studio who have produced apps played more than two billion times in the last three years.
In recent months, Amuzo have been training people how to fly Star Wars™ Drones and encouraging children to build LEGO® models to rescue LEGO® Mini Figures trapped on erupting volcanoes. Join Mike for a session that will look at:
- How the technology and best practice used in these exciting projects is identical to that being used in work for companies like KPMG and the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII)
- How to explore the possibilities of learning games for your business
- Experiencing Amuzo’s latest product to engage staff with corporate communications; QuizCom
- …And you might even win a prize or two!
- Finally, if you’re at the conference, go and see Richard Owen from the CII talk about their learning journey.
15:30-16:40 on Thursday, Conference Theatre T5S6: Organisational learning – Creating better learning outcomes for the learner and the business.
Richard Owen – Product Manager at the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) – lifts the lid on how the CII have approached their corporate learning. He looks at the value of online learning for the learner and the business alike, and shares experiences of the challenges that the CII has faced in creating better user experience despite a highly regulated, compliance driven context. From topic-specific pathways, powerful diagnostic tools and a more intuitive interface, discover how the CII has trebled its uptake of its content within just 12 months with a little help from us!
We’ll be live blogging from LT, as well as tweeting from @unicorntraining. Don’t forget to stop by and see us at stand P14 across the event, as well as take some time to relax in the Unicorn café!
We’re just a few days away from eLearning guru, Craig Weiss, revealing his much-anticipated Top 50 LMS Report for 2017, and yep, there are a few nerves kicking in.
In 2016 our LMS topped Craig’s rankings for the world’s top system for the financial sector for the second year running and was fourth overall across all sectors, so we’re super excited to find out if our hard work over the past 12 months can make it an FS table topping hat-trick and see our LMS move up in the overall rankings again.
With this on our minds, it made us ponder just how eventful 2016 had been for Unicorn, and what standards we set ourselves to live up to this year. Not only were we so happy about Craig’s ranking but there were plenty of awards to celebrate too.
Our games arm Amuzo had their industry-leading genius recognised with gold in the Creative Digital Impact category at the Dorset Business Awards while their Playmobil Police Chase game won the 2016 TOMMI Award for Best Kids’ App!
The TOMMI is the children’s software award of Germany. Every year since 2002 the TOMMI Prize has been awarded at the Frankfurt Book Fair to the most innovative and outstanding software title developed specifically for children, showing Amuzo are appreciated far beyond these shores too. Pretty cool huh?
Then there was the awesome success of our partners, FSTP, who were named winners of the Most Effective Training Firm at the Compliance Register Awards.
FSTP work closely with us on developing all of our Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) content, and their knowledge and experience proved invaluable in the build up and throughout 2016 as many of our clients grappled with the new Senior Managers’ Regime and Certification amongst other complex mandatory topics.
We were also delighted to scoop a bronze at the eLearning Awards with Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank for the platform implementation that has introduced MyLearning, and changed the way the whole organisation approaches L&D.
With our partners at Credit Suisse, who joined us for the evening, also taking home a silver in the Learning Technologies Team of the Year category it topped a pretty successful 2016 for us Unicorns.
The bar has been set pretty high for 2017 now, but hopefully Craig’s report will help us kick off the year as we mean to go on. Get crossing everything!
The biggest event in the L&D calendar is just around the corner, and we’re delighted to say we’ll be back for another year at Learning Technologies! This year’s show will run across the 1st and 2nd February at Kensington Olympia, and is set to welcome more than 7000 visitors from across a huge range of industry sectors.
As well as being joined by our partners from Amuzo for an extra focus on innovation in the games and app space, this year’s show will focus on the launch of our revolutionary new concept – the Learning Ecosphere.
The explosion in digital and social technologies holds great promise for L&D professionals, and our community is rightly excited by the potential of collaborative learning, point-of-need performance support, serious games and even augmented reality.
But amid the hype, the task of identifying the truly worthwhile from the hot air, and determining how these opportunities fit with the learning strategy for your business has arguably never been more perplexing.
How do you identify what is relevant, affordable and good value, in the context of the practical day to day demands on your time, budgets and resources?
The Unicorn ‘Learning Ecosphere’ reimagines learning in the context of Enterprise-focused ‘Push / I must learn’ and learner-focused ‘Pull / I want to learn’. It offers interpretations of how a firm’s learning strategy does not have to sit on one side or the other, rather seeing the possibilities for utilising different technologies to create a better blend and balance in an overall learning approach.
The free ‘Learning Ecosphere’ white paper can be picked up from stand P14 on both days of the Learning Technologies exhibition.
There will even be the chance to win a giant Unicorn (yes you did read that right!) by having a go at Unicorn’s new app-based game, Quizcom. This gamified application allows firms to manage their own question banks to create quizzes and push them to individuals or groups of learners. Who doesn’t need a giant Unicorn in their life?
Register for free entry to the Learning Technologies and Learning and Skills 2017 exhibitions and seminars at www.learningtechnologies.co.uk
We can’t quite believe it’s that time of year again but here we are! Christmas is just around the corner, which means it’s nearly time to wave goodbye to 2016. So that you’re fully informed about our opening hours over the festive period, here’s when you can get hold of us…
Monday 19th December – open from 09:00 until 17:30 GMT
Tuesday 20th December – open from 09:00 until 17:30 GMT
Wednesday 21st December – open from 09:00 until 17:30 GMT
Thursday 22nd December – open from 09:00 until 17:30 GMT
Friday 23rd December – open from 09:00 until 13:00 GMT
Monday 26th December – closed
Tuesday 27th December – closed
Wednesday 28th December – open from 09:00 until 17:30 GMT
Thursday 29th December – open from 09:00 until 17:30 GMT
Friday 30th December – open from 09:00 until 17:30 GMT
Monday 2nd January – closed
If you have any queries concerning site access, usability or technical issues please contact us on +44 (0) 800 055 6586 and we will be happy to assist. Alternatively you can email your query to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that any emails received during the period we are closed will be addressed on our return.
Naturally, we’d like to thank all of our clients, partners and friends for a fantastic year – and we look forward to everything that 2017 has in store!
We can’t quite believe it’s been nearly four months since our last Client Forum, but we’re delighted to announce that we’ll be back this October for another one!
Having run these events bi-annually for the past four years, we’ve learnt a fair bit about what makes a successful forum, and we’re very much looking forward to welcoming both old and new faces to this next exclusive date.
The Autumn Forum is a unique opportunity to explore our solutions in more depth, and learn how other HR, L&D and Risk Management professionals across a number of sectors are leveraging digital technology to solve their learning challenges.
With a rage of sessions covering platform functionality, content and industry discussion, the day aims to showcase real client case studies – giving attendees an insight into practical ways to approach their company learning. Instead of offering the kind of lofty general discussion that we often see from learning and development events, the Autumn Forum aims to demystify some of the industry’s latest ‘buzzwords’, and offer delegates practical insight into how to start incorporating new trends into their own L&D journeys.
This Autumn, the Unicorn Client Forum will take place on Tuesday 4th October in the heart of Canary Wharf, and will be brought to you in partnership with our apps studio, Amuzo. The day will be split into main room welcome and keynote sessions, and registration-only breakouts that will give attendees access to specialist slots run by our experts.
More information coming soon. If you have a specific query relating to the Unicorn Forum, please contact your Relationship Manager, or the Unicorn Marketing Department. This is an invite-only event.
At Unicorn we are always committed to finding the next generation of talent. Here, Bournemouth University student Jenade shares her 6-week experience working as a Marketing Assistant.
Six weeks ago I started my placement at Unicorn Training Group Ltd and it has been nothing like I ever expected. I thought I was well equipped for the real working world, being a Communications and Media undergraduate from Bournemouth University. However, my time at Unicorn has shown me that books and lectures only take you part of the way.
Unicorn staff are lovely and had a genuine interest in my career path. Everyone has smiles for miles, as if that wasn’t enough I felt so welcomed to find out the role was specially tailored to suit me. Working as an Internal Marketing Assistant was interestingly varied and advanced well from my course teachings.
Unicorn is a rapidly progressing business, this however, can impact how communications are spread, as it becomes harder to keep track of who knows what. I met with Jackie Kennedy (COO) and we thought the introduction of a quarterly internal magazine would help to keep all staff in the loop.
Despite my nerves and reservations, Unicorn were enthusiastic and trusted me with the big responsibility of producing the first edition of the magazine- Connected +. My role was to ensure that all staff in both the Bournemouth and London branch are informed of news they may be unaware of. By featuring articles from a wide spectrum of the business, we hope Connected + will transcend the city borders to bring the Unicorn family together.
Being in a busy and dynamic environment, it was important to be flexible and adaptable especially when working around staff schedules and workloads. I spent the majority of my time working with the HR and Training Team but there was always a friendly and passionate Unicorn around the corner.
Although, Connected+ was my main focus, I was given the opportunity to take part in exciting events that I’ve never done before. Such as the UCL Airport simulation game testing (thank you Peter Phillips, Jackie Kennedy, Gemma Blackaller and Team 5!). With fresh insight into the Induction programme, I was encouraged to evaluate the current process and identify areas for improvements. During this time, Abi Pears (Marketing Manger) also encouraged me to review some of the Unicorn platforms including the website, blogs and social media footprint.
When the sunshine finally reached Bournemouth, I didn’t ever feel like I was missing out, especially with treats like these to look forward to:
Unfortunately, we hit some bumps along the way and we weren’t able to Launch the magazine during my time here but all our hard work won’t go to waste and I have no doubt that we will see the finished product sooner than you think. Don’t fear, if I have missed you out (I’m sorry!) Connected+ is ongoing project that anyone can get involved in so feel free to send Shaun Hickman a message to be a part of the Autumn Issue.
Joining Unicorn has been an instrumental part of my personal development and I only wish I had the time to meet everyone during my time here. This placement encouraged me to come out of my comfort zone and challenged my capabilities in range of topics. It has improved my confidence and developed my experience in writing and editing as well as marketing and graphic design.
Finally, I’d just like to give a big Unicorn thank you to everyone that have made my experience one to remember!
ABCUL – the leading trade association for credit unions in England, Scotland and Wales – is helping its members improve and demonstrate their skills and professionalism thanks to a partnership with financial services training specialists, Unicorn.
With new innovations and opportunities for credit unions, plus the recent arrival of the FCA’s new Senior Managers Regime and Certification Regime, training and evidencing competency is more important than ever.
Credit unions – member-owned providers of savings, loans and a range of financial services for communities and workplaces – serve more than 1.2 million people in Britain and hold over £1.3 billion in assets, and are regulated by both the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). ABCUL (the Association of British Credit Unions Ltd) has therefore launched a comprehensive and innovative new compliance training solution for members to meet the required regulatory standards.
ABCUL Learning Academy is powered by Unicorn’s award-winning Learning Management System (LMS), populated with an extensive compliance eLearning library, which provides credit unions with the means to reduce risk through relevant practical training designed to encourage the right behaviours in staff and directors.
Rosanna Donovan, ABCUL Head of Member Services, believes ABCUL Academy is already transforming how credit unions meet their training needs. “Over the last decade, British credit union membership has doubled and assets have trebled,” she says, “so our rapidly expanding sector recognises that we need to meet and demonstrate the highest standards of knowledge and compliance to reassure the growing number of consumers who trust us with their money.”
“As credit unions are governed by volunteer directors and many also have volunteers in operational roles, Unicorn’s LMS and content suite is the perfect solution to allow credit unions to train their people in a way that suits their lives, and to track and demonstrate compliance to their members and regulators.”
ABCUL Academy meets the industry demand for ‘snackable’, just-in-time and role-relevant learning delivered online that embeds core knowledge in line with FCA regulation and heightens awareness of the serious consequences of non-compliance.
New diagnostic tools, Apps and mobile learning, with on and offline syncing, video and role-specific scenarios all create impactful, personalised learning pathways within ABCUL Academy. These instantly connect learners with their day-to-day activities and embed the learning required for firms to meet all the FCA’s regulatory demands.
Simon Mercer, Unicorn Product Manager, continues: “The FCA is challenging firms, credit unions included, to prove their staff or volunteers are competent and compliant, so the evidencing is as critical as the training itself. We are delighted ABCUL has partnered with Unicorn for the solution to support its members.
“ABCUL Academy enables the deployment of content, monitoring, reporting and automatically assigning learning from its content catalogue, CPD, creating role-based pathways and sending email reminders to effectively deliver the right learning. For those who may not need to do a whole course but want a refresher or reminder, highly visual summary module PDFs provide a useful referral tool for key messages.”
In 2016 Unicorn’s learning managment system, was ranked the world’s top LMS for the financial sector for the second successive year, and fourth overall across all sectors, in the Top 50 LMSs Report 2016, compiled by the influential Craig Weiss. For more information about Unicorn’s solution for the financial services sector visit www.unicorntraining.com/complianceserve
2014 has been called ‘year of the video’. An astonishing 1.2 billion online videos are watched each day. But does this mean we’ll see a sudden surge in video eLearning? Unicorn‘s Senior Relationship Manager Sarah Nutley investigates.
It is fair to say that it is now a lot easier to create and upload video than it used to be- even on to an LMS. With the use of a smartphone, tablet, or even a webcam you can film and post within seconds! We are all capable of being the ‘next’ big YouTube star – we all have the equipment!
In all honesty, we’ve all had access to video equipment for quite some time now, so why is 2014 being deemed ‘year of the video’? Does it mean we will see a sudden surge in video eLearning? The answer is probably not, but the potential is definitely there!
As with eLearning, the definition of ‘video-based’ eLearning can refer to a number of things: the entire module can be video based or video parts can be incorporated. However it is used, video is a great way of engaging a significant portion of people’s brains. Check out the visual below to see the stats!
Add to these stats the fact that:
“YouTube is the number two search engine in the world.”
And you can see why people are far more conscious of videos now.
From an eLearning perspective, key opportunities to use video include:
Show not tell
Practical Application or demonstrating how-to or how-not-to complete a task. It could be series of clips that ‘show and rather than tell’. It’s a great way to focus on behavioural soft skills that don’t always translate in text!
Allowing the user to ‘live’ the experience and see what it’s like before trialling it in the real world.
Adding emotion to important points or to convey messages, ie. the personal impacts of being involved in Money Laundering are much clearer when you have someone talking about them.
Time crucial announcements
Short video clips are easy to watch, easy to digest and easy to share so are a great medium when talking to the masses
Reducing content users have to read, and providing variety in the learning.
Creating content that can be re-watched if and when needed.
Tying into another key trend – the move to mobile – video content is accessible in a way that written content is not, making it a top choice to get important messages into the world (or specifically a company)in a way that will get people’s attention.
“In 90% of cases, you can start (a video) with one of the two most effective ways to open a speech: ask a question or start with a story. Instantly you have people’s attention!”
To look at examples of where video is used for attention you can look at current marketing campaigns; did anyone see Three’s latest offering: #SingItKitty?
Within 4 days this had been viewed almost 2 million times.
At Unicorn we are embracing the video age, some of our OTS and bespoke content already includes video – in some cases it’s a vignette (short scenes) to introduce a module or conclude it but we also have entire video modules. We can bring in actors and film on the green screen or use still shots with graphic treatments or in other instances we utilise animation videos. In fact our main types of videos would be these:
Advanced videos include still product shots, diagrams or relevant imagery to aid the narrative or include animated diagrams, graphics and/or relevant imagery to aid the narrative like this example.
We can do 2D, 2.5D or 3D!
2D can be animated video showing off a product or your company with voiceover and/or music. And 3D animation can give the user a new perspective without wearing ridiculous glasses.
These are a popular type of 2D animation that relies heavily in typography by advancing a virtual camera over words, numbers and images in a fluid motion.
These are becoming common within eLearning. You can see a character at the curve of their success/failure and empathise with their struggles/fortunes or in the case just hear Henry’s story.
These videos are quirky and fashionable. They get to the point quickly with a professional voice over and accompanying drawn graphics.
The main consideration (excluding budget) should always be on what the module needs to achieve. It is true that a picture can paint a thousand words but you have a lot to think about – the content, the theme and the tone of voice.
As a final thought it’s fair to say that video can definitely be impressive and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. As long as it’s focused it shouldn’t take away from the learning it should only enhance it and in most cases make it a lot more interesting!
How do you (or could you) use video in your organisation? Let us know in the comments.