City & Guilds Acquires Kineo 

On December 3, 2012, City & Guilds announced its acquisition of Kineo, a global learning and technology company. City & Guilds has also acquired Kineo’s share of Totara LMS, a custom version of Moodle for businesses. Organizations will now find Kineo’s learning technology solutions coupled with City & Guilds’ quality assurance and qualifications solutions. Kineo will continue to operate under the same brand, as part of the City & Guilds Group. 

In the press release announcement, CEO and director general of City & Guilds Chris Jones said: “We’re thrilled to welcome Kineo into the City & Guilds Group. Like Kineo, we believe in the power of technology to help businesses keep learning, sharing knowledge, and performing at their best. Together we aim to create the leading workplace learning company, as we believe a skilled workforce is the essential ingredient for economic growth." 

Steve Rayson, managing director of Kineo, added “This is a terrific next step in the growth of Kineo. From the beginning, we’ve aimed to help transform performance through learning with great design and innovative technology." 

The combined services will include:

  • training consultancy
  • blended learning development and delivery – online learning platforms and mobile devices
  • accreditation and assessment, including City & Guilds and ILM qualifications. 

Rayson continued: "This is a huge step forward in extending our services to employers. We’ll be able to do even more to help them succeed with our enhanced range of services, scale of delivery and global reach – supporting their people development strategies, and helping drive their business performance." 

ADL and AICC Collaborate on the Experience API

The Aviation Industry Computer-Based-Training Committee (AICC) and the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative have agreed to collaborate to improve and solidify the Experience API (formerly referred to as “Tin Can”), ensuring its viability for the aviation industry and other communities served by AICC. 

One of the principal goals for the Experience API is to capture detailed data from simulations. AICC and ADL will work together to develop robust extensions of the Experience API to capture and record flight simulation data that is crucial to effectively train the aviation and military communities. 

ADL is focusing its research efforts on a next generation online learning environment called the Training & Learning Architecture, or TLA. The TLA will provide learners with richer and more innovative learning experiences. TLA component capabilities will include experience tracking, content brokering, content “understanding,” learner profiles, and competency networks. The experience tracking, which we refer to as the “Experience API,” is the initial phase of the TLA. 

AICC is redirecting its effort on the latest version of its Computer Managed Instruction (CMI 5) specification. Rather than create a separate specification, AICC will leverage the Experience API as the run-time communication protocol for the next generation of AICC CMI systems. 

The collaboration between AICC and ADL will ensure that legacy training materials and systems can be preserved through an entire generation of learning technology systems. AICC also intends to bring many of the innovations of CMI 5 into the Experience API specification, particularly the persistence of binary data as a way of capturing high-fidelity results. 

AICC has particular depth of experience in the areas of developing durable formal training simulation programs. ADL welcomes the valuable contributions of AICC and looks forward to utilizing their unique capabilities. This collaboration is extremely valuable to both communities. 

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Skillsoft Study Reveals Majority of UK Organizations Adopting Mobile Learning 

Skillsoft recently announced the results of a study that asked CEOs about their overall priorities for training programs. Course length in particular topped the list. It was considered the most important selection criterion by 42 per cent of all business leaders. With growing business pressure to maximize productivity and efficiency, this result probably reflects the need to minimize the time employees spend away from their everyday work. 

The study showed that innovative technologies are starting to impact the workplace. IT- and internet-enabled learning has the potential to transform course delivery and it was encouraging to see that new applications are being actively introduced. For example, the results show that 61 percent of CEOs now claim to have a mobile learning strategy in place, with a further quarter (24 per cent) planning to embrace mobile learning in the near future. For the purpose of the study, mobile learning was defined as all learning delivered through a mobile device, including smartphones, laptops, and tablets. 

However, this eagerness to adopt new technology does not yet appear to include social media. Despite having immense potential as an interactive, responsive, learner-empowered development tool, more than three-quarters (78 per cent) of CEOs said their firm had not linked social media with their training programs. 

This was particularly the case for firms at the smaller end of the range, with just 17 percent of those with less than 500 employees linking social media with their training programs. This figure rose to more than a third (39 percent) of companies with 1,000 employees or more. The top choices for learning integration were unsurprisingly Facebook and LinkedIn. 

According to Kevin Young, managing director of Skillsoft EMEA. "While training budgets themselves are not being cut, the time businesses have available to undertake training sessions is clearly shrinking. Courses need to be more succinct and to-the-point than ever, delivered in highly relevant, bite-sized pieces. Cost may not be a priority for the CEO, but it will and should matter to the training and development team, and we work hard to set the standard in cost-effective learning with a measurable ROI," Young added. 

The study, conducted by OpinionMatters on behalf of Skillsoft, surveyed 503 CEOs of businesses with more than 250 employees, across 13 business sectors, on topics that included recruitment, leadership, learning, succession-planning and staff turnover.  

Spending on Integrated Talent Management Systems to Reach $4 Billion, Says New Study from Bersin 

Bersin & Associates, a provider of research-based membership programs in human resources, talent, and learning, recently announced new research that shows the market for integrated talent management technologies is anticipated to grow 22 percent to nearly $4 billion in 2012-2013, almost double the growth rate of 12 percent in 2011-2012. 

Bersin defines talent management software includes recruiting, performance and succession management, compensation management, and learning management. It does not include providers of content or data services. The research looks at integrated talent management technologies, which are multidisciplinary services that help HR hire better, manage performance for results, coordinate compensation, develop talent and address succession. The research aims to provide a guide for both buyers and sellers.  

Talent Management Systems 2013 finds that there is a general shift among organizations in the perceived benefits of talent management systems from cost savings to strategic value for the organization. This shift in perception is backed by the emergence of other key market trends:

  • integration of stand-alone applications into talent management suites to accommodate talent analytics and workflows.
  • the move of talent management suites to rival core HR systems—creating talent profiles that can serve as the employee system of record
  • addition of social media and mobile technologies in some form at almost every stage of talent management
  • continued acquisition of talent solution-providing companies, either by larger suite providers seeking to augment their existing products or by the major enterprise resource planning vendors as their software-as-a-service systems for talent management 

For more insights from Bersin & Associates' new research report, “Talent Management Systems 2013: Market Analysis, Trends and Provider Profiles,” check out Josh Bersin’s blog.