A review by David Patterson from LearningLight.com
In this review of the ByteKast LXP, David found an innovative platform with onboard content creation, powerful pathways, real-time analytics and more. Looking at Learning Technologies from around the world is one of the privileges I particularly enjoy. So, I was pleased to get the opportunity to look at ByteKast LXP which hails from South Africa but is getting interest and attention across the world. It is difficult to put ByteKast LXP into a box as it has evolved from an authoring environment to what is a very capable LXP, with a twist, it not only enables a classy content delivery interface and a very capable content creation environment.
Gosh what a good UI
On beginning our demo the first screen appeared and I said – “a Netflix look and feel“, and Frank Coerlin quickly said “no, it’s the back end content creation window” ….wow – it looked good and Frank went on to explain that the ByteKast UI and UX was influenced by Apple. Why, well as Frank explained in developing Apps for the Apple store, ByteKast came to realise that the Apple approach to UI had to be followed if approval for the App was not going to be delayed, so ByteKast took the decision to stay as close to the Apple UI guidelines as possible, with excellent results.
Let’s begin our review of ByteKast LXP looking at how this platform organises and categorises learning. It is a very well thought through approach with Stories, Streams and Pathways to conceptualise how content is created, curated, managed and delivered. Stories is a powerful rapid content creation environment that allows for learning courses to be built out quickly and easily on the organisations brand. The focus is on micro-learning components, but SCORM can be pulled in as well. Creating the learning Stories is done through a well-designed and elegant interface with that Apple UI that we began with. There is a good range of templates to use to build out courses.
These can be fully branded, and ByteKast really have made the branding element exceptionally easy with a nameable colour palette which is a really nice touch and one I like a lot. There is a content marketplace allowing ByteKast users to share assets as well as a library of images from Unsplash and videos from Pixabay (part of the Canva family) included with every ByteKast licence. The content creation process is just super, the interface is so well thought out, with a desktop and mobile device view presented together so you, the content creator, can compare and contrast how the content is presented.
Adding assets is by drag and drop into the wireframes and it is super easy to add icons. Just drag them in from the menu bar into the template. ByteKast LXP makes storyboarding really very easy indeed. There are some very cool template options to add. Journey maps for instance with interactivities dotted around for example. Card activities are neat and work well on a mobile device. The learner feedback option is so quick and simple to make with the emojis template – and all of these can be added to the course with a drag and a drop. Resources (PDFs etc…) can be attached to the learning stories, which can be downloaded. Branching is enabled and the progress can be linear or self-directed. Triggers are allowed to uncover more learning as progress is made. Pass marks and time limits for completion can be set very easily. There is a link manager that ensures URLs can be maintained in courses and switched on or off as required. There is a workflow available to allow colleagues to provide feedback prior to course publication. Indeed, a workflow is available to set tasks for colleagues to sign off against, providing a useful audit trail of the content creation and publication process. The learning can obviously be delivered beautifully through ByteKast, published as SCORM 1.2 and 2004 or exported as a PDF file that is print ready.
Streams is the curation channel where pretty much any asset can be pulled in from the Internet. Here we are getting more towards the classic LXP function set. ByteKast LXP integrates with YouTube directly and by using a private channel, allowing for learning episodes to be quickly created.
Podcasts from Spotify or iTunes are also catered for and ByteKast can stream these as well. There is a “subscription option” to allow learners to sign up for notifications of new episodes that have been released….very cool………actually a bit Netflix, and again the UI is leading edge. Learners are of course encouraged to create their own feeds and libraries.
We have looked at Stories and at Streams and they are pretty self-explanatory, but it is in Pathways that Bytekast gets really very, very smart in bringing these learning assets together seamlessly to create really impressive learning pathways – online and blended. Pathways is the facilitation tool that pulls it all together oh so easily.
Pathways is all about evidential learning, it could be skills or competency, it could be 70 20 10, ByteKast LPX is not prescriptive as it is putting the organisation fully in charge of the content – created or curated – for your learner experience. The Pathways approach allows engagement parameters to be set and measured. Pathways has a series options that can be added: A confirmation of completion of a learning task is very useful in the context of a 70 20 10 approach. The learner is stating that yes! I have done this! I have fulfilled my task! There is also a rewards option built in to ByteKast LXP.
Data checkpoints can be built into the learning pathway. So for example, if the learning pathway is addressing selling skills, well let’s pull the sales data in and really see what is going on and align it to the learning pathway as it unfolds, no problem for ByteKast LXP to do that. ByteKast LXP can build learning pathways that nest and expand the learning process quite easily so this can get quite sophisticated if needed.
Pathways, as ByteKast puts it, is a learning facilitation tool and I really do get where they are coming from as it covers both online and blended learning delivery. There is a neat toolkit to track attendance at face-to-face events built in as well, using QR codes. That is not all – Pathways has a geolocation tool for mobile learning, which allows for tracking of attendance at specific points.
ByteKast LXP allows offline learning and will sync updates automatically. Learners can self-select what learning options to download and store natively on any device.
A word on certificates – they come with QR codes for added security.
Adding Multiple Learning Modalities to an LMS
Pathways is ideal for integrating with your existing LMS as it can move learner data back and forth with a two-way API or by web-hooks. It will really turbo charge your LMS with an LXP experience that has absolute flexibility to deliver skills development, competencies, inductions and all with ByteKast’s incredibly capable content creation and content curation capacity.
Real time analytics
ByteKast has a powerful onboard analytics engine that is highly capable in its use of real-time data. This allows for other data sets to be introduced into the analytics engine to really align learning and performance. The analytics and administration element of ByteKast are closely aligned to allow a seamless understanding of what is going on, and this allows for very proactive administration and interventions if issues are emerging with the learning content or learner performance.
Documentation and support
ByteKast is fully GDPR Compliant. It has an excellent knowledge base and customer support is comprehensive.
ByteKast in summary
ByteKast positions itself as an LXP and I agree. However, unlike other LXPs, ByteKast has an onboard content creation capability that is very elegant indeed.
This gives ByteKast LXP a real twist, a real point of difference. For many organisations considering an LXP strategy but thinking they need an LMS and a content authoring tool as well, take a test drive of ByteKast and check out its capabilities to build content oh so easily, to curate content quickly, and to provide learning pathways aligning to real time organisational data. All of ByteKast (every bit, every last bit) has a full-on Apple style UI experience for content creators, learning administrators and of course, learners. All that makes the ByteKast LXP one of the most innovative options in the market.
Learn more about this excellent learning experience platform on the ByteKast website.