Category Archives: Instancy Authoring

Learning Portal as Progressive Web App

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are websites that act like Native Mobile Apps.

Native apps, such as mobile apps, are known to be very efficient. They are ‘always on’, and ever-present when a user wishes to use them. Some of the features and benefits are:

1.Known to be reliable

2.Work regardless of network connection

3.Launch as a standalone experience

4.Read and write files from the local file system

5.Can access hardware such as USB devices or Bluetooth

6.Interact with contacts and calendar

7.Take photographs

8.Manage media playlists such as music

Progressive web apps do almost everything that native apps do but add:

1.Ease of installation

2.High reach ability

Can reach anyone, anywhere, on any device (no need to code for different mobile operating systems)

Capable, Reliable, and Installable

Those are the three most important aspects to consider for Progressive Web apps.

When looking at the capabilities of PWAs, most of the capabilities center around the developers and the tools currently available to mimic a native app. However, this is outside the scope of this article.

We measure reliability by factors such as:




5.Smooth scrolling and animation

The installable requirement of Progressive Web Apps goes beyond just being able to easily install it. Other factors include:

1.PWAs run in a standalone window and not in a web browser

2.App launches from a variety of locations, including user’s home screen, dock, taskbar, or shelf

3.Keyboard shortcuts

4.Manages can accept content from other applications

According to Sam Richard and Pete LePage in their article on PWAs, consider these statistics:

1.Twitter saw a 65% increase in pages per session, 75% more Tweets, and a 20% decrease in bounce rate, all while reducing the size of their app by over 97.

2.Nikkei saw 2.3 times more organic traffic, 58% more subscriptions, and 49% more daily active users.

3.Hulu saw a 27% increase in return visits.

Progressive Web Apps can be installed by anyone, anywhere, on any device

 Progressive Web Apps have some distinct advantages.

1.Add to Home Screen Prompt

The add to home screen prompt makes it easy for users to install PWAs on their devices. On their desktop, the user receives a prompt to ‘add to home screen’. Once accepted, the browser-based web app looks like a native app, even on their desktop. The progressive web app has the same visibility and accessibility as if the user were using a native app.

Customize your PWA technology. Define splash screens. Design a home screen icon. Manage theme colors.

2.PWA in Offline Mode 

When using a native app and you disconnect from the Internet, you can still browse that page until a connection is reestablished. The same is true for a progressive web app. Progressive web apps are built around the concept of offline first. This means that because of PWA’s robust caching system, it handles offline requests and completes them once a connection is available

3.Web Push Notifications

Push notifications are great communication tools. Although they look like text messages, they are different and usually only found on mobile devices. With progressive web app technology, users see push notifications on their desktop as well. Businesses can use push notifications to communicate with their site visitors. The technology is quite effective in eCommerce sites. If you want to be able to communicate with your learners in this manner or request them to go to a course catalog and purchase or reserve a course, you definitely want to consider using push notifications.

4.No App Stores

Since progressive apps appear as a native app, there is no need to use native apps you download from the app store. As long as the user is connected to the Internet, users get the most up-to-date content. For example, if your user is on the learning site and new content gets published, their screen refreshes. The user experience is not impacted.

Instancy was an early adopter of native apps and offer them as an addon to the Learning management system web application. We currently offer PWAs for the learner application as well and plan to expand the include more advanced features that PWAs in the upcoming releases. Progressive web app functionality is just one of the many reasons Instancy stands out from the others when comparing learning management systems. We believe we are better than our competition.  Sign up for our 30-day free trial to see how Instancy may just be the training technology partner for you. By the way, keep your credit card in your wallet – the Instancy team wants to prove to you this is the solution for you before you buy.

The Instancy Team

Learning Ecosystem – A Brief Introduction

Learning Ecosystem – A Brief Introduction
We see the word ‘ecosystem’ frequently. In the learning and development community, the popularity continues to grow and evolve.

What is a learning ecosystem?
A dictionary definition is ‘the complex network of interconnected systems’. There are many places where learners find learning. We try to help them make meaning of the learning opportunities and help them proactively find their way through the different pathways.

Most learning professionals agree that a learning ecosystem is a collection of people, processes and tools that deliver, integrate and support the Learning and Development (L&D) function across your organization.

What key aspects of learning are distributed?

Gamification to Learning Management Systems

Think about your learning organization. If you are still using a structured Learning Management System (LMS), you may want to consider changing platforms. Alternatively, you may want to examine your existing software platforms to ensure they can communicate. You cannot build an ecosystem without the ability to intertwine your learning software and technology.
Think about how far we have come since the Internet! There are numerous ways to deliver high-quality, meaningful learning experiences and knowledge transfers. How many different authoring tools do you use? Are they standalone or can they build upon each other? Many companies use virtual classrooms more than traditional classrooms. Some are rapidly moving towards video. L&D’s customer base now extends beyond the internal stakeholders and often includes outside vendors and business customers.

How do we integrate and interconnect all the learning delivery options and web applications along the learning workflow – and more importantly – allow the learner to take the lead and personalize their learning?

Ask any of your peers and they will admit the challenge is keeping everything focused on the learning experience.

Our audience (learners) now demand video, audio, simulations, gaming, and social learning. Even Augmented Reality (AR) is gaining steam. Organizations differ in how they address developing talent and skills, but one constant is user’s desire to have that information readily available in whatever format they choose. That is a tall task for the learning and development staff. The software you choose must be focused so it serves an important purpose to support specific business goals.
Leadership Taking Notice
With the stakes so high, leadership is increasingly interested in the functional role of learning and development while also demanding more metrics to quantify actual results. Budgets may be higher but more focused to overall business outcome. Stakeholders are more interested than ever in the learning ecosystem. If they can visualize the different components and gain trust of desired outcomes, they become more motivated to raise the bar. With expectations higher, the transition from the war room drawings to the finished product takes an unprecedented commitment from all areas of the organization. The ecosystem is built to spec and customized one hundred percent of the time.

Does this mean we have to start from scratch?
Instancy is proud to say – no. We started designing a modular and configurable learning in 2006 knowing fully well that one shoe does not fit all. With every new upgrade, we have added functionality, tools and components while keeping in step with new technology trends. We now have one of the best learning ecosystem-enabled suite of tools in the industry.

Instancy solves the problem by providing a system that looks at the entire learning process in a holistic way. Our award-winning learning portal and dashboard makes the task easy for everyone.

Each learning organization can customize their dashboard to fit their needs. Learners can create an account, search learning resources, videos, documents to access your learning anytime, browser-based or application based.

If your organization provides education to B2C customers, connect to our ecommerce and registration process. If you provide training programs to B2B customers, distribute blended learning tracks through a multi-tenant learning portal framework where each portal can serve the unique needs of each user segment. Use our platform as the primary tool or integrate our platform with your existing infrastructure. We have served millions of users on our system. We provide consulting to help you manage the task of defining and implementing YOUR ecosystem the way YOU want it.

This is the first in a series of articles on learning ecosystems and how they can help you achieve your business outcomes and help your learners the required skills in the most optimal way possible. Stay tuned for more….