LabSim is TestOut’s software platform that provides comprehensive, experience-based learning and assessment. LabSim uniquely combines rich multimedia materials, best-of-class labs and simulations, comprehensive instructor tools, and 100 percent performance-based certifications.
In 2014, TestOut began working on a new version of LabSim. Its primary purpose was to create a more comprehensive experience for students utilizing online learning environments in conjunction with recent developments among modern internet browsers.
Since this is the fifth version of LabSim, it’s aptly called LabSim 5. This fifth-generation platform incorporates the innovations of past platform versions, and is built upon the core technology and upcoming standard for presenting content on the Internet: HTML5.
LabSim 5 gives TestOut customers a cleaner, more intuitive experience, including:
- Better cross-platform access (such as Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chromebooks)
- New student and instructor features
- Improved video controls
- Enhanced communication for students
When Google Chrome announced the end of support for the then ubiquitous Microsoft Silverlight plugin (as well as many other NPAPI plugins), TestOut’s was ready with a solution to serve their customers. By August 2015 almost all of TestOut customers had made the transition from the Silverlight-dependent LabSim 4 to the new HTML5-compliant LabSim 5 platform.
In order to enhance customer experience during the transition specific actions were identified and developed including:
- LabSim 5 Video Tutorials and PDF support documents
- General Audience and Target Audience Webinars
- In-product highlights and introductions of new features and enhancements
Besides additional innovations, that will continue to roll out on a monthly basis to the 100,000 customers using LabSim products, LabSim5 takes advantage of specific security options in modern internet browsers and the HTTPS protocol (the protocol that protects sensitive data during transit on the Internet). LabSim5 secures all relevant information that includes authentication credentials, account data, score/result data, and so forth.
As of Dec. 31, TestOut customers will no longer be able to use the LabSim 4 platform. LabSim 5 with its continued enhancements, secure transmission of data, and freedom from the Silverlight plugin will be the way forward for students seeking the best IT certifications and training for today’s dynamic, online learning environment.
About the Author — Gregory Shaffer is product manager for the Labsim Technology Platform and the IT Pro Product Line for TestOut Corporation. His passion is to create, master, and then share new technologies in the education and training industry. With more than 12 years of professional courseware development experience, Shaffer is a leader in instructional design, software development for learning and training, and simulating real-to-life experiences for learners. He B.A. in Communications and Business (Cum Laude) from Brigham Young University and a Masters of Instruction Technology (MEd) degree from Utah State University. He also holds several TestOut, CompTIA, and Cisco certifications.