TiER1 Performance Acquires Bottom-Line Performance, creators of Knowledge Guru

Effective September 1, 2019, TiER1 Performance has acquired Bottom-Line Performance (BLP), an Indianapolis-based firm that designs and develops custom learning solutions focused on increasing knowledge retention and end-user performance. Bottom-Line Performance is the creator of the Knowledge Guru platform.

As part of the acquisition, Knowledge Guru will shift from a Software-as-a-Service model to a custom development model. BLP and TiER1’s clients will use Knowledge Guru as a framework to create innovative custom game-based learning solutions. Existing subscribers may continue to access and use their Knowledge Guru accounts as they do today.

“Bottom-Line Performance is a natural fit for TiER1,” shares Greg Harmeyer, TiER1 CEO. “BLP has an extremely talented team of consultants with a high focus on relationships. Together, our growth strengthens our ability to develop people-centric solutions that increase the value we bring to our clients.”

Named to the Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest-Growing Companies for 13 consecutive years, TiER1 continues to expand its core strategy activation offerings and the geographic markets it serves. To create this growth, TiER1 has combined a suite of people-centric services—leadership alignment, performance management, communications, learning and development, digital transformation, and change management —into an integrated approach that helps organizations activate their most strategic initiatives. BLP will strengthen TiER1’s existing services in the learning and technology space. In addition, BLP has deep client relationships and will broaden TiER1’s geographic presence in Indianapolis.

Sharon and Kirk Boller founded BLP in 1995. Under their leadership, they grew the organization to over 30 employees serving clients nationally, making this TiER1’s largest acquisition to date.

“The initial draw to TiER1 was the alignment between its core values and our own. Cultural fit mattered to Kirk and me,” shares Sharon, BLP CEO. “This acquisition has enabled us to stay true to our values while also delivering on our goals of optimal solutions and an optimal workplace for our team members. We have gained capacity and capability for our clients and expanded opportunity for our team.”

Sharon Boller will remain with the team in a senior leadership role. The day-to-day operations of BLP will continue to operate as usual—providing the high level of creativity, innovation, and people-focused solutions that clients have come to expect from our teams. This acquisition adds BLP’s Indianapolis-based office to TiER1’s network of national offices.

Founded in 2002, TiER1 Performance is an employee-owned consulting firm that activates strategies through people. As a Certified B Corporation, TiER1 consults, designs, and builds people-centered business solutions that deliver meaningful, long-term success. TiER1 is a nationally recognized company that has helped over 300 of the world’s most successful corporate and government organizations. TiER1 has received a U.S. Chamber of Commerce Blue Ribbon Award, a PMI Small Business Award of Excellence, 21 Brandon Hall Excellence Awards, and 11 Best Places to Work awards (including twice on Inc.’s Best Workplaces list). TiER1 is a 13-time member of the Inc. 5000 (2007-2019). Learn more about TiER1 at tier1performance.com.

BLP Improves Authoring and Adds Game Options in Knowledge Guru Fall 2017 Release

The Fall 2017 Release of Knowledge Guru makes life easier for game authors and provides new gameplay options for learners. We’ve added several new features to the Knowledge Guru platform based on customer requests and lessons learned implementing Knowledge Guru games as part of larger curriculums for our clients.

New Authoring Tools and System Admin Dashboard

We gave the Knowledge Guru authoring tool a new, modern look and feel. Creating and editing games is now easier than ever. Tracking player progress, and automatically sending reports to managers who do not wish to log in to another tool, takes just a few clicks.

New Desktop Play Experience for Drive

We created our newest Knowledge Guru app, Drive, to be a mobile-first experience. But while mobile works great for many learners, some of us still want (or need) to complete training on a desktop or laptop. Now learners can play Drive on a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Implementation Support, Anyone?

Everyone loves to talk about learning trends and technologies. But what about implementation? We’ve created a comprehensive collection of templates, tactics, and tips to help Knowledge Guru customers make their games a success.

Automatic Emails that Motivate and Engage

Knowledge Guru administrators can now choose to turn on a carefully crafted series of emails that players trigger with various in-game activities. These auto emails are designed to foster repeat play and gently nudge inactive users.

About Bottom-Line Performance

The Bottom-Line Performance team launched the Knowledge Guru in 2012. We are an award-winning learning design firm serving a wide range of corporate clients. Since 1995, we’ve helped clients choose the right learning solutions for their learners, while also helping them to design and develop learning tools effectively. Areas of focus include product launches, customer training, internal process training, safety & compliance and more.

We often use Knowledge Guru games as a pre-work or reinforcement activity in the custom curriculums we create.

10 Noteworthy Sessions at ATD International 2017

#ATD2017 is only a few days away and my goal at the conference this year is simple: be a sponge and soak up as much knowledge and attend as many sessions as I possibly can. By doing so, I can stay on top of my game in my professional development and bring new ideas back to my team. I’m sure the same is true for you – you want to take in every piece of information, see what vendors are up to, demo the cool new technology, and enjoy a nice meal or two while in Atlanta.

So it’s around this time, people start planning which conference sessions they want to attend. If you haven’t started planning your conference agenda yet, I’ve listed ten sessions at #ATD2017 you won’t want to miss. This year, with 300+ sessions, you can find topics on anything from gamification and designing your own learning game, to mobile learning and employee engagement strategies.

BLP will also be exhibiting our Knowledge Guru platform during expo hours in booth 625. We hope to see you there!

1. The Mobile Mindset: How to Wow Your Learners

Presented by: Steven Boller & Jake Huhn

Sunday, 5/21: 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM

Your employees are already learning on their mobile devices. They are used to interacting with apps and websites that provide an excellent user experience. Unfortunately, some corporate training sessions struggle to even provide an adequate user experience. And while mobile learning adoption is speeding up, many organizations still lag behind. This session shows how the design principles of the increasingly mobile web can make training more effective and improve learner adoption rates.

Steve and Jake (part of our team here at BLP) will share recent stats on mobile learning adoption, identify common roadblocks organizations face, and demonstrate how mobile design principles improve the learner experience. They will also share examples of both responsive web apps and native apps and you will leave with six actionable tips for adopting a mobile mindset for your training.

Learn more

2. Mastering the Universe: Advanced Sales Coaching for Managers

Presented by: Lesli Baar, Cynthia Baune Fulton & Ann Quadagno

Sunday, 5/21: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

The Advanced Sales Coaching online app is designed to be an engaging and interesting way to build coaching skills. This personal approach to building sales manager coaching expertise wraps the learning in gaming techniques so participants have fun and stay engaged while they exercise their coaching muscle. In addition to building their skills, sales managers also use social media to connect with experts and one another to share experiences and ask questions.

Join this session to learn how one company prompted sales managers to develop mastery coaching behavior and skills. You’ll see how to harness social media, analytics, and blended learning to provide an environment where sales managers think, prepare, and rehearse ways to be a more effective coach, thereby strengthening their seller’s engagement, which in turn drives better business results for the company.

Learn more

3. E-Learning Is So Yesterday: How Onboarding New Managers Just Got Personal

Presented by: James Joseph Francisco & Omar Nielsen

Sunday, 5/21: 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM

New managers are expected to get up to speed on the company’s management processes quickly. Processes such as hiring, compensation, performance management, and dealing with employee exits come with policies and procedures that are critical to execute. New managers must be ready to take action on these processes at the right time. Full-day sessions to learn these processes in one sitting don’t work, with most of any learning forgotten by the time employees need to apply it.

In this session, senior managers, Francisco and Nielsen, at Genentech (a biotech company part of the Roche group) will show a creative solution in onboarding new managers utilizing neuroscience, technology, and human touch to provide resources and allow learning to happen when needed.

Learn more

4. Playing Games to Learn How to Design Games

Presented by: Sharon Boller & Karl Kapp

Monday, 5/22: 1:00 PM – 2:15 PM

What’s all the fuss about games? Come to this session and find out! BLP President, Sharon Boller, and Dr. Karl Kapp are learning game design experts. They’ll share their expertise in this session and show you why games are such a powerful learning tool and explore how tabletop, experiential, and digital games can all be part of your learning strategy.

You’ll leave with a clear understanding of how the kind of fun people experience in commercial games differs from the kind of fun you need in learning games, as well as a checklist of best practices to use when incorporating games into your learning solutions. You’ll understand how games link to learning, and you’ll practice using an evaluation checklist when playing games so you can build a toolbox of ideas to incorporate into your own learning games.

Learn more

Order your copy of Sharon and Karl’s new book, Play to Learn: Everything You Need to Know About Designing Effective Learning Games.

5. Engaging Learning Experiences for Improved Overall Talent Development

Presented by: Fernando Sanchez-Arias & Jay Steinfeld

Monday, 5/22: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Disengaged associates and managers create disengaging companies. Going beyond rhetoric, your talent is the most critical factor in your organization. Engaged people are more productive, deliver better service, achieve better results, inspire those around them, and collaborate more effectively with others. Engaging learning experiences improve the way team members think, feel, and act, and have a direct impact in the way associates perform their roles, execute their action, and accomplish their goals. Learning how to design, deliver, and manage learning experiences will help you improve not only your talent development performance, but also your business results.

This session will help you be more aware of the business connection between learning and engagement and will help you to be a more engaging trainer, facilitator, and learning leader.

Learn more

6. Tactics to Move Superstar Employees to Rock-Star Supervisors

Presented by: William Gentry

Monday, 5/22: 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM

Do you know how your new supervisors and first-time managers feel when they officially become “the boss”? Becoming a manager for the first time is one of the most stressful psychological shifts one can experience at work. Although it’s a clear organizational imperative to develop them, research shows that almost 60 percent of first-time managers receive no training when they get promoted into a first-time leadership position.

Developing a strong pipeline of talent begins with your frontline and first-time managers, and is a critical component to the success of every organization’s business strategy. Through self-reflection, small-group discussion, and a real-time survey, you will explore the six key “flips” new supervisors must make to be successful. By the end of the session you will have a checklist of action items and a toolkit of relevant content for turning your superstar employees into the bosses everyone wants to work for.

Learn more

7. Not “When Learning Games?” but “Which Learning Games?”

Presented by: Sharon Boller

Tuesday, 5/23: 10:00 AM – 11:15 AM

Have you been asking, “when should I use games in learning”? If you answered yes, this session is for you. Come learn a new question to ask: “which games should I use in learning situations?” Games and gamification help to satisfy four common learning needs: illustrating the “why” of a process, a policy, or a procedure; giving learners practice and feedback; providing a common experience to springboard discussion or learning readiness; and creating the hook that helps mentally engage learners.

Join Sharon Boller in this session to play and learn how experiential games, tabletop games, and digital games can help you address the four learning needs.

Learn more

8. Virtual Reality: Failing Gracefully, Engaging Seamlessly, Connecting Virtually

Presented by: David Davis & Daniel McLinden

Tuesday, 5/23: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Virtual reality (VR) is a rapidly evolving technology poised to significantly change how immersive content—such as simulated environments and 360-degree video of real environments—are accessed through multiple platforms, including immersive headsets, computers, and smartphones. This evolution will affect the development of talent in organizations and change the future of our profession. Of course, adaptations will be required. Instructional design will need to direct the creation of visual stories, developers will need to work with different software and hardware tools, and content experts will need to create visual environments and experiences that include skills and emotional components.

The session will show you what is involved in designing, developing, and deploying a VR solution for learning using multiple technologies. You’ll also learn about VR’s issues of scalability, suitability, and effectiveness.

Learn more

9. Lead With a Story—7 Strategies for Telling Stories That Inspire, Influence, and Engage

Presented by: Doug Stevenson

Tuesday, 5/23: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Are you a strong leader who gives weak presentations? Far too often, leaders fail to inspire people. While their presentations are content rich, they are often boring. Stories are a more effective delivery mechanism of information than text. When you tell a story, you activate the listeners’ brain, which causes them to actively participate in the story. Stories stimulate the imagination and engage the listeners’ emotions.

Emotion is the fast lane to the brain, and we remember emotionally charged events, but we don’t remember facts and data. Discover why stories are more effective than facts, data, and research to change hearts and minds. If you want to inspire confidence, establish instant rapport, and build a foundation of trust when you speak, this session will show you the way. You will learn how to choose, craft, and deliver stories and leave with tools that can help you tell a story that makes you relax and your audiences applaud.

Learn more

10. 99 Ways to Engage Virtual Employees

Presented by: Erika Tedesco

Wednesday, 5/24: 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM

Need quick and easy team building activities? You’ll get them here. Want a more robust engagement strategy? You’ll get that, too. No pizza parties or employee-of-the-month parking spots here! For virtual employees, employee engagement takes on a different need and purpose. This session will provide thoughtful, useful, and actionable ideas for engaging virtual employees in four focus areas: trust, recognition, relationships, and culture. You will leave with actionable strategies for engaging virtual employees. Learn about developing trust, building teams, recognizing employees, and the importance of creating a purposeful virtual culture.

Learn more

BLP Wins 2016 Horizon Awards for Knowledge Guru ‘Drive’ and Custom Mobile Learning Solution

Bottom-Line Performance (BLP) is the proud recipient of four awards in the 2016 Horizon Interactive Awards competition, including one ‘Gold’ distinction. The prestigious competition has received over 10,000 entries from over 40 countries since its inception in 2002. The top entries are awarded a Gold, Silver, or Bronze distinction for excellence in interactive media. 

The Knowledge Guru Drive mobile reinforcement and gaming app earned two Bronze designations: one in the Mobile Apps – Education category and the other in the Mobile Apps – Games category. The new app is a training reinforcement tool for sales reps. Learners complete a short confidence assessment, then receive customized daily mini-games that teach topics such as features and benefits, how to compare competitors and objection handling. Drive adapts to the learner over time to help them master their weakest areas and build on their strengths.

These award-winning solutions build on BLP’s recent success in the Horizon awards: BLP has now won 11 Horizon Awards since 2013, including four awards for the Knowledge Guru platform.

“Forgetting what you learned is a huge problem with corporate training programs,” said Sharon Boller, President of Bottom-Line Performance. “And if you forget – you might as well not have ever taken training in the first place. Drive is specifically focused on reducing or eliminating that forgetting curve while only requiring 5 minutes/day. Unlike many other reinforcement solutions, it is game-based and adaptive so players don’t get bored or over-burdened. It is also mobile, which is how the majority of learners want to access content. The Horizon Award is a great affirmation that Drive is providing a high-quality experience that will engage learners.”

BLP also won a Gold and Silver Horizon Interactive award for TE Town, a mobile learning game. The app was created in partnership with TE Connectivity (TE), a global leader in connectivity and sensors, as part of their new comprehensive training and sales enablement program. Players are elected as mayor of TE Town and must build their town by completing a variety of mini-games. They must identify the correct customer type, learn about relevant products and ask the right questions to help the customer. Learn more about TE and TE Town here.

“TE is continually looking for creative ways to equip our sales team and distributors to serve our customers,” said Maria Cannon, Vice President of channel marketing at TE. “TE’s vision for an interactive game partnered with BLP’s design expertise created a tool that serves our team in a way that is different from standard training tools. TE Town demonstrates our commitment to innovation.”

Sharon expressed her gratitude: “We appreciated TE Connectivity’s willingness to let us partner on such an innovative sales education solution. It was a tall order to address the sales reps’ needs for an in/out solution that could continually re-engage them without requiring more than a few minutes at a time. This game helps them learn product information and increases their ability to sell – all in just a few minutes per day. We’re thrilled with the recognition!”

The Horizon Interactive Awards is a prestigious international competition recognizing outstanding achievement among interactive media producers. The competition recognizes and awards the best web sites, videos, online advertising, print media and mobile applications. Each year, the Horizon Interactive Awards receives thousands of entries from all over the world. A panel of industry professionals, from diverse multi-media, graphic design and marketing backgrounds, review the entries to determine the work that is to be recognized. Learn more.

BLP showcases Knowledge Guru, along with award-winning custom solutions like “TE Town,” at the 2017 ATD International Conference. Learn more and register here.

About Bottom-Line Performance

The Knowledge Guru platform is imagined by Bottom-Line Performance, a learning design firm serving a wide range of corporate clients. Since 1995, we’ve helped clients choose the right learning solutions for their learners, while also helping them to design and develop learning tools effectively. Areas of focus include product launches, customer training, internal process training, safety & compliance and more.

About TE Connectivity

TE Connectivity (NYSE: TEL) is a $12 billion global technology leader. Our commitment to innovation enables advancements in transportation, industrial applications, medical technology, energy, data communications, and the home. TE’s unmatched breadth of connectivity and sensor solutions, proven in the harshest of environments, helps build a safer, greener, smarter and more connected world. With 75,000 people – including more than 7,000 engineers – working alongside customers in nearly 150 countries, we help ensure that EVERY CONNECTION COUNTS – www.TE.com.

TE Connectivity, TE and EVERY CONNECTION COUNTS are trademarks.

How Sharon Boller and Karl Kapp’s Learning Game Design Process Works


Earlier this year, we announced Sharon Boller and Dr. Karl Kapp’s new book on learning game design on the BLP blog. It’s called Play to Learn: Everything You Need to Know About Designing Effective Learning Games. We also kicked off the Play to Learn Book Tour, which blends conference workshops, webinars and guest bloggers to expand the learning game design conversation.

Naturally, the Knowledge Guru blog had to be the first stop on our tour! After all, the learning game design principles outlined in “Play to Learn” have been critical to the creation of Knowledge Guru games over the years. I thought it would be fun to show how the nine steps to learning game design Sharon and Karl outline in their book have guided our team’s efforts.

Here’s the abridged version of how each of the nine steps has shaped Knowledge Guru.

1. Play entertainment games and evaluate what you play

Our product team plays a new board game together at least 1x a week. Our iPads and phones have folders full of interesting games that we use for, um, research.

In all seriousness, playing lots of games and doing that analysis is critical. You wouldn’t write a novel without reading a whole lot on the subject first. So why would you try to design a game without playing them first?

2. Explore learning games

Building on the first, more fun step of simply playing and evaluating lots of purely fun games, we also spend time focusing specifically on educational games. These could be either educational games geared towards an academic setting or brain training games designed as casual play experiences for adults.

3. Set the learning foundation

While Knowledge Guru games can incorporate many different types of content, we spend time up front planning out what types of instructional goals a game is well suited for. For example, one mini-game in Knowledge Guru’s Drive app is specifically designed for learning objectives that use verbs like “compare” or “distinguish.”

We also spend a lot of time analyzing our target learners. We survey customers and create personas that give us a fictitious yet accurate depiction of who the end user is.

4. Link learning design and game design

Some of the most ‘fun’ mini-game ideas don’t make it off the shop floor. Why? Because every game mechanic must support the learning objectives! Our team comes up with lots of fun game ideas, then must slim them down so that only essential game mechanics that help accomplish the desired learning objective make it into the final game.

5. Determine scoring and rewards

Testing, testing, testing. There’s no shortcut to getting a game’s scoring and rewards right. The scoring in Knowledge Guru games goes through many iterations before each release.

6. Build the initial prototype

I’ve participated in paper prototyping sessions as our team has designed new games and user interfaces. Many instructional designers are surprised when they learn the degree to which software and game developers rely on paper to sketch their designs. It’s certainly much easier to draw and scribble than it is to write lines of code.

7. Playtest and iterate on design

Like I said before, testing. It’s a way of life for game designers. Paper prototypes become digital prototypes which become… you get the idea.

8. Develop and iterate

As the development process continues, we often ask for feedback from our account managers to make sure the game designs are matching the needs they have heard communicated from clients. We also rely on user testing to catch UX issues the team might have missed.

9. Deploy

Voila! Knowledge Guru customers get a fun, spunky email telling them a new release is live and ready. Easy, right?

How Will You Use Sharon and Karl’s Game Design Process?

“Play to Learn” explains how to follow this learning game design process in much greater detail. And as this book tour gets going, many great learning thought leaders will share their perspectives, too. Follow along with the tour here, and learn more about the book here.

Access the Webinar

On March 28th, Sharon and Karl shared tips and best practices from “Play to Learn” in a live webinar. Attendees heard their perspective on the three most critical learning game design steps and had the opportunity to participate in Q&A.

Knowledge Guru Drive: Training Reinforcement That Adapts to Each Sales Rep (Webinar)


The wait is over. Knowledge Guru Drive is here and we hope you’re as excited as we are! We unveiled the app at DevLearn 2016 on November 16 and are showing it off to clients and customers in a private webinar today. On December 6th, we showcased Drive in a public webinar.

Drive is the newest app in the Knowledge Guru family

Drive is a training reinforcement tool that helps sales reps build their confidence and competence in minutes a day on their smartphones. Learners complete a short confidence assessment, then receive customized daily mini-games that teach topics such as features and benefits, objection handling and how to compare competitors. Drive adapts to learners over time to help them master their weakest areas and build on their strengths.

Product managers use Drive to turn launch training into an engaging experience reps interact with a few minutes a day on their smartphones. Sales trainers use it as a virtual coaching tool that adapts to each rep and helps them improve their confidence and competence.

Drive works alongside our other two Knowledge Guru apps, Quest and Legend. Learn more about the platform.

See Drive in our Product Webinar

Attend our webinar, Knowledge Guru’s New ‘Drive’ App: Training Reinforcement that Adapts to Each Sales Rep. The webinar will be held on Tuesday, December 6th at 1 pm ET / 10 am PT. In the session, we’ll cover:

  • How the Knowledge Guru platform uses game-based learning, adaptive learning, and microlearning.
  • How the Knowledge Guru platform can help reinforce training after product launches and enable coaching at scale.
  • The challenges faced by today’s sales reps.
  • How sales reps can increase their confidence and competence in just a few minutes a day on their smartphones.
  • How to help your sales reps do and say the right thing at the right time.

A recording of the session was sent to all registrants.

Access Knowledge Guru’s New ‘Drive’ App webinar and learn how Drive can help sales reps become more confident and competent.

8 Can’t-Miss Sessions at DevLearn 2016


While this is Bottom-Line Performance’s fifth straight year exhibiting at DevLearn, it’s only my first. And I am so excited to join my team in Vegas this year! I’ve heard so many great things about the conference and can’t wait to see what all the hype is about. So naturally, I made a list of “must-see” sessions I want to attend at DevLearn and let me tell you, it was a long list. So for your sake, I narrowed it down to eight. These are my “can’t miss,” “must-see” DevLearn sessions this year:

1. Play to Learn: Designing Effective Learning Games

Presented by: Sharon Boller and Karl Kapp

Tuesday, 11/15: 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

If you are interested in how emerging learning strategies such as games can be used to motivate and reinforce key skills, this workshop is for you. For the past few years, Sharon and Karl have been co-presenting on game design all around the country. In their workshop, you will explore a variety of games to identify what makes them playable, and then you’ll design your own learning games using a step-by-step approach. You will leave this session with an understanding of how games are powerful tools for crafting learning solutions that engage, motivate and reinforce key skills and techniques.

Learn more

2. Knowledge Guru’s New ‘Drive’ App: Training Reinforcement that Adapts to Each Sales Rep

Presented by: Steven Boller

Wednesday, 11/16: 10:00 AM – 10:45 AM

BLP’s Marketing Director, Steven Boller, will showcase Drive, the newest app in the Knowledge Guru family at the Strategic Solutions learning stage Wednesday morning. Sales reps need a way to ramp up on their products, competitors, and industry landscape fast. With Drive, reps can increase their confidence and competence in just a few minutes a day on their smartphones. This session will cover the challenges faced by today’s sales reps and demonstrate how the Knowledge Guru platform uses game-based learning, adaptive learning, and microlearning to reinforce training after product launches and enable coaching at scale.

Learn more

3. Calm the Mobile Turbulence: An Alaska Airlines Flight Attendant Case Study

Presented by: Leigh Shocki and Jennifer Sovey

Wednesday, 11/16: 10:45 AM – 11:45 AM

In this session, you will learn how Alaska Airlines taught flight attendants about their devices on their devices. You’ll learn about device operation, flight attendant apps, and compliance policies. Learn how Alaska leveraged a mobile ecosystem to push forth a test case for an all-mobile eLearning initiative, under a strict timeline with much at stake, and the clever technology workarounds that were used to ensure a quality user experience in a short turnaround time. If you have employees who work remotely and struggle to access training, this session is for you.

Learn more

4. Using Simple Game Mechanics to Increase Retention

Presented by: Ken Murray

Wednesday, 11/16: 10:45 AM – 11:45 AM

Life’s daily distractions make it difficult for learners to remember information they need on the job. This session promises to show how to apply seven simple techniques in your eLearning projects to boost your learners’ dopamine and enable them to learn more effectively. You will discover how to leverage scientific knowledge of the neurochemical dopamine, which is linked to the reward centers of the brain to deliver learning that maximizes retention and desired outcomes.

Learn more

5. Virtual Reality Learning Strategy

Presented by: Steven Skiles

Wednesday, 11/16: 1:15 PM – 2:15 PM

This session is a case study of how Samsung Electronics America implemented its VR learning strategy in just three steps. In this session, you will explore the world of virtual reality for learning. You’ll examine the different VR hardware and platforms, and the technical requirements to implement VR in your organization. Most importantly, the session description says that participants will learn about best practices and the expertise your organization needs in order to implement this technology.

Learn more

6. Using Virtual Reality in Corporate Learning

Presented by: John O’Hare

Wednesday, 11/16: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

In this session, you’ll learn how VR can be used for learning, especially in a corporate environment. You will gain a solid foundation in understanding what VR is, what equipment you need, where to find free learning resources, and how to develop your own content. You will also learn about the experiences and lessons learned from using VR for learning at the Nokia Corporate University.

Learn more

7. The Quantified Learner: Using Wearables to Enhance Training

Presented by: Mathias Vermeulen

Friday, 11/18: 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM

In this session, you’ll explore wearable technologies like the Fitbit, Spire and Apple Watch. You’ll discuss new emerging trends and how to use these tools to enhance learning and development approaches. You’ll also take a look at how you can use these wearable technologies for an important goal: improving performance. I encourage you to attend this session on the final day of the conference. Mathias is a compelling speaker who will motivate you to continue learning about performance improvement long after the conference ends.

Learn more

8. Sales Enablement and Beyond: Using Games to Drive Performance

Presented by: Sharon Boller and Steven Boller

Friday, 11/18: 10:00 – 11:00 AM

We kick off this session with a case study from a successful medical device product launch that used games throughout a phased curriculum. Then, we discuss what sales enablement learning objectives lend themselves best to a game-based approach and identify what good game design looks like. To learn how to design games that appeal to target learners, participants will use a worksheet to craft learner personas that are similar to the buyer personas that marketing departments create. The session ends with seven implementation tips you can put into practice when using games for learning.

Learn more

Knowledge Guru adds ‘Drive’ Adaptive Learning App to Platform for Fall ’16 Release


BLP customers and Knowledge Guru subscribers got the big scoop last week on our Fall 2016 release. But now, it’s time to tell the world: we’ve just added a new app called Drive to the Knowledge Guru platform. Drive is a training reinforcement tool for sales reps, and it will be included as part of a Knowledge Guru subscription.


Built for Sales Reps


Many of our Knowledge Guru customers use the platform to train sales reps. Drive is for them: it includes a variety of minigames specifically designed to teach topics like comparing against competitors, objection handling, features and benefits, and responding to customer questions.

Adaptive Learning


Sales reps take a short confidence assessment the first time they open Drive. As they play minigames, Drive compares reps’ perceived confidence against their actual performance on your training topics and customizes their experience accordingly to help them achieve mastery.



Knowledge Guru Drive was designed with busy sales reps in mind. The app delivers reps a “Daily 3” of minigames that take about five minutes to play. If they have more time, they can hone their skills in the practice area.

Engaging Minigames


Drive’s minigames are simple, elegant and fun. Clients who have piloted Drive have commented that “even our kids would think this is cool.” That’s high praise, and we’ll take it.

Mobile-first Experience


Drive is available as a smartphone app in the iOS and Android stores. While reps can play it on the web on most devices, it was designed from the ground up as a smartphone experience.

Personal Stats


Drive is like a fitness tracker for training content. As reps progress, they get detailed personal stats on their perceived confidence versus their actual performance on each learning objective.

Simple Creation and Editing

Like all Knowledge Guru apps, Drive comes with a game creation wizard that is easy to use. Trainers can quickly create, edit and launch Drive experiences with our web-based authoring tool.

Watch the new product tour

Our new video has a full description of the platform:


Watch the launch webinar recording

We officially launched Drive at DevLearn 2016 in Las Vegas on November 16. If you couldn’t make it to DevLearn, you can still watch the Drive launch session via webinar. We held a public session on Tuesday, December 6th and the recording is now available for all.

If you’re already a BLP client or Knowledge Guru customer, check your inbox. We sent you an invite to a private webinar just for clients.

2016 Brandon Hall-Winning Product Launch Training Uses Knowledge Guru


The Knowledge Guru learning platform was used as part of a product launch that won Silver in the 2016 Brandon Hall Excellence in Learning Awards. The platform was used as part of a product launch training curriculum designed by Bottom-Line Performance for Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. (Ventana), a member of the Roche Group. It uses game-based learning and the power of story to help reps show the value of a new product.

It was the second award win of 2016 for the VENTANA HE 600 product launch training curriculum, and the sixth win in the last two years that BLP has partnered with the Roche group to win. To date, the Knowledge Guru platform has been used as part of 6 Brandon Hall-winning projects.

The HE 600 uses Knowledge Guru as a pre-work activity to help reinforce key product information. Learn more about the curriculum here.


Question Types Available in Quest

The kinds of questions you can create in Knowledge Guru’s Quest app include “Multiple Choice,” “Select All That Apply,” and “Answer in Order” questions (aka ranking questions). These question types enable you to provide learners with variety and increase the learning power of a Quest game.

We have created a short game called QType Guru that contains questions about Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning.

Here is an example of each question type and how it looks in the game:

Multiple Choice

This is an example of a Multiple Choice question type in Quest. Learners click one of the rectangles to select an item.

Select All That Apply

This is an example of a Select All That Apply question type in Quest. Learners click in the circle to select an item.

Ranking/Answer in Order

This is an example of an Answer in Order question type. Learners move the response choices around to reflect the appropriate order.

Using Select All That Apply questions

Select All That Apply questions can be easier or harder for learners to do, depending on what cognitive skill the question requires. A simpler question merely asks the learner to recall a set of facts from memory. A harder question forces them to apply a rule or use judgement. The examples below show how you can use this question type to address different cognitive skills that range from “comprehension” all the way up to “evaluation” on Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning.

Knowledge/Comprehension (lowest level of Bloom’s taxonomy)

You want learners to be able to identify or recognize something or distinguish one thing from another thing – and you want them to do this with multiple examples. Here are two examples of questions that match this description. To be successful in answering either of these examples, the learner must distinguish the good examples from the poor or irrelevant ones:

  • Select all the questions that might be appropriate to ask a customer who is focused on quality.
  • Select the cues that might indicate a customer’s need is quality versus price.

Perhaps you need for learners to identify multiple attributes that are all associated with a single item or category. Features versus benefits is a terrific example of when this might be true. Product benefits often are supported by two or more product features. A sales model typically contains multiple steps. A Select All That Apply question helps you verify that learners at least recognize the things that are part of a whole. Here are two examples:

  • Select the features that support “ease of use” of ACME’s product.
  • Identify the three steps of the ACME sales model.

Higher Levels of Thinking: Application and Evaluation

You can also write Select All That Apply questions that move higher up on Bloom’s taxonomy to let learners apply something (a policy or a rule, for example). Here are two examples that fall into this category:

  • Click the Resource link to review ACME’s personal leave policy. Then review the four leave requests and select those that fall within the policy guidelines. (Learners must be able to correctly apply the leave policy to specific situations as opposed to only recalling facts about the leave policy.)
  • “It’s” is a contraction. “Its” is a possessive. Review the sentences and select the ones that correctly use “it’s.” (Learners must be able to apply the grammar rules related to “it’s” versus “its”.)

You can also use Select All That Apply questions to push learners to the highest level of Bloom’s taxonomy. Imagine that you need learners to be skillful in interpreting data and using it appropriately in a sales situation. Or imagine that you want to help a sales manager build coaching skills. Here’s how you might write a question to support those skills:

  • Review the chart comparing Customer X’s sales to Customer Z’s. Then select all the conclusions you can reasonably discuss with Customer X about how they compare to Customer Z.
  • Watch the video and decide which areas of the sales model the sales rep needs coaching on to improve performance. 

Using Answer in Order questions

What’s most important versus what’s least important? Quest’s Answer in Order (aka ranking question type) pushes learners to decide. Ranking questions are good ones to use when you want learners to apply judgment to a particular situation based on the specifics of that situation. Here’s an example:

  • Watch the video. Your sales rep mishandles several areas of the sales call. However, you know you have to focus your coaching on one or two areas at a time. Given that, prioritize the coaching needs listed below from most important to least important.

An Answer in Order question can also be useful to verify that learners can recall the correct sequence of action within a process or procedure. For example, if you are verifying that employees understand safety procedures, you may want them to demonstrate recall of the sequence in which emergency steps need to occur. You might craft a question like this:

  • You find your co-worker unconscious in her cubicle. No one is around to help you. Put the following emergency responses into the correct sequence you need to follow.

Creating Question Types in Quest

As part of question creation in Quest, game authors can select which question type they want to create. The default type will be “Multiple Choice,” but authors can click the drop-down to reveal the other two options.


If you opt to create a Select All That Apply question, you’ll see the screen adjust to allow you to identify which response options a learner should select.


If you select Answer in Order question type, you’ll see that the ranking order is specified as shown below:


Things to know:

  1. You can have a maximum of four items for learners to evaluate in a question type.
  2. You can have as few as two items for a question type, but we recommend that you always have four.
  3. Knowledge Guru’s engine randomizes responses on your behalf each time the learner sees the question. So if learners make a mistake the first time they respond to either of these question types, they will see the response options in a different order when they go back to re-try answering the question.