Simplify your Lab Development with the Template Gallery

Tools to accelerate integrating outcome-based, challenge-centric learning into your training programs.

Skill validation coupled with hands-on learning are some of the best ways to closing technical skills gaps. The approach eliminates the guesswork in training around how do you validate that users understand what they’ve learned and can correctly put into practice what they’ve learned? Combined with traditional upskilling, validated skills development increases training effectiveness, increases learner engagement, identifies skills gaps and boosts peoples’ confidence.

To bring skill validation to your training ecosystem faster, Skillable has challenge-centric lab templates in our template gallery. This enables Lab Developers to easily incorporate validated skill development into training courses—reducing the time required to configure labs—and more importantly, a key component in increasing a person’s knowledge and skill retention.

What is the virtual lab template gallery?

The Skillable template gallery enables Lab Developers and Lab Authors to easily search for and select pre-created labs to use as a base for a new training lab. Developers can select templates from the public gallery maintained by Skillable or create a private gallery available to internal users. Users can search by name or favorite individual templates and filter by template they’ve favorited to easily find frequently used templates.

Lab templates also save considerable time by eliminating the need to perform administrative tasks such as installing required software or updating lab instructions for users. The process is as simple as accessing the template gallery from Skillable Studio (Skillable’s lab authoring platform), filtering, selecting and customizing as needed.

Virtual training lab templates provided by Skillable.

The template gallery includes a variety of templates for rapid lab development. Each template includes information about environmental components (either virtual or cloud) as well as guidance on how to customize the template for your specific needs.

Skillable templates are available to all Lab Authors and provide global filters that can be used to easily identify labs by their fabric (i.e., Hyper-V or vSphere), Operating Systems (for virtual environments) or included technologies (such as cloud components or installed software).

For example, Skillable’s topic-focused templates enable Developers to quickly create labs based on specific topics such as cybersecurity, coding/software or system administration. The template includes all the necessary technical configurations and tools needed to start building content for the topic, reducing the amount of time needed for lab development.

Additional examples of the templates included in the Skillable platform:

Organization-specific templates.

Our templates are designed as a starting point for a wide variety of lab authoring needs. If your organization has more specific needs, such as creating labs for custom software or applications, you may want your Lab Authors to have this custom environment available to generate new labs from. This new environment is where you would utilize an organization-specific template, which are available only to users within your organization.

Challenge-centric learning challenge lab templates.

Challenge-centric templates provide turnkey, robust lab environments designed with the challenge-centric learning methodology in mind. The approach enables Lab Developers to create and publish scored—or non-scored labs—quicker.

Each challenge-centric template is published using the Skillable “Gold Copy” resources. This means that each template meets Skillable’s best practice requirements and has been thoroughly tested (and retested). Additionally, all templates are designed in a way that updates and/or modifications* can be made at the parent level as opposed to updating labs independently.

*Note: Updates and/or modifications only apply if Lab Developers don’t make changes to lab images. Once changes are made, VMs no longer fall under Skillable’s maintenance.

Examples of our challenge-centric templates include:
  • Windows 2022 Server Stand-alone (Hyper-V): This lab is commonly used in the development of Challenge Labs involving Windows Server Roles and Features. Users are challenged to complete common tasks on a Windows Server 2022 Virtual Machine, including the IIS, DHCP, DNS services and Visual Studio Code.
  • Cyber Security Suite: To help evaluate and improve security operations, monitoring and distribution, Skillable’s Cyber Security Suite includes multiple target operating systems and applications. Users are tasked with completing real-world security tasks in virtual machines like Kali Linux 2021, Security Onion Ubuntu 20.4 (with UI), Windows 2019 Server Active Direcotry Domain Controller and more.

What’s included in Skillable challenge-centric templates?

All challenge-centric templates include detailed lab documentation such as specifications for virtual machines, networking and program and software. Including this information significantly streamlines lab design and publication for Developers.

Figure 1: Examples of the Virtual Machine and Networking specifications included for the new challenge-centric lab templates.

Bring hands-on learning to your organization faster with Skillable.

Skillable’s virtual lab templates enable you to stay on top of ever-changing software and technology developments by creating a foundation for training labs. The template gallery frees up Developers’ time to focus on the outcomes the lab needs to accomplish rather than setting up or updating technical requirements for it to function.

Additionally, challenge-centric learning lab templates provide a solid starting ground for organizations looking to enhance their existing training content and embrace “learn by doing”, learner-led learning.

Want help creating hands-on labs even faster?

Skillable’s talented team of in-house Lab Developers, Lab Authors and Instructional Designers accelerate your maturity in build high-fidelity, outcome-focused hands-on learning experiences.

Frequently Asked Questions.

When I select “Create Lab Profile” I still see the old experience.

If your organization is interested in utilizing this capability, please reach out to our Support or your Account Executive and they can turn on the gallery for your organization.

Can I still create lab profiles from scratch using the traditional method?

Yes! The traditional create lab profile page still exists and can be navigated to by selecting + Create Custom Environment from the top right of the template gallery page.

Can I control what users can edit my Organization’s templates?

Yes! Organization templates are visible to and usable by all users who belong to or manage the Organization or children of it. Your templates simply need to belong to an organization in Skillable Studio, which is above the organization your standard lab authors use.

I have some suggestions on how this could further benefit our Organization.

That is great to hear! We love hearing feedback about how the platform can better meet the needs of our users, we have a Community Slack channel available for lab authors to collaborate. Please use the proper channel to provide suggestions for improvements. 

For all other questions, please contact our Support.

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