Yesterday, I had the opportunity to present at the 2019 Higher Logic Super Forum, on the topic of community-based learning. At the start of the session, I discussed the difference between training and learning. I suggested that training tends to be one dimensional or instructional, in support of a specific process or job with a singular path towards the end goal. Learning can be described as a multi-dimensional approach, that links educational experience and work performance. It focuses on personal qualities and situational decision making. Too often online education programs that fit well into the learning space are structured as training. The problem is, there is little space created for engagement, conversation and sharing of ideas and this leads to minimal learner to learner or learner to instructor engagement.
A way to address this situation is to create space for sharing of ideas, reflection and connection among participants. This was one of the initial goals when we formed a close partnership with Higher Logic to bring learning and community together as a single offering. While we have had some success achieving this on a macro level with an integrated user experience (UX), a single menu structure and seamless integration, we have not had great progress on a content level.
In my talk yesterday, I made the case that if you are offering online learning that is enhanced from a collaboration among participants, an integration of your community and LMS on a program level makes a lot of sense. Here are three benefits of integrating discussions within your online course, virtual conference or webinar offerings:
- Your community members have already taken time to set up their profile and participate in the community. They can now leverage that presence to engage fellow learners in a more focused way. Adding online education to their participation makes them more active and creates synergy between the two platforms, therefore increasing participation.
- Satisfaction with a course will be enhanced when there is the opportunity to share ones ideas or thoughts with other learners.
- Adding discussions provides a continuum of what is learned. It provides participants the opportunity to continue with the topic once the course is completed.
Recently, CommPartners enhanced its integration between Higher Logic’s Community and CommPartners’ Elevate LMS. Is it time for you to make this a priority in 2020?
If you have questions on how to move forward with community based learning, contact Meghan Gowen, VP of Client Development at email@example.com
We’ve noticed that among many organizations, a primary focus for their RFPs is to ensure that the platform selected meets a defined set of requirements. The review process of narrowing down a list of providers, tends to be based on which companies can satisfy those requirements. The company you will be working with is typically a secondary consideration, but should it be? Here are five considerations when identifying the ideal company to support your LMS platform.
- How has the company developed and evolved?
- Have they grown organically over many years and have an established staff with a long tenure? Alternatively if the LMS was part of an acquisition, how was it handled? After the transition, did a core group stay on to provide continuity? Has the mission or focus changed? Companies that are home grown tend to have a more singular focus on the client and not worried about politics and mixing in with other internal forces.
- Do they have a positive culture?
- Do you sense that their staff is happy and fulfilled? The platform you are selecting is the tangible component of your decision, however the relationship you are establishing will most likely be, at minimum a few years. So like any relationship, is this a company that you feel confident and comfortable engaging with on a regular basis?
- Does the company have a reputation for listening to client ideas or requests and incorporating that input in their development process?
- The set of features within the LMS you are selecting is a moment in time. This is not necessarily an indication of what the platform will be like a year from now, or multiple years from now. It’s important to learn about how the platform will evolve and whether the company will take your future online education needs into consideration when making these updates.
- How are their reviews?
- Some of the best platform feedback and advice that your organization can receive are client reviews. We have found that ReviewMyLMS is an excellent source of information because it focuses specifically on the association community. It recognizes that the way association LMS options are evaluated is different than other markets.
- What complimentary solutions does the company offer that can bring value to your organization?
- Are there additional services that can extend the effectiveness of your platform, such as, instructional design, course development, livestreaming, content capture and webinar production? Being able to work with an all-in-one company on content and the LMS platform reduces complexity and leads to a more seamless result.
We all understand that a priority is selecting an LMS platform that will meet specific feature requirements. However, it’s also important to consider that the company you sign a contract with can have a profound impact on the platform’s future success.
To learn more about Elevate LMS or our suite of online event solutions, please contact Meghan Gowen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The CommPartners Approach to Onboarding Your LMS
Last week, I was speaking with a colleague who had just returned from an all-inclusive vacation in Mexico. During our conversation, I asked what some of the highlights from her trip were. The response I received sparked a thought about the true value that comes with genuine customer service.
Now, you would think that the first thing she would tell us about is the delicious food or beautiful beaches, but to our surprise, there was something that she thought stood out above those luxurious details. What stood out to her the most was every time she and her husband asked for something, the staff responded with “It’s our pleasure.” This made them feel valued for choosing to invest their time and money into this resort. It’s our pleasure, conveys a feeling of appreciation.
At CommPartners, we quite often discuss how grateful we are to be involved in the association community, surrounded by an amazing group of people, who we value and feel so fortunate to work with and support. We know education is a core component for most associations and what we do matters a great deal.
A learning management system is a significant investment, both financially and strategically, that can take months, even years, to make a decision on. Once the decision is made, the client and LMS provider come together to create a unified partnership and shared mindset, determined to fulfill the client’s overall vision. The onboarding process that follows is a critical time where expectations are confirmed and a foundation for working together is set. This is where “It’s Our Pleasure” comes into play.
Like any first impression, the first moments of the onboarding process are a sign of what to expect down the road. The first thing you notice is the tone of the communication. How professional and courteous is the project manager? Is this person responsive? Is he or she clear about what to expect, and with follow-up communications. Is this person detail oriented? These are all critical elements?
Just as important, is if this person has a positive attitude and is enthusiastic about your project? Do you, as the client, feel appreciated for the decision you have made and the faith you’re imparting on your selected provider? Are you truly in this together?
At CommPartners, we have gone to great lengths to support and empower our onboarding staff who in turn are giving and generous with their time and spirit. They recognize how critical it is that you are welcomed properly to our organization and that we are simply not just saying thank you for your business. Actually, it’s our pleasure to serve you.
When organizations consider holding a livestream program from a place based conference or a completely virtual event, a common question asked is, what content will be compelling enough to get people to pay attention?
Click to view the livestream.
Several weeks ago CommPartners was asked to livestream a session for the Council of Manufacturing Associations (CMA) in cooperation with the American Society of Association Executives titled: Unconscious Bias: An Association’s Role in Social Issues. The program originated from CMA’s Winter Leadership Conference that took place at the Four Seasons in Baltimore, MD, on Friday January 11, 2019. The archive of that event can be accessed here.
Of all the possible topics to livestream, CMA chose this subject because they knew, organizations are wrestling with their role in today’s political and social discourse. It’s a topic that transcends professional development training and presents an opportunity for community conversation and engagement. CommPartners’ role was to bring this session to the remote audience and to make them feel as if they were onsite and provide opportunities to share thoughts and ideas.
Taking risks and considering alternative formats for livestream programs can position your organization to extend your reach and impact. It can place you at the center of important conversations we are all having.
As a result of using the livestream format for a more personal and compelling topic, CMA was able to realize five key benefits:
- They greatly increased their profile to individuals and groups who otherwise would not be aware or involved with the CMA.
- Attending an onsite conference is expensive. By offering a session like this one, they were more inclusive and recognized the importance of reaching out to those who could not afford to attend or didn’t have the ability to travel or leave their homes or offices.
- CMA, along with ASAE took the lead in forging the conversation around hidden social bias. They showed who they are and what they are about by addressing the topic in public way. This showed is pays to be bold.
- This was a session from the heart. Online attendees were touched by the format and conversation.
- The session used a dramatic delivery that worked well to engage those in the room as well as those online. You had to walk away with a wow feeling as you watched the event. It’s the type of session that creates interest and a positive feeling about the host organization. If you are a member, it solidified your feelings about your investment. If you aren’t a member and this was your first experience, you had to walk away impressed.
This program was a collaboration between CommPartners, Council of Manufacturing Associations and the American Society of Association Executives. It was an important topic that has relevance to the greater association community. As the production company, we were proud to help extend the reach of this session to online viewers around the country.
For additional information about CommPartners Elevate platform integrated with Higher Logic Communities, contact Meghan Gowen at email@example.com
As 2018 winds down, all of us at CommPartners want to express our gratitude to our clients, partners and extended community for your collaboration and friendship over the past year. This was our 25th year in business. Where has the time gone? It’s been fun to look back and see how technology and online learning has changed and how our company and all of us individually have evolved. We’re proud of our history and our evolution as an organization. We feel fortunate to work with so many wonderful clients over many years. These relationships make our jobs so enjoyable and rewarding. We are extremely blessed!
Recently Barbara Bouton, Vice President, Professional Development from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Association provided us the following quote:
I truly think CommPartners is the best company I’ve had the privilege to work with in my career. I value each of you and am proud of the work we’ve accomplished together – especially the innovations!
What Barbara said reinforced our sense that what’s most important is the relationship between our team and our client’s staff and the commitment to stick together to seize opportunities and meet whatever challenges arise.
So as we celebrate 2018, we take pride in our clients’ success and all you have accomplished through your education initiatives.
The Year’s Highlights
- We celebrated five years since Elevate LMS was developed. It takes this period of time for a SaaS solution to fulfill the promise you envision when it’s first created. This year we experienced over 100% growth in new client placements. We are thrilled to welcome so many new organizations into the CP Family.
- We had our first user conference in 2018 that occurred in the spring in Washington DC. The conference included keynote and breakout sessions, trainings, one on one consultation and exhibits. Thank you to our presenters, partners and attendees for making this event a success.
- We established our Advisory Board to receive feedback on new ideas and development and provide clients an active voice as we move forward.
- We created a new administrative portal in Elevate that makes creating, managing and tracking education programs simple, fast and convenient. Our team was determined to support our clients with the most intuitive and user friendly admin available.
- EventCenter our proprietary webcast software was redeveloped with a new design, attendance checks, interactive features, high quality VOIP and enhanced multimedia.
- Our Higher Logic Partnership continued to evolve allowing our mutual clients to bring together community and learning in a unified presence. We are now building the next generation of our integration to support further engagement and bring together content from thought leaders and peer sharing of ideas.
- We established a partnership with BadgeCert to seamlessly provide and assign digital badges from learning activities in Elevate. We feel this will be an important to benefit to our clients as they incorporate digital credentials into their education offerings.
- The National Credentialing Institute was unveiled by our friends at Limitless Association Resources. CommPartners will be hosting this new site which is created to provide associations with assessment-based, professional development based on industry best practice for current and emerging industry professionals.
- We created our own community called CommPartners Connect. It supports the opportunity to collaborate around important topics in online learning and events.
- We welcomed five new staff members to the CP Team.
CommPartners’ first client 25 years was the National Association of Home Builders. This year NAHB selected CommPartners and our Elevate platform for their LMS. We’re grateful to reestablish our partnership with NAHB and all of our clients who continued to depend on us to support their online learning and events.
May each of you be blessed with good health and happiness in the New Year.