Imagine going to Amazon to purchase a new book and there is no search feature. You have to scroll through every single item Amazon sells until you come across the book you wanted. Phew, nightmare over. Not only does Amazon have a search bar, but it anticipates what you’re looking for, recommends what you might want next based on previous purchases, and items are organized into categories so you can easily search for what you’re looking for on your own.
Continuing our more in-depth look into CommPartners, CEO, Rich Feinstein’s The Evolution of the Association LMS: 10 Considerations for 2020, let’s talk about organizing content. Whether you’ve just implemented your LMS and you’re starting fresh with your organization system, or you’ve had it for years and you’re learning catalog could use a critical eye, a good taxonomy strategy is essential.
For many associations, their LMS is the primary source for education and connection since the pandemic started and their digital assets are growing. Creating a simple way to search and find content is essential for learners. There are several taxonomy and organization strategies to optimize searching and presentation of content:
“The more robust your taxonomy is, the better you’re empowering the LMS to meet your goals and changing goals,” Arianne Urena, Elevate Implementation and Project Manager. Arianne recommends establishing a taxonomy strategy as your first step when implementing your LMS. Consider these questions when developing your strategy:
What content is offered on your site? Make a list of everything.
What is the priority of each offering? Start with the essential items for your learners and then add in the supplemental pieces.
Which assets are revenue generators? Mark those.
Who is your audience? Are they familiar with an LMS? New members? Old members? How are they accessing the LMS? Member role? Job type? Apply the necessary categories.
Use case: How will they navigate? How long does it take for them to find an asset? How do you correct any navigation delays?
What is the ideal layout for your content on your LMS? What is the first thing a learner sees on the site? Second, third, fourth?
Once you’ve organized your content and you’ve established a robust taxonomy strategy, you can apply other organizational methods:
One-click imagery or terms: Make finding content a snap by organizing it into categories and requiring only “one-click” to navigate.
Keyword search: Include a keyword search bar on your LMS site so learners can search through your well organized content library.
Personalized learning paths: To help your learners get started on their learning journey and navigate through all the content options, provide them with personalized learning pathways based on career paths, member roles, etc. with the individualized attention of an “advisor” from your staff. To learn how to create these paths, join us for our upcoming webinar Creating Personalized Learning Journeys.
Self-Assessment Quiz: This is your chance to become the advisor. CommPartners’ Elevate has a new feature that allows administrators to gauge competency and make personalized content recommendations to learners based on their quiz results. Click here to find out more about the self-assessment quiz feature.
Creating a simple and easy-to-follow path to content within your LMS will eliminate frustration while encouraging your learners to register and keep coming back for more. To learn more about organization options for your LMS or Elevate, contact Meghan Gowen at email@example.com.
Learners, meet your new advisor. Elevate admins can now make personalized content recommendations to learners through a Self-Assessment Quiz. The assessment gauges a learners’ knowledge of specific focus areas or quiz categories. Upon completing the assessment, the learner is presented with a list of asset recommendations designed to improve their knowledge level within each focus area. Lower scores will offer learners beginner-level courses, and higher scores will offer more advanced courses.
As the learner completes the recommended products, they are encouraged to repeat the quiz to identify areas they have improved in and target where they still need to continue their journey based on their scores.
This is a great onboarding tool for new members to gauge a baseline in certain competencies while helping them sift through your association’s extensive learning catalog. It’s not limited to just new members, anyone learning a new skill can take a quiz to receive individualized attention, “introduce the quiz at any time as a tool to provide a more nuanced and personalized learning experience for end-users,” says Eve Finstein, Elevate Implementation Manager.
To learn how to set up a Self-Assessment Quiz, click here. If you’re interested in learning how to integrate learning path strategies into your LMS or more about Elevate, contact Meghan Gowen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Going Virtual with Kate is a weekly chat on Facebook Live with CommPartners’ Kate Ratcliffe. Kate discusses popular topics, answers questions, and shares ideas about all things virtual events during this time when many organizations are going virtual with their events. We know this decision can be a daunting task that brings with it many questions, especially for organizations that have never hosted an event online and now have to transition an entire conference to a virtual platform.
Find past episodes of Going Virtual with Kate right here, after they’ve aired on our Facebook page. Catch Kate live every Thursday at 4 p.m. EST on our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/CommPartners.
Commpartners had the opportunity to speak with the American Society of Interior Design about their success with implementing CommPartners Elevate LMS. As an organization who focuses on the design and aesthetic of beautiful interiors, it was important that their platform encompassed a clean and cohesive design to match their brand. This led to one of their main deciding factors to be the ability to work with the CP team to create a fully customized site to their specifications.
ASID identified a number of core requirements they wanted to address with a new LMS, stated in the bullets below. Click the case study to learn how they overcame these challenges by utilizing Elevate LMS.
Provide a seamless user experience where the LMS is fully integrated with ASID’s web presence and database
Match ASID’s mission by focusing on design of attractive imagery and navigation elements that allow learners to easily access their content
Ensure an engaging mobile experience
Support learners’ desire for well conceived and developed on demand content.
In a recent blog post, Clear wrote: “Just because it’s not optimal, doesn’t mean it’s not beneficial.” Read another way, this is the old adage of don’t let the perfect become the enemy of the good. Or don’t let perfection be your target, because you’ll always fail.
I see this very commonly when discussing the integration of systems with clients (e.g., AMS and LMS). The optimal situation is a real-time, two-way integration between the two systems so that data is shared immediately.
But this often proves to be very time-consuming and expensive to develop (and sometimes can’t be developed!). So rather than a two-way, real-time integration we opt for a two-way passing of data on a schedule (e.g., once per day). Optimal? No. Beneficial? Absolutely.
So when considering changes to process or technology within your organization, keep in mind that while the change might not be optimal, it can be beneficial, and that’s what we’re looking for.
To kick off Peak Bootcamp our keynote speaker, KiKi L’Italien, discussed the importance of community. Who is your community? What are some shared experiences or interests that bring your community together and create a purpose for them to engage and interact with one another?
These are a few questions to ask yourself and your team to help develop a clear concept for the best approach to building a strong community. Take the time to understand your members and peers. By doing this, you are quickly showing them that they can have trust in you and your organization. KiKi’s keynote presentation really dove deep into how to build a core community and ways to incorporate virtual elements that allow you to extend your reach to every person that belongs regardless of location.
2.A Good Partner and Strong Communication Goes a Long Way
During Peak’s Devil in the Details session, the team from the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) shared that their key to putting on successful virtual events consists of a good partner and seamless communication from beginning to end. Building a strong event communication plan allows all key players to have clear expectations of their tasks from all sides of the event planning process and in return, increases productivity leading to a successful outcome.
3. You Have to Consider the Production But Don’t Forget the Function
Before you consider the production of your virtual event, you have to think about some key factors. This is where inspiration, learning, and training come into play. When planning an event it’s crucial to consider the inspiration. By doing this you are creating a learning opportunity that brings together a core purpose that is relevant to your audience and makes the remote learner feel like they are onsite with the speaker. Other things to consider are using best practices that can help your audience and think of specific ways that add to the training that they are receiving by including a credit or social opportunities.
4. It’s Okay to Step Outside Your (virtual) Comfort Zone
Don’t be afraid to take risks, even if they include stepping outside of your organization’s niche focus. Today, sharing relevant thought leadership ideas that pertain to topics such as culture, diversity, and inclusion may not be relevant to your association, but they are relevant to the lives of your members. As we spoke with Tonya Muse, Executive Director at the Council of Manufacturing Association (CMA), she discussed their decision to take a risk by planning a session based around social bias within the association community.
5. Literally, the Devil is in the Details
No detail is too small and what is common sense to one may not be to another. It is important to think through every detail, including contingency plans, and to relay all relevant information to the key players. You may not think you need to tell a keynote speaker what to wear, but if your event is going for a certain look, make sure you share the dress code. Planning a virtual event is completely different than an in-person event, so when you are considering a hybrid event, it’s important to consider all details from content, production, staff roles, branding, camera placement, and so much more. A strong partner will help you navigate the planning and execution, though.
6. Don’t panic, most people are tardy for the party!
If you’re concerned about your registration numbers, don’t be! NASW discovered that most of their attendees registered the same week of their event. It is crucial, however, to have a clear promotion plan to ensure the event is reaching your intended audience via organic and/or paid social media, email campaigns, and word of mouth.
7 Don’t Underestimate Event Setup Time
One thing that our audience discovered during Peak was that a virtual event setup takes much longer than you might expect. According to CommPartners multimedia producer, Bryan Ranharter, the Peak setup at Spire took the team about 2 ½ hours to complete. It is essential to give your tech team ample time to test all the equipment, conceal the wiring, check the audio, and the list goes on.
8. Don’t Be Scared to Utilize Your Virtual Engagement Toolbox
When putting on a virtual event, it’s important to think of any and all ways to get your remote audience engaged in what’s happening on site and interacting with the speakers. During Peak Bootcamp, our team utilized our virtual engagement tool that allowed our remote audience to upload photos from their location, engage in a live chat, share their thoughts on the session through an interactive mood indicator, give input via live polling questions and even enter a live raffle for the chance to win a fun prize. During this session, they also encouraged our onsite audience to get involved by logging in and getting a glimpse at how we were engaging with our remote audience. It’s exciting to use these types of tools and see the remote audience come to life with their responses, comments, and questions.
9. Monetizing Webinars Can Lead to Bigger Partnerships Down the Road
Peak Bootcamp speaker, Erin Snyder from Consumer Bankers Association (CBA), shared with our audience how they monetize sponsorship through webinars. A few key takeaways that Erin shared was to protect your brand by steering clear of sales pitch content, get insight from your membership to understand what it is that they want to learn about, and embrace your technology by working with your event partner to stay up to date with new features and ways to engage and interact with your online audience.
10. Give it a shot! The Reaction to Virtual Events Might Surprise You
NASW addressed the fact that, yes, some organizations have their concerns about producing and hosting virtual events. What will the registration look like? How will we engage the audience remotely? However, based on NASW’s positive experience, they confidently encouraged the Peak audience to take a chance!
At first, planning and implementing a virtual event might seem a bit scary, but try one because you might be surprised how well your community responds to the idea of virtual events. Looking for some direction on where to begin? Consider a hybrid event for the perfect starting point. By incorporating an onsite audience and a virtual audience into the event, your organization will still be able to have the in-person format that you might be used to, but also break the barriers of travel by allowing those who may have scheduling or cost conflicts to feel included with the ability to engage remotely. Additionally, virtual events do not take away from those willing to travel to your event, but instead, extend your organization’s reach to those who might not be able to attend otherwise.