CommPartners Year in Review

CommPartners Year in Review

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.

 

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Client Success Story: NASW Expands Reach to Cover a Real and Relevant Topic Impacting the Social Work Community

Client Success Story: NASW Expands Reach to Cover a Real and Relevant Topic Impacting the Social Work Community

The 2018 National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Virtual Forum, Opioid Crisis: No Community is Immune, was live streamed from the NASW national office in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, November 14, and Thursday, November 15, 2018.

Now, before we dive deeper into details about the event itself, did you know that 85% of opioids are used by US citizens? According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, every day nearly 200 people in the United States die from overdosing on opioids. The addiction to opioids has become a serious national public health crisis that affects people of all walks of life and is a very real and relevant topic impacting the social work community.

For our clients at NASW, it was critical to reach and engage with their members to discuss how social workers are an integral part of the collaborative multidisciplinary approach in working to respond to the current opioid epidemic.

So you might be thinking, how? How can the largest membership organization of professional social workers, with over 120,000 members nationwide, reach and engage with their community from remote locations? Well, here is where the wonderful world of live streaming and virtual forums came into play for NASW.

We had the opportunity to speak with two key players from the association, Richard Loomis, Conference & Event Planning Manager, and Rafaele Vitelli, Director of Professional and Workplace Development, each weighing in on their virtual conference experience and the relationship that has evolved between NASW and CommPartners.

To start off the conversation, we wanted to get some background information on why the association chose to take the virtual route and how this type of event fit strategically within their organization.

“As an association that is committed to positioning as the premiere source for social work and related health care profession, NASW saw the live streaming of virtual forums and conferences as a key component in providing our community with high quality content while also allowing the association itself to extend its reach and footprint,” said Loomis.

They also spoke on the fact that not only does live streaming allow the association to extend its reach, but it shows the members that they are taking innovative approaches to provide both flexibility and value to their membership. Audiences can tune in from their phone, work, or even their own home office. This provides a great advantage for the members because they are able to save costs on travel and hotel, but still receive the same high quality content as a site based conference.

The virtual forum itself consisted of 4 plenary sessions and 8 breakout sessions where the audience had the opportunity to engage and ask questions through a live chat. In preparation for the event, NASW handled the content side and CommPartners handled the operation and technical side. This was the fourth event that NASW and CommPartners have collaborated on and the relationship continues to grow.

Loomis shared his thoughts on the partnership and how CommPartners contributes to the success of the programs, “The partnership with CommPartners has been phenomenal and in place for a long time. We have worked with the team on multiple events and the company does not fail to deliver. Over the years, we have formed friendships with the colleagues at CommPartners and when you have that relationship and trust in each other it contributes to a successful program.” said Loomis.

To conclude the conversation we touched on a few highlights from the forum, one being the remarks from the President and CEO of Addiction and Policy forum which provided outstanding context to what was being addressed, said Loomis. Overall, both Loomis and Vitelli agreed that putting together a virtual event takes time and effort to ensure success. The association received very positive feedback from the attendees with many requests to continue hosting virtual forums. Loomis said that their members can certainly be expecting two more virtual forums in 2019.

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About CommPartners Live Stream Services:

CommPartners helps organizations grow their event attendance and revenue and create highly interactive webcast solutions. We’ve produced thousands of webcasts over the past eight years, from small single camera programs to multiple camera, multiple location productions. What separates CommPartners from other providers is we professionally manage every aspect of the event; we do all of the heavy lifting for you. Our team of experienced event planners manage every detail and our experienced multimedia technicians handle all of the technical details. Our webcast platform offers dual encoding, redundant back-up streams, mobile friendly, and offers attendees active engagement opportunities to help them be an active participant.

Click here to find out more about CommPartners live stream services.

The TV Show Cheers and Your LMS

The TV Show Cheers and Your LMS

It’s hard to believe that the TV show, Cheers, had its last year on air in 1993, which is actually the year CommPartners was founded. People remember that Cheers, the name of the bar in the show, was a welcoming place because everyone knew your name when you walked in. People felt they belonged. They were recognized and appreciated.

So what does Cheers have to do with an LMS? It’s rather simple. When we invest our time and energy when accessing an organization’s LMS, we want to be recognized and provided relevant opportunities to our interests and education needs. Associations, as well as other types of organizations, know quite a bit about their learners. Just like people that walk into their friendly neighborhood tavern, it’s important to offer a welcoming environment that becomes the go-to place for our stakeholder’s online education needs.

So how can you create your LMS be to be the Cheers of online learning? With Elevate LMS, we strive to enable our clients to be their communities’ favorite learning destination. Here are five ways that we support the Cheers approach:

Elevate Relevancy Engine: When learners first log into Elevate, they are able to select their interests and “likes.” On future visits, Elevate recognizes the learner and presents programs of interest to them.

AMS / Community Integrations: We think of integrations as functional processes to connect two or more platforms. With Elevate, integrations provide additional value. It allows organizations to decide which content should be seen by which stakeholder. If it’s not relevant, why show it and clutter the experience? Pricing by learner type can also be automatically established.

Roles: In addition to member type, Elevate can further delineate who a learner is based on their role within the organization or other designations, such as a practice group. Roles also determine pricing and access.

Private Branding: Private branding can be unique for groups of learners from organizations. Seeing the unique design reinforces the relationship between you and your client.

Automatic Triggers: Like frequent flyer miles, automatic triggers assign credits based on rules that are established, such as a member renewing their membership.

All of these benefits provide a way of saying – I know who you are and based on your role or interests, we are providing you learning engagement opportunities that are just for you. In other words, this a place where you feel welcomed and have a relevant, individualized experience.

It’s the place where we know your name.

If you would like more information Elevate LMS, give us a call at (800) 274-9390 or fill out our online contact form to get in touch with someone.

CommPartners Achieves EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework Certification

CommPartners Achieves EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework Certification

Department of Commerce Certification Highlights CommPartners’ Commitment to Privacy

Columbia, MD – July 10, 2018. CommPartners, provider of Elevate Learning Management System, webinar, webcast, and livestream solutions has been certified by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the European Commission under the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework.

The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework provides companies on both sides of the Atlantic with a mechanism to comply with data protection requirements when transferring personal data from the European Union and Switzerland to the United States in support of transatlantic commerce.

  “CommPartners is committed to protecting the privacy of our customers and their users. Our customers are very important to us and we want to ensure that their personal information is always safeguarded. We voluntarily self-certified with the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework to ensure our customers have the most up-to-date and appropriate protection,” said Richard Finstein, CEO, CommPartners.

Client data and proprietary information is used by CommPartners for the sole purpose of creating more relevant learning experiences for users of Elevate Learning Management System. CommPartners will only partner with reputable organizations who share in the commitment to maintain a secure environment of user data.

You can read CommPartners’ privacy policy here. You can view CommPartners’ EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework certification here. For more information about the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework, visit www.privacyshield.gov.

 

About CommPartners

CommPartners is a leading provider of online education and event solutions. At the core of the company’s solutions is our Elevate Learning Management System. To extend the value of Elevate LMS, we provide a wide range of online education services including curriculum design, instructional design, fully managed webinars, webcasts, livestream programs and virtual conferences.  To learn more visit: www.commpartners.com.

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UX Design and Your Learning Management System: Five Considerations for Providing an Exceptional User Experience

UX Design and Your Learning Management System: Five Considerations for Providing an Exceptional User Experience

When an organization begins the process of evaluating LMS options, they typically will start by developing a list of features that should be included. Confirming this list helps to identify ideal candidates. While the feature set is critical to narrow an organization’s search process, often an element that is overlooked, at least initially, is the User Experience or “UX”.

The UX as defined in Wikipedia refers to: “A person’s emotions and attitudes about using a particular product, system or service. It includes the practical, experiential, affective, meaningful and valuable aspects of human–computer interaction and product ownership.”

So much of what we do today is defined by the user experience.  An impactful example is the mobile device we interact with hundreds of times a day.  UX design also applies to mundane products such as a coffee cup or the toothbrush we use.  But how about interacting with an LMS?  If we want to ensure that learners have an excellent experience when accessing education opportunities, it’s critical to make sure that every element of our learning management site is attractively designed, intuitive to navigate, is relevant and meaningful.

Here are five recommendations to ensure your Learning Management System fulfills your learners’ expectation of an exceptional user experience:

  1. Choose an LMS that provides complete control of every aspect of the design.
    You have invested in the development of your website to ensure it presents your organization in the best possible way.  You most likely do not want to implement an LMS that feels like a separate component.  Ideally your learning site will be nimble enough to incorporate your website styling, navigation, layout, imagery, fonts and taxonomy.  Having an LMS with visual congruence to your website will eliminate a disconnect of having two separately hosted online components.
  2. Ensure that your LMS works seamlessly with your ecosystem of applications including your AMS (database) and private online community.
    When a learner moves to and from your LMS, does the experience feel disjointed? It is important to provide visual congruence through your entire ecosystem of web platforms so the user experience will be not be compromised.  In addition, it is important to integrate with these systems to ensure login credentials are carried through all applications. This will create seamless navigation and enhance the overall experience.
  3. Establish a style guide to be applied throughout your site.
    It’s important to have a set style guide that addresses every design element of your LMS. This applies to both the platform and contents. Choose a platform that provides you design flexibility for all elements. Make sure that your staff or anyone that works with your LMS adheres to your guidelines. It shows when certain elements do not adhere to the standards you have set, therefore compromising the User Experience.
  4. Create a relevant and simple process for accessing content.
    Ideally the LMS experience can be personalized for each learner so when they login in, they are presented content that is relevant to their needs. This can be done in multiple ways. The first is using information you already know about a learner and presenting the right access, pricing and topics. A second way to is to allow the user to set their interests and prioritize the presentation of content based on those interests. Having customized experiences fosters loyalty and return visits to your site. To support simple access of content, avoid scrolling to find programs. Instead, provide the right amount of content per screen.
  5. Make registration and checkout clean and simple.
    Ideally, in a matter of a click or two the learner will be able to register and access their selected program. When they land on the shopping cart page, it should be clean and simple. Once the registration is completed, the learner is seamlessly directed to the content that they register for. When the User Experience is exceptional, the exposure and value of your learning programs is increased. The UX represents you in a highly public way and it’s important to ensure it positions your organization for success.

If you would like more information on UX Design for your LMS or the CommPartners Elevate LMS, give us a call at (800) 274-9390 or fill out our online contact form to get in touch with someone.