This is a guest post written by Tracy King, CAE. As CEO of InspirEd, Tracy King leverages her more than 20 years in workforce development consulting with organizations on education strategy and learning design. Tracy is the author of Competitive Advantage: Create Continuing Education that is Profitable, Sustainable and Impactful, and she advises on how to grow reliably profitable and sustainable continuing education programs that transform learners. Tracy specializes in the intersection of learning science and technology. She’s a thought leader, invited speaker, master learning designer and DELP Scholar. Her work has been featured on NBC, ABC, FOX, USA Today, The Star Tribune and hundreds of nationally-syndicated television, newspaper, and magazine outlets. Tracy is a contributor to Microlearning in the Digital Age: The Design and Delivery of Learning in Snippets forthcoming by Routledge, Taylor & Francis group.
Meeting this moment has inspired so many organizations to embrace virtual and digital learning to connect with members and constituents in new ways. While the appetite for innovation is whet, consider these ideas for attracting and engaging new members.
While the membership packet of old has seen several upgrades, now is the perfect time to leverage your LMS for exciting opportunities to connect new members to all you offer. Online member onboarding is timely not only for our current virtually mediated moment but popular with younger professionals who want to explore – and revisit – resources at their point of need. Live webinars are not typically the best format when Zoomed-out professionals are looking for excuses to decline screen meetings.
Consider creating a choose-your-own-adventure style onboarding in your LMS aligning your organization’s services with new members’ greatest needs. Steer clear of bullet-list descriptions and lengthy presentations and instead opt for mobile-friendly storytelling. Collect brief member videos, each representing a constituency in your membership, as well as highlighting one key value proposition that tells the story of your association’s character and relevance. We really want our new members to see themselves in these stories, so they are inspired to engage. Next, present your benefits as answers to challenges, creating clear and clickable access to get started. Finally, showcase how new members can find a home within the network of professionals you represent. Consider how you can ensure a new member receives a personal, colleague-member outreach call or an invitation to a networking event, even if that’s a live chat in your LMS or texting with a Board Member within the first month of membership to welcome them to the community.
One more tip: Always recommend a next step. Each learning opportunity should end with a call to action to join you in another program.
Introduce your organization immediately upon member sign up – no waiting for the next webinar orientation presentation
Easily accessible point of need member resources giving new members a comfortable launch pad for exploring all you offer
A natural introduction to all the member-only goodies in your LMS
It doesn’t stop here. Tracy will be back next month with the next step in her learning strategies for new membership. Be sure to catch part two of this post next month, Learning Strategies for New Members: Microcredentialing.
If you’re interested in transforming your learning design, contact Tracy at email@example.com. If you’re interested in Elevate LMS or in onboarding strategies for Elevate LMS, contact Meghan Gowen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
We are now more than half-way through 2020, and this has been a year of adaptation and finding new ways to engage learners. At the start of this year, our CEO, Rich Finstein, published The Evolution of the Association LMS: 10 Considerations for 2020, a resource outlining how associations can ensure they are getting the most out of their LMS by increasing impact and reach in 2020. And now, in a time where membership is meeting and learning online more than ever, these ideas seem to speak louder.
We feel these topics can be explored further and are ideas that do not expire in 2020. In this series, we’re taking a deeper look into some of the tactics presented in this resource. Check back monthly for the remainder of the year to see which topic we’ll be covering next! First up, Community and Learning.
Take a look at Rich’s 10 Considerations for 2020 here if you haven’t already!
This year, PEAK took the shape of a Virtual Bootcamp, an afternoon of rewarding sessions featuring the expertise of the CommPartners team and covering a topic that is top of mind: Virtual Conferencing.
While we specialize in eLearning and managed online events, we do enjoy meeting our community face-to-face at our User Group Conference, so we were disappointed we couldn’t be at Nationals Stadium this year to do just that. However, we were excited to adapt to a virtual event so we could demonstrate what’s possible.
If you’re experiencing some FOMO (fear of missing out) right now, fear not – we have a cure! Here is a run-down of some key takeaways from each session!
Session 1: Adapting with CommPartners + Virtual Conferencing Basics
- Secure “Buy-In”: Before going virtual, show members of your organization what others in your industry are doing. “The trend is your friend,” as Maricela Arias-Cantu, Director of Professional Development, SOPHE said in the Client Panel.
- Avengers Assemble! Create an event team with clearly defined roles.
Session 2: Session 2: Sponsorship, Exhibit Halls, Discussion Boards, Oh My!
- What’s on the Menu? Create an exhibitor prospectus to ensure sponsor visibility.
- Get Creative! Connect with speakers, sponsors, and attendees through discussion boards, photo or social media walls, Virtual Happy Hours, games, musical or comedy acts, entertainers, or celebrity appearances – the possibilities are endless!
Session 3: How to Make Your Virtual Conference Website “Pop!”
- It’s All About UX: The goal of the conference website is to encourage engagement before, during, and after the event.
- Redundancy in Navigation: Make sure your attendees know where to find essential information like sessions, FAQs, exhibit halls, resources, etc.
Session 4: Client Success Panel and Q&A
- Be Flexible When Pivoting to a Virtual Event: GFOA narrowed their sessions down from 80 to 47 and spread them out over four weeks.
- Find Harmony: Establish a balanced relationship between your event team and the Conference Producer.
- Know Your Industry! AAWA was the first organization to go virtual in their industry and offered a discount to anyone who previously registered for a canceled conference.
- Explore the Benefits of Pairing Your Virtual Conference with an LMS: Bundle your on-demand content or make launching your conference site a breeze with an LMS!
Thank you to everyone who attended PEAK 2020 Virtual Bootcamp, we hope you feel empowered and prepared to take on your next virtual event with confidence.
A Learning Management System, or LMS, is software designed for online training, tracking, and reporting that supports content creation and storage for continued learning. An LMS provides your organization or association an opportunity to create a learning community on an eLearning platform. Sound like something that would benefit your membership?
Knowing some advantages of an LMS can help your Development Team determine if an LMS is a right fit for your organization:
- Create Customized Learning Paths: Create a customized learning journey for each of your members using curated content stored in your LMS. Each pathway can be adjusted as a member’s role within the organization grows and changes.
- Avoid Skill Gaps: Skill gaps are the abilities a new hire might not bring to the table, but the position requires or would benefit from it. Offer training and courses to membership that creates a well-rounded professional and encourages continued learning.
- Doubles as an Event Platform: An LMS can serve as an event platform. Host relevant webinars or a Town Hall once a month. Take it a step further and host your next conference virtually through your LMS.
- Develop an On-Demand Learning Catalog: As your learning community grows, your resources will grow. All the content from previous events can be repurposed and reused. Upload podcasts, relevant media links, anything you think your learners will benefit from. Soon you will have a robust catalog of knowledge within your LMS to draw and learn from at any time.
- Measure Performance: Track and report the performance of members to watch growth, target weak points, and acknowledge achievements.
- Onboard Members: Create learning paths for membership onboarding, so each new member is familiar with organization culture and procedures.
- Certification Opportunities: Allow members to keep up with professional certifications easily.
- Reach Membership Virtually: For organizations with wide-spread membership, an LMS provides a way to reach each learner. An LMS prepares your organization for online learning.
When considering an LMS for your organization, do your research. Understand you are creating a knowledge community for your organization while reaching membership in a new way. To find out more about CommPartners’ LMS, Elevate, click here or contact Meghan Gowen, VP of Client Development at firstname.lastname@example.org.