The Charity Learning LMS has it all

Lou Guy developed such an impressive learning management system at the Teach First education charity that she won a Charity Learning Award for her work. We caught up with her before she left Teach First to join Baringa.

So tell us what you’ve done with the Charity Learning Consortium’s learning management system (LMS): what have you put on it to turn it into a one stop shop?

The Teach First LMS offers various types of content: face-to-face sessions, webinars, videos and session recordings, quizzes, feedback forms, files (Word, PowerPoint, PDF), web links, checklists, text pages, appraisal submission pages and traditional SCORM packages. We have tried to create one place that staff can come to online to find everything they need to be effective at work.

How long did it take to get to where you are now and did you have any help?

I worked for two years to get the LMS to where it is now. It only took three months to develop and launch the site, but a lot longer to develop all the resources. It was great to win the Charity Learning Award as recognition of our work. We keep improving it all the time.

I had support from the IT and Communications departments. The Charity Learning Consortium was also extremely helpful. During the first three months, I spent hours playing around with the system and discussing its functionalities with the Consortium’s tech team. Getting to know the system in this way was invaluable.

I had no budget, apart from the Charity Learning Consortium annual subscription.

How have you marketed your LMS and how effective has your marketing approach been?

We market our LMS as a one stop shop for people to access learning content. Our site is easy to use and fully customised with the Teach First brand. We generally receive positive feedback from employees about the platform. Colleagues like being able to access content anywhere, anytime. However, we still have lots to do to improve our content and raise engagement.   

We measure success by looking at course completion rates, attendance of learning sessions and the number of times resources have been accessed. We also look at direct feedback from employees through our annual engagement survey and focus groups. But informal feedback is also invaluable – it’s vital to delivering what people need and want.

What three tips would you share with other people that want to do more with their LMS?

  1. Make sure your site offers content that your employees actually need. Avoid making assumptions about what they need or want… Ask them!
  2. Ensure your site is as user-friendly as possible. Remove unnecessary content and reduce the number of clicks required to access useful information.
  3. Collaborate with your communications department to promote the platform and improve the way it looks.

Why do you love being a member of the Charity Learning Consortium?

The Charity Learning Consortium cares deeply about their members and the positive impact of their Learning Management System on charities. I would say that the Consortium  inspires, empowers and supports its members. They organise fantastic quarterly events, share best practice amongst members, deliver personal training sessions and provide excellent technical support. I cannot recommend the Charity Learning Consortium more highly.

About Lou Guy

Lou Guy was the Talent Development Advisor at Teach First and now works as Learning and Development Advisor at Baringa. 

She won won the Charity Learning Award 2018 for The LMS That Has it All. It’s a great example of what can be achieved using the Charity Learning Consortium’s RoadMap LMS. 

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