Wellington, New Zealand
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Introducing an easy LMS option

Small and medium sized organisations have the same training needs as huge organisations, but not the scale or budget for the same L&D infrastructure. I had a think about how I could meet that need, and here's the solution I came up with: a templated LMS.

Small and medium sized organisations have the same training needs as huge organisations, but not the scale or budget for the same L&D infrastructure. They’re unserved, stuck in the middle – too big to not do it, but not big enough for the big outlays. So I had a think about how I could meet that need, and here’s the solution I came up with: a templated LMS.

Using my modules as ‘the content’, I have customised a Moodle install into a learner-friendly setup that’ll work nicely for small to medium businesses. Features include:

  • Full Moodle features and functionality, including SCORM reporting, authoring with H5P, workshops, forums, reminders, learning plans, competencies, all of it.
  • Business-style mobile-friendly theme and appearance, with UX adjusted to suit smaller-scale LMS requirements
  • Course pages with my modules populated and group cohorts, categories, tags pre-assigned
  • Pre-customised completion report templates with a custom Team Leader role type for reporting users’ completion per-team
  • Future-proofing. If needs grow, Moodle can be extended with Moodle Workplace or upgraded to Totara LMS without losing any of your coursework or Moodle records.

I’ve used my 15 years of Moodle exposure across many organisations to design, from the ground up, a learner-focussed instance for smaller organisations ready for scaling up. Completion reporting on modules such as mine is built in, but it’s a limitless and fully fledged LMS – once you’ve got it you can run workshops, author your own courses, do whatever you want with it.

Without getting too technical, now I have setup everything, it’s really easy to implement. (Literally just clicking ‘duplicate’ and then customising themes and courses). There’s a bit of IT work around servers, security, emails, access, user logins etc to complicate matters, but my thought here is – let’s not let perfect be the enemy of good. You’ve got, what, 50-200 staff, your turnover is tiny. Single sign-on and manager-sync with the payroll system is spiffy but it’s not catastrophically inefficient to add a manual LMS step to your onboarding and offboarding processes too. The boffins e.g. at Catalyst could do your $ingle $ign-on and whatnot later if you wanted to do it, but that’s beyond my little approach here.

In summary, this is:

  • A great user-centric system to present, store, advertise, record and manage your organisational training
  • A Moodle LMS instance customised for you and populated with some great courses that you have full control and ownership over
  • No ongoing licencing or service fees (though you’d have to pay the server hosting, {~$50 a month?})
  • A cheap and quick LMS solution that’s also high-quality, robust and scaleable.

Sounds good eh, so here’s the catch – my modules aren’t free! Neither’s my time setting the system up. But you don’t need to buy all the modules, Moodle has no cost and I’ve already done most of the work so the price and speed of ‘setting up this LMS’ should be absurdly competitive. The large savings on LMS system licencing, project managers and maintenance contracts could be spent on populating the LMS with useful content specific to your organisation – but that’s just my hot take!

Do please get in touch to visit the demo site and have a yarn about putting this LMS together for you or an organisation you know.