Creating an LMS that makes life easier for Learna students and staff

Learna is an online distance learning provider offering Postgraduate Diplomas, Masters and MBA courses, with a strong focus on medical qualifications.

It manages learning and delivers courses to its students, including large numbers of NHS staff, via its Moodle LMS site. Having used Moodle for several years, Learna was ready to upgrade from Moodle 3.5.1 to the latest version of Moodle.

Along with the Moodle upgrade, the organisation was keen to make widespread improvements to refresh its LMS. We were tasked with:

  • Improving Learna’s Moodle theme to make it more in keeping with brand guidelines.
  • Improving the user dashboard to create a better, more intuitive experience for learners.
  • Creating a consistent course template to save time being lost on creating and reconfiguring each course manually.
  • Overhauling the dated forum to create a more engaging experience for learners.

Modernising and customising with purpose

We recommended to Learna our Spark LMS theme, which delivers a clean, responsive and customisable appearance, plus high standards of UX design, without the need for a bespoke theme. Using Spark resulted in vast improvements to the LMS theme design in comparison to the previous version and meant we could incorporate more of Learna’s branding.

Spark also allowed us to make enhancements to the user experience, including on the user dashboard. We customised the dashboard so that each learner’s courses and profile stats are visible to them — little touches that make it easier for students to track their progress and find what they are looking for on the LMS.

We developed custom course templates, which deliver an easier and more streamlined way for Learna to create new courses for its learners. The use of templates and shortcodes means administrators with less technical know-how can now build courses.

Learna’s Moodle forum is an important hub for many of its courses, with students’ responses to discussions of medical cases forming a key aspect of the marking criteria. We updated the forum to deliver a fresher, more intuitive experience for students. Viewing and responding to forum threads is now more in keeping with what students will have experienced on other tech platforms.

More enjoyable learning experiences

A cleaner look, improved features and more intuitive navigation we have introduced to the site all make Learna’s Moodle LMS far more engaging for learners. The freshness and allure of the new site stands in contrast to the tired old platform.

The improved user experience delivered by our Spark theme has been appreciated by students and admins alike, with the LMS now far more enjoyable to use. Learna has seen a noticeable increase in the level of student interaction with the platform and core features, such as the forum, since the new site launched.

Introducing custom course templates has delivered a significant cost-saving for Learna. The organisation is no longer reliant on technical staff to create courses, which frees up their time for more technically demanding tasks and more ambitious projects.

“We were so impressed with Synergy Learning. They were really responsive to any queries, and their project management was excellent. We love the new LMS. It looks really professional and has delivered such a massive quality of life improvement for both students and admins.”

Osian Barr-Franco | Moodle Course Administrator

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