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MedCerts reduces incremental learning costs with Totara Learn

MedCerts is a US-based distance learning institution that provides self-paced certification programs for careers in specialised Healthcare and IT fields.

Their user-friendly and comprehensive courses provide video-based training and simulations from world-class instructors.

With a mission to prepare the underemployed, unemployed, disabled and dislocated for high-demand jobs, MedCerts successfully certifies over 1000 students annually. 

The Challenge

Prior to unifying their distance learning programs onto a single platform, MedCerts was running off of two distinct programs. One for video postings, and another for course materials such as eBooks, PDF’s, and links that branched off to a scheduling system for mentorship bookings. The two platforms were rigid and offered minimal customisation.

Piled on top of this, a lack of reporting functionality left MedCerts with the timeconsuming task of manually pulling together student progress reports.

Recognising that MedCerts’ distance learning programs could be unified into a single, cohesive experience, COO Dana Janssen tasked himself with finding an LMS that would allow MedCerts to offer leading online education. 

The Solution

Tasked with finding the best LMS solution for MedCerts, Janssen sought a system that was flexible, customisable and scalable.

Flexible, so they could organise courses in a way that suited the needs of educators and students.

Customisable, so they could configure the LMS with all the functionality they needed.

Scalable, so that their learning management costs remain reasonable as they grow.

“One of the things that we had to look really closely at was how the system would be able to grow as we do, and the costs that would be associated with that growth,” expressed MedCerts COO.

Totara Learn

After much consideration, Janssen and his team selected Totara Learn because it proved to provide the scalability, flexibility and customisation they needed.

Janssen was specifically excited about Totara Learning Plans, which has allowed MedCerts to define clear learning paths for student success.

“Totara Learn has allowed us to create custom road maps for each and every student,” explains Janssen. “From the day they enroll, progression paths orient them with the LMS, through to their training, and all the way to when we prepare them for their certification exam.”

Equipped with the right technology, Janssen and his team developed a seamless experience for students, educators and administrators alike, to deliver leading online education. 

Zoola Reporting & Analytics

Prior to acquiring Totara Learn, MedCerts Academic Advisors manually provided bi-weekly progress reports to student’s Case Managers that included a snapshot of their success to date.

A manual process, progress reports were created by an Advisor who would copy and paste grade data and individual feedback from the Student Services Team.

Once scanned, the report would be sent via email to the Case Manager, and the student.

Losing up to 25 hours a week to creating and administering reports, Janssen needed a solution that took significantly less time for his staff. Zoola Reporting & Analytics provided this solution, decreasing the time required for this task to 2 hours per week.

“Progress reports are now automatically created in Totara Learn, populated with feedback and grade data, and automatically sent to the student and case manager at whichever interval we choose,” exclaims Janssen

The Results

  1. Reduced Incremental Learning Cost per Student 
    With a single platform to deliver online education, MedCerts was able to reduce their costs significantly. Coupled with this, Janssen is assured that LMS costs will remain scalable as demand for their courses increase due to Totara’s open source cost-structure.
  2. Time saved via Report Automation
    Automated progress reporting via Zoola Analytics cut down student progress reporting from twentyfive hours per week, to two. Janssen’s staff can now allocate time to what matters most - helping students get certified for meaningful job-placement.
  3. Personalisation Learning Plans Students 
    receive leading online education with personalised learning plans. Populated with clear learning objectives and progression paths that walk them through the learning process, start to finish.

"We had to look really closely at how our new system would be able to grow as we do, and the costs that would be associated with such growth... Totara Learn (LMS) fit the mold." – Dana Janssen, MedCerts, COO