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PCADV uses Totara Learn's audiences and groups to support victims of domestic violence

Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV) is the leading provider of online training in the United States on the topic of prevention of domestic violence. Their training is offered to member organisations and individuals in Pennsylvania and across the United States.

The Challenge

As PCADV’s digital learning environment grew, their solution became more and more complex to the point where their existing solution was not able to adapt to their expanding needs. Their highly customised LMS included a lot of patches and workarounds, meaning that the customisations were being used to plug gaps in the platform rather than giving them any real freedom to innovate. This left them struggling to reach new groups of learners with their critical, life-changing learning. As well as this, PCADV had a critical need to ensure that users from different states and member organisations had appropriate access to the content they needed.  

The Solution

PCADV LMS Totara Learn

The most critical component of PCADV’s solution began with a careful examination and scoping process to break apart their existing solution and identify elements which were already working, and those which needed to be improved.

Because their solution was already based on open source LMS Moodle, the framework of their course content and general user management processes would translate seamlessly into Totara Learn. Through this first approach, Remote-Learner’s team was able to zero in on the need to improve the way users were classified in the system to better assign and make visible the content to users.

Totara’s ability to dynamically organise users into sitewide groups which allow member organisations to generate reports on their (and only their) learners, combined with enforcing strict rules as to which courses were visible to each group were critical in the implementation. Similarly, Totara’s enterprise-level content management features were key to PCADV’s new solution through the strategic use of programmes, which could be created and tailored to each member organisation. Each of these curriculum sets was then attached to the group’s audience or organisation to automate the enrolment of current and future users through dynamic association based on user profile attributes.


Finally, a key aspect of the implementation was that the upgrade and improvements needed to be made with as little impact to the existing learners as possible. This meant that Remote-Learner’s team outlined the entire Totara structure on practice sites ahead of time so that the new structure of programmes and learner groups could be built out on the site in a single day once the upgrade to Totara Learn was complete. This minimised the downtime and impact on learners.

The Results

PCADV is delighted with its new LMS, which has been rebranded with a more modern, responsive look and feel.

The structure of the platform is also vastly improved, with content from other state agencies incorporated in a way that ensures that learners from different groups see only their own content and not others’. There are also new enrolment options which are dynamically displayed to learners based on their sitewide group, meaning that members can access courses for free or with payment depending on their group.

"Thank you and your team for working countless hours on this. It does not go unappreciated... thank you, thank you, thank you." – Lindsy Daves, Training Institute Manger

Remote-Learner also created a system for selected users at each member organisation, giving them the ability to run reports on their own people, and completion elements throughout the site have been reconfigured to ensure that the correct data is pushed to these reports.

PCADV’s administrators also now have the confidence and knowledge to manage the solution going forward, thanks to comprehensive training provided by Remote-Learner to ensure that everyone gets the maximum value from Totara Learn.