by Lance Simon, CVEP, EVP iCohere Unified Learning System
The American Correctional Association (ACA) is celebrating more than 147 years of global excellence. With such a long history of supporting its association members and the field, it’s not surprising to know the association leadership is always reviewing its member services and looking for ways to improve or expand.
In 2017, ACA revamped its eLearning program to offer world-class training with a new state-of-the-art training platform, media-rich learning experience, and all new courses. ACA uses iMIS as its member database system and wanted to integrate online learning with iMIS without adding extra steps for members. The project shined a spotlight on the importance of the customer experience and data management for eLearning programs.
ACA chose iCohere’s Unified Learning System as its learning management system (LMS) and eLearning platform. While developing the new eLearning courses and overall structure of the program, the team looked at how to improve the customer experience and data management by integrating the eLearning platform with iMIS. They landed on an iMIS bridge developed by Association Technology Solutions. Below are four important integration components the project uncovered.
Tips for selecting an iMIS bridge:
1. Single Sign-on is important, but it’s not enough.
ACA uses the iMIS bridge to link iMIS with the iCohere eLearning platform. The bridge offers a single sign-on experience for members and all data is shared across platforms. The key takeaway with the iMIS integration is to ensure the integration supports advanced features. The iMIS bridge supports webinars, courses, and conferences and reports attendance information to iMIS.
2. Look for flexible program design between the LMS and iMIS.
Research for the right LMS partner uncovered a few hidden costs. Many modern platforms limit the number of webinars available to organizations and require that the LMS vendor manage the webinars. This adds costs to the overall program administration. ACA needed an eLearning platform that offered unlimited webinar and web meeting opportunities. Because of this flexibility, ACA saves on webinar costs and can use webinars as a lead generation tool.
3. iMIS Integrations that support data-sharing across platforms ensure data accuracy.
One important goal of the project was to improve data accuracy and ensure that data across platforms was always up to date. If there is no integration across platforms and iMIS, the window for data error is wide open. Without integration data entry would need to be duplicated for each system, which would ultimately lead to added costs. With ACA’s iMIS bridge, as members sign-on to a course, the program prompts them to update their profile information. Members make changes to the profile inside the LMS and those changes are simultaneously updated in iMIS.
4. All-in-one access to member records is a must-have for members.
ACA recognizes that their members are busy professionals, and the less steps they need to take to access their learning data, the better. Requiring members to capture records from different platforms was unproductive and cost-prohibitive. With the new iMIS bridge, record-keeping is carried across platforms. Upon course completion, records are transferred into iMIS so members have one place they can go to get all the information they need.
If your association is searching for a way to bridge iMIS and eLearning, watch this recorded webinar with iCohere and experts from the American Correctional Association and Association Technology Solutions.
In the webinar, you will see firsthand how ACA modernized their online learning program and created a smooth integration with iMIS. Their newly launched online courses offer single sign on, course completion tracking, and data-sharing across platforms.
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