This project is a finalist for the 2021 Golden GOVIT Awards in the Innovation category. This project was completed by the League of Minnesota Cities. This project was nominated by Melissa Reeder.
An important service provided by the League of Minnesota Cities is educational courses to city elected leaders and appointed officials. To deliver this service the League produced learning and training content and events in-person throughout Minnesota. When COVID-19 caused a restriction on travel and large gatherings the League had to quickly pivot to a new solution. While a new Learning Management System (LMS) was already identified, the technology and education teams were suddenly faced with an extremely short deadline to implement. To achieve new target dates the project was divided into parallel tracks. The LMS software integration was coded independently from the course content development. Course design was created by the education team within the new LMS platform and then the LMS was bolted on the League’s core business system. In parallel the technology team engaged a third-party developer to configure API integration while the League’s applications developers concentrated on the UX components. Test scripts were created ahead of the beta release and performed in an iterative process to compress the timeline.
The teams collaborated on the goal of creating a good experience for members new to using online learning, with goals identified to ensure a smooth registration process and instructions for accessing course content. The aggressive due date was met, and the project was completed within the budget. In January 2021 the Learning Management System marketed as MemberLearn, was launched with the newly designed Elected Leaders Institute, comprising of two programs. Testing the platform with a large group of members at launch time was a risk, but both programs were very successful with more than 500 elected or appointed city officials attending. Of the responses, 97% said the program met or exceeded their expectations. To learn more about the League’s new online interactive learning environment, go to https://www.lmc.org/learning-events/learnings/memberlearn/.