Making learning more accessible and more intuitive for humanitarians

Concern Worldwide is an international humanitarian organisation delivering life-saving rapid emergency response and life-changing development programmes to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.

With more than 3,000 employees working in 24 countries, Concern’s Learn365 learning platform is crucial in giving staff key learning content to support them in their roles. The existing Totara LMS had been in use for seven years without an upgrade and was in need of modernisation.

The introduction of new learning initiatives, including an improved induction programme for new starters and a management support programme, was the catalyst to press ahead with an overhaul of Learn365.

Concern asked us to:

  • Undertake a full upgrade to Totara 12.
  • Design and build a new theme for Learn365.
  • Refresh the user experience to make the site more engaging.
  • Simplify key pages to create a cleaner, more intuitive layout.

Flexible learning around the world

We completed a full upgrade of the codebase and app to Totara 12, which immediately gave Concern access to some important new features that had been added by Totara since Learn365’s last upgrade.

Perhaps the most important of these was the addition of offline access to Learn365. Not only does that give Concern staff increased flexibility to undertake learning on tablets and phones, it also opens up more learning opportunities for staff working in countries in which internet connections are not stable. Concern employees in developing countries can now complete courses offline and sync their learning when they are able to use an internet connection.

Improvements to site translations have also improved accessibility for Concern learners. Whereas previously individual courses were translated into French, we’ve used Totara language packs to translate the whole site. Concern’s Francophone learners now get exactly the same learning experience in their native tongue as English speakers.

The upgrade has also given Concern access to improved reporting features that make it easier for administrators to get the data they need from the site. With all staff required to undertake mandatory training, the updated site makes it far easier to monitor completion levels and maintain compliance across the organisation.

Finally, we refreshed the UX design to make the site easier to navigate. By simplifying the pages and dashboard, we’ve made Learn365 more intuitive, with a clearer direction of learning for Concern employees.

Fresher, cleaner, easier to use

The upgraded and improved Learn365 makes life easier for learners and administrators alike. Concern now has greater control over reporting, which makes it less time-consuming to monitor mandatory training.

The site was delivered on time and to budget within a relatively short turnaround period to ensure that all of the work fell within the charity’s budgetary requirements for the financial period.

The site has received good initial feedback from Concern’s learners. Employees have found the fresher, cleaner look and improved access make the site easier to use. Concern is expecting that to result in a big increase in learner engagement over the coming months.

“Synergy Learning brought us through the journey really well. Their use of project management tools brought everyone involved in the project together and it was always laid out clearly for us to see how the project was progressing. The most important thing for us was that the project was delivered on time and to budget, and Synergy Learning did that.”

Louise Barry | ‎Learning and Organisation Development Adviser

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This year’s full platform refresh gives our users what they’ve been asking for and more: a significantly upgraded learning experience across web and app, bite-sized learning content that makes learning even more fun and engaging and a points system that rewards them for their investment in the platform. We’re really proud of this work, and we are excited to build on this year’s innovations going forward.

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Sometimes you expect to be able to work with a platform straight out-of-the-box, but there are always quirks when it comes to adapting to your systems. Synergy Learning were instrumental for us in providing the development and consultancy we needed.

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We were impressed with the flexibility and the level of consultancy that Synergy Learning was able to provide. They were able to understand our requirements and create a user friendly learning portal for staff, and one that we can amend and be comfortable using without having to go back for minor changes.

Steve Wass

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Synergy Learning is always really responsive. The team is very approachable and communicative – they reach out to me a lot and stay in contact even when we don’t have ongoing work. Given a short deadline, they are always able to work to really tight timelines. They’re also very flexible when those timelines change.

Caroline Quane

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We would like to thank Synergy Learning for turning this project around so quickly. UHB is one of the largest teaching hospital trusts in England and we are at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19, along with our colleagues across the rest of the UK. We are very proud to be launching this platform in the West Midlands and hope it helps alleviate some of the worries I know many colleagues have.

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Deputy Director of Education

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