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In this week’s episode, Matt Harpold and Jon Aleckson interview Hope Liu, the Senior Director, Organizational Learning for the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities

Hope Liu discusses how their merger with Council on Accreditation (Alliance- COA) makes for the perfect combination of an organization committed to education, systemic change, and the proliferation of best practices and standards for community-based organizations.

Furthermore, Hope details how she selected a learning platform to be the center of the organizations online learning efforts.  The Alliance started by insisting on a seamless single sign-on experience for users.  An older community platform was replaced by the CourseStage learning platform which had extensive authoring and catalog features.  Hope Liu provides insight and how they have spread their content influence through the use of micro-sites or sub-portals.  This feature allows the Alliance to provide their content to organizations under a co-branded arrangement allowing community-based organization to also do local training in the learning platform.


Episode 6 starts off by discussing the merge between Alliance and COA. According to Hope, the complementary strengths of the two businesses created an extremely nimble and dynamic organization. In terms of online learning, the merge gave them a wider breadth to achieve organizational excellence infused with a strong focus on equity diversity and inclusion (EDI). However, the organization knew they needed a new LMS to support course development, but they just had to find the right one.

Originally, there were different platforms and technology pieces that were not integrated in a singular user experience, which added confusion to the online learning process. Each task and login had different passowords, and this was no longer feasible for Alliance and COA. The platform they were using for social networking and community building would not support the build of online courses.

The organization created a very detailed RFP, according to Hope, and this was because they made an enterprise-level investment in online learning strategy and designed backwards from their goals. Alliance articulated their vision and how they wanted the platform to support them from a business and impact perspective, and then designed backwards to this vision.

“One thing we did right was to be clear about where we wanted to take learning, not just in terms of wanting to deliver courses, but in terms of overall audience experience,” Hope said. Making the experience easy to use and seamless was always a priority.

Courstage LMS by Web Courseworks wasn’t too big of a shift from platform to platform, simply because Alliance took what was in their original community building platform and put all those features in the RFP. Immediately, user feedback was positive, especially with the single-sign-on feature. Users loved being able to use the same passwords through an integration with the LMS and the enterprise database. Not only that, the use of sub-portals and eCommerce became an outstanding success for the organization, simple because the overall learning experience became more seamless and user-friendly.

Furthermore, the new system allowed for tremendous success during the pandemic, because their external facing catalog was searchable by people outside of the organization. Users from 11 different countries found the organization’s covid resources and webinars, despite the fact that they may have never known or seen the organization before. Because of this, LMS users skyrocketed to over 53,000 people.

“Change within organization doesn’t happen due to a single individual—your organization is a system as well. We subscribe to this idea that if you are organized within, your influence is reflected outside of your organization. As your organization evolves, so will your impact.”

At Web Courseworks, we pride ourselves on our ability to provide impactful eLearning solutions and strategy for the Alliance of Strong Families and Communitites. It’s truly incredible what they have done within their learning platform.

These are just the summary and highlights! If you want to hear more about Hope’s experience with CourseStage LMS and it’s capabilitites, listen to the full podcast on RSS or Spotify.

Sign up for a demo of CourseStage software for associations today!