Implementing eLearning Into Your Association? Here Are The Fundamentals (Part 1 of 3)

By Dan Streeter • January 27, 2022

Most organizations focus on the features of the learning management system when it comes to choosing their Learning Management System (LMS) platform. And, for some platform implementations this can be the right approach; however, looking past “the features” is also worth exploring. 

In this three-part series, we’ll look beyond LMS features to see the implementation of an eLearning program through the eyes of an instructional designer by considering three fundamental questions that will inform and shape the decision-making around choosing an LMS.

From an instructional design perspective, these are the three core questions to ask before choosing your LMS and implementing eLearning for an association:

  1. What do you want your learner to know? 
  2. How will you know if they know it? 
  3. What will you do if they don’t?  

These questions help to outline your members’ learning journey so you can lead them down the funnel in the learning direction you want them to go. 


So, Question Number One: What Do You Want Your Learner to Know?

Out of the three questions, this is the most important. Understanding how you can best empower your members through eLearning affords you the ability to not only shape your association but your industry as a whole by setting a higher standard. And as you will see, this question opens up more opportunities for you to implement new areas of non-dues revenue.

An instructional designer should begin with the learning objectives your organization hopes to achieve. For example, maybe you want your learner to:

  • Remember the formula for calculating mortgage interest
  • Analyze a series of data to determine the use of a new pharmaceutical
  • Collaborate with other learners on determining which mortgage products to use when faced with a variety of buyer scenarios
  • Create a marketing plan for their dental practice


As you can see, depending on the learning objective that you wish to achieve, your LMS may need different tools. If you want your learner to:

Learning Objective Tools to consider in the LMS
Remember Video and in LMS quiz features
Analyze Interactive eLearning that allows for multiple scenarios and outcomes
Collaborate Social learning focused with discussion boards and the ability to host video-based collaborative meetings
Create Ability to submit assignments and have them shared with an instructor and potentially other learners



As a whole, asking this question will better align your overall vision to reach your LMS end goals for both your members and your association. When you give them the content they want, in the fashion that they want it and in a way that’s easy to access, member engagement will increase. 

This also allows you to take them down the learner journey toward your desired end goal. 

And remember, a learner will likely pay more for experiences that have richer and deeper learning experiences. For example, consider creating two levels of learning in a given course.  One that focuses purely on remembering and analyzing which can be done purely asynchronously and a second course that allows learners to collaborate and create. Two different experiences at two different price points, that can even be bundled together – with limited additional expense to develop.


How Learning Objectives Inform the Choice of LMS

If you’re going to purely conduct webinars, then the platform that you’re going to choose is going to be driven on that. If you need a learning experience where you need to track the user through the program to ensure compliance, that may require a different platform altogether. And if your learning program is SCORM-driven with interactive eLearning modules, that’s also going to be a different type of experience that requires a different type of platform. 

By establishing the answers to “what do you want your learner to know?”, you are also helping to determine the way they will learn, which will help you to choose the platform that best fits the outcomes you want for your learners. 


A Future Focus

It’s important to not only focus on what your association wants to create now but also five years from now. That way whatever platform you choose can grow with your association.


In the next two blogs of this series, we’ll help you answer questions:

  1. “How will you know if they know it?”


  1. “What will you do if they don’t?” 


So check back to gain this insight to make the best decision for your association’s LMS.


At Naylor, we’ve been dedicated to maximizing member engagement and increasing non-dues revenue for associations in over 80 industries for more than 50 years. Leveraging LMS to engage your members is proven to boost engagement and drive non-dues revenue. The Path™ Learning Management System is a cloud-based approach to educational content management designed specifically for lecture-based learning applications. Optimized to deliver media content from educational events, Path™ allows you to manage all of your content, such as conference recordings, recorded lectures from live and virtual meetings, and traditional presentations, in an easy-to-use, rapidly-deployed, digital library that enhances learning for worldwide audiences.


To learn more, reach out to our team at Naylor to discover how we can make your LMS – and your association – stronger.  Request a Meeting


About the author:

Dan Streeter

As the Vice President of Learning Strategy and Design, Dan leads his world-class team of instructional design professionals to enable non-profits, associations and businesses build  exceptional learning content. Dan became an expert in learning, instructional design and presentation delivery through his over 20 years of experience as an award-winning public education teacher, administrator and entrepreneur.  In fact, Dan founded IMPART Learning Solutions, which was acquired by and became a division of Blue Sky eLearn in January of 2020. 


About Blue Sky:

Blue Sky eLearn delivers world-class eLearning experiences and virtual events all supported by our award-winning Path LMS™. Unlike other software vendors, who cobble together a myriad of platforms and call them “one solution,” Blue Sky eLearn products and services are supported by the strength of our one, scalable, award-winning learning management system (LMS) – which is laser-focused on delivering engaging eLearning and virtual event experiences that resonate.