Based in Cardiff, United Kingdom, Sycol is a company that assists educational organizations from around the world in their pursuit of excellence. They instil a high performance culture by enforcing smarter, improved work patterns with an elaborate training program that deals with performance management process, developing leadership qualities, improved communications and collaborations. Sycol envisions a world where ‘improvement and innovation is an everyday occurrence’.
“While most other such companies provide open consultancy to their clients without a fixed budget or a strategy in mind, Sycol is unique in the sense that it takes into account the budgetary concerns of the client and furnishes them with well planned end points as a part of their performance strategy.”
– Dr. Ioan Rees
Being a company that thrives on the Internet for business, Sycol wanted it’s website to be top-notch, with special attention to User Experience. Ioan was clear in his vision of a sleek and clutter free website that is both a ‘beautiful experience with nothing clunky’ and something that’s easy on the management front.
Ioan decided on WordPress as his choice of platform owing to its contemporary feel and unparalleled simplicity, which gives him a complete control over the functionality of the website in terms of plugins. As he puts it, adding a feature is as simple as installing a new plugin.
What the Project Involved
Group Registration & Management
An online training program implied that their website required incorporating a Learning Management System. Since his dealings were mainly with groups of employees from various client organizations, it was essential for the group to be able to register as one and also for people to be able see the progress of their colleagues.
Collaborative tools like a social medium and discussion forums to facilitate content sharing were required, along with a project tracking software for the admin or the client organization to keep close tabs on learner progress.
How We Helped
First thing we did was zeroing on a theme that perfectly suits Ioan’s use case. University by Cactus Themes was a natural choice, it has often been lauded as one of best available themes for an eLearning purposes.
Next up was finding a plugin that would serve as an LMS for the website, which wasn’t a particularly hard task. We’ve long since been swearing by LearnDash as a powerful elearning tool on WordPress that successfully emulates a full fledged LMS. Another thing that LearnDash had it going for itself was that it allowed users to be grouped together under one group leader, perfect for Sycol’s website.
LearnDash, which allows only a single user to be enrolled for a course at a time, was customized to enroll entire Groups at once. We supplemented the front end with a registration form wherein a representative from a client organization could fill in the details of all the members to be registered for the course.
Collaborative tools were added in the form of BuddyPress and bbPress, both excellent plugins for a social network and forums respectively. For BuddyPress to work in tandem with LearnDash, we developed a custom plugin that integrates the two seamlessly. So that whenever a member completes, say, a lesson or a quiz, it would be posted on the BuddyPress’s media for everyone within the Group to see. Just as required.
As for bbPress, a forum specific to every group was created which allowed for sharing of resources within the group. We also set up a larger forum, for all the members of the website to communicate with each. Additional gamification was implemented with BadgeOS, which lets learners earn Badges and achievements as they progress within the course.
For the Admin and Group Leader to be able to keep a track of the progress and the developments with the Group, we used the Project Trackin Plugin called Panorama. It seamlessly analyzes data and presents them in the form of neat Pie charts and Progress Bars, so that it’s all easy accesible and understandable.
Putting It All Together
“WisdmLabs provides us with fast, reliable and expert solutions that keeps our business site and LMS up and running superbly. They are an attentive, responsive team that can work to deadlines and deliver precisely what we ask for, They are exceptionally good value for money and we are so happy that we will not be searching any further for any other team to fulfill our online needs.”