Thursday, June 24, 2021

Introducing MemberLearn - The League's New Online Learning Platform

The League of Minnesota Cities has recently launched its new online learning platform, MemberLearn. The League’s Instructional Designer Sam Easterson — key to developing and building out these courses — shares a little about this new program.

What is MemberLearn?
MemberLearn is an easy — and fun! — way for Minnesota city officials to learn online. We believe our courses need to be engaging to be effective. That’s why almost every MemberLearn course contains videos, interactive elements, or games. We think it’s OK to play (and smile) when you’re learning!

How are these courses different than webinars? 
That’s a great question. One way is that online courses often have the ability to cover a topic in a very granular way. We can dive really deeply into a particular subject. Online courses also allow us to deliver learning content in a wide variety of ways, which accommodates a lot of different learning styles. For example, some people like reading text while others like watching videos. Our courses can be designed to meet the needs of a lot of different types of learners. 

Who is MemberLearn for?
MemberLearn courses are custom designed by the League for Minnesota city leaders and staff — everyone from elected officials to city clerks.

What steps did you take to customize these courses specifically for Minnesota cities?
We listen very carefully to what educational content our members need. We only build courses if we determine that our members will find them valuable. We also occasionally customize courses based on member roles. For example, we currently have a data practices course for elected officials, another one for staff, and yet another for clerks. We keep our learners — and their roles — in mind to make sure we’re addressing their specific needs in each course.

An interactive element from the Open Meeting Law course.

Which topics will MemberLearn courses cover — and what does the future of MemberLearn look like?
MemberLearn courses cover a wide range of topics — from public finance to Open Meeting Law. We currently have more than a dozen courses available on MemberLearn. Over time, that number will grow exponentially. In the future, we’ll expand MemberLearn to offer a wide variety of educational content. In addition to courses, MemberLearn will also be a destination for more bite-sized learning experiences like micro-courses, stand-alone exercises, and interactive scenarios. 

How are MemberLearn’s courses specifically designed for adult learners? 
MemberLearn supports adult learning in a variety of ways. First, we realize that adult learners are busy! Our courses are designed to be taken anytime that is convenient for you — they’re available on demand, 24/7. We also strive for applicability in the learning. In other words, we try to provide learning that’s relevant to the actual work you do. Finally, we try to create courses that provide reinforcement of what you’ve learned. We realize that our members often have to know a lot about a lot of different things. Using features like knowledge checks and informal assessments, we try to show you that you know your stuff!

What else do you want us to know about MemberLearn?
Another unique feature of MemberLearn is that courses are driven by some of the latest research being done in the field of online learning. We use this research to steer the design of our courses. From the lengths of videos to the color schemes used in courses, there is usually a reason for why our designs appear a certain way. In the end, this data-driven design optimizes the learning experience for our members. And — because MemberLearn also allows our team to analyze data and feedback in real time — we can even adjust and improve courses while they’re live.

You can learn more about MemberLearn here and browse our current library of courses here

Interested in giving the MemberLearn platform a try? View our MemberLearn welcome video, where you can also take a brief (less than five minutes) tutorial.

Happy learning! 

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