Case Study: Creating a Firm Forum

The Query 

We were approached by a firm looking to create a central area where they could provide their users with firm-specific information. Particularly, this included:  

  • upcoming in-house training sessions  
  • a ‘welcome’ section where they could upload their own announcements, e.g., new starters 
  • a section/button that learners could use to submit training or help requests, so that they would not get lost amongst other emails in the supervisors’ work inboxes 

The firm required the freedom to manage the page themselves, rather than relying on DevZone admin support, so they could continuously update the information provided. 

The Solution 

A standard custom course page was used to create a ‘forum’ for the firm. This page was set to allow guest access so that enrolment wasn’t required to view the content. An additional link for the ‘forum’ was added to the top navigation bar which used audience-based visibility settings to ensure that the page and the navigation option, were only visible to those in the firm 

 Dashboard ribbon showing the 'Firm Forum' button.

The ‘forum’ sits within the firm’s custom content catalogue, allowing both the page format and content to be completely customisable by any supervisors of the firm. 

Meeting their needs: 

  • A Calendar block has been used to outline upcoming training sessions 

 The Calendar feature window

  • Labels have been used to upload new starter information and images, as well as any related documents or links 

 New starter announcement

  • A Featured Links block has been used as a ‘request training/help’ block that directs users to the built in messaging system on Totara.  

 Featured link examples

In addition to their original query, the firm has been able to use the ‘Featured links’ block for their own Learner of the Month, as well as to provide additional links that take users to other new pages they’ve created, such as, revision materials, an ‘about us’ page, and a feedback form. 

A glossary of key terms has also been linked to the page and each day a new word and its definition is displayed at the top of the page using a ‘Random Glossary Entry’ block. 

'Word of the Day' feature.

About the author

Chloe joined us in 2020, having graduated with a 2:1 in Graphic Communication from the University of South Wales. 

Chloe started with the team working as a Design and Content Assistant, creating engaging e-learning materials and marketing content, before moving into her current role. Currently, she works across all elements of the client experience and utilises her knowledge of the Development Zone platform, to ensure users can get the most out of their e-learning journey.

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