Dr. Storm, CRNA

Difficult Choices

Well, sometimes the supposedly easiest choices are just difficult!

I am in the process of deciding which platform will benefit the users of recertCRNA.com the most. There are so many considerations that need to be addressed, eg, look, theme design, ease of access, speed of site, account registration, security, cookies to make returning users' experience better but not collect privacy data, test taking capability to satisfy AANA requirements, etc., etc..

Every time I think I have found a great fit, I spend a couple of days creating the website, upload and create some test content, including a test. So far, most of the platforms suddenly show they are not really up to the task for what I need. Some of these shortcomings are not obvious initially, and even the support staff, some of which are really helpful, do not know these shortcomings. I guess my requirements are not that common. Most people starting an educational website probably do not have the strict requirements dictated by AANA and NBCRNA!

I have gone through several different platforms. I started with a great looking and very easy to work with platform that was compatible with my usual go-to Joomla! website. Everything looked good, but the graded test was still in the pipeline, and did not know when this would be available. OK, move over then. I then looked around for another, more comprehensive, Joomla! platform and found Joomla LMS. This looked great, although it had a pretty steep learning curve when creating content. I found it too cumbersome and a friend recommended looking into Teachable.

Wow, Teachable was an eye-opener. These new platforms are so elegant and easy to use that it makes it "silly" to create your own website. I spend several days creating content, uploading files, pictures, etc., and then got stomped on the testing requirement. The recommendations I received earlier also included a couple of other platforms and I moved on to the next - Thinkific. Before this, I actually disregarded another suggestion, Podia, since I quickly realized they did not offer graded testing either.

So on to Thinkific. This really looked good, I could make everything work, it was easy to set up, the backend was just as good as Teachable, but the support was so much faster. It appeared as the support person who was assigned to me was very responsive from the get go. I was hooked. Kept working with her until she realized that Thinkific could not quite provide the full testing capabilities that I need.

Time to look around once again. This time I did a different search and is currently testing LearnWorlds. This LMS (learning management system) has so many functionalities that it seems unreal. I am really excited (sounds familiar!) about this LMS. I can see endless possibilities in making fantastic content that is much more interactive and interesting than anything I have encountered so far. And the testing capability? It is awesome. Everything I need - so far. It can do graded tests, allow a user to retake the test using a question bank. Hence, each test is different (AANA requirement, although not all vendors do this!), allow a set amount of retakes, and award a customized certificate after passing all the course requirements. Appears to have it all. Soo excited about this LMS.

I will keep testing and creating the site and hopefully this will be it. I will see. I have had this feeling of the "perfect" site before, several time actually, but I think I am getting closer.

OK, enough of this, it is time to get out of the office and do some Saturday "things".

See y'all later.