ALFE – our new, accessible LMS

8th December 2021

Back in 2006, when we were Marshall ACM, we developed “Karova” a platform for e-learning which complied with digital accessibility guidelines. The aim of this was to create a platform that would be accessible for all users, and for us not only to supply content but also the platform on which our materials sit upon.

Built within the platform were a simple learning management system and the fact that e-learning and reporting was all within one system meant reporting functionality became seamless and could be relied on wholeheartedly. At this time, we found our clients to be frustrated with the compatibility of their content and their LMS using SCORM format. Many clients, for instance, had service tickets raised regarding the tracking ability of their LMS – many users completed their assigned courses, but their LMS would state otherwise.

One million customers later, Karova is still being used and was a core tool for public and private sector organisations who wanted to be W3C AA in terms of digital accessibility – attracting a broad spectrum, from The Open University, to The University of Oxford and SocGen Investment Bank.

We then switched our focus to the world of interactive e-learning, using richer content such as video and animation. This created the need for a SCORM LMS platform and so we partnered with LearnUpon to provide our existing corporate platform. LearnUpon works wonderfully and is a cornerstone of our business.

However, what about all the customers that cannot afford a corporate LMS, are they excluded from using e-learning? They can try using an open-source platform but in our experience – they need to hire an LMS administrator to run it which is expensive – and secondly, they never seem to function when it comes to scoring of assessments, a situation we often have to rescue our clients from.

Inclusion is our game, so we had to make sure no client was left behind. Looking ahead, we have seen a resurgence in interest around digital accessibility which we at Marshalls welcome and encourage – this has culminated in the new WCAG guidelines. As such, we have taken the strategic decision to invest and develop a new platform designed for organisations that both do not have a budget for a corporate LMS, who cannot pay strict per user fees but need e-learning.

We are happy to introduce ALFE

ALFE is the new accessible learning platform from Marshalls. With this platform, we have met a minimum of WCAG 2.1, AA level of accessibility. We heavily believe in Equality and Diversity, and it is a core part of their business. You can see below what our commitment to accessibility covers

Marshalls will run ALFE for customers so they do not have to hire their own LMS administrator and in time we will add tools so clients can also build their own e-learning. ALFE is also our most accessible LMS yet, and we are really excited to be rolling it out.

This gives clients a strong choice of either corporate standard e-learning, backed by a functionality-rich platform – all of which we can make WCAG accessible, or a platform that is seamlessly accessible throughout as it has been designed from the ground up with accessibility in mind. A simple pricing mechanism that is affordable and which for their users is very easy to use. Here are some pictures of the platform in use, but do get in touch if you would like to talk more about our contribution to digital accessibility in e-learning and enabling those currently excluded to enjoy the benefits of interactive learning.

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