Interview with Kathie Robeson, CEO of @ElearningExp

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elearnexpKathie Robeson, a longtime Moodler (her experience started back in 2003 with version 1.0.9) and former Remote-Learner CFO and Chief Service Officer, has been running Elearning Experts since its founding in 2012. Elearning Experts has focused on providing solid, low cost hosting and Moodle services to users who are looking for competitive pricing and an attentive vendor. This past week at the closing remarks of MootUS15 it was announced that they and Moonami were the newest Moodle Partners.

I had a chance to interview Kathie via email and in person at the US Moodle Moot last week about her newly minted Moodle Partner card and a few other things, here’s a transcript of that conversation/exchange.

What’s your history with Moodle? (how’d you get started, what in your career led to now?)

I started in computer science back in the 1970’s, but my career path diverged to community mental health services, nursing, private practice, and academia. I started using Moodle in the summer of 2003. I had been tasked to bring Blackboard to my academic institution. Three weeks prior to signing the papers and implementing the pilot, the funding for the project was pulled. My next task was to find an LMS that would work within the existing budget. I found open source software; what was previously Martin’s Object Oriented Learning Environment – now Modular Object Oriented Learning Environment (MOODLE). Our technical team vetted Moodle quickly and I did a pilot during the same term. By the second term we had 800 students and 200+ courses online.

We used a Moodle Partner to provide our hosting and support services. As the Coordinator of Academic Technology, I got a lot of first hand experience administering the LMS. I later left my academic position and joined our Moodle Partner as their Training and Events Manager. I spent a little over a year traveling the world training users in Moodle and assisting with implementations. Eventually, I was promoted to the executive leadership and became CFO and later Chief Services Officer for global operations of the company. In this position, I managed most of the departments in the organization and played a key role in two international acquisitions.

Why/when did you start Elearning Experts?

I left my position with the Moodle Partner in the fall of 2011. I thought I was simply going to retire, but I began getting requests for references from former colleagues as they sought new opportunities. It was suggested by many that I start my own company. When two extraordinarily talented members of the infrastructure team let me know they were leaving the organization, I decided it was time to see if we could build a successful organization. Elearning Experts was established in January 2012.

What’s the mission?

Our stated mission is to create the best possible e-learning experiences in the most affordable way possible. We are driven by a belief that we are obligated to put our knowledge, skills and talents to use in a way that creates positive change – personally, locally, and globally. Our mission is grounded in the principles of servant leadership, and we believe in putting the needs of others first and helping people develop and perform as highly as possible. This philosophy dovetails nicely with the tenets of open source.

Any notable achievements and contributions by the org to Moodle?

As a team, most of our employees come from either Moodle Partners or from organizations that have used Moodle extensively for many years. Our team has written code that has been released to the Totara LMS community (a distribution of Moodle). We’ve served thousands of Moodle clients over the past decade, both through our previous employers and now through Elearning Experts.

How will the partner status help/change how you operate?

The Moodle Partner status will bring us substantial increased visibility to exactly the users we want to reach. It will enable us to work directly with Moodle HQ as they ensure that Moodle remains one of the most widely used learning platforms in the world. Finally, it will offer us additional credibility to the services we already provide, helping users in need of assistance know that we have the expertise and affordable pricing to meet their learning needs.

What’s your goal for the company?

We are committed to helping our clients meet their online learning goals and objectives in the most affordable way possible. The company is successful if our clients are successful.

Congratulations to Kathie and her staff on the new status.

Note: Elearning Experts is a supporter of Moodlenews.com