Custom Continuing Ed. Reporting

The Challenge

LinkLearn provides training and certification for volunteer tax preparers across the US. They needed to extend their reach to accomodate a learning audience in excess of 10,000 simultaneous users, especially during the tax season. Understandably, LinkLearn’s busiest time of the year typically coincides with the US Tax Season, which begins in October and runs through the month of April. LinkLearn reaches its absolute busiest peak from February to April, as income tax returns are prepared and filed. To accommodate their traffic, LinkLearn needed a customized LMS: a scaleable system that could handle 10,000 simultaneous users and above… without crashing. In addition to the increased number of users, legal requirements meant that a historcial and archival component was absolutely necessary. Further, the LMS had to incorporate certification capablities for the users. At the time, LinkLearn’s existing system was a barrier to successful and effective implementation: it was inefficient and ill equipped to handle the demand for the sheer number of tax preparers during the tax season. Knowledge testing was also challenging, because it required radomly-selected questions as well as questions that had to be asked in a specific sequence. All the aforementioned challenges made archiving difficult at best, which presented a real problem if and when a tax audit was ordered.

The Solution

While a standard LMS worked well for ordinary historical archiving, LinkLearn’s requirements were anything but ordinary. KMI helped customize LinkLearn’s infrastructure so that it could handle the sheer volume of users during peak season. KMI’s customizatioin also made it possible for test questions to be pulled randomly, or grouped together to follow a specific, predetermined sequence. This mimicked and simulated real-life scenarios, which provided a sense of reality – and, especially, relevance – for learners. A little extra icing on the cake came in the form of an LMS that could both display and accept special mathematical- and numerical symbols (for calculations and formulae) not easily found on an ordinary QWERTY keyboard.

Custom Learning Series View

Integrated Auto-filled Form

The Outcome

LinkLearn has used KMI’s Custom LMS with great success since 2012. In 2013, LinkLearn trained and certified over 65,000 volunteers. In 2019, that number had grown to over 84,000. Despite the pandemic in 2020, the number of users stayed high at over 63,000. KMI continues to serve LinkLearn as they strive to support volunteers in providing certified tax services to needful people across the US throughout the year and especially during the busy tax season.