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  • Exciting features of Totara v18

    As a Totara Gold Partner, the Synapsys’ team is excited to work with the latest Totara v18!  Among numerous new features, two stand out as particularly exciting for us!  Firstly, the capability to duplicate learning programs significantly reduces administrative time. Whether you are a course administrator, a system administrator, or a course creator, you can…

    Navigating Change: The Path Ahead with Synapsys NZ

    Kia ora,   At the end of each year we always feel tired, ready for a break. December 2023 felt different. There was a real sense of exhaustion across the board. We felt the relentless acceleration of change and the pressure to keep assimilating to it. We felt economic pressures – on us personally and on…

    Synapsys take on big L&D trends for 2024

    TrainingIndustry.com have identified three big L&D trends for 2024. Here’s our take on them, and a couple of others you may want to consider as well.  1. AI, EI, and growth mindset take centre stage. It’s difficult to disagree with the idea that responding to AI, building emotional intelligence, and having a growth mindset (being…

    Merry Christmas from the Synapsys Team

    Kia Ora Synapsys Whānau! As we wrap up an awesome, albeit challenging year, the Synapsys NZ crew came together to reflect on the year and think about the road ahead. We had a great time discussing ways of strengthening our relationships with our partners and extending a welcome to new members of our Synapsys whānau….

    Smart learning technology in action

    With over 20,000 learners, The Career Academy is an internationally recognised online education provider who partners with industry to help learners advance their careers. At that scale, operational efficiency goes hand in hand with seamless, compelling learning experiences. As their Totara partner, our job is to ensure their learning platform achieves both goals – compelling…

    Navigating AI Challenges in Workplace Learning – podcast

    In this very interesting episode of the Learning While Working Podcast Lars Hyland and Matt Linaker from Totara discuss how to navigate the challenges of AI in workplace learning. Lars emphasised the idea that generating content at a faster pace with the help of AI tools might not be advantageous if there is no connection…

    Celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 2023

    🌟 Celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 2023 with us! 🌟  As we embrace Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 2023, we thought we would share the resources we find most helpful as we build our language skills. Here’s what we love and recommend:  1️⃣ Te Aka Māori Dictionary – our favourite te reo dictionary,…

    Synapsys Hacks: Keeping the ‘micro’ in microlearning

    Keeping microlearning short is essential because it aligns with the way people learn in today’s fast-paced, attention-scarce world. Short, focused content improves engagement, retention, accessibility, and flexibility, making it an effective approach to training and education. To help you achieve your microlearnig objectives, Synapsys put together a practical design resource: Synapsys hacks: Keeping the ‘micro’…

    AI Image Generators: Their Potential and Impact in Creative Work

    We have been exploring Artificial Intelligence (AI) image generators – how they work, what they do, and if we can see a potential use of them in our work. AI content tools are currently a subject of discussion, and it is important to understand their functionality to make informed decisions about their usage.  AI generators…

    The SOLO Taxonomy; finding the Goldilocks Zone for learning activities

    We believe that understanding the goals of a workplace learning solution is essential for creating the best experiences. If you’re clear about why your organisation wants your team to learn something, you’re in the best place to choose the optimal learning activities.   It is helpful to determine how much depth of understanding is required for…

    Effective governance of Learning Management System (LMS) – why is it still a struggle?

    Iris Vermeren makes the important point in her article that you need to be clear about your learning strategy and goals if you’re going to get the most out of your LMS. Sounds simplistic, doesn’t it? It’s a no-brainer that an understanding of effective governance of your Learning Management System (LMS) is vital for creating…

    Engage and Collaborate: Miro’s Role in Online Workshops

    As online workshops have become more common, an ongoing challenge has been how to engage learners in the sessions. How do you recreate the participation and collaboration that happens when people are learning face-to-face?  Miro is a really useful tool for online facilitation, we’ve been using it in workshops for project managers. Miro is an…

    How long does it take? – Navigating learning design timeframes

    One of the first conversations we have with many of our clients starts like this: I’ve already done a full learning needs analysis and gathered all the content; Can you start building learning content for us? People seem quite surprised when we still want to go through a discovery process before giving a final answer…

    The Curse of Knowledge

    Experts sometimes do not have good insights into what support is required by beginners. It’s natural when you think about it. Experts are experts because they’ve been working in a particular space for a long time. Think of something you can do extremely well. Can you remember what it was really like when you knew…

    Unlocking Strategic Potential: From Self-Management Strategies to Cultural Transformation

    This article  https://hbr.org/2018/06/if-strategy-is-so-important-why-dont-we-make-time-for-it notes that many leaders struggle to prioritise time for strategic thinking, and proposes a series of self-management strategies to ‘make the time’.   When we think about learning programmes we’ve developed that are truly strategic in their focus, we think it’s dubious that the main driver has been the personal management strategies…

    Using Animation in E-Learning Design: Engage, Delight, and Educate Your Learners

    At Synapsys, our Design Phase helps us to look at what formats will help your learners to succeed, based on the goals of your learning intervention and how you want your learners to feel about what you have to share with them. Bringing together the audience analysis with the options for interactions means the resulting…

    Constraints, used properly, are the true drivers of innovation.  

    Constraints, used properly, are the true drivers of innovation.   We always take the time early in the design process to establish a project’s real constraints and goals. Goals are great; they help us get clear on what we’re doing – they feel good. Constraints can be frustrating. They limit our thinking and sometimes mean exciting…

    The Importance of User Testing

    Have you ever thought how user testing can help learning designers improve their skills? We recently had an excellent experience that not only reinforced the importance of user testing, but also helped us understand learners’ needs better.  Trust in the process enhances outcomes  We were working on materials with Silver Fern Farms who have a…

    5 tips to kick off a foolproof learning project

    Great ideas need excellent execution. We asked our project managers for their recipe for starting a successful learning project.     1. Identify your subject matter experts (SMEs) early to ensure they have time available for the project.   2. Get SMEs involved early so they understand the planning process and can come on the…

    Unlearning – where does it start?

    A huge proportion of our learning experiences start with unlearning. Debunking myths, learning new tools, new processes… Pretty much any big systems implementation will require unlearning. It’s great when your learners are already open to new ideas and have a growth-oriented mindset. But how do we help them get there? We recently came across this…

    Stages on the learning journey

    At Synapsys, we see learning as being about helping the learners to move from one stage of understanding to another. It is important for us to have a solid grip on what you hope to achieve through the learning intervention, so we can support it.  Are we trying to make people aware of what they…

    Matariki – te Mātahi o te Tau

    Matariki, the Māori New Year, is a special time when people, whānau, and communities come together to commemorate the past year, celebrate the present, and make plans for the upcoming year. It is a time for honouring the memories of our loved ones who are no longer with us, indulging in feasts and festivities with…

    Learning Objectives as a House Design Metaphor

      The thing about learning objectives is that they can be compared to designing a house. Just as you need to know the specific requirements of a person when building a house, you also need to understand the needs of learners when defining learning objectives. For instance, consider a family with three children, who are…

    SLAM – Learning Theory Meets Practice

    Sometimes it seems as though every expert has their own recipe for what a good learning solution looks like! At Synapsys we base our designs on research about what works for actual adult learners.  The Synapsys Learning Activity Model – SLAM – brings together concepts from Gagné’s 9 events of instruction, Knowles’ principles of andragogy,…

    Achieving Competency Excellence: Public Trust’s upgrade of TrustEd with Totara TXP16!

      It’s one thing to create a competency framework for your organisation, but many find the process of effectively measuring staff achievement against it a much bigger challenge. Key to achieving this is a technology platform that makes the connection between frameworks, development pathways, and learning opportunities. Public Trust‘s recent upgrade of their TrustEd competency…

    Digital Transformation: From tech change to behaviour change (5 of 5)

    Go live is the real start line  This is the fifth and final article in the series on ensuring your technology projects leverage learning to deliver the change and business value they are supposed to.   Curious about what we discussed previously? Check out the previous articles! Part 1.  “Using learning to make technology projects stick”…

    Digital Transformation: From tech change to behaviour change (4 of 5)

    Change happens when people get it  This is the fourth article in the series on ensuring your technology projects deliver the change and business value they are supposed to.   Read the first article here “Using learning to make technology projects stick” Read the second article here “Vision, what vision?“ Read the third article here “Change starts…

    Digital Transformation: From tech change to behaviour change (3 of 5)

    Change starts when the programme starts  This is the third article in the series on ensuring your technology projects deliver the change and business value they are supposed to.   Read the first article here “Using learning to make technology projects stick” Read the second article here “Vision, what vision?“ We all know the well-worn ‘truths’ about…

    Digital Transformation: From tech change to behaviour change (2 of 5)

    Vision, what vision? This is the second article in the series on ensuring your technology projects deliver the change and business value they are supposed to.   Read the first article here “Using learning to make technology projects stick” Technology projects are an answer to a problem. Looking through business cases for tech implementations, we often…

    Digital Transformation: From tech change to behaviour change (1 of 5)

    Using learning to make technology projects stick Deloitte‘s recent “The nine trends reshaping government in 2023”  report speaks of silos inside government shifting to collaborative ecosystems. Driven by trends such as accelerated technology and the rise of networked power, it describes how governments around the world are tailoring public services, bridging data networks and moving…

    RNZCGP enhances learning experience for registrars with Totara TXP16

    The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP) recently upgraded their Totara TXP to boost their capability to deliver learning programmes to their registrars in a more accessible, engaging, and fulfilling way.    The College uses the Totara platform to deliver General Practice Education Programme and Rural Hospital Medicine Training Programme for doctors who would…

    Representing Bicultural New Zealand: Insights from Maire Smith on APEC 2021

    In 2021, New Zealand was the host for APEC– a year-long, high-level diplomatic conference that would showcase New Zealand on the international stage. COVID-19 changed the game, with all interactions needing to move to an online platform on short notice. The APEC NZ team needed to move fast, not only taking the APEC – Asia-Pacific…

    The limits of visual working memory and how we apply it in learning design

    We all know that our ability to keep multiple things in our mind is limited. Four things is a common benchmark, and the article “When four is not four, but rather two plus two” suggests it might actually be two on each side of our brain.   And yet we see so many learning experiences ignoring…

    Need to get out of a Pickle?

    Do you remember the super fun and engaging microlearning project we did with WorkSafe New Zealand and AKQA called “Pickled”? It was a series of learning games that made it to the finals of the Mobile Experience category at The Webby Awards, which received over 13,500 submissions from over 70 countries. That’s right, Pickled was such a hit! Guess what?…

    Synapsys is growing and we couldn’t be more excited! 

    We are proud to announce that Lorraine Want, Sara Jazgar and Darryl Gatward have joined our growing Wellington-based team! What Darryl enjoys the most as Pou Whakahaere – Kiritaki (General Manager – Customer) is working with smart people across a diverse set of industries to create solutions that address the gap between what currently exists and what is needed. Lorraine,…

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    Supporting Farmlands Co-operative with their transformation

    Farmlands Co-operative is taking their employees’ development and growth to the next level with a whole new learning experience to be rolled out this year, and it starts with Totara 17. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be partnering with them and support their vision to become reality as they roll out new functionality this…

    Articulate’s new microlearning option in Rise 360!

    We are really happy to see Articulate‘s new microlearning option in Rise 360! Our learning designers love its simplicity. The one-click access to #learning activities allows learners to quickly get into the learning instead of negotiating multiple layers of navigation. This approach is particularly valuable for busy professionals who want to maximise their time. Whether you’re on…

    Ready to start a more formal learning journey?

    It’s always great to connect with like-minded leaders about supporting the development of their teams. We had a great chat to Matthew Hayter from Projectworks about the connection between learning, capability and performance. Why people learn is always a personal decision to a degree; progressive organisations understand that the old boundaries between work and personal…

    Z Energy responds to new supply chain opportunities

    How do you measure learning experience going forward? That was the big question for Julie Fitzgerald from Z Energy when partnering again with Synapsys in 2022 – this time to help develop a company-wide learning and training platform with a focus on understanding supply chain models. Our Managing Director, Phil, recently sat down with Julie…

    Staying Current in a Changing World

    We know that transformation and adaptability are key to organisations thriving and growing. But transformation can be hard. Remaining current though? That’s much easier. Or is it? What is ‘current’ is subject to change, and might not be current in six months’ time. So what does ‘current’ mean for us, and the work we do?…

    Bringing our Stands to Life

    At Synapsys, our Stands reflect both how we think and are the main drivers of the work that we do. Our Stands are what we believe in and what guide us as individuals and as a business.  So what are they? Whakarerekē whaitikanga – we stand for meaningful change and the discipline to execute it….

    The role learning plays in transformation

    “Since I joined Synapsys a few months ago,” says Jo Parag, our General Manager Customer and Client Relationship Manager, “I have come to appreciate our positioning line of ‘Learn to Transform’. On the surface it’s a simple statement but dig a little deeper and the complexity and strength of this statement for both our clients…

    Learning as you go

    It’s fascinating to see how organisations are responding differently to the challenge of exploring their relationship with Te Ao Māori. Interest in Te Reo Māori is palpable, and there is a growing recognition that Tikanga Māori is an important demonstration of a commitment to recognising diversity – being inclusive. More and more though we are…

    Gamification in Learning: Partnering with Z Energy

      Z Energy is one of New Zealand’s largest fuel distributors, and a long-term partner of Synapsys. Z Energy first engaged Synapsys’ services when Z took over the company from Shell, and were responsible for developing a learning and training platform for pilot Z Energy sites around the country. Having now established themselves fully –…

    So where does our story begin?

    At Synapsys, our name and our brand tell our story. We think of the synapses in the brain as the spark of creative thought, but they are also central to how we remember, and how we tell our body to take action. Synapsys stands for creative thought and action – we have a meaningful impact by…

    What are our Stands?

    At Synapsys, our Stands reflect how we think and drive the work that we do. What are they?  Whakarerekē whaitikanga – we stand for meaningful change and the discipline to execute it. Tiakitanga Whakawhanaunga – we stand for trusting relationships and support both eachother and our communities. Manawanui – we stand for courage and speak our truth with…

    We have some big news!

    Synapsys’ very own Learning Design Lead, Maire Smith has been selected as a Judge for the upcoming New Zealand Association of Training and Development (NZATD) Awards!  In being selected, Maire is being recognised for her significant contribution to learning – did you know that she has even been a recipient of an NZATD award in the…

    Have you heard of Au Consulting?

    Au Consulting are leaders when it comes to implementing cultural change here in Aotearoa.  Using the combined strategic, cultural and educational expertise of their consultants, Au Consulting are able to support and guide organisations to connect more authentically with Te Ao Māori. Synapsys recently worked with Au Consulting on the creation of several micro modules and…

    The latest Pickled cases are live!

    Maybe you want to help a farmer spraying gorse on a steep slope, or you might be keen to assist Tate and his team with a bit of welding in an online game?   Back in 2019, Synapsys partnered with Worksafe New Zealand to develop the learning design for an online game suite that would help…

    Z Energy at Synapsys Breakfast Event 2020

    Z Energy talks about the customer experience. Presenter: Julie Fitzgerald, Learning Operations Manager

    Contact Us

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    Contact us directly by telephone and email

    04 801 8478,
    info@synapsys.co.nz

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    Level 1, 10 Courtenay Place
    Wellington 6011
    New Zealand

    Postal Address

    P.O. Box 28, Lyttelton 8082