Meridian Knowledge Solutions Positions For Accelerated Growth In New Markets

Paul Terry Hired as Chief Strategy & Operations Officer

RESTON, Va. – August 21, 2018 – Meridian Knowledge Solutions, a leading, cloud-based, learning management software provider, today announced the appointment of Paul Terry as its new Chief Strategy & Operations Officer of Meridian Knowledge Solutions.

In this new role, Terry will be responsible for accelerating and executing Meridian’s go-to-market strategy and spearheading the development of innovative learning offerings to advance the Company’s mission and objectives. His experience in identifying viable market trends will be paramount in the development of new Meridian solutions to meet the current and future demands of the market.

“Paul brings incredible acumen in business development, strategy, and operations to this new executive role at Meridian.” said Jonna Ward, CEO and President of Meridian Knowledge Solutions. “The hiring of Paul follows the appointment of Patrick Devlin as Meridian’s Chief Revenue Officer in June 2018. The two will work hand-in-hand to accelerate Meridian’s growth and to expand Meridian’s footprint in existing and new markets while consistently exceeding the expectations of our clients.”

“Meridian maintains an expert focus on learning technology and offers a product with impressive depth. This focus and depth position Meridian to anticipate and deliver solutions in pace with the rapid evolution that is occurring within the management and consumption of learning,” said Terry. “I look forward to leading the Meridian team in analyzing and identifying the needs of the market and then meeting those needs with learning management solutions that deliver measurable business impact.”

Terry, most recently with Regent Education, brings an exceptional track record of successful strategy execution that includes his efforts in building one of the largest software companies in Washington D.C. Prior to his time at Regent Education, Terry held executive positions at Cengage Learning and Blackboard.


About Meridian Knowledge Solutions:

Meridian Knowledge Solutions is a leader in cloud-based learning software. Meridian’s powerful learning management system is leveraged by organizations dedicated to building world-class learning enterprises. With over 7 million users worldwide, Meridian offers industry-leading extensibility and flexibility and a best-of-breed learning management system that gives organizations and users limitless options for their learning programs.

Meridian Debuts Career Development, Enhanced Privacy and Compliance Features

Reston, Va. – April 27, 2018 – Meridian Knowledge Solutions, a leading cloud-based learning management system (LMS) provider, announces the availability of Meridian LMSTMversion 18.1. In this release, Meridian applies their long-term focus on learning to innovative ways for users to organize and oversee their own career development paths, increased flexibility and functionality in employee career development for managers, enhanced data privacy and compliance features, and restructured system architecture for easier and more efficient navigation across devices.

“We have many customers who have been looking to move their training programs beyond compliance to focus on upskilling workers for the jobs the company will need in the future. We’ve partnered with them to create a powerful suite of tools to give visibility into the skills and competencies needed for these jobs, and an engaging ‘what’s in it for me’ point of reference for learners.  We also heard our customers tell us that they love what we’re doing with gap analysis in Career Development, but they want to use data from an external performance system to drive it. So, we made it happen.”

– Geoff Perry, Chief Product Officer
Meridian Knowledge Solutions

With each release, Meridian reiterates their commitment to learning, providing increasingly complex and in-depth functionality to meet the learning needs of businesses and organizations across the industry spectrum.

Meridian LMS 18.1 release focuses on career development, improved system architecture, and compliance/user privacy


Meridian LMS 18.1 release highlights include:

Career Development:

Given the high cost of a bad hire, quality career development is a huge asset to a business. A new Career Development area allows learners to easily view and manage all aspects of their career development, both for success in their current positions and in search of future advancement. The new Career Management area allows managers and administrators to easily access tools to manage their teams. These improvements help complex organizations develop their employees, moving beyond compliance training and toward well-considered long-term career-focused learning paths.

Import of Rating Data:

Rating data can now be imported from another system, allowing this valuable information to be instantly accessed and leveraged as part of career development planning in the LMS. While most companies conduct some sort of job reviews, many do nothing with their rating data. Often, it sits unused in dusty talent management systems, completely divorced from plans for employee development and training. Now, this important data can be easily decoupled from talent management systems and added to the LMS, where it will serve a vital role in career management.

Too often, career management and development are bundled with bulky talent management and acquisition systems—expanded and efficient career development within Meridian LMS allows customers the freedom to dissociate these very different functions.

Enhanced Privacy & Compliance Features:

System owners now have access to new features to support the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) which are scheduled to take effect on May 25, 2018.  With these new features, system owners have more control over their privacy policy, requiring user consent prior to users storing their data, exporting learning data, and removing user’s personal data from the system if requested.

Architectural Improvements:

Significant improvements have been made to the underlying system architecture, including the creation of a new site map. This allows for consistent menus and breadcrumbs across the site, as well as more efficient navigation across devices.

Meridian LMS 18.1 is available April 28, 2018. For more information, contact your Meridian representative or go to

About Meridian Knowledge Solutions:

Meridian Knowledge Solutions, LLC, is a leading provider of enterprise, web-based learning management software. Meridian LMS is leveraged by organizations dedicated to building world-class learning enterprises. With over 7 million users worldwide, Meridian offers a flexible, best-of-breed learning management system that gives organizations and users alike a seamless, integrated experience, all while strengthening the bottom line. Meridian is headquartered in Reston, VA.

Meridian LMS 17.3 Release

Meridian Refines Framework, Features and Functionality, Enhancing Administrator and User Experience

Reston, Va. – Dec 1, 2017 – Meridian Knowledge Solutions, a leading cloud-based learning management system (LMS) provider, announced today the availability of Meridian LMSTM version 17.3. In this release five key areas received updates which provide better user experience for administrators and end-users. As an industry leader in the learning management system industry, Meridian LMS continuously strives to improve its core learning platform. Notable upgrades include easier usability and reduced time needed for LMS administrators and instructors with their LMS administration.


“We value our relationship with our core community users very seriously. Listening to their needs and engaging with them helps drive improvements to our platform roadmap.”

Geoff Perry,
Chief Product Officer

From ideation through implementation, Meridian is focused solely on learning. Meridian LMS provides deep functionality that meets the complex requirements of any organization, regardless of industry and deployment needs.

Meridian LMS 17.3 release
 highlights include:


Training Assignments:

Training Assignments, formerly Required Training, received significant updates to the workflow of assigning content to users. Multiple content items can now be assigned to multiple entity types (users, orgs, groups, jobs, etc.).  Scheduling due dates and allowing for past completions is now easier.  Training assignments can be saved in draft mode prior to assigning them to users.

Section Management:

Improvements to classroom search and action section management allow easier and more intuitive management of course sections. Improvements include easier administrator search, changes to the section details tab, updates to section enrollment, and more efficient navigation between section details and instructor tools.

Next Generation Surveys:

Survey creation, management, UI and reporting have been revamped to existing surveys. Surveys now include branching type questions and provide better analytics.


Conduct custom messaging using a web-enabled resource (URL) and removes the need for resource-expensive polling, slow-and-bulky scheduled exports, or product extensions. Administrators can use information pushed by Webhooks to automate reports and flag critical learning events in their applications.

Microsoft Azure Active Directory AD Support:

Meridian LMS now supports user provisioning and Single Sign-On (SSO) authentication from Azure AD. Administrators can access user access with Microsoft applications like Office 365.  New group provisioning and user group membership capabilities facilitate the use of bulk training assignments.

“Our 17.3 release focuses on refining usability for power users. The Meridian survey engine received a complete facelift. Functional improvements were added to training assignments and classroom section management. We also added two new powerful integrations that will enable LMS administrators to customize and automate eLearning processes.”

Geoff Perry,
Chief Product Officer

Meridian LMS 17.3 is available December 1, 2017.

About Meridian Knowledge Solutions:
Meridian Knowledge Solutions, LLC, is a leading provider of enterprise, web-based learning management software. Meridian LMS is leveraged by organizations dedicated to building world-class learning enterprises. With over 7 million users worldwide, Meridian offers a flexible, best-of-breed learning management system that gives organizations and users alike a seamless, integrated experience, all while strengthening the bottom line. Meridian is headquartered in Reston, VA.


The Gamification of Me

I Am a Gamer

Not so much a first-person shooter or spell casting, type of gamer but more of the Poké Ball throwing type of gamer. And actually, if I pause Pokémon GO and ponder… gamification has made its way into just about every level of my life!

Let me explain:

  • Each morning I buy my Starbucks coffee on an app that rewards my loyalty with digital stars. On top of that my coffee app is linked to a credit card which is garnering me frequent flyer miles. Win/Win!
  • Throughout the day, I “like,” “heart” and “swipe right” on people and ideas that appeal to me.
  • I hustle to out step my friends and close “activity rings” on my Apple Watch.
  • After I log my food into a popular gamified nutrition app, lunchtime is spent learning Spanish on an app that rewards me with access to the next bite-sized lesson on the correct Spanish for food, family and animals. Comida, familia y animales.

The lines between my reality and Tron are getting a bit blurry.

Wikipedia explains what’s happening to me in this way, “Gamification is the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts.”[1]

Gamification: A Practice Ahead of Its Name

The business world adopted gamification long before the word had been coined. Game play has been present in marketing and sales for years. I recall childhood shopping trips with my grandmother to the local A&P. At the cash register, clattering stamp machines spat out S&H Green Stamps which she would collect into special booklets and then redeem for prizes.

A few years later I fell for McDonald’s very popular spin on the Monopoly game which launched sometime in the 1980’s and has been often repeated.

In their book Changing the Game, David Edery and Ethan Mollick observe, “Companies of all shapes and sizes have begun to use games to revolutionize the way they interact with customers and employees, becoming more competitive and more profitable as a result.”

Now, even training and learning have rolled the proverbial dice. Immersive digital games have been developed by fast food chains to teach skills like, order fulfillment with employees trying to beat the clock while they build digital burgers to order.

So, does it work? Great question!

Let’s look at 2 primary goals of gamification. Gamification is often used to drive engagement and/or affect a behavior.

We’ll just take those two and use me as the anecdotal “test case.”

As I sheepishly mentioned earlier, gamification has affected my approach to how I engage in my social life. Its application within loyalty programs has influenced my spending habits. Gamification has challenged my eating habits, but it has improved my exercise habits. And, gamification has encouraged my learning habits. Sí, hablo español.

I’m Exhibit A. I am both highly engaged in and I am altering my behavior as a response to these “games.”

Gamification for Good

Additionally, marquee brands are continuing to gamify their way to customer engagement, profits and even altruism.

As a part of the launch of Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World Resort, the entertainment giant teamed with its philanthropic arm to produce the interactive game, Connect to Protect. Through a custom app, visitors to fictional Pandora, can participate in conversations on conservation with one of Pandora’s “research scientists.” Guest participation unlocks $5-10 contributions from the Disney Wildlife Fund which the guest can then designate towards protection and/or restoration of habitats important to one of 10 threatened categories of animals: apes, elephants, butterflies, coral reefs, cranes, monkeys, rhinos, sea turtles, sharks & rays, and tigers.[2] The game drives altruism on both a financial/charitable level and by driving environmental consciousness.

Less immersive game elements or “game mechanics” like points, badges, certificates and leaderboards have now integrated their way into learning management platforms like, Meridian Global LMS. These gamification features provide organizations a more economical method to effectively tap into the power of gamification than say, the financial requirement that fully immersive, complex digital games do.

Making Sure Yours Is Not a Game of Chance

Rock Paper Scissors is a great game for deciding where to go for lunch but it’s not the best way to approach game design inside your LMS. Here are 6 steps for success to consider when incorporating gamification within the context of a learning management system:

6 Steps to Winning Gamification

  1. Define Your Objective: Gamification works best when designed to support a defined learning objective. Having that objective support a stated business goal is even better. Be careful not to fall into gamification for gamification’s sake.
  2. Identify Learning Activities: Select the courses that help learners master the skills they need to reach that well-defined objective/business goal.
  3. Incorporate Culture: To get employee buy in or participation, tap into your tribe. Gamification that references a culture that employees are already familiar and aligned with will resonate more deeply with your employees.
  4. K.I.S.S. (Keep It Super Simple): Incorporate common game elements. Develop “rules of play” that are easy to understand. Scoring can be based on points, milestones or a combination of both. “By 21 years of age, many males will have spent over 10,000 hours immersed in online gaming.” McGonigal, Reality is Broken. People understand leaderboards, points, levels and badges. We have been conditioned from childhood to instinctively respond to challenges and rewards they promise. A simple straightforward game makes adoption easier for the player and makes game management a breeze for the administrator.
  5. Time Limited: Set a start and end date for the game. Just like those 50% off specials with an expiration date… we hate to miss out.
  6. Reward: Game play can be positively motivated both intrinsically and extrinsically. Intrinsically, I am motivated because I am bettering myself. Extrinsically, I am motivated and there is nothing quite as exciting as playing for points, certificates or that grand prize! Psychological, digital or physical, we enjoy the feeling when we gain something. Make a case for intrinsic rewards for playing but don’t forget to pick up that grand prize!


Now for YOUR grand prize…

Download our fun infographic:
6 Steps to Winning Gamification!

And follow Meridian on LinkedIn for more exciting content on modern learning the Meridian way.


[1] Gamification

[2] ‘Connect to Protect’ Introduces a New Interactive Way to Protect Animals on Earth and Explore Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

What’s New in Meridian Global LMS 17.2

The 2017 Summer Release of Meridian Global LMS adds seamless integration with OpenSesame’s eLearning Marketplace, exciting new gamification capabilities and effortless efficiency advancements.


Reston, Va. – June 24, 2017 – Meridian Knowledge Solutions, a leading learning management system (LMS) provider, today announced the availability of Meridian Global LMS® version 17.2. With the newest release of its flagship learning management product, Meridian makes the jobs of LMS administrators and instructors easier.

Meridian Global LMS 17.2 streamlines the way users find and manage content, giving learners access to more items from the learning catalog, and providing a tool for increasing user engagement.

“Providing a great experience for administrators and instructors is just as important as it is for learners.  In this release, we’ve introduced more tools to allow administrators to grow and manage their learning catalog and increase engagement with learners.”

— Geoff Perry, Chief Product Officer

Meridian Global LMS® 17.2 release includes:

Navigation Enhancements: Navigate with confidence. Meridian Global 17.2 delivers an improved navigation experience, allowing easier, more direct ways to access necessary functionality.

  • Streamlined Navigation
  • Quick Create for Learning Content: Meridian added a universal content create button to the navigation bar, allowing for quick creation of content from anywhere in the system.
  • Edit from catalog details: Content administrators can now jump directly to editing a content item from its catalog details page.
  • Enhanced Predictive Search: Predictive search results now display below the search field and include both the title of the item and its content type.

Classroom Section Updates: Designed with Administrators and Instructors in mind, classroom section updates improve frequently used workflows, easing the burden on your time and resources.

  • Easy-print roster: A printable sign-in sheet that can also be exported to Excel has been added to classroom courses.
  • Information repository for course notes and files: Administrators and instructors can now add files and notes to classroom section details that can be shared between authorized users.
  • Completion Codes: Users can now indicate they have enrolled in, attended, and completed a course, all in one step.
  • Time zones in Section Management: When authorized users create, or edit a classroom course section, they now have the option to associated a time zone with course section start and end times.

Extended Permission Scope

Let your LMS work for you with extended permission scope. Administrators can more effectively delegate administration and increase a user’s influence in the system.

Administrators now have the option to assign individual “scope of control” permissions to users, allowing for more specificity in designating which users a particular administrator can see in Manage Users and Manage Enrollment.


Meridian Global 17.2 delivers a new tool, Gamification, designed to spark user engagement and motivation – Administrators have the configurable option to assign points to content items and create badges to be awarded to users based on point accumulation. There is also an optional leaderboard, allowing users to view their progress as well as that of their colleagues.

OpenSesame Integration

The OpenSesame eLearning Marketplace is now integrated with the Meridian Global Learning Management System, making it easier than ever to build your library of online content. Choose from more than 20,000 courses in a variety disciplines and expand your users’ professional skills in a seamless, comprehensive learning experience.

Find the courses you want, choose the number of seats you need, and let Meridian Global LMS import the courses for you. No more uploading courses one at a time.

OpenSesame Integration Highlights:

  • Seamless integration with Meridian Global Learning Management System
  • Access to a library of more than 20,000 carefully curated, professional development courses
  • Choose the courses and number of seats to meet your training goals
  • Maintain complete control over learner access to content
  • OpenSesame courses are automatically added to existing Meridian LMS™ course catalog
  • Single sign-on purchasing and synchronization of content


Meridian’s 17.2 release is available on June 24, 2017.

Request a live demo of Meridian Global LMS.


About Meridian Knowledge Solutions:

Meridian Knowledge Solutions, LLC, is the leading provider of enterprise, web-based learning management software. Meridian’s powerful yet easy-to-use solutions are leveraged by organizations dedicated to building world-class learning enterprises inspired and focused on delivering exceptional results. With over 7 million users worldwide, Meridian offers a flexible, best-of-breed learning management system that gives organizations and users alike a seamless, integrated experience, all while strengthening the bottom line. The company is headquartered in Reston, VA.


The Anatomy of a Great RFP Requirement

When I’m not giving demos or travelling to tradeshows to meet potential and existing clients, I spend the majority of each day evaluating client RFPs and RFP requirements to determine if our product and solution provide a good fit for your various business needs.


After doing this for a decade, I estimate I have evaluated almost 100,000 written requirements from clients across approximately 750 proposals.


Accordingly, I can speak with professional expertise that there are generally three types of RFP requirements… the good, the bad and the ugly.


The Good—A good requirement is a single question or statement clearly organized into the context of the surrounding requirements placed in a clearly defined section of the RFP.  Good requirements are easy to respond to, clear and concise, and are logically presented in the context of the surrounding requirements. For example, reporting requirements are presented with other reporting requirements, for instance.  Good requirements allow your potential vendors to best present their solution while still giving you an apples-to-apples comparison.


  1. Example: Do you support classroom course scheduling?  Please describe these tools with brief narrative and screen captures where applicable. 

This requirement is clear, concise, and provides detailed instructions on the preferred response format. 


The Bad—A bad requirement is often multiple, non-related questions laced into a single requirement.  Some of the questions might apply to the context of the surrounding requirements but outliers often tend to sneak in and muddy the waters.  Two part and even three part questions are okay and even expected.  However, LMS buyers should be aware that increasing the complexity of requirements can often lead to responses that may address all elements of the requirement in a compliant manner, but are ultimately non-responsive in nature.  It is tough to answer reporting, hosting, and customer support questions in a single response with clarity.   Instead of the details you were hoping for, you will instead receive generalizations and high-level information.


  1. Example: Please describe your reporting tools, company mission statement, compliance capabilities, and provide a disaster recovery plan. 

This requirement goes in four different directions and is vague.  Instead of getting the details you seek in this type of requirement, you will get four general statements on the various aspects of the requirement without any real detail or compelling information. 


The Ugly—Ugly requirements generally fall into one of three categories.


  1. The first type of Ugly requirement is one that is not clear and does not make sense or one is that repeated multiple times throughout the RFP. Typos are forgivable and understandable.  I often see client requirements repeated multiple times throughout the document.  These force respondents to either be redundant or to ask the RFP evaluator to jump back to previous responses in the proposal. Keep in mind that redundant requirements make a proposal more difficult to evaluate.
  • Example 1: We want to use reporting to drive eCommerce and tie into classroom courses.  This requirement does not make sense and would force respondents to seek clarification.


  1. The second are requirements from industries like manufacturing that sneak their way into software RFPs from existing company templates. These requirements are just not relevant to a software purchase and should be removed from your RFP template prior to distribution to potential vendors.
  • Example 2: Please describe your warehouse security. This is not relevant to software vendors as they do not warehouse physical products.  


  1. The third type of ugly requirement is one that is best demonstrated in a live presentation of the software. Vendors understand that often an RFP is unavoidable, we also understand that the best place for our product to shine is in the demos.
  • Example 3: Please show us the procedure for an end user to access the LMS, register for a course, and check their compliance. This seems like an innocuous requirement but screen captures can be edited and selectively chosen to make processes and elements of the system seem easier than they really are.  Workflows, uses cases, user scenarios, etc. are all best left to the demonstration phase of the procurement. 


At this point, careful readers have noted that I have promised the anatomy of a great RFP requirement, yet we have only discussed the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.  So, what makes a Great RFP requirement?


The answer is, one that eliminates all but the most capable vendors in a manner that keeps the process efficient and illuminating for the evaluators.


Most RFPs contain 3-5 minimum and critical requirements that will disqualify any vendor that cannot meet them. These are often referred to as “must haves” or “minimum requirements” and allow vendors to make easy go/no-go decisions while also ensuring the client is not flooded with bids from unqualified vendors.  These requirements are your critical ones, the requirements that determine if you will move forward or not.  They are often hot button issues driven from either your client base of employees or customers or from a lack of features with the incumbent vendor solution.


Forgive me for trotting out this old cliché, but time is money and evaluating and responding to RFPs takes a lot of both. The more upfront you are about your mission critical requirements, the easier you will be able to identify the right vendor for your business. Smart unqualified vendors will disqualify themselves before you must if they are given the information they need in the RFP to make an educated decision.


Example:  We must have single sign on with SAML 2.0 or other industry standard authentication scheme.  Our current solution does not support this and it is critical to our future eLearning initiatives.  Vendors who cannot meet this requirement will be disqualified from the bid process and their RFP will not be considered for evaluation.


Example:  We use WebEx to deliver virtual classroom training.  Please describe your support for this tool.  Vendors with a built in WebEx integration will receive preference during evaluation.


A Great RFP requirement then meets all the characteristics of a “good” requirement as it is clear, concise, and easy to respond to while also giving vendors the information they need on which requirements are your most critical.


Get off to a great start in your search for a learning management system with Meridian’s best practice LMS RFP template.

Download Meridian’s best practice RFP template now.

Learning: Keep it short, small and sweet!

Recently I’ve been thinking of a famous quote popularly attributed to Mark Twain and the French mathematician Blaise Pascal, which states: “I’m sorry I wrote you such a long letter; I didn’t have time to write a short one.”


While many historians doubt the veracity of the quote, it has been employed to illustrate why “bigger” doesn’t necessarily equal “better” in many contexts. Training and development are no exceptions! An emphasis on small forces our learning content to only be the most relevant, the most actionable and the most targeted to the learner. In addition, the small commitment of time entices more learners to actually take the learning, which is especially important as the industry moves towards facilitating more pull–based, rather than push-based learning.  Small tip: Provide that short length of time upfront to entice learners to commit.


Learning goes Micro

A few weeks ago I attended the fantastic 2016 ATD conference and Microlearning generated significant buzz during the event. Microlearning is exactly what it sounds, learning broken up into smaller segments. These bite sized pieces of content should be kept short, visual, and simple. Ideally, they can be coupled with “learning challenges” where learners are given very specific problems to solve with clear desired outcomes. The interplay between these small bits of actionable learning, reinforced by small bits of usage, thus minimizing the time between learning and applying, can help learners more fully internalize their newly acquired skills and knowledge. With research from Robert Brinkerhoff concluding that 20% of learners never try to apply new skills back on the job, and an astounding 65% tried applying their new skills but reverted back to their pre-existing modes of operation, it’s more critical than ever to focus on learning retention and skill usage. Oh, and when it comes to mobile learning, the importance of small bits of learning are doubly true.


Small bits of collaboration with instructor led training

Live classroom training is a great opportunity to engage in small bits of social and collaborative exercises between students, instead of focusing excessively on traditional lectures. The lessons of “small” can apply here as well, especially in classes with large numbers of students. Short collaborative exercises can be a great way to reinforce the traditional lecture based learning in a classroom.


Some applicable ideas include:

  • Split into small groups of 5-8 people
  • As an icebreaker, everyone does a 7 second intro
  • Or better yet, everyone describes how they feel in 1 word
  • 5 in 5 – Group comes up with 5 ideas in 5 minutes
  • Provide all students with a job aide. Keep it small. One page max. Better yet, how about an index card?
  • Have students write a 140 character review of the course on their most important takeway

Small Data

With all the hype these days on big data, some thought leaders in the learning analytics space have advised the opposite; find a few key performance indicators that measure business outcomes and learning input and don’t obsess over complexity or quantity.  Relevancy is what’s most important. Think about simple heuristics and rules of thumb that can track your training investments and learner competencies that you can output from a learning management system (LMS). Map those investments to a few relevant business outcomes. While complex data and business integration (BI) tools have their place, plenty of important metrics can be captured using a simple Excel sheet.


When it comes to learning, keep it short, keep it small and keep it sweet. If you follow this framework, you’ll likely see more engagement and knowledge retention from your learners! That’s what we all want, after all.