Learning Management Systems (LMS) – Is it required and what should it have?
Why is LMS required for an organization?
LMS or learning management systems are one of the driving factors of organizations, as they signify development of an individual and when an employee gains something more, the organization benefits.
In the developing times, people need to get updated with their skills in order stay parallel. If any new technology or skill is useful to the organization and also to self, it has to be learned, or else, the person can lag behind and become outdated. While working 8-9 hours in office, it is not possible to learn a new skill on our own by taking out extra time, pertaining to the work hours. Therefore, companies help them learning a new skill or technology by arranging seminars or tours. But this option was proving costly and not much feasible to them
Therefore, companies nowadays have started employing the LMS which is a multitasking platform wherein learning, documentation, monitoring, reporting and grading; everything on the same platform can be undertaken.
Features which define any LMS
1. Ease of use
Only if the LMS is easy to use for the employees, will it prove useful. Or else, time would just get wasted in making everyone familiar with the functionalities and the other settings offered. Even the best one would prove useless, if no one knows how to handle it and use all its features. To avoid this hassle, always the product features should be checked.
Opting for a trial is also one of the methods to know the working of the LMS and the features should be checked out, from the learner’s , as well as, from the admin’s point of view.
For a learner, it should be easy to login, access and get started with learning as soon as possible.
Whereas for an admin, the configuration and monitoring part should be easily accessible and the process flow of assigning, training, scheduling, tracking and reporting part should be clear.
2. Data Migration from an existing LMS
If the organization is already using a LMS, the training data in it has to be transferred into the new system to start learning. A perfect LMS would also have this flexibility and would support the process.
3. Robustness and Load capacity
Training data for an organization would be having a huge amount of data which needs to run simultaneously without any lag or errors in each and every system for a large number of employees. Hence, this should be thoroughly checked in the trial, by logging in simultaneously in multiple systems, whether it runs smoothly or crashes or displays any other system failure. If there is an issue, some other LMS can be employed then.
4. Engaging UI
An engaging UI would help to make the learning experience better, as people love to read interesting matter if presented in an interactive and attractive manner. The learning should be enjoyable and not irritable, thus features like dashboards, menu navigation and other such features need to be intuitive.
5. Customized Reports for trainees
An organization consists of multiple users learning different skills on the same platform. They all would be on different levels of learning and depending upon the skill they are working, the grasping power would vary. Thus, the trainers would be creating different kinds of reports for the various trainees and this feature should be present in the LMS, other than the in-built reports provided by the vendor.
6. Matching the organization’s level
Anything for the organization represents its name and brand. Hence, the LMS should be such that, it reflects the organizations working and values. The LMS should have the feature of including the company’s name, its logo, colour scheme and some other customizable features, so that it displays the LMS as part of it and comes out as a brand to everyone.
7. Availability on all Platforms
In the time of tablets and phones, it becomes necessary that these learning programs are available on all platforms, so that people can access it whenever they want. One of the features is the offline access, which would prove to be useful to all, as people would be able to access the data whenever and wherever they want.
8. Rewards and Awards
Who doesn’t like gifts and awards?!!
Everyone likes, when they get rewarded for doing something. If features like assignments, projects and rewards are kept, for any module completed or correct answer to the quiz, employees would feel motivated and try to learn more. In order to build a healthy competition, rewards and awards can be kept for the people who complete it fast, they can earn points and get badges, gain more points etc. Electronic certificates for the employees, who completed their course on time or before time, can be kept.
9. Social Media Support
In the world of staying online and live streaming, social media is one of the factors that would prove motivating so that the employees can share their experiences and can also discuss with other people using the same LMS. Corporate eLearning blogs and social media groups allow corporate learners to interact with their peers directly, as well as tracking tools that help monitor learner engagement and participation.
10. Support Functionality
There would certainly be requirement of support from the vendors, in case of any doubt. Thus, it becomes necessary to check, whether it is provided and if they can be contacted via email, phone, online chat or any other method.
How to select the perfect LMS?
As the requirement of LMS has increased in the recent years, owing to its extensive features, a question arises as to how to select the perfect one suiting all requirements. As there are many vendors around selling all kinds of LMSs, the following steps can be taken to select the perfect one:
Prioritize the features required for the organization.
Take a note of the number of people who would be using, the trainer, how many batches will they be divided into etc.
A request can be sent to the vendors requesting them to inform about the features, plans, pricing scheme for the LMS to get a proper idea. This list can be then compared and filtered.
Reading reviews of the organizations that have already used them, which provides more information.
Millennials are more tech-savvy than any generation before them. With millions of them entering higher learning institutions and the workforce, the growth of eLearning isn’t slowing down anytime soon. An LMS can help your educational methods to remain relevant and appealing as consumer expectations change. This list is a great place to start your search. For best results, however, it’s best to assess your business’s unique needs and expectations to select the best LMS to get the job done.