Why Do You Need a Dedicated LMS Administration Team?
Are your user registrations disappointing? And even among those you did register, barely 30% actually complete the courses? If your answers to these questions is a 'yes', you are not alone. Many training managers, stakeholders or SMEs are quite disappointed with the response to the online courses hosted on their Learning Management System (LMS). So much so, that they have to answer tough questions from the management about the prudence in making the investment on the LMS as well as the courses.
What is the actual reason for low numbers of registrations or completions for courses on the LMS?
It may surprise you to know that very often the LMS or the courses as such are not the culprits. It is the way LMS is managed or administered that could be the reason for poor response to eLearning courses. CommLab's team provides LMS support to one if its clients and they analyzed some of the typical reasons for low registrations to courses on the LMS. Let me share them with you.
Delayed or no response to support queries:When CommLab’s team studied the support queries that are normally received, they noticed that about 58% of the support requests come from learners. Therefore, they form a crucial group who could change the way LMS is perceived throughout the organization. The statistics could be very similar within your organization as well.
What are the typical support requests from users? They are usually very simple login issues where users
- are unclear about how to login to their accounts
- are not able to access the login page
- cannot remember their username or password
- have their account disabled and need to get it activated
- get password errors
All these issues are very minor and an administrator can resolve them in a matter of minutes…provided there is a dedicated administrator who responds to these queries on time. Unfortunately, administrators are also responsible for other activities in the organization and very often LMS administration is not their primary responsibility. As a result, what happens is that users get frustrated on not receiving an immediate response to their queries and gradually lose interest in pursuing it. Therefore, it is important that users get 24 x 7 support to their LMS queries.
- No messages or updates sent to learners:Users may not be in the habit of logging into their account on the LMS on a regular basis. When there is a new course that has been uploaded and a fixed number of users have been assigned the course, they need to be informed about the same. But, that is not all. An ad hoc email will not do the trick. There needs to be a follow up in case there is no response to the earlier announcement. Someone needs to understand what the problem is and try and resolve it. Who will do it? Only a dedicated person responsible for handling LMS administration will have the time to send regular updates and follow up emails. After all, learning may not be the first priority for busy employees who have other priorities and deadlines. They need to be gently reminded periodically about the need to complete their courses as well.
- Information and courses on the LMS are outdated and not updated:Sometimes, courses on the LMS are outdated or are not categorized properly so that they are found easily by learners. It is important that courses are regularly evaluated to access their relevance and useful to learners. A manager or an SME is of course the right person to judge that but who will follow up with them? If there is a dedicated LMS administrator, he might be able to set up a routine to evaluate and assess relevance of courses. There are several reports that can be generated through the LMS that can give valuable inputs about courses and their popularity with learners. Based on the information, one could check out the courses that are least popular or least taken and understand the possible reasons for it.
It is for these above reasons that one needs to have a dedicated LMS administration team which can monitor, manage and maintain the Learning Management System on a day to day basis. They would provide invaluable support to learners, administrators, SMEs and managers, who will be able to carry their individual responsibilities with considerable ease.
Myths about LMS administration
Having established why you need a dedicated LMS administration, let me also share some of the myths that surround it.
Install it and forget it. There are lots of myths surrounding the LMS administration. One of the popular perception is that by installing an LMS and getting courses uploaded, the job is done. Unfortunately LMS installation is just the beginning of the training activity and its success depends on its efficient administration. You need to manage and maintain it on a regular basis just like any other piece of machinery. This software machinery is merely a technology platform. How you use it shapes its destiny.
It can do it all including talent management. While technically, it is possible to include talent management system in the LMS, it is not advisable. It is best to separate the two as they do serve different purposes and combining them both might do disservice to both.
Better to keep all the default features that LMS provides. Nothing can be more catastrophic than this. Each organization has unique requirements. Default features are provided for generic purposes as one does not know which ones are relevant to a particular organization. There is no need to enable or purchase all the features provided by the LMS. Internal training team and stakeholders need to be involved right from the time of LMS negotiations to chalk out a configuration that best caters to your organizational needs.
Internal team can squeeze in some time to handle LMS chores. This is another popular misconception. Unless you have a dedicated internal team which can exclusively devote time for LMS management, you will not be able to flesh out the investment made. If it is not possible to involve or engage a dedicated team internally, it is best to hire external vendors who are experts in providing such a service.
Here is an infographic that depicts this lucidly.
Different Support Levels that Administration team can provide
Our Director, technology has prepared a video where he shares information about different levels of support that can be provided to users of LMS. Check out the video below.
As you have seen, LMS administration plays a crucial role in the success of LMS investment and training initiatives in the organization. Therefore, it is important for organizations to ensure they have a dedicated team to look after its functions on a day to day basis. In the absence of such as resource, they could consider hiring external vendors to fill in the vacuum, so that work does not suffer. Hope you find this article informative. Do share your views.