LMS - Proven Tips for Effective Usage
It is common knowledge that Learning Management Systems (LMSs) are critical to design, create, implement and oversee training programs effectively. Radical developments in technology have dramatically transformed the role of LMSs. Today, these systems can do much more than mere hosting of courses and tracking their completion. Let us now see the capabilities of a modern LMS.
Flexible modular systems
The present day LMSs are modular and support diverse services and are not tied to any one platform. This facilitates your LMS to work with other systems in a seamless manner and allows companies to alter learning paths, as needed.
Affordable learning solutions
Today's LMSs offer low cost solutions to manage your training effectively. Most of the expenditure on an LMS is incurred on account of:
- Licensing fees
- Hosting the courses
- Administration and vendor support
There is a growing trend of using open-source LMSs such as Moodle as there are no licensing costs. The money thus conserved can be utilized to optimize expenditure on learner support.
Modern LMSs such as Moodle can be customized in such a way that it is easy for administrators to manage and learners to use. The pattern in which the folders in an LMS are organized can be made very user-friendly and standardized across the company. The need for imparting comprehensive training to your staff on your LMS needs no over-emphasis. This will ensure a hassle-free usage of your LMS.
Effective ramp-up of capabilities
As you expand your operations, there will be a hike in the number of learners and courses. You also need a larger space to accommodate your data. Today's LMSs are highly scalable and can be used to effectively meet your ever-evolving training needs.
We have seen the capabilities of a modern LMS. It is now time to look at some important aspects that you need to focus on to make the most out of a Learning Management System.
Plan meticulously before you zero-in on an LMS
As with any other organizational activity, proper prior planning is the key to the selection of the right LMS that meets your needs effectively. It is advisable to document your needs comprehensively. A group comprising of LMS administrators and learners need to extensively deliberate the features that they require and finalize the capabilities they want. You can then evaluate various LMSs on the basis of these capabilities. Clarity on what you want will help you select an LMS that meets your learning needs.
See that your LMS supports multi-lingual courses
Staying on with the selection of an LMS, it is important to ensure that your LMS supports training in various languages. Globalization is the order of the day and as companies foray overseas, it becomes necessary to train multi-lingual workforces. This task can be accomplished effectively through an LMS that supports training in the native languages of your people. For instance, Moodle helps you impart training in more than 200 languages.
It is important to enable the multi-lingual feature of your LMS because:
- Your people will have the opportunity to change their language of learning at any point. The interface of the LMS will appear in the language of your learner's choice and this will go a long way in helping him efficiently use the system.
- Learners can receive e-mails in their native languages.
- Learners who have Semitic languages such as Arabic-and Hebrew-as their mother-tongue can sometimes face problems in understanding the instructions on using the LMS. This problem can be overcome by "making the LMS" multilingual.
- Whenever a learner uses the LMS, the language preferred by that learner can be made the default language of the LMS.
- You can use quizzes, receive feedback and publish certificates in various languages without the need of course authoring software.
Enhance performance through job-aids
You can use your LMS to provide job-aids to your people that are very useful to enhance the performance of your staff. You can use the LMS to share PDF files, MS-word documents, and presentations prepared using MS-PowerPoint. You can also include the recordings of web-conferences in these systems.
Provide a course catalog
It is highly recommended that you provide a catalog of courses in your LMS. This is useful to your learners as it allows them to find the courses relevant to them, employing key words. The catalog needs to be created based on your learner needs and must have an intuitive interface.
Most Learning Management Systems enable customization of their built-in catalogs. You can also build one afresh, if the customizations do not fully satisfy your needs.
Have a dedicated team for managing your LMS
In most cases, LMSs are administered by staff that needs to perform other duties as well. This may result in delays in answering learner questions and sometimes they may not even be answered. This may result in user-frustration. To avoid this problem, companies need to employ personnel whose only job is to maintain their LMSs.
It is essential that this group of persons, who work exclusively on your LMS, efficiently answer questions raised by users about logging into the LMS, registering for and receiving allocation of courses, etc. It also has to track the courses on the LMS regularly.
A major reason why several learners are not satisfied with their Learning Management System is the absence of proper and prompt service. We observed that the staff of clients, who have recruited separate personnel to manage their LMS, have performed better.
Market the benefits of your LMS to your staff
As with any product, the advantages of your Learning Management System have to be marketed effectively. The users of the LMS such as administrators, people in-charge of course quality, line managers and learners need to be made aware of the benefits of using the LMS.
By providing useful news and tips at regular intervals, you can sustain the interest of your people in the LMS and increase the "number of visits" to the system. This will also help them keep themselves abreast of latest training opportunities.
It is very important to ensure that the content in your LMS is not static. You may promote new courses, hosted on the system, by drawing attention of the learners as to how they could profit from taking these courses.
Use multiple LMSs for enhanced efficiency and security
Organizations conduct various training programs. These could be programs intended for sales and marketing staff or people working in the human resource management department. Firms may also conduct training to ensure complaisance to laws and procedures stipulated by concerned regulatory authorities. Companies may also impart training on ERP systems and other software. There are also various kinds of audiences - new staff and members of the extended enterprise such as suppliers, consumers, partners in the supply chain such as resellers and distributors.
You can use your LMS to structure and classify programs for various kinds of audiences. You can also customize themes and other settings to suit the needs of specific learners.
You can also ensure the safety of your confidential information by using a separate LMS for training the people of your extended enterprise, who are outside the purview of your organization. Many companies are using highly affordable yet powerful LMSs such as Moodle to train the external stakeholders.
Thus, you can use your LMS efficiently to meet your training needs effectively. What do you think? We'd love to hear your views.