Components of a learning management system
Nurture Marketing Specialist at Kineo APAC
Learning management systems (LMS’) have been in the market for over twenty years and are now incredibly sophisticated. Not only does an LMS deliver elearning training programs, it can also provide the tools to document, track and report learning activities and learning progress.
This much we know
Designed to identify training and learning gaps through analytical data and reporting tools, an LMS also supports a wider variety of uses such as providing a repository of online content, including courses. Learning content covers both asynchronous based (learners complete training in their own time) and synchronous (fixed schedule learning).
For you to be able to achieve a high performing organisational learning program you'll need to undertake some basic research. We understand that it’s a minefield out there and it’s a challenge even knowing where to start! Therefore, the team at Kineo is here to help you find the perfect learning platform for your requirements - a solution that is scalable so you're prepared for the future too. So with our learning and technology expertise we have cut through the noise and simplified each of the key components that make up a learning management system, and more!
Whatever the size or nature of your business, an LMS that delivers a great learning experience will help you measure results. An LMS benefits your learners and your business, positively affecting your bottom line. Whether you are looking for hosting, an upgrade, troubleshooting, security or your first LMS, we’re here to help.
To make your LMS drive the results you need what nuts and bolts will you choose?
Assign users to specific user groups
Permission based access will ensure each work group is seeing their assigned training and related resources. Keeping things simple will make for a better learning experience.
Brand your LMS
Build advocacy with your learners by creating a branded learning experience. This should be available on sign in and multiple group levels thereafter. A branded LMS also helps keep consistency across your company’s online training presence.
Blended Learning Capabilities
Online training is the focus of an LMS, it should also be able to record instructor-led and role specific training. Examples include online registrations for face to face led training, along with automated learner notifications (i.e. email and text)
Variety is key to bolstering engagement and performance. Your LMS should facilitate capability for storing audio files, badges and certificates, quizzes, slideshows surveys and video content.
Features like Single-sign-on (SSO) will allow learners to access the LMS with the same credentials they use for other software (Passpack is a good example of SSO). Social learning complements our highly social media prevalent lives and an LMS that incorporates social platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn will be attractive to your users.
Closely related to an LMS, an LXP (Learning Experience Platform) is a user-led learning platform. Rather than an LMS where the platform and learning content is led by the organisation an LXP is designed for a premium engaging experience for the learner. With personalised content to maximise a heightened learning journey, for long term learning as well as role based learning an LXP is recommended for those that have already experienced an LMS
On learning management systems, Josh Bersin, HR and learning analyst expert has said:
“LMS systems were never designed to be employee-centric. They were developed as “Management” systems for learning, focused on business rules, compliance, and catalog management for courses.”
The LXP has a Netflix styled content delivery system dashboard, making modern learning content easy to navigate and consume. If you’d like to understand more about the LXP model, read ‘From LXPs to adaptive learning, how are organisations using platforms and technology to adapt learning to the user?’
At the very least your LMS should be mobile-responsive to reflect the screen size of the device being used to access the learning. On the whole learners want the versatility to be able to access their learning wherever they want, on whatever device they want and at any time.
A flexible, clear, honest and concise pricing structure attracts the buyers. Options should be available, such as:
- Monthly or annual based user subscription
- A set license for a set period, normally 2-3 years
- A fixed limit on numbers of users or learning library content
- Cost per learner
- Volume based discount for tens, hundreds or thousands of users
Extensive research is a must to identify hidden charges or extra charges on exceeding the limit and the cancellation policy as well before you finalise any LMS.
Tracking performance is the key to the success of your learning program. It will also justify your bang for buck as it's a significant investment. The reporting component of an LMS allows you to demonstrate return on investment (ROI) to the senior leadership team in addition to showing learning progress and resulting behavioural changes in your users. To be able to map out future direction is also a much needed item on your shopping list.
The reporting function wants to be multi faceted and intuitive. Your results should be clear and easy to analyse, showing where your learners need to upskill next. Schedule regular automated reports to be sent to your email
A simple, modern dashboard that engages your learner with easy navigation and 24/7
Support is a must.
Ongoing software improvements
An LMS needs to adapt with changing business needs and learner preferences. Industry trends and compliance is a key consideration. Ensure that your LMS can adapt and won’t become out of date. Your LMS should have many small updates scheduled regularly, this makes the learner knowledge acquisition more manageable and the software protected from bugs.
The acronym SCORM “Shareable Content Object Reference Model” defines how to create “shareable content objects” that can be reused. It is a model that creates units of online training that can be shared across many learning management systems. SCORM learning content can be digitally delivered to the user quickly and efficiently and your chosen LMS should be “best of breed” SCORM compliant as standard.
Survey tools are often neglected and gathering pre-training assessments, post-training evaluations, and training feedback as a whole can help significantly improve training effectiveness.
In a modern LMS, this survey tool should be integrated into the system, and administrators should be able to quickly create reports based on the collected data.
Easy and user-driven navigation is important with a dashboard to highlight key information users want to refer to and access from. It should be simple, fresh and focused towards the individual learner, based on their learning journey priorities and preferences.
Known as the new SCORM, xAPI replaced SCORM as the new elearning standard. “Experience API” is a software specification that allows elearning software to speak with other pieces of software - most notably databases. It has more capabilities than SCORM and can track a variety of learning, including along with learning that is taking place outside of the LMS. For more detailed information on xAPI, it’s uses and relevance including how it differs from SCORM read 'Top 4 questions about xAPI.'
If you’d like to talk to us about your LMS requirements, or you have a query we’re here to help. The team would welcome the opportunity to assist you on the path to solving your learning challenges now and into the future.