Learning management systems are increasingly becoming the go-to method for both training new employees and sharpening the skills of existing team members. What was once a small niche industry is exploding in popularity, with new players entering the field on a consistent basis. But how do you know which LMS provider to choose? Which attributes constitute a quality LMS? Before signing on with an LMS provider, it’s important to know which attributes make for the ideal LMS, and whether that’s what your LMS provider offers.
1. Easy to Use
Learning the ropes of a new LMS software should be fast and easy for course designers and users alike. From course design to trainee experience, a quality LMS will be simply designed with user experience in mind. Creating interactive custom courses should take course designers hours, not days. Employees as well should find your LMS easy to learn and enjoyable to use. That way, team members will naturally spend more time learning course material as they sharpen their knowledge and skills.
It makes little sense to invest in an LMS which will require copious time investments. Technical aspects of the system, course design and troubleshooting should be simple procedures which require minimum employer/employee involvement. Time is one of your company’s greatest assets. That’s why it’s imperative to choose a quality LMS which allows you to invest resources in your people, rather than their system.
2. Customisable & Fully Controllable
By using an LMS which is customisable and fully controllable, you can provide your employees with a major learning advantage over the competition. Traditional job training methods are costly, time consuming and thus uncompetitive in today’s world.
When you are decisive about which professional skills and knowledge your employees require -and you have access to customisable LMS course creation- you become the ideal LMS course designer. Fully controllable and customisable LMS platforms are ideal for those seeking maximum control over course creation, content and execution.
Full control means you are able to offer and limit access to learning and assessment materials, share courses with multiple learners simultaneously, manage security functions and create personal learning paths. Courses are made according to your requirements, held on your company’s desired schedule and employees assessed with your goals for their progress in mind.
3. Personal Learning Paths
Personal learning paths are an important if not necessary aspect of LMS customisation. This feature means multiple employees are able to learn the same course material and take the same assessments, but individually and at their own pace. With traditional job training and LMS systems, all employees learn course material and take assessments simultaneously. The main disadvantage of this approach is that everyone learns at a different pace. While some employees are ready to move onto new course material quickly, others will have retained very little knowledge after a single training session, and need 2 or 3 more times to review the module. Allowing employees to learn at their own speed and sit assessments when they are ready is most efficient, cost-effective and for employees least stressful training and assessment methods. Indeed, this is the type of learning LMS was developed to support.
4. Interactive Learning Options
Most employees find traditional job training passive and uninteresting. Bored employees are ineffective learners. Today’s quickly developing world of interactive e-Learning via games, videos and virtual group courses is rapidly becoming the most popular method of LMS job training. Interactive learning requires trainees to actively engage their minds as they integrate new knowledge and skills. This makes learning fun, interesting and best of all extremely effective. For this reason, interactive e-Learning is often referred to as intuitive learning. Training by interacting with a video, game or fellow trainees means employees naturally develop the desired professional methods for handling real world job-related situations during their training, and before they actually occur in real life.
Attending a lecture on what one should do in a given situation cannot compare to actually being in that situation and having to solve it while thinking on one’s feet. The former method relies upon memorising formulas; the latter upon developing intuition and skills. You know your employees are prepared when they’ve successfully trained for both typical and atypical work situations, and passed their assessments in advance. Interactive forms of e-Learning and assessment provide the best way to do so.
5. Supports Mobile Learning
Mobile learning is one of the greatest fundamental changes taking place within the job training field today. By choosing an LMS provider which supports mobile learning, you ensure that your employees can learn on their own at anytime and anywhere. The freedom and convenience to learn on the go, in or out of the office and on their own schedules means your team has constant and instant access to vital job-related information. Learning opportunities are endless with mobile learning.
Learning and training on the go is an extremely effective way to pack in a lot of information within a very short time. Just a few minutes of training here and there can add up to large improvements. With mobile learning LMS, you ensure your employees have the tools to take their professional skills to the next level by making small investments of time.
Salespeople can quickly and conveniently refresh their knowledge and retrain their skills before important meetings. Agents can look up crucial data in the system while responding to customer concerns on the spot. Gamification job training can be done at those times most convenient for employers and their teams. These are only a few of the many ways mobile learning is developing the business world.
6. Assessment Capabilities
Assessment functions are the most reliable way to test your employees’ newly acquired job or product knowledge and professional capabilities. The results of employees’ assessments should be the foundation for further job training on the LMS platform. Your company’s LMS provider should come with built-in testing functions which enable you to accurately assess employee advancements, conveniently compile assessment results into usable data and allow the training program to make recommendations for further professional development. Ideally, your LMS provider will support a variety of assessment mechanisms, such as training simulations, branching scenarios and collaborative exams.
LMS providers must ensure that the security of your company’s data and course accessibility is properly maintained. There are many ways LMS providers prevent security holes and ensure the privacy of your data.
The provider’s servers should be well protected to prevent hacks. Some LMS providers allow clients to whitelist ip addresses, ensuring that the only ip addresses which can access your courses are those which you’ve expressly authorised to do so. You should also be able to isolate courses from each other, preventing those who haven’t received express permission to access a course from doing so. If you are concerned about an LMS provider’s security protocols, ask them how your company’s data and courses are protected, and whether the company has previously experienced any security breaches.
The factors which go into choosing the best LMS provider for your company are individual and varied. The features discussed herein are those most companies find applicable to their needs. It’s important to discuss your company’s specific requirements with the LMS provider, and be sure you understand the features of their product. This way your company will derive maximum use and benefit from whichever LMS system you choose.