Learning management systems (LMS) play an integral role in this process. These software platforms are typically deployed in classrooms and organizational training settings and are used to administer, document, track and report online courses and training modules.
In this capacity, an LMS software plays a key role in helping instructors prepare and deliver online lessons and track learner progress. Today’s most advanced LMS platforms, however, have features that extend well beyond such core functions – features that make the learning process more immersive, more social, and ultimately, more effective. Here we discuss best Ways to Improve Your Learning Management System and prevent your training boat from capsizing:
1. Learning at your own pace
LMS platforms offer lessons in a central repository that can be accessed at any time. Those who have already mastered material can work ahead, while those who need additional help can always access it.
2. Add gamification
You’ve probably heard the term ‘gamification’ bandied about willy-nilly, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. By adding gamification functionality to your online learning in the form of badges, points, achievements and leaderboards, you create a learning environment in which your learners are motivated, intrigued, engaged and eager to learn.
You can set up your LMS to award points and badges when learners complete eLearning modules and interact with the platform. Give ‘em the ‘Sherlock Holmes’ badge for using the search functionality, or the ‘Long Haul’ badge for having been logged in for 90 minutes; the ‘Learning Legend’ achievement for completing 3 eLearning modules, or ‘Super Scholar’ for gaining 100% on a test.
3. Social learning
An advanced LMS contains integrated social functions that allow learners to collaborate closely and draw inspiration from each other. News feeds, shareable content, chat functions and other LMS features help reinforce social bonds in a learning environment. Imagine if you filled a ship with eager passengers, told them how exciting their journey would be and how much it’ll improve their lives, and then cordoned them off in separate areas of the ship, never to meet again. Wouldn’t they feel lonely? Disheartened? Disengaged? Demotivated?
You can’t expect to run a successful cruise company if you keep your passengers separated and miserable, so why would you think solo online learning journeys were a good idea? Once you create an online learning platform where learners can communicate with one another, you’ll find your learners are much more enthused and involved in their online learning programme. So create a communication hub or a dialogue stream and watch the water drain away and buoyancy return to your ship.
4. Make it pretty, inside & out
People are attracted to things that look nice – it’s a fact of life. But more than just outward appearances, it’s important that your Learning Management System has depth and personality too. You can’t expect your learners to enjoy their learning journey if they’re being asked to use an ugly, badly created platform. You wouldn’t expect guests on a cruise to put up with a filthy, poorly maintained ship, with dead-end corridors and complicated signposts, would you?
It’s time to embrace the fact that poor design and bad user experience are very real causes of sinking ships. We’re surrounded by gorgeously designed applications all day long so why should learners have to put up with something that looks and feels like it was designed on a PC from the Stone Age? It’s just not good enough these days, when the technology is there to create such stunning digital platforms with fantastic user experience at their heart.
5. Reduction of cost
By deploying an LMS, organizations can eliminate travel costs and materials expenditures. Scheduling seminars online rather than in physical locations saves money and offers workers greater flexibility.
6. Get interactive
How interactive is your online learning platform? Can learners explore the LMS, pick up badges and points on the way, talk about their achievements with other learners and share badges on social media? Or is your LMS basically like an expensive data store, where learners log in and see only the courses they have to complete and tests they need to take? Are all your ship’s doors locked, with ‘No Entry’ signs all over the place?
When learners are able to interact on and with their online learning platform, they suddenly become more involved and more interested in logging on, taking part and pushing their learning forward. When you make their learning environment fun, interesting and many-layered, they take an active role in their learning. No longer will your LMS be a cold, lonely, desolate place – it’ll be a hubbub of activity and enjoyment!
7. Get competitive
If you really want to keep your online learning ship afloat, you need to introduce competitive elements. Once you’ve created leaderboards on your LMS that displays to the whole company how well each learner is doing, you’ll find that their motivation soars. No one wants to be at the bottom of the leaderboard – in fact, coming second can feel pretty bad too, so you’ll find competition is rife at both the bottom and top of your leaderboard.
When learners are fighting it out amongst themselves to gain the most points, achieve the most badges and ‘level up’ the fastest, you won’t have to worry about any icebergs on the horizon.
8. Greater efficiency
By automating processes and keeping educational content stored centrally and distributed anywhere, anytime, an LMS offers extraordinary efficiency benefits. Instead of spending money printing new course materials, you can keep this information stored digitally.
Taking advantage of these benefits requires selection of the right LMS platform and the know-how to fully maximize its features. To help illustrate how to accomplish this, let’s take a closer look at some tips for getting the most value from your learning management system. An LMS can serve as an invaluable tool for the education of students and training of employees. To get the most out of your system, it’s important to choose an advanced platform with cutting-edge features.
By following the tips outlined above, you can help ensure that you are drawing the maximum amount of value from your LMS. Hope you’ll find your online learning platform. In fact, once you’ve ‘plugged the hole’, you’ll find that it’s your passengers doing the hard work to keep the boat afloat. You can sit back and watch as they bail water without having to be asked – they’ll begin logging on, taking online learning courses and interacting all on their own, using their initiative.