Choosing the right Learning Management System

It’s now more important than ever for businesses to have a strong learning and development plan in place and to make learning more accessible for their employees at any time and anywhere. To facilitate this, you might be thinking about investing in a new LMS but how do you choose the right Learning Management System?

An LMS is a platform which allows companies and other organisations to manage, deliver and track educational materials and events such as SCORM courses, videos, instructor-led training, surveys and quizzes. It helps to simplify the learning process and enables managers to assist employees to improve their work skills and train new employees on programs and processes used within the company. In this post, we’re looking at some of the points to consider when adopting a learning management system and the features available to better suit the needs of your organisation.

Goals and objectives

The primary purpose of an LMS is to increase an employee’s ability to perform their role, so when, setting up the system with courses, learners, admins, and learning paths, it’s important to ensure that the LMS directly contributes towards improving a specific job function. This should be your first goal. The goals that you decide upon could affect your choice of system and how you use it, so it’s important to consider a platform which allows you to achieve as much as possible and offers you value for money. Aside from increasing an employee’s ability to perform their job, you may want to consider using your LMS to help create a learning and development culture within your organisation.

If you’ve used external trainers and materials for several years, then you’ll be pleased to know that your new LMS will help bring down costs and increase profitability, prove compliance and help to keep your employees engaged with the vision of your business as well as becoming an effective tool for knowledge sharing and collaboration across the organisation. 

User Experience

We now live in a world where we expect much more from our websites, platforms and apps. Thanks to the likes of Amazon, Netflix and Facebook, consumers want any new platform to offer a flawless user experience. These companies have made UX such a priority that all their products are easy to navigate and find exactly what you’re looking for with sophisticated search functions and recommendations that have been tailored to you. When choosing the right Learning Management System means finding one that offers the same level of experience. However, not all platforms have caught up and while they might deliver quality eLearning content, many systems can be so uninspiring and difficult to navigate that can turn a user off and damage the learning experience.

Just how important is UX? Research shows that almost 90% of people say they wouldn’t return to a website after having a bad user experience and 75% admit to forming an opinion of a website’s credibility purely on aesthetics. Bad mobile optimisation annoys 48% of users. This research means the same for an LMS as it does for a website, if it doesn’t provide a good experience, people won’t use it. Your next LMS needs to be as simple as possible to use. It must be fully responsive to work on a variety of devices including tablets and smartphones. It must offer consumer-grade features that users are already familiar with, a variety of content and resources and be able to surface recommended content based on the user’s skills, interests and aspirations. 

Engagement is key for users and if your new system provides the above, then you’re on the right journey to experiencing a great UX.

Engaging learners

A great LMS will help you to motivate your learners and the correct engagement features can convert a simple learning management system into a connected learner community. Popular engagement tools include Banners and Announcements, spaces positioned to allow you to create a call to action or communication for users. Content recommendations delivered to the users home screen, progress bars and dynamic analytics are some key functionality you should look out for. A next-generation LMS will go further and enable learners to collaborate and share content across the platform. It will include the ability to save content to a favourite list, follow other users and view their saved list through their own personal profile. 

With these user engagement examples, your learners will get more from the LMS and you’ll enjoy a more successful learning & development strategy.

Curated content

According to research from the IDC, employees spend 9.5 hours a week searching for information. By choosing an LMS that can leverage the power of content curation, you can reduce the time your employees spend searching and surface relevant and recommended content that brings value to them and your organisation. Content curation also helps to encourage continuous learning in the company and stimulates a culture of learning. Learners should be able to build custom learning paths, share and consume content whenever needed.

Working with the provider, you’ll be able to make sure the content that is surfaced within the system meets the needs of the learner and also meets business goals and learning objectives. Through dedicated analytics, you’ll be able to track and evaluate how the content is performing and the impact it’s having on your learners.  

Use of Video

Video has a global reach, with over 22 billion daily video views and up to 80% of all internet traffic so an eLearning platform that supports learning through video is important not only because it’s fast become the learners preferred content format but also because it allows subject matter experts to share their knowledge with learners easily. This knowledge transfer is essential to positive user engagement.

Video as a content stream will also help to improve your employee’s retention of information as studies reveal that learners are likely to remember far more from video-based activities, where only 10% is likely to be remembered from text-based content. Embedding videos into your LMS has many other advantages; adding video to learning pathways can help courses become more engaging, reduce cognitive overload from lengthy text documents, and encourage greater use of micro-learning activities. There are thousands of learning videos uploaded to YouTube daily, many of which can be imported to the LMS and surfaced to your learners, it’s also really easy for you to create your own video content using a smartphone or video messaging app so your inhouse experts can quickly and easily share knowledge with employees. 

But it’s not just in delivering video content that a great LMS can shine, the last 12 months has given rise to increased use of video messaging tools such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom. These tools can be integrated with the LMS to allow synchronous learning sessions and bring face-to-face learning into a virtual instructor-led training session. Administrators can schedule, amend and delete video meetings, and users will be able to download session recordings.

Compliance Reporting

Compliance training takes many forms and whether you’re making sure that your environment is safe for employees, that it’s free from harassment and bullying or ensuring that your customers’ data is properly protected, choosing the right Learning Management System will mean simplicity in delivering this on mass. However, this hasn’t always been the case as compliance monitoring has frequently been seen as an unhappy task of many learning and development teams. Thankfully, your new LMS uses a powerful compliance engine to deliver course material to your employees, issue reminders, certifications and track each of your learner’s activities to make sure that you have a reliable and accurate audit trail.

Insightful Analytics

We know the importance of reviewing analytics in our organisations and how valuable a resource this data is for making important strategic decisions and that is as true for your L&D teams as it is for any other department in your organisation. 

In a recent KPMG report on emerging trends in infrastructure, it was found that many businesses are now using analytics to anticipate operational issues before they become larger problems and this extends to employee development and closing the skills gap. When you’re choosing an LMS, it’s important to take a good look at the data it can serve to you, as a learning and development professional, you will have your own list of required metrics to measure the effectiveness of your strategy. This might include completion rates, learner satisfaction, assessment results, time spent on a course and eLearning ROI, combined with social and engagement insights you’ll be able to view tangible performance results to help you better align training goals, understand the impact of the training being delivered and determine it’s the return on investment.

See for yourself

Choosing the right Learning Management System is a major financial decision so it’s important to make sure it caters for the scope of your training needs now and in the future. Consider how it will become part of your business objectives for the next several years and be aware of the future features and functionality on the provider’s development roadmap. Think strategically, and consider how your business and training needs may grow. To get a full grasp on how the LMS can fit into your organisation, make sure you ask for a demo of the platform, there is no better way to get a feel for what using the system will be like than exploring it yourself. 

Did you know?

For over 20 years we’ve been supplying great value, high-quality eLearning solutions and specialising in the design and supply of learning management systems. Our next-generation platform, LMS-X blends engaging, modern features with traditional functionality to ensure a consumer-grade user experience for employees and robust learning management tools – including powerful MI reporting. We’d be happy to show you around the platform and answer any questions on how it could help you deliver your learning and development program. Contact us to book a demo.