In our earlier blog, we had stated that a user-friendly learning management system is the key to encourage users to make use of the resources in an LMS and to help them complete designated courses. So, how do you make your LMS have a user-friendly interface? Here are some ideas.
Easy navigation and interface: Just imagine if you visited a library or a bookstore where books have not been categorized according to the authors or genre. How comfortable would you be browsing and looking for the book you want in such a place? Similarly, when an employee logs in to an LMS and tries to locate a course, he/she needs to be comfortable looking for information easily – be it courses, job aids or resources.
Make it easy for employees to move around the interface with good layout and design. Help them find the relevant course easily with minimum effort and time, and they will take the next step to explore it further which in turn will lead to course registration and finally completion. You need to have smart cataloguing of courses based on target audience and content.
Effective dashboard: Dashboard is a control panel for a driver in a car. It gives all the necessary information to help the driver with the journey –, fuel gauge, speedometer, odometer, light controls and so on. Similarly, a learning dashboard on the LMS is the first page that users see on logging on to an LMS. It needs to be as effective as the dashboard of a car with all the necessary equipment for a user to get on with his/her learning journey –the courses completed, credits received, courses yet to be completed, new courses assigned, resources, discussions, feedback to queries posted.
In short, the dashboard in an LMS should give a good picture to learners on the learning journey completed so far, and tools available to reach the destination of their learning journey.
Regular updates and communication: What is so endearing about social media that people seem to not have enough of it these days? It is the power of dynamic and constant flow of information that attracts people to it. LMSs in organizations can replicate the look and feel of social media sites to include dynamic content.
Dynamic content could be in the form of regular updates about new courses uploaded on to the LMS. Trailers about course launches that highlight key takeaways from the course are useful to educate users on the benefits of completing the course.
Peer review and learning: It is boring for you to be the only one taking a course. You would be interested to know what your peers who have already done the course think about it and to virtually mingle with colleagues to check out what they feel about a particular course or whether they would like to add some point about a course. That would certainly be more exciting! Discussing the course or sharing experiences that are relevant to the subject matter of the course, and practical insights from peers would only provide additional value that should certainly lure employees to be part of this engaging experience. After all, if they know that they get a chance to learn from others so that they don’t have to make the same mistakes or waste significant amount of time troubleshooting a problem for which someone else has already found a solution – wouldn’t they be more receptive to the idea? After all who doesn’t want to make their jobs better!
Each time users log on to the LMS they should find something new and interesting. This gives them reason to visit LMS often and check out latest offerings and courses. That surely helps in increasing the number of user-registrations for courses.
Responsive support team: Nothing is more frustrating than having technological glitches and hindrances when you are out to put in honest effort to gain knowledge. If you are stuck and not able to login to the LMS, you might put it off for another day and chances are you might never again come back – unless it becomes a mandatory exercise. However, if you are excited about doing a course, tried to login but faced problems and have help at hand and it is fixed on the spot, you are more motivated to continue with the exercise. It is surprising but most of the issues pertaining to LMS management are simple and solvable but are not resolved immediately much to the frustration of users. In fact, lack of a responsive support team is one of the major factors for lower completion rates of online courses.
You need to have a set of team members who address issues such as password problems, login problems, network or loading issues with minimal response time.
What do you think are the main reasons for lower course completion in your organization? Do they mirror the reasons touched upon here? We would like to hear about your experiences. Do share them.