Organizations invest considerable money in setting up a learning management system (LMS). Courses are uploaded and over the years a huge repository of training material is stored on to the LMS. Does that ensure the success of the training program? Does merely having a huge repository of courses, on the LMS, ensure expected results? What can you do to ensure that you make the best of your learning management system?
Here are 5 action points that we have compiled that guide you to make the most of your LMS.
Promote the courses uploaded on the LMS
It is not sufficient to upload the courses and expect your employees to take the initiative to visit the site and enroll for the online training program. One of the principles of adult learning says that adults need to know why they need to learn. Therefore, once courses are uploaded, it is a good idea to launch a campaign among the relevant divisions in the organization, tell them specific details about the course and how it is going to help them in their jobs.
Ensure that the courses are organized well
You don’t want your learners to visit the LMS, get lost and not be able to locate the relevant course, do you? One of the reasons why user registrations are low is users find it difficult to navigate through the LMS and locate the information or course that is relevant to them. Make it easy for your employees to go to the designated training program by arranging the courses in a methodical manner. It is easy for users to get distracted with resources and links, ensure they always find it easy to get back to where they were earlier.
Have a support system in place
As learning is largely self-directed, it is important that employees know what to do, when they are stuck. It is easy for learners to abandon the process, if there is no handy help to guide them through the process. Not all learners may be comfortable with the idea of self-directed learning, or learning through the online medium. However, once they get the hang of it, they will not only adopt it willingly, but also advocate it to their peers. It is therefore a good idea to have a permanent system, either in the form of mentorship, or guidance to ensure on time completion of courses and maximizing use of resources available.
Include social and collaborative learning
Most employees these days have a Facebook account and are active on social media sites. Similarly, learning management systems today, have the capability to have many collaborative and social learning features such as blogs, discussion forums and wikis. Including them in your LMS makes it dynamic and interactive. Of course, it is not just adequate to have these features, but you need to have them to initiate discussions, moderate the information flow and make it interactive and current with up-to-date information. Once a few key people get hooked to the medium, it will go viral and soon it will become a happening place for your employees.
Add just-in-time resources for immediate knowledge application
Employees such as sales personnel, or service technicians who spent more time on the field, may require information on an urgent basis. If you have such information well catalogued and placed at an easy to find location on your LMS, it is bound to gain popularity, especially with this segment of your learners. Basic troubleshooting tips for service engineers, product features that need to be highlighted for sales people are examples of just-in-time resources, which can be added to your LMS to maximize its usage.
What is the LMS that you use in your organization? How comfortable are you with it? How often do you use it for learning and development – particularly when it is not mandatory? Do share your experiences.