A recurring problem in deploying eLearning courses is the high dropout rates of learners. Learning designers try and overcome this problem with well-designed content, multimedia elements, and learner-centric assessments. Another strategy can be to focus on the design elements of the Learning Management System or LMS to improve course registrations and completion among users. Its features can be effectively used for this purpose.
This makes sense because the LMS is the first interface learners come across when they enroll for an eLearning course. The LMS makes the first impression on learners and gives an indication of what they can expect from the course. If the LMS is designed well, it can make the correct impact and encourage learners to register for the course and later complete it.
What are the design elements that can make the right impact on learners? What are the features in your LMS which can be made learner-friendly and in turn impact the learning experience? Let us explore some of these factors. The most important elements in the LMS are the dashboard and the navigation functions. These are crucial aspects that contribute to a seamless user experience and influence the learner to register for a course and complete it.
Visually Appealing: An effective dashboard should convey important and relevant information to the learner. It can be designed to provide this in a visual way. Information can be presented in familiar formats such as graphs or charts. The right visual perception can be provided through colors, shapes or lines.
Learner-friendly: The learner dashboard should be easily spotted in the interface. The learner should be able to know about his progress every time he logs in. The dashboard should help the learner assess his progress in multiple courses to help him manage his learning.
A personalized view of the learner’s performance and progress showing his learning goals, completed courses and the upcoming courses is useful to the learner. The option to customize data can be provided so that the learner can see what he wants on the dashboard. This can improve engagement and keep the learner on track to complete the course.
User-friendly Interface and Experience: The look and feel of the User Interface (UI) is an important motivating factor that urges users to interact with the LMS. The icons, buttons, search bar, navigation and interactions should be intuitive and simple so that the learner will quickly get to the activity or access the content without facing any hurdles.
Another important factor is the user experience or the UX, a combination of factors that make the LMS easy to use and offer an enjoyable and effective user experience. A social element can be added to the user experience by making the LMS connect seamlessly to social learning and collaboration tools. These factors (UI/UX) are crucial to engage the learner; otherwise he might not complete the course, or the tasks related to it.
Good UI/UX features ensure a higher number of users and a better engagement rate. This in turn ensures a better completion rate. In addition, if the LMS has to attract and retain users, it has to be intuitive as well.
Intuitive Navigation: With a few simple steps, the learner should be able to know his progress through multiple courses, his progress through the entire learning curriculum, and access a learning calendar to plan his learning schedule. This will help assess where he is and the next steps to take. The interface should be designed to help the learner reach his destination in not more than two clicks. If navigation is a complex process, learners may be forced to drop out even before completing the course.
Clear and Simple Features: Course management features should be user-friendly. If the learner wants to enroll for a course, or search for one or take an assessment, the instructions should be clear and simple. The learner should be able to do these tasks in simple steps, using the clear instructions provided.
The design elements discussed above focus on placing the learner at the center when designing the LMS. This ensures the LMS is not a passive platform but a learner-friendly interface that learners can use to control their learning. As for organizations, focusing on these design elements can ensure higher registration and better completion rates. A good LMS calls for considerable investment, adding design elements that make it learner-centric is the right step toward ensuring the desired returns from the investment.