Deploying Strengths of LMS to Enhance Learning
A learning management system has a great potential to organize all the learning solutions provided by organizations under one central platform.
Do you know that your LMS is a power house of information? There are numerous resources and information that can be made available through this power house to actually enhance your learning. Unfortunately, LMSs are used only to dump courses online, while valuable information and trends go unnoticed. Consequently, unnecessary courses are hosted for years together with few or no takers, while popular courses are not assigned to more users who could benefit from them.
End result – despite huge investments in a learning management system, organizations do not see substantial benefits in terms of effective learning.
So, how can you make smart use of what an LMS has to offer and enhance learning within your organization? Here are some ideas.
Integrate all forms of training into LMS
You may be conducting classroom training sessions, virtual classroom sessions, online training material or eLearning courses. All these multiple formats of learning can be brought under the single umbrella of LMS. Often clients think of LMS only for hosting online courses. This need not be the case. You can track and coordinate all the learning formats at one place. Not only that, it gets easier to track the training programs taken by an individual, those that he has missed, or needs to take. LMS is a useful resource, if you have to evaluate the progress of an employee at the end of the year.
Provide updated content at all times
Let’s say, you have an LMS for your sales and marketing personnel. You may choose to have an exclusive LMS for your channel partners. You have uploaded online product training on the LMS, which most of your sales personnel have already taken. A couple of months later, your organization launches a newer version of the same product. You can easily update the course content, by modifying the existing course and re-assign the course to all your sales personnel, as an updated course. The information is available online for easy access to your employees and no one can plead ignorance!
You can also use your LMS to provide market information and latest company news, to your employees. When your employees find that they get valuable and real-time information, they are bound to visit the portal more often and chances of them registering to courses are that much higher.
Track and monitor user registrations & assessments
LMS provides information, both to the individual user, as well as the administrator, on how many courses have been assigned, how many have been taken and the completion rate. Users can access this information to assess their learning paths and plan future course of action. Administrators can generate useful reports about user data and share it with relevant shareholders–What are the popular courses? Which courses don’t have any takers? Which courses are being abandoned mid-way by learners? Such data provides valuable feedback to stakeholders, who can then assess the origin of the problem and take corrective measures.
Build social and collaborative learning network
It is possible to incorporate social media features into your LMS. This means you can have forums, blogs, wikis and discussions in your LMS. Moderating discussions, wikis and forums provides useful insights into the learning needs of employees, which can be incorporated into the training calendar. Employees are not novices, who need to be given information or taught. They come with rich experience of their own, which when shared with their peers; this in itself has a lot of learning value. Having a forum to share one’s knowledge can be very motivating and encouraging, to employees.
Create a learning buzz internally
Your LMS can be used to market learning as well. Just as your products require marketing, eLearning or training programs are also your products, with your employees being prospective buyers of those products. They will buy, only if it appeals to them. So you can use your LMS to market eLearning internally to your employees. Each user has a user name and access details. Their email id is available with you and can be used to send them reminders, or updates of courses available on the LMS and the benefits they will obtain from them.
A learning management system has a great potential, to organize all the learning solutions, provided by organizations, under one central platform. A dedicated team to manage and support its features, will ensure that the potential of LMS is unleashed, to enhance learning experience within the organization.