Learning Management Systems have been playing an important role in planning, developing and managing trainings in most organizations in recent times. LMSs help
- Centralize & automate administration of training (classroom & online)
- Assemble & deliver learning content rapidly
- Enable reuse of knowledge and learning modules
Despite its advantages, many learning and development professionals express their unhappiness when it comes to the performance of their LMS.
As per a joint survey done by Expertus and training Industry Inc’s, as many as 45% gave a C, D or F grade to their LMS. As a follow up to that survey, Expertus conducted another survey just to see the current state of affairs and if at all, the situation has only worsened! While last year, at least 15% of respondents said, they were satisfied with their LMS giving it an “A”, this year not a single one gave an “A” to their current LMS!
Where is the problem? Is the problem in the product (i.e. the LMS) or the way we use it?
According to the author of the post, one of the factors required when designing and managing an LMS, is “to put learners first” and he is absolutely right! It mirrors our own experiences with our clients. Typically, LMS is managed by personnel who have other responsibilities in the organization. That is to say, user management is not their primary or only job responsibility. As a result, queries are left unanswered; responses to questions from users take time to be delivered. The end result, user frustration and ultimately abandonment of the effort.
Here are three factors that make or break an LMS:
- Easy to navigate interface so that learners find what they are looking for without any difficulty. It will be like a handy reference guide to learners in case they are stuck and don’t know what to do.
- Responsive back-end team to address their problems – either login issues, registration issues, course allocation issue whatever.
- Dedicated team that monitors, administers and manages the courses on the LMS on an on-going basis, generates reports and studies them to improve the existing methodology or structure.
Lack of good and timely service is the reason why many people are dissatisfied with their LMS. We have noticed that when clients have a dedicated team which is responsible exclusively for LMS management, results are far better. SERVICE is a major component that directly impacts the success or failure of a learning management system. During the course of managing one of client’s LMS, we realized a significant portion of the time spent by the team was to address day to day, routine, log-in issues which needed resetting the password. But attending to such queries do take time and when organizations do not have dedicated staff to attend to these issues, the courses on your LMS may have very few takers!