Last year, we gave a broad overview of why your organization should invest in a learning management system. We'll now explore the features a technology manager should consider when purchasing and integrating one.
If you work in the education or corporate sectors, you're probably familiar with the initialism 'LMS.' Also known as Learning Management Systems, these are software applications that allow instructors to create, manage, and deliver digital learning or training materials to students and employees. They offer a range of features, including course creation, grading, assessment, communication, collaboration, and analytics. Though they've been available for years, the global corporate LMS market size is expected to grow from an estimated USD 8.1 billion in 2022 to 21.1 billion USD by 2027. This rapid technology expansion is undoubtedly a by-product of the COVID-19 pandemic that dramatically altered how we learn and work. With this influx of growth in the LMS market, organizations can capitalize on the various features offered, optimizing their eLearning experiences and ensuring a successful future.
FINDING COURSES SHOULD BE EASY
Storing and organizing instructional resources is an out-of-the-box feature of any LMS, but finding that content can be challenging. Savvy technology managers should, therefore, select one that makes it simple for instructors and learners to locate resources. A good Learning Management System (LMS) should have a powerful search engine that can quickly locate resources based on keywords, so instructors and learners can quickly find the needed materials.
ROBUST USER PERMISSIONS AND REPORTING ARE PARAMOUNT
A learning management system should allow admins to manage user permissions based on their job functions. Learners can then focus on the most relevant courses and avoid wasting time on irrelevant or unnecessary training. It also allows admins to respond quickly to changes in the job functions of their employees or the grade level of students. This ensures they have access to the right courses.
By utilizing the LMS's reporting features, administrators can check the progress of their users' programs, see which employees or students have completed specific instructions, examine an individual's test scores, calculate course completion rates, and more. This allows administrators to quickly identify areas of improvement and create targeted training plans to ensure employees are up-to-date with their degree track, certifications, and qualifications. It also helps with compliance and ensuring employees meet the organization's standards.
Each learner must be able to use the system efficiently and receive a detailed report on their progress. When individuals view their progress toward their goals, the courses they have already completed, and the ones they will still need to complete, they are more likely to stick with their online training. Since social learning and collaboration are critical components of online training, your LMS should be compatible with any existing social learning and collaboration platforms that you may be using.
DESIGN AND EASE OF USE
To maximize the effectiveness of the eLearning system, it is essential that the staff feels comfortable with it. A good user experience design will be key to creating an intuitive system. This means making sure that the interface is easy to understand and navigate. It also means there are clear visual cues and branding for different sections and that the menu structure is simple and organized. This will ensure that users can quickly find what they need and use the system efficiently.
In order to maintain compliance with the latest data privacy and cloud security standards, LMSs must have robust security measures in place. The LMS will store confidential information regarding a company's competencies, employees' talents, and other personal information. To prevent data loss and hacking, they must all be protected. For your LMS, you should have the option to choose between a single-tenant and a multi-tenant solution depending on the data, security, and storage regulations of your organization. Consider whether your LMS offers IP blocking, advanced password authentication, spam and virus protection, redundant data storage, encrypted data, and security for mobile devices.
A well-designed, user-friendly LMS is attainable for your organization. Remember that the most effective LMS must provide users with a wide range of features that balance user experience, visual appeal, and technical competency. Additionally, the LMS should be able to accommodate different user preferences and needs, such as those who prioritize design and those who prioritize data integration.
If you've been tasked with researching the right option for your organization, demonstrating how enhanced learning capabilities will increase ROI is the most effective way to gain buy-in for your project. As a technology manager, however, the right choice will not only provide a return on investment but will be scalable as LMS technology becomes more advanced.
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