Learning management system

How to Choose the Right Enterprise Learning Management System

A learning management system can become an asset to any company that relies on internal employee training. A good enterprise LMS not only allows managers to track learners’ progress, their results, and certifications but also stimulates employees to learn more in less time.

The LMS market’s soaring increase in revenue and the ever-expanding literature about it both indicate how relevant and promising the technology is. In fact, predictions estimate a multi-billion dollar growth over the next few years.

It is only natural then that many businesses, big and small, develop an interest in enterprise e-learning development and want to experiment with their own custom LMS. And they genuinely should. The truth is that a learning management system can bring pronounced benefits; and with the right approach, it can highly improve employee training and boost productivity as a result.

What you should consider when creating an enterprise LMS

A learning management system raises the bar when it comes to e-learning. Its structure and tools allow for genuine management and better utilization of learning materials. It is a growing tendency in the corporate world precisely because it makes e-learning more efficient.

A crucial factor to consider when creating your own LMS is choosing the type of deployment and payment plan. The LMS can be deployed on your own server or in the cloud (there are also hybrid options). The payment plan will depend on the type of deployment: a server-based LMS can be either proprietary or open source, while a cloud-based LMS is usually subscription-based.

Open-source LMS

The basic package of an open-source LMS is free. But to use more advanced features, you’ll have to pay extra. Besides, open-source systems often involve hidden costs such as maintenance and support, hosting, back-ups, etc.

Open source software doesn’t have an owner responsible for its safe and bug-free operation, which is one more point to consider. So, although this option may seem the cheapest, think about extra expenses and risks before choosing a free-licensed LMS.

Proprietary LMS

A proprietary LMS is the most expensive option. When purchasing a ready-to-use system, you usually buy a thoroughly tested and thus reliable product together with its 24/7 support and maintenance. Of course, it literally comes with a price.

Cloud-based LMS

A cloud-based LMS option is somewhere in-between in terms of price. You can choose different subscription plans and thus easily scale up when the need arises.

A cloud deployment allows employees to access the LMS via the internet from different devices without prior software installation. The downside is that all your learning data will be stored externally, which can be less safe than in the case of an on-premises deployment.

With this in focus, there are some other things to consider when setting up your LMS so that you can boost results.

Structure is a key element

Being able to customize your own LMS gives you the power to deliver a user-friendly interface and smooth experience. And you want an organized and clean system so that employees don’t experience any difficulty when handling the platform.

One of our e-learning development projects demonstrated how an already existing online learning platform can become an organized, robust, and customized learning portal with detailed tracking features.

The cloud-based system was split into three different account types: the administrator, who has the power to manage educational content and accounts; teachers, who can upload lessons and track progress; and students, who will access courses and take exams and quizzes.

This basic structure of an LMS can be further modified according to your particular needs and preferences. For example, there can be different student and teacher groups with different access levels.

Besides making the learners’ life easier, an organized LMS also means less time will be spent on the overall system management. It will then make employee training and skill development a more natural element of the business’s structure and encourage coaches to further use the platform and deliver more learning materials in the future.

Create and add your own learning content

That is a beautiful feature you can (and honestly should) explore in your LMS. If you have your own system, tailoring content according to your business demands means the staff will be better prepared for the particular challenges of their business.

So instead of recycling generic content or adapting subjects from other businesses, having your own means adding your label and branding the learning experience itself.

Also, any pre-existing learning materials you have go there. There is no need to discard previously used material that you deem useful; simply upload them as well. In the case study we mentioned in the previous section, the company chose to migrate their existing materials into the new platform—which in your system can include all the PowerPoint presentations, text lessons, videos, and other content you may have.

Gamify your training

Gamification is one of the brilliant features that a business can explore with their LMS to make training more engaging and boost results. The research by Rotman School of Management of the University of Toronto has proven that adding game mechanics to education results in noticeably higher user engagement and a superior learning retention.

The use of a reward system, badging, and even storytelling are all crucial elements of game mechanics that work well when applied to the learning process. Take them to another level by adding challenges that force employees to develop problem-solving, innovative-thinking, and collaboration skills.

Bluewolf, for instance, set up a gamified system in which employees can score points through “internal and external collaboration.” By encouraging them to do so, they saw a noticeable increase of 20-25% productivity improvement.

Assessment and reassessment are a must

You may want to have tools that help you measure how successful your training actually is, and an LMS gives you the means to do that. You can upload and/or create new exams that assess their skill on a relevant topic and remind them of such knowledge latter through custom quizzes.

Exams and quick reassessment quizzes can feature a variety of question types: multiple choice, fill the gaps, drag and drop, and free text that require learners to input their own answers while using keywords. Or you can mix them all.

Mandatory assessment will also eliminate any possibility that some less committed employee simply finishes the course lackadaisically. The number of unenthusiastic people plummets with the combination of engaging training and necessary final exams.

Track all, reward or retrain some

Toyota implemented its own customized report system through an LMS. Given how large the company is and how many dealership managers and staff members they had to train, all the necessary steps would amount to a slow and costly process.

By using their own LMS for training purposes, though, they were able to receive information for each specific dealership and then track how effective their lessons and methods had been. This feature allows them to identify high performers that had improved after the course and underachievers that might need further guidance.

Utilizing the tracking tool post-training enables you to eventually reassess the training itself. Is the business’s approach ineffective because no one gave satisfactory signs of improvement? Was the progress in some areas lower than in others, and should we revise them?

That will not only benefit the learner but also serve to assess parts of the learning itself and help the business revamp it as needed.

Explore your many tools

Due to all its applications and benefits, an enterprise LMS is a reliable instrument to help you maximize results in your employees’ training and boost their overall performance.

It can be relevant to so many contexts that you can profit from experimenting with it. After all, onboarding, client education through portals, and compliance are all within the spectrum of a learning management system.

In fact, willingness to try the system in different scenarios is the only limiting factor to all the many uses your LMS can have.

How to Choose the Right Enterprise Learning Management System
July 25, 2018