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When the learning management system (LMS) was first created, its primary job was that of administration. Most corporate organizations needed a system of training delivery that would deliver learning and track it on a continual basis. The e-learning services that were utilized to develop the LMS were also not evolved enough – they could not do more than create a delivery and record-keeping platform. But modern LMSs have evolved and do much more. They not only deliver learning but also manage the entire training process of the organization – including assigning e-courses, managing classroom training or blended learning, populating useful and regular reports as well as assessing learners to chart their future learning paths. Thus when choosing a learning management system, you need to keep two crucial points in mind – the LMS should get the maximum ROI and it should deliver impactful learning.
The LMS should be easy to navigate and the learners should be able to find pertinent learning material quickly and efficiently. If the learners first need to learn their way into the structure and navigation of the LMS itself, then it is a great deterrent to learning on the whole. Make sure that the LMS has features that support your learning objectives and the learners are able to utilize all of them to the fullest. Extra functionalities make a learning management system difficult to navigate and the complexity scares most learners.
The choice of e-learning services and software should be such that the learning management system is able to comply and get integrated with existing systems. This also encourages learners to utilize the new system more and more. It decreases learner resistance to a great degree. Most LMSs can integrate with HRMS and other software that the organization already has in place to track learners efficiently and align their learning with other activities in the organization.
The LMS should also provide ‘on demand’ learning for the learners in an organization. Learning management system catalogues should be made searchable so that learners can easily find relevant courses and other training material as and when they need. L&D managers can generate collated reports of learners’ comments and suggestions and keep aligning the content as per their needs. The LMS should have Rapid Authoring Tools which enable quick generation of content on a continuous basis. With numerous sample templates and easy integration of media elements – like audio-visuals, animations, and so on – these tools can help L&D managers to create content as per the changing learners’ needs.
Learning management system should also be mobile-compatible to aid the needs of the modern learner who spends a considerable time on mobile devices. This increases the accessibility of the learner and also aligns the LMS to the just-in-time needs of the learner. And with mobile access to the LMS, the learner accesses content not only when he has to but when he needs to.
The LMS should also provide ample choice and variety in terms of available e-content – with a generous mix of text, graphics, animations and audio visuals. e-Courses should not be long and text-heavy. They should be broken down into modules that can be consumed as per the needs of the learner. Learners should be able to leave a course midway and start from that point the next time that they access the LMS.