Tag: Learning Management System

lms for corporate training

The e-Learning industry is booming and is entering a massive growth phase, riding on the back of the numerous advancements in e-Learning software in the past decade. e-Learning has branched out from educational institutions to various applications in the corporate setting, where e-Learning can be leveraged to improve the efficiency and quality of the training that employees receive.

E-Learning is an essential part of the Knowledge Economy of today. In such an economy, importance is given to the intellectual assets as compared to all other assets of an organization. The more knowledge and skills an organization's employees possess with respect to their field, the more chances of the organization maintaining a lead over the competition.

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Why does your company need e-learning?

The biggest fears of any business or organization are unsatisfied customers, negative reviews, high employee attrition, and a red budget sheet. If these are recurring occurrences in your company, then you’re probably not paying attention to the fact that you may have untrained and disgruntled employees, which is affecting your overall productivity. Data suggests that companies that keep investing in training and learning are also usually the top performers in their respective domains.

Employees are the biggest asset of an organization and to invest more time and resources in their growth is the only way to retain them. Only through dedicated employee training and retention initiatives, will the employees be motivated to devote more time and efforts to increase the productivity and profitability of the organization.

Organizations must empower their employees and ensure that they understand all the elements that make the business work. After all, knowledge is power, and they must be up to date with the skills that are currently in demand in the market. Business owners and managers must ensure a workspace that encourages curiosity and constant learning, this will reap rich dividends in terms of company profits and employee engagement.

Most companies today are turning to eLearning solutions as a panacea for their employee training and engagement woes. This is because it helps companies train large workforces efficiently and effectively with a minimal training staff and minimal impact on the bottom line. It also gives learners the choice to pick between learning paths and self pace their learning rather than impose a set curriculum on everyone.

To develop the intellectual capabilities and competitive edge of the organization, the C suite are now increasingly open to experiment with technology-aided education, looking for new ways of enhancing the traditional ways of teaching and learning. The need for flexible tools able to support well-planned learning scenarios is on the rise.

Adopting an LMS is one of the easy and effective ways to introduce e-Learning and training within your organization. The simple and user-friendly interface is one of the main reasons why organizations adopt an LMS. An LMS supports organizational goals along with the learner’s development and helps management measure the impact of their training efforts.

Ahead of implementing an e-Learning program in an organization, the following components are to be defined beforehand:

  • Educational goals
  • Instructional design
  • Steps and activities
  • Mechanisms to support the learning system
  • Technologies to be used
  • Evaluation system
  • Formal academic procedures
  • The functioning of the system as a whole
  • E-learning Learning Systems are made up of a number of components that must operate in an integrated manner. It is about the formalization of an operational structure involving the development of the course design, the production of materials or information and the channels through which it is distributed.

An LMS is a structured environment that is specifically designed to help organizations implement better processes and practices as they create e-learning courses for their stakeholders. An LMS makes creating content more efficient, help users avoid redundancy, and help organizations manage the people – professional developers, subject matter experts, or novices – who are creating the content. If you've decided that an LMS is what your organization needs, you should be applauded for understanding the power and flexibility that an LMS can provide.

Benefits of adopting a Learning Management system for Organizations

Reduced Training Costs

E-Learning cuts down the costs of several other expenses such as travelling, physically available content, and more. The return on investment of e-Learning is higher than the traditional style of learning. Every person who enrols and completes a course promises a higher ROI which is beneficial for the company in the long run

Data oriented approach

To ensure effective results, it is important to track and measure the courses and progress of the learners. Constant reports and statistics on the performance is a great way to better the courses based on authentic requirements of the learners as well as educators. This will also ensure that the efforts put in by the organization do not go in vain.

Standardization

Especially for Multinational corporations and other companies spread across the world, standardization is vital. A reliable set of process and protocol is to be followed by the employees irrespective of the region and an LMS helps facilitate it. The LMS can provide easy and quick access to documentation and guidelines to new recruits the world over so that they can get up to speed quickly.

Increased Efficiency

An LMS increases training productivity as it does not have any time or geographical constraints. Training and Development sessions can be held even during downtimes which prevents training sessions eating into productive work hours.

Decreased Resource Costs

On an LMS system, a training and development environment is created online that cuts down a hefty cost on creating a similar physical environment. Learning Management Systems ensure that the created learning material is made available at once to a larger group of people and the material can also be repurposed time and again.

Social learning strategies

eLearning solutions have made it quite easy for companies to integrate social media as part of their online learning strategies. This is because the LMS system can be configured so that learners and trainers can promote Facebook/social media links, resources, online forums etc promoting peer to peer collaboration on the LMS communication platform.

Efficient monitoring

LMS systems will help management with effective monitoring and tracking the employees’ progress through various training sessions. This is done to ensure that all learning initiatives bear fruit in the long run. When employee training is measured and quantified in the form of reporting and data, it becomes easier to craft better L&D programs and figure out existing gaps in the training. It will also help trainers measure ROI on their programs and secure C suite and employee buy in for their initiatives.

Pointed feedback loops

Trainer feedback should be specific and constructive, and it should involve actionable information that will help the employee perform better in the future, the LMS provides trainers with the option to do just that at scale. Feedback can be written, recorded voice clips, or chat. This personalized feedback will help them address their failings faster and prioritize better.

Benefits of adopting a Learning Management system for Learners

Provides a clear learning path/direction

eLearning solutions include setting an employee on a viable learning path, usually one that offers flexibility to master new concepts. A learning path is sequentially built, and it allows the learner to master a subject in a step by step manner without overwhelming them with all the content in one go. This helps improve learning outcomes and ensures that the learner feels a sense of gratification at all times.

Highly Personalized

As suggested by the VARK Model (Visual, Auditory, Reading/Writing, and Kinesthetics), learning style and preference of each person can be different. For some, it can be visual or auditory while for another set it can be a combination of both learning styles. LMS promises personalized content based on the learner’s preferences.

Higher retention

Based on a study done by Forbes, retention rates from e-Learning can differ from 25 to 60 per cent which is comparatively higher than face-to-face retention rates of 8 to 10 percentage. By combining resource material that suits one’s learning style, retention rates can be improved in employees.

Collaborative learning

LMS systems can help create an environment that encourages employees to collaborate, interact, and be accountable for their training sessions and what they learn from it. A good Learning Management System also provides a chance for learners to create user generated content such as videos, documentations, infographics and the likes to aid in the capture and sharing of organizational knowledge.

Any-time access

Studying or attending sessions at your convenience is one of the key features of an LMS. One can choose to learn more regardless of their location as long as they have a stable internet connection.

Learning at own pace

eLearning solutions support self-paced learning, which means that the learners can begin completing their targets at any time they want. They can also arrange a learning schedule with the flexibility that will allow them to meet their needs.

Organized content repository

One of the significant benefits of having an LMS system is that everything is stored in one place rather than in disparate drives and hard disks. When it comes to training, especially in larger corporations, it can save on hours of time spent in collating or finding any piece of content. Employees can just log in to the LMS and find the content through a simple search as the content is neatly tagged and organized.

Helps in self-evaluation

LMS systems help employees identify their own skill gaps and have a closer look at their own performance levels as well. This can help them work towards improving their competency and avoid escalations by acting proactively.

Learning on the go

One of the best features of opting for a Learning Management System for your business includes learning on the go. This means that the learner does not have to be in the same room as the trainer. They can download a training session and watch it later while in transit or from home.

Key features to look for in a Learning Management system

Some of the key features to look out for in an e-Learning service are course management, course material, role management, learner management, leaderboard, announcements, security, query management, assignments, forums, e-commerce, customization, reporting, tracking, analytics, and exams and certifications. Let’s explore each of these in detail.

Course Management

A Learning Management System provides the provision to create multi-subject courses. One can choose to train with the help of different types and formats of content. A Learning Management System allows you to create different types of courses. Once can choose to train with the help of various types and formats of content. In an organization set up In a corporate enterprise, an LMS system allows to target one particular department or designation and also, create chapters modules to better divide the course. A good course management system means learners can also make suggestions concerning how the course is created.

Course Material

Interactive learning is vital in a cloud-based learning management system and to achieve the same, different types and formats of content should be made available within the e Learning software. Course material in the form of images, presentations, videos and much more should be explored to ensure that the provided content is effective.

Role Management

Within an LMS system, there are different roles assigned including that of administrator, moderator, trainer and trainee. Based on your use case, each role can be allowed and restricted to use certain features.

Leaderboards

With leaderboards, healthy competition is endorsed within an organization. Trainees can earn more points and also get ranked based on the courses they take. With such leaderboards, trainees are also encouraged to take up more courses and add to their skill set.

Query Management

It is normal for trainees to have queries about the courses that they’re taking. An efficient LMS allows trainees to create queries that will be shared with the trainer and later resolved with the appropriate resolution.

Assignments

An e-learning software should allow conducting assignments that can easily be evaluated. Apart from having assignments, the trainers should also be able to display the results and reports of such tests to the trainees.

Forums

Course content can seem tricky to people and discussion forums can be helpful to understand the content better. Through course forums, trainees can check on questions posted already and also post their own queries and have further discussions if needed. By receiving responses from fellow trainees and trainers, more information can be gathered on a particular topic of confusion.

Customization

For an organization, their branding is extremely important and an LMS that allows customization based on company theme and branding properties is highly preferred to an off brand solution. An LMS must be similar to a White Label solution that can be customized according to an organization’s brand guidelines.

Reporting, tracking, analytics

A good LMS will allow you to access reports and track the progress, course completions, enrollments, queries, and more.

Excellent User Experiences

Your Learning Management System tools may be the best, but it’s no use if your users don’t know how to use it. Excellent user experience includes having a smooth user interface with sufficient onboarding tools, tips and tutorials so that users are familiar with the system.

Support & Community

Before you take on LMS, ensure that it offers free call/mail support, and that they respond quickly to support requests. Shoddy support can waylay all the benefits you reap from implementing an LMS system.

Learning Paths

A learning path makes the knowledge transfer process simpler and more organized for trainees, but it’s not always easy for course designers to create these paths for their students. This is where an LMS comes into play. An LMS helps implement learning in a structured, sequenced manner with the option to branch into any field or career path that the trainee wants to pursue. Each career path will have a different focus in terms of content, questionnaires, tutorials and training. This means that the trainees can visualize their own career progression, leading to higher employee satisfaction and retention.

Making a choice: Cloud v/s On-premise LMS implementation

On-Premise LMS:

On-Premise is when the implementation of the LMS is done on your company servers. This option often incurs a heavy up front payment, and then the system updates and maintenance is done on a periodic basis. On-Premise LMS is highly customizable and it offers great control over LMS data and the implementation process. On-premise LMS systems are usually opted for by large MNCs that have highly complex training content and require specific security protocols. It’s also implemented by companies that have more than enough storage capacity and are willing to implement the LMS solution along with other software programs in house.

Cloud LMS:

Cloud LMS is set up and implemented from a private cloud by the LMS provided and is provided as a SaaS product. Since this system is hosted on an external cloud, it is quite affordable and is a great choice if you’re on a budget. This system is great for small to medium scale companies. Cloud LMS allows trainers and instructional designers to simply log into the platform and upload course content, create new courses, and communicate with learners remotely. Since the maintenance and updates are done at the vendor end there’s no need to invest in a dedicated team for software updates, maintenance, and server upkeep.

Corporate Training and Education landscape

Just like other industries, the Corporate Training & Education space has also undergone major changes with new advancements. One of the most disruptive changes has been the emergence of learning management systems (LMSs) that aid in e-learning. An LMS software is a web-based platform for delivering, tracking and managing online training.

In simple words, a learning management software helps plan, deliver, and upload training material and course content online. Users can log in to the cloud-based learning management system and access the content whenever and wherever.

They have the option to select a specific course of their choice and learn at their own pace. They can choose to hit pause and continue again whenever they have time as well as to repeat a course any number of times. It’s also possible for managers or instructors to recommend or assign specific courses to learners, thereby making a two-way interaction possible.

A learning management system software also helps managers and administrators to keep track of course completion and measure the performance of users and learners. Thus, an LMS is an important tool for an organisation in terms of performance evaluation, competency management, and course completion tracking.

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Features to consider while choosing an LMS

features of a learning management system

The main features of a Learning Management System (LMS) include course management, learners enrollment, activity reporting, messaging, conducting assessments, certification etc.

It’s a great aid in planning and implementing the learning process and creating positive learning outcomes for learners. Given the multilingual, diverse workforce that companies in India operate with, an LMS software is a must-have for organisations looking to standardise the learning process.

Here are some of the learning management system features that make them indispensable for the training department:

Content Management: An LMS provides technology for the delivery of e-learning material that can be utilised to share course content, activate technology-based learning tools, facilitate interaction and feedback, and provide a means for delivery of assessment and assignment submission.

Competency Management: LMSs help measure the skills and capabilities of learners within an organisation to meet specific business goals. This also includes carrying out skills gap analyses and recommending specific learning paths to learners. This is a timely and cost-effective strategy to equip your employees with the right skills and knowledge.

Ease of Use: One of the primary factors that people generally look for in LMSs is the ease of use. In fact, as per research, 86% of American companies who use LMSs wanted to change their present systems because of a complicated interface. The best way to find out whether an LMS has a smooth interface or not is by checking if the process of logging in and accessing the content is simple and easy-flowing. The number of clicks to access various options shouldn’t be too many.

Course Calendar: LMS software can give learners a comprehensive look at the available training courses so that they can schedule and plan their courses accordingly.

Tracking and Reporting: LMSs have options for generating a number of different reports that can give you an insight into the learning curves and performances of learners. It also allows learners to view their test scores and their performance evaluation reports.

Administration: One of the most essential LMS features is their ability to organise the training process. It eases the process of conducting enrolments and registrations for courses.

Reporting and Analytics: It is of utmost importance to monitor the online training initiatives to determine if they are on target or not. The same rule also applies to learner performance. Are learners engaging with the online training material? Is it providing learners with all the information they need to achieve their learning objectives? These are questions that can be answered with a robust reporting system built into the LMS. LMSs also feature analytics that allows you to monitor online training on individual and group level.

Mobile Adaptiveness: The present learning environment is dominated by mobile and on-the-go learning. As per stats, around 32% of learners finish courses while on business travel, 24% during their commute, 26% at home, and just 18% at work or elsewhere. So it’s important to choose an LMS which is responsive to all screens and which displays all content formats properly on the screen. The ease-of-access of training materials and resources is also a huge factor that affects the motivation of employees to learn. In this scenario, mobile-responsiveness LMSs can be a life saviour. Since most people use mobile phones nowadays, training sessions which are available on mobile phones can empower employees to learn on-the-go as per their convenient times.

Messaging and Notifications: You want your learners to be updated about everything related to their course. Many LMSs offer a built-in communication feature that allows you to send reminders and notifications to learners on upcoming training events, deadlines, exams, course completions, etc. You can also use the medium to promote other e-learning courses available on your e-learning platform.

Assignments and Exams: At every stage of the course, you would like to assess the Learner and their progress. An LMS allows you to create assignments that are based on multiple-choice question answers. This can help you gauge the level of understanding of the subject. An LMS can also help conduct a time-bound exam which consists of a fixed number of questions randomly selected from a question bank.

Certifications: Online Certification is an essential feature for organisations who provide company policy and compliance-related online training. This is also important for companies that require more advanced certification features, such as the ability to track individual skill and performance gaps. Depending on the LMS, a certificate can be automatically issued based on the criteria set up for the online exam.

Tech Support: Not everyone using LMS platforms are tech-savvy. So there should be ample tech support to help you overcome any technical difficulties. For example, you have designed a program for your learners, but while uploading, you are facing a lot of difficulties. In such a case, you should have a support team to help you out. Thus while figuring out which LMS to choose, make sure you consider tech support as a factor.

Security: Previously, training resources were stored in the hard drive of the computer which increased chances of them being hacked, deleted, or modified.Keeping all training resources in secure cloud-hosted servers provides greater security to corporate training resources. LMSs contain a lot of sensitive data - the training details of learners as well as learning courses which have proprietary or commercial value. So before finalising on an LMS, make sure you test the security of the software - where the sign-in process is secure enough, what are the rules for accessibility and authorisation, and how data integrity is maintained.

Reliability: When a lot of your training options are dependent on an LMS, then it’s imperative that the software should work without any hassles. If the LMS software faces lots of system errors and failures, then it’s going to hamper the productivity of learning and training. To ensure that you don’t have a faulty system on your hands, make sure you try out the demo version once and check out the case studies and reviews by organisations who have already tested the LMS platform.

Advantages of adopting an LMS platform

advantages of learning management system

Now that you’re aware of what an LMS is and the various features which makes it an indispensable aspect of the learning, let’s look at the advantages of adopting it in a corporate setting.

Reduced Burden on Trainers: There is a serious dearth of quality trainers in India. This is correlated to the fact that most trainers are overburdened with a lot of other activities apart from mentoring their teams. A Learning Management System software can reduce the burden by automating several tasks and helping trainers focus on creating a streamlined learning program for their trainees. The LMS helps create a store of content and training material that reduces the need for contact hours with the trainer and helps learners to study at their own pace.

Supplementation of Classroom/Contact Hours:

Traditional training methods such as classroom-based interactions can eat into the productive hours of a trainee workforce. Also, as different learners learn at different paces, the entire trainee batch may lag behind due to a few slow learners. An LMS can help supplement classroom hours with Audio, Visual, Gamified and Interactive content that can help expedite and improve knowledge retention, problem-solving and critical-thinking abilities. In fact, a variety of content such as presentations, quizzes, and videos is going to pique the learner’s interest and motivate them to learn more. Thus, before getting an LMS, you should first check the types of content it supports.

Efficient Course Management:

Creating a course using a different type of course material that is engaging and informative. This is a primary feature of any LMS. Course material can comprise of videos, reading material, presentations, assessments, polls etc. LMSs can offer courses that are managed by the administrators or instructors as well as course catalogues which include courses that are open to self-enrollment by learners. Moreover, they should also help customise specific learning paths for each learner and needs to avoid any waste of time and resources. For example, if a learner has already covered a particular course, there’s no point to create a learning path that includes the course again. Thus, before getting an LMS, you should always check whether there is an option to assign roles to learners or not.

Learners Management:

Registering learners to the LMS. Enrolling learners to the relevant courses. Depending on the LMS, registration and enrollment activities can be performed one at a time or in bulk using CSV import features.

Scalability - When big companies with several global branches carry out training processes for employees throughout the length and breadth of their organisation, then it may become a cumbersome process. It may also create learning gaps across departments, countries, and branches. There may be chances of inconsistent training delivery in terms of training materials, assessments, on-the-job training, etc. LMSs can easily resolve this by providing a common platform for conducting training for all employees around the world for a company. This way, everyone will have equal access to all training resources.

Better ROI - Almost all organisations are interested in getting the best ROI out of their training investments. This becomes truer when there are a lot of employees to train to fulfil job requirements. LMSs play a big role here in optimising the training investment to the fullest. Firstly, most of the training resources created can be reused as many times as required ensuring their best use. Moreover, the online presence of the content means they can be accessed as and when it’s convenient for employees, making the learning process more efficient. It can also help meet the investment costs since upgrades and new features costs can be included in the package cost at the time of registration.

Saves Time and Money - One of the obvious benefits of LMSs is definitely the fact that they help save time and costs. In traditional systems, conducting physical training sessions can be extremely expensive. It can include several overheads such as renting training space and paying remuneration to experts. Moreover, it can require huge investments in time too. Experts will need to fly from different places to deliver sessions. Employees from various branches will also have to come together to attend the sessions. LMSs help do away with all these requirements. Employees from different geographical locations can attend common training sessions. Experts too can use video conferencing or pre-record sessions into the LMS platforms. All this can cut down on wastage of time and money.

Productivity - Finally, LMSs help improve the overall productivity of an organisation. This is achieved by reducing the time spent in maintaining the systems and updating the training content multiple times, fewer security constraints, and faster learning cycles. This means more productive hours from the organisation. When the individual productivity levels of each employee in the company are put together, they can together turn out to be huge.

In the 21st century where all operations and processes are going digital, it seems only natural that training will also follow suit. With LMSs rising in popularity, it’s slowly becoming an effective and advantageous means of dispensing learning within an organisation.