Learning Management System functions
“Providing interactive activities is a great way to activate your audience”
A LMS will enable you to manage who is accessing your online courses and digital forms, and you can track training outcomes. Not all online training needs this functionality, so consider your requirements before committing.
Sometimes the simplest option is the best, however in other cases, you may need specific functions to create a learning space that really works for you (and your learners). You also need to consider your technical capabilities and your budget.
Let’s explore some of the features and functionalities of LMS’s (note – not all LMS’s offer the same functionality, which is why doing your research and truly understanding what your needs are is so important) . . .
Creating online courses
Online training products can be made in a range of ways, including using authoring software. Depending on your LMS, you can often make training material within the LMS.
Options may include:
- A drag & drop course builder designed to make training development easy to use.
- Quizzing activities to engage and test your learners. This type of interaction promotes engagement, knowledge retention and enables knowledge testing.
- Interactive and visual ways to deliver training content.
A LMS can help you manage how and when your learners access the training.
- You may wish to drip-feed the content so that they can only access a lesson once other prerequisites have been met, such as completion of a previous lesson, successfully pass a quiz or filling in a questionnaire.
- You may want learners to view the lessons and training videos in a linear order.
- You may want to provide free access so your learners can access information any time they need it (“in time” training resources)
- You may want to use branching scenarios to provide a truly tailored experience for the learner.
Example of a branching scenario course:
eLearning engagement tools
- Automated notifications – use these to automatically trigger emails based on actions learners take (or don’t take) in a course. Free your time by setting up your LMS to send friendly reminders and prompts to encourage people to participate in the training. As you can automate these actions, the system will do the work for you and ensure you are providing consistent service and processes.
- Badges & certificates – award official certificates based on quiz performance and/or completing a course.
- Discussion forums – encourage conversation among learners by adding a course specific discussion forum.
- Course points – award points to learners as they complete lessons and allow them to unlock new content.
- Leader boards – award and display the learners who obtain the best scores on quizzes in your courses to encourage some competitive engagement.
- Assignments – require assignment submissions before learners can continue to the next lessons. This is an important function when you are working with students, but you can use this type of activity to gain feedback from your work team as well.
Use these functions to come up with innovative ways to give and receive information from your teams. Your imagination is your biggest limitation.
Selling your training
Use your LMS to sell your training packages.
Your LMS may be able to automate this process for you and provide sales options that suit both you and your customers.
- One-time purchases
- Shopping cart
- Course bundles
- Bulk access
Training and learner management
Before committing to a LMS or when planning how you want your training to be set up, consider what functions would best meet your needs.
- What kind of control do you need over your learners and courses?
- Do you need group management, where you can place learners into groups and sub-groups, then allow others to manage?
- Do you need detailed reporting functionality so you can run reports on enrolment, progress, and performance?
- Do you need to assign learning management functions to others, such as authorising people to approve, comment, and award points on submitted assignments?
Other functionality and features to make your life easier and to create quality learning environments
- Your LMS should work on your WordPress website, preferably without custom coding.
- Use of page builders to make your output look professional and for easy build.
- Easy to customise: colours, logos, course display and lesson options.
- Use of media types that suit your needs such as images, videos, audio, SWF files, HTML, SCORM, xAPI.
- Support with setup and product use.
There are a range of apps, services and software that will host your training. These might be the right fit for you, but do your homework first.
They might seem like a cheap solution when you are in ‘start up’ mode, but what will happen when you get more successful and you need to scale up? Are they as simple to use as they advertise and what backup support do they provide? Does the product have the functionality you need, or would it be too restrictive?
It can be overwhelming to decide which LMS is right for you. You may not even need one!
I would recommend making a list of functions that you want and which ones you need. Consider your current and future needs. Consider your budget. Once you have produced your list, do your research objectively and compare products to the needs you have identified.
At WUZZOO, we can host your training for you on our fully managed LMS or we can build a customised LMS for your own website.
Once you have developed your wish-list, contact us to talk to one of our consultants to see if we can create a solution for you.