29 April 2024

Unveiling the Power of Learning Management Systems (LMS)

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Continuous learning has become more than just the subject of a daily watercooler chat - it’s now a necessity. Learning Management Systems (LMS) are innovative solutions that are revolutionising the way organisations train and develop their workforce and retain top talent.

But what exactly is a Learning Management System (LMS), and how can it benefit your business?

A Learning Management System (LMS) is a powerful software application that facilitates the creation, management, and delivery of educational content and training programmes. It serves as a central hub where organisations can host, distribute, and track various learning initiatives, making it easier and more efficient to train employees, customers, and partners.

The key features of a Learning Content Management System include:

  • Content Creation and Management that allows organisations to create and upload a wide range of learning materials, including videos, presentations, documents, and quizzes. These can be organised into courses or modules for easy access and tracking.
  • User Management enables LMS administrators to manage user access, assign courses, and track progress. Users, on the other hand, can access the platform anytime, anywhere, making learning more flexible and accessible.
  • With built-in tracking and reporting features, LMS platforms provide valuable insights into learner progress, course completion rates, and overall performance. This data helps organisations identify areas for improvement and measures the effectiveness of their training programs.

What is the goal for all those on the training programmes? Collaboration and engagement of employees. Many LMS platforms offer interactive features such as discussion forums, chat rooms, and social learning tools, encouraging collaboration and engagement among learners.

LMS systems offer a huge number of resources for your teams. But what are the benefits of implementing a Learning Management System (LMS)?

Enhanced Accessibility: LMS platforms provide on-demand access to learning materials, allowing employees to learn at their own pace and convenience, regardless of their location or time zone.

Cost-Effectiveness: By eliminating the need for traditional classroom-based training, LMS platforms help organisations save on travel, accommodation, and venue costs.

Improved Performance: With access to high-quality, relevant training materials, employees can acquire new skills and knowledge, leading to new skills and better productivity.

Scalability: Whether you're training a handful of employees or a global workforce, LMS platforms can scale to meet the needs of your organisation, making them ideal for businesses of all sizes.

Are Learning Management Systems a relatively new offering?

Not at all – and the first LMS invented was a far cry from anything digital. It was created in the 1920s by Sidney L. Pressey, who designed the teaching machine or the Pressey Testing Machine, a revolutionary idea. From then on, the battle for innovation in the LMS space was between organisations and institutions of higher learning.

LMS, as we know it today, is not just learning and assessment. It also includes course delivery, which was not a consideration in early Learning Management Systems. Computer Based Instruction (CBI), Computer Assisted Instruction (CA), Computer Assisted Learning (CAL), and Internet Based Learning (IBL) were some of the tools that integrated the educational process into technology.

Despite inevitable change and development, the early Learning Management Systems were limited, compared to the ones we have today. These limitations include not being customisable, not being user-friendly, not being mobile-friendly, having complex administration, being susceptible to security and data breaches, and having poor analytics.

So what led to the LMS today?

Technology products develop, innovate and progress due to the wants and needs of the market, and so did the original LMS in response to its audience. Digital technology is also the fuel that has driven the development. Because of this, the modern LMS offers several features that the earlier ones did not.

What are the advanced features that set apart a high-quality LMS?

In order to get any kind of ROI and to build a better business case within your organisation, it’s best to come prepared when sourcing the best LMS vendors. That includes a good understanding of your company’s training goals and how you can help achieve them. It can obviously be very subjective when deciding the best features for your business, but we’ve stripped them down to some of (in our opinion) the most valuable:

First things first – integration. It needs to fit well! A seamless integration of your LMS with other existing systems, such as association management software or talent management systems, allows Learning & Development (L&D) professionals to combine learner information with important course completion data.

Is it remote ready? A successful LMS must be mobile-ready to ensure learners have accessibility, accommodating the growing popularity of remote work. Employees can then have the flexibility to access any training materials that they need from their chosen device, according to their needs. Mobile learning really helps teams that work across multiple locations, or industries on the go, such as those in retail, construction or healthcare.

Centralised Learning Materials: A successful LMS training programme should be capable of housing various learning materials in a user-friendly, centralised location, which could include videos, slide decks, and written manuals. This allows both users and L&D professionals to stay organised, stay up to date on progress of employees and grows organic learner engagement.

Data tracking. Don’t underestimate the ability for learning professionals to track their journey. This is possible through stored data, which can better help them understand course and learner performance, all in one convenient place. A capable personalised LMS should provide content based on a learner’s history within the software, as well as their role.

Blended for smoother training – this means providing courses delivered both online and in person. This allows employees to choose the format that works best for their location, schedule, and learning style. Some training materials in either setting should supplement each other; for example, an online learning session might provide the same information and instruction as a live in-person demonstration, or employees may be able to build online skills using practices they learned in person.

Tools are key! Your LMS should have a wide range of assessment tools – exam engines, training sessions, simulations, test surveys and quizzes are a few. Assessments within the LMS should also allow trainers to provide Immediate feedback to the employees, helping with ongoing progress, retention and engagement. A smart scheduling tool is essential too, so instructors can offer learners multiple dates and times for their training sessions. This ensures learners have access to important training when it is available.

Get Automated: Automated alerts and notifications are very necessary LMS features to ensure L&D trainers and managers are fully aware of learner engagement, progress and course completion. By sending auto-alerts to employees about their training deadlines or notifying trainers on a user’s completion rates, an LMS can provide feedback to the right people at the right time.

These are just some components of a successful LMS. It takes testing, trial and error and knowledge of the requirements of your particular organisation (and employee needs) to choose and tailor your ideal Learning Management System.

How can MHR help?

At MHR, we understand the importance of continuous learning in today's business landscape. Our team of experts can help you use the power of Learning Management Systems to create engaging, effective training programs tailored to your organisation's unique needs. From content creation to implementation and beyond, we're here to support you every step of the way.

Ready to take your training programs to the next level with a Learning Management System? Get in touch with MHR today and discover how we can help you unlock the full potential of your workforce through innovative learning solutions.

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Alix King, freelance content writer

Alix King

Alix is a freelance journalist and copywriter. With a love for academics, Alix has studied both journalism and law and has a knack for writing for very different audiences. From humorous articles to white papers, she loves a writing challenge.

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