Articles

8 Essential Learning Management System Features

by Rubi Ahsan Associate S.E.O Consultant



Learning management systems weren't always what we are accustomed to seeing today. The only purpose they served was to act as a database for e-learning courses and to make it simpler for course administrators to manage them. They had awkward user interfaces. Beyond simple tools that let you upload course content, manage submissions, and deliver completion certificates, you didn't need much from them to get the job done.

However, the past 15 years of technological advancement have made e-learning accessible to much larger audiences, and as a result, the now-essential idea of "learner-centricity" has become widely recognized.

Any modern learning management system's ability to be successful depends on its ability to have features that keep students at the center of the learning process. Not to mention, they still need to make it simpler for instructors and administrators to create and manage courses. It can be difficult for organizations to decide which LMS is best for their university or company when so many of them offer a little bit of each.

Here is a list of features your LMS needs to have in order for your online learning solution to be a complete success to help you sort that out!

1. Personalized Learning Paths

The learning management system you select must provide a personalized learning path, regardless of whether it is used for corporate training or to impart knowledge and education in academic institutions. This gives students a unique learning path that is tailored to their needs and interests.

You may have noticed that "on-demand" consumption has been on the rise lately. We’re doing everything on our schedules, be it watching television and listening to it, attending evergreen online events long after their designated dates, or watching pre-recorded versions of live webinars. The same trend can be seen in learning, where students increasingly prefer self-paced courses. As a result, it is crucial for your learning management system to cater to this growing need.

Use features like: to ensure that your online teaching and training process is up to par.

Adaptive Learning Engines: These enable you to provide highly personalized learning paths while simultaneously tracking learner activity and responses in real time.

- Non-linear Course Design: Your students should be able to select the modules they want to study rather than being forced to sit through lessons they have already completed.

Project Management Tools: It's crucial to maintain learners' attention and on-task behavior when using personalized learning paths. These tools can be combined to give students the ability to collaborate on documents, give and receive feedback, and efficiently manage tasks.

Course Recommendations: Your learning management system should be able to suggest courses to students based on their interests with a little assistance from machine learning. This is a fantastic way to expand their learning opportunities and maintain their interest in the platform.

2. Collaborative Learning Tools

Select an LMS with tools for gamification and social learning, two contemporary collaborative learning strategies.

Learning is now a process that must add value without becoming boring. It is no longer a means to an end. Choose an LMS that makes learning interactive, interesting, and experiential when selecting one.

Gamification

Three components are used in gamification: points, progression, and competition. Like any other game, you play through levels to accumulate points, monitor your progress, and contend with other players for supremacy. Different platforms employ various strategies, such as leaderboards, badges, and bars, and the end result is an audience that is engaged and keeps returning.

Only the learner can see the levels and progress, but they can compare their positions with others on their leadership board. Finding an LMS with these features built-in is crucial, so you can introduce them to your courses without using any additional integrations or plug-ins.


Social Learning

There is no denying social learning's ability to increase user engagement. Features that encourage learner communities should be included in your LMS, such as group discussion forums where students can like, share, and comment on posts.

In order to keep everyone informed of the most recent announcements, some LMSs also integrate newsfeeds modeled after Facebook within the course. Others enable you to do things like integrate popular social media groups directly into the course so that instructors and teaching assistants (TAs) can access class discussions from a single location.

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3. Mobile Compatibility

To keep up with the busy schedules of most online learners, your LMS needs to be accessible on the go. Expanding your learner base and maximizing content consumption require collaborating with an LMS that works flawlessly on tablets and smartphones.

Your LMS must have a native app that improves accessibility and remote learning in order to make your online training experience run more smoothly. Users will be able to access the entire LMS and all of its offerings through the device of their choice, opening the doors to a personalized learning world. Additionally, it will enable students to stream, download, and save online courses at their own pace, earning you extra points for improving usability.

4. Detailed Reports and Analytics

Since the creation of LMSs, comprehensive retrospective reports have been around. The latter's ability to provide real-time analytics, however, allows you to quickly look into learner progress, course popularity, and completion rates while the learning is in motion. This is what sets a modern solution apart from a legacy system.

Don't get us wrong; thorough completion reports remain crucial for a variety of reasons. They enable you to evaluate the effectiveness of your courses and to critically decide on adjustments for subsequent enrollment. On the other hand, real-time metrics give you the ability to delve deeply into the student experience at each stage of the course, which really helps streamline their experience. Depending on what you learn, you may even be able to make changes to upcoming modules while the course is still open as a result of what you learn.

Not to forget, you often have to justify each penny you’ve spent on technology, and having a custom report that shows just what you want to see is all the more necessary.

These are some basic metrics that your learning management system should be able to provide:

– The current progress of courses

– Courses yet to be accessed

– Time logs for course access

– Distinct individuals who have completed the course(s)

– Average viewing/learning time

– Breakdown of assessment attempts and responses

– List of popular courses

– Reports across regions

Data visualization is also a core feature here. The last thing you need is a flood of insightful quantitative data that you are unable to interpret. Choose an LMS that offers simple dashboards that make it easy to understand any type of data and that also allows you to manipulate data sources to see exactly what you want.

5. Multiple Software Integrations

Everyone is actively working toward digitalization, whether they are in a university or a business. As a result, various pieces of software coordinate to create an efficient workflow. Solutions include a special set of third-party integrations to supplement missing functionality. Paying close attention here will pay off in spades because these integrations will ultimately define what you can and cannot do on your LMS.

What your administrators, instructors, and students will need will determine what integrations you should look for. The tools that are currently in use and those that have been on your wish list can serve as inspiration. Nevertheless, having a few of the following third-party integrations is always useful:

Video Conferencing Tools

If your learning management system of choice doesn’t provide built-in functionality for video conferencing, check with your provider to see if they integrate with tools that allow you to conduct instructor-led training through webinars and teleconference sessions. Popular tools here include WebEx and the Big Blue Button.

Single sign-on or SSO

This feature allows users to access and control multiple software programs, such as your CMR, HR management tools, and sales management tools, entirely from one place. Have you noticed that nifty panel in Google that lets you navigate to your email, calendar, drive, and contacts? That’s the convenient little feature that we’re talking about, but flipped in a way that lets everyone access various corporate software from one consolidated space, based on their permission and access levels, of course.

The convenience of not having to switch between different platforms while working is eliminated by this feature. Additionally, it lessens the workload for the IT cells and simultaneously plugs a number of security holes. Most importantly, this makes it simpler for the analytics department to calculate ROI.

E-commerce

This is crucial if you intend to charge for course registrations or offer opportunities for upselling through gated content or one-on-one sessions inside of a course. You should look for an LMS that offers secure e-commerce payment gateways for any or all of the well-known ones out there, including PayPal, Stripe, Amazon Pay, and WePay, depending on what you and your students are most comfortable with.

Zapier

The largest library of software and tools that can be connected with any system that supports integration with Zapier can be found on Zapier, which is arguably the largest automation platform available. Your options are endless with an LMS that enables you to do this, and you can easily access a variety of third-party tools from the comfort of your LMS platform, including Google Sheets, MailChimp, Trello, Slack, and much more.

6. Robust Content Management

You'll discover during your search that content management is a fundamental yet important part of the learning management system. The questions you may ask are:

– Does the LMS address present-day international standards for eLearning? SCORM and TinCan/xAPI are two of the most widely recognized standards for e-learning, and you might want to look into a provider that complies with these.

– Are you able to upload exam content, videos, or links to the website content hosted elsewhere?

– Can you organize your curriculum, content, and assessments into meaningful learning paths? If yes, can content pieces be shared laterally across learning paths?

These are some important concerns that your new-age LMS must address.

7. Security

Another crucial LMS feature is data security. Personal information about a learner and commercially valuable, proprietary learning materials are both found in an LMS. Therefore, before selecting your LMS provider, be sure to get the following information:

– Are sign-ins the first point of contact, and if so, how secure are they?

– Where is the data hosted and what’s the delivery method?

Who can access what data? You can choose who has access to what by setting different access levels in the majority of LMSs. However, this can backfire if you have multiple people who need to fill a specific role but only have a limited number of seats available. As a result of the process, multiple people end up sharing login information, which poses a serious information security risk to your system. Make sure you have enough seats for each role to ensure that everyone logs in with their account to avoid this from happening.

Who owns the data? This particularity is crucial because there needs to be a distinct line drawn between your ownership of the content and data and the LMS provider's right to store and process it. Although it might seem easy enough to skip, make sure there are no misunderstandings by checking with your LMS provider.

8. Support Services

Depending on how different everyone's experience will be once you switch to the new LMS, you'll need a different amount of support. Your staff will need more thorough training after transitioning from a no-LMS environment, so choosing an LMS provider with thorough onboarding will be essential. On the other hand, moving from a legacy LMS to a new one will substantially reduce your need for customer support. In order to ensure a smooth transition and a positive system maintenance experience, it's imperative to work with a provider that has helpful training manuals available for when your team needs them and has a dedicated account manager to cater to your requests and needs.

It's a good idea to ask about the support method (email, video chat, or audio call), the business hours, how they handle urgent support requests, and the turnaround times for issues to be resolved.

The Final Word

Switching to a new LMS is a big decision, and you should be ready to undergo a thorough cost-benefit analysis to realize its success. With so many LMS providers out there, you have the luxury of picking the solution that fits your organization’s unique learning and development needs like a glove. Nonetheless, you’re far more likely to reach a high-ROI solution if you prepare a clear LMS feature checklist of requirements before you begin your search. There’s a lot that a competent LMS can offer, and a lot that you can extract from it once you know what you truly need.

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About Rubi Ahsan Magnate II     Associate S.E.O Consultant

2,985 connections, 101 recommendations, 10,369 honor points.
Joined APSense since, February 11th, 2013, From New Delhi, India.

Created on Mar 20th 2023 08:37. Viewed 323 times.

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