For providers of education and business organizations online learning is no more about joining the digital bandwagon. Online learning has been proven to enhance the learning outcomes and boost productivity by a significant amount. The reports from online learning industry show a clear standing for the trend and its impact, online learning is anticipated to be a $37.6 billion market by 2020.
Learning management system or lms is going to be the mainstay product for all learning strategies in future. For those who have started believing in the power and need of online learning the first puzzle to solve is what kind of lms they need. We bring here a quick guide on what goes on in picking the best lms software and the lms features that you need.
User Experience always finds itself in the lms features list that is must for a rewarding lms, it’s key to acceptance of any online learning platform by all the stakeholders. If your lms doesn’t provide a convenient user experience, no matter how robust it is, it will be a cause of annoyance for end users and admins. An intuitive user interface with responsive web design is a mandate for all modern lms.
More than half of the digital content worldwide is consumed on mobile devices, so is elearning. Mobility is a mandate for any learning platform if you want to capture the entire audience. A platform should have device agnostic web responsive delivery across platforms. Mobile apps are a must for elearning success, learners tend to access lesson bites on-the-go, which is best delivered through apps. This also helps in enhanced learning and in longer retention.
Course Authoring Tools
When you decide on implementing online learning in your education or training programmes, one important consideration is whether to build the digital courses yourself or get them done from digital courseware service providers. Regardless, course authoring capability is important for modern elearning platforms. There may come a time when you need to write your courses yourself, course authoring capability is an important part of lms features list to be considered.
Assessments and Feedbacks
Assessments are an integral part of any learning programme, they help in measuring learners’ comprehension and implement relevant strategies to enhance it. An lms should have tools to take assessments in various ways, depending on your needs. It could be written exams, multiple objective questions, online simulations or scenarios. Feedbacks are an important way to get opinions and views on the approval of courses, teaching methodology and the platform. Advanced lms also has certification tool, wherein upon successful completion of courses certificates are generated within the system.
Customization, Personalization, Scalability
There are hundreds of lms providers and there are millions who are going to use them. Your organization, training model and brand is unique and so is your lms features requirement. You might need to tweak some of the features, add personalization to your online learning, and provide personalized lessons to members or group of learners. Scalability is important, your lms may need new features in future, the platform should be able to integrate them without any hassle. Your new lms should also be able to integrate your branding elements in its user interface and carry the core message of your organization.
Success of modern lms is partly attributed to interactivity and gamification that it can implement. You need to consider what level of interactivity and gamification you need for your courses to deliver enhanced learning. Training on design courses need a lot of interactive elements while delivering history lectures may not, the content will be different and so will be teaching method. Augmented reality is being used in training of design, architecture, healthcare and many other fields.
Social media is a wonderful place for discussion and exchange of ideas. If your lms provides access to social media groups and blog posts it’s a valuable add on. Learners want to share ideas and get feedbacks from peers, collaborative learning is also known to alleviate the drab of exhaustive learning.
Reporting And Analytics
Tracking is one of the important lms features. To ensure effective learning it’s important to keep an eye on student progress and course impact. There are various aspects of elearning that can be tracked. You need to pin down what aspects you want to track and know whether your prospective lms provides it. Customizable tracking is an advanced feature contained in modern lms. iPublishCentral Learn is a modern lms with high customizability and scalability. It gives granular reports on various aspects of learning, helping admins implement effective strategy for enhanced learning outcome.
An effective lms is crucial to the success of any online learning programme. Choosing an lms that fulfils all your requirements and gives satisfactory return on investment needs lot of considerations, it’s wise to do research and consult the case with prospective lms software providers. It’s a time taking process which needs careful deliberation.
The above discussed list of lms features are important ones for any learning programme, besides educators also need to see if they need features like Instructor-led classes and adaptive learning engine. They need to decide whether they need a cloud based platform or installed software. Security and compatibility are an important factor for a trouble free lms. Any unwanted feature needs to be avoided as it may distract the users and result in needless cost escalation.