Covid-19 has played a significant role in reshaping the way that businesses interact and operate. Learning management systems are now accelerating the way that we train, further into the digital realm.
With over 80% of companies now using some form of an LMS system. No longer are employees just getting trained face to face but instead receiving informative and engaging training from their mobiles or computers.
Used widely by organisations of various sizes and industries, learning management systems allow businesses to deliver training effectively so you can focus on driving your business forward.
If you are interested in learning more about learning management systems, then you're in the right place. This comprehensive guide has everything you need to know:
LMS stands for Learning Management System, a software or web-based solution that delivers training, learning courses, and programs relevant to each of your employees requirements.
It allows organisations to have complete autonomy over employee's learning. Enabling organisations to curate, deliver, track and control what learning a user receives and completes. You can allocate training by site, role or individual, most systems are flexible.
An LMS platform is built with a front and back end portal. The back end portal is controlled by an LMS administrator. They will be able to send, schedule, track and control that the the different learning programs employee's take.
The front end portal is used as an interactive interface for students or employees to complete their training. They will see their own user interface with different features, almost like an email account. Although instead of getting emails popping up in their inbox they’ll receive their learning directly into their user interface.
Using the right LMS can help you scale your employee’s learning and can be quickly adapted to a changing environment. Likewise, as your organisation grows, training can be delivered quickly and more effectively than conventional face to face classes.
There is an abundance of LMS features like the ability to customise the platform to your branding, survey your employees, get real-time reporting, learn on your phone or laptop and so much more.
Different types of learning content can be delivered by an LMS platform, including compliance training, social learning and industry-specific courses which we will go in-depth into later in this article.
With an annual growth of over 20%, the industry is innovating new ways to captivate and engage employees with gamification where you can play games to reinforce learning and test knowledge. Some providers also use artificial intelligence to personalise the learning experience, increase user participation and look for opportunities to retrain and upskill your workforce.
Much like a cloud service where you can store all your documents, most LMS systems already have the feature built in. This means you can store all your learning documents, videos, courses, employee data, and relevant information within the system itself accessible on your mobile devices or desktop if you use an internet based LMS.
You want to make sure that the learning you are allocating to your team is being completed, right? Training in a classroom sometimes doesn’t guarantee participation but using an LMS does as the system is available 24/7, to meet the organisation and users needs.
Depending on the platform you are using there will be different metrics on employee learning for you to evaluate. This is usually visualised through customised reports or shown on a user dashboard. They ultimately allow you to see if the learning programs you are allocating are effective.
Platforms allow you to download customised reports where you can edit the timeframe, tracked metric, learning, team and age range of employees, amongst others. Depending on your chosen provider, they might send out monthly or weekly breakdowns of how the learning has been received within your organisation.
These reports are often used for example for external audits, where you can provide evidence of who completed what training and when. Along with appropriate training course digital certificates.
Whenever you can automate anything it makes your life that bit easier. Within these platforms lie features where you can automatically recreate grouping of employees, bulk assign tasks, bulk deactivate, learning reminders, automatic reports weekly or monthly and easily conduct correct management of content.
You should have the ability to save presets for course allocation, meaning you don’t have to assign members to a group every time you want to get something completed. You can also set course pass rates, number of attempts and refresher periods.The system does all of the heavy lifting for you.
A big selling point of LMS platforms is that you have a vast amount of learning at your fingertips. Most LMS vendors boast extensive digital learning catalogues, often thousands of educational courses, ensuring that all the learning your teams need is covered.
These courses can be anything from bitesize learning (2-10 minutes long) all the way through to longer comprehensive higher education programs with the user receiving certification at the end.
Running a successful company means you have to maintain a well-oiled machine with employees that have the relevant skills and knowledge to complete their jobs effectively and efficiently.
Training programs provide classes generally in the form of interactive videos to help your team craft and hone their skills. They can complete the learning in their own time, in a safe environment.
If they need to take this multiple times to refresh their skills, they can at any time. This helps alleviate the need for training managers which can be costly.
There is a wealth of training programs available on LMS platforms. Below we list just a snippet of the type of digital training now available:
- New Employee
Whilst this is an overview, most LMS solutions will have industry-specific training relevant for your organisation and workforce.
These programs are crucial to employee retention, providing personalised and targeted training for people who have skill gaps or want to learn a new skill or advance their career..
There are a number of ways these can be developed either with your manager, supervisor, team leader or with a mentor. The purpose is to develop an individual development plan that helps you achieve a personal or organisation goal. This can often include career progression, gaining experience on a project or being part of a virtual project team.
These programs have more of a long term approach, you might not see the changes in the individual instantly, but over time they will grow within your organisation. This is also a great employee retention tool, as over 50% of employees leave an organisation due to lack of personal development.
Types of training can include increasing general performance through goal setting or time management. Also, it can be management skills to help the person rise to the next level of their career or purely hone their craft.
These are the people who have the profile to be able to manage your LMS on behalf of your organisation. Registration of learners, setting up profiles including management and allocation of learning content is a large part of their role.
They coordinate the systems back end, selecting the type of learning that a group or individual needs to complete and set a time limit on them completing the course.
On top of this, they use the solution to set learning goals, arrange learning activities, use authoring tools and manage the learning materials on the platform. One of the most important roles of LMS administrators is the tracking of usage data and ensuring that courses are being completed on time.
LMS systems allow them to track and monitor completion data across multiple sites and roles. This can include monitoring not just online learning but also face to face learning.These types of reports are particularly useful for compliance audits and easily proving the learning completed by your organisation.
Students or trainees form the largest concentration of users on the platform. They will be able to see what course content has been assigned for them to complete, track their progress and see any results from programs or courses already completed.
The best platforms are easy for the trainee to use, giving them a seamless and effective learning experience. Some LMS vendors will provide access through your mobile or desktop, meaning that trainees can learn on the go and are not set to the confines of their computers.
They will be assigned learning that is relevant to them, whether through team allocation of training or on an individual basis. One of the most important aspects of an LMS solution for the trainees is that the content is easily accessed via a mobile device, relevant to their role and engaging.
Due to the nature of the work, there is usually a large volume of training that has to be completed on a regular basis. This ranges from mandatory annual training to individual training to help you grow.
Most modern LMS companies have created training content that can be consumed in bitesize form and on the go so employees can still consume the learning they need even when free time is scarce.Training courses keep staff compliant with current regulatory requirements and standards. There is normally a range of courses available with the relevant certifications needed. There are a vast range of compliance related training available including:
Let's take truck drivers and warehouse workers as examples, constantly on the go and very rarely in front of a computer. Mobile functionality is needed so they can access the learning required anywhere.
There is a lot of content provided purely for the sector due to its regular need for training to remain compliant with regulations.
Much like the Health and Social care sector, personnel in Transportation & Logistics are often short of time so they consume engaging short-form learning. Below is a snippet of some of the courses available to the industry:
These platforms are used at all levels of education, from starting out your educational journey as a child to higher level diploma learning. This can be used as a hybrid with in-class learning and can keep students engaged with interactive videos and gamification.
With recent times forcing students to work from home digital and virtual learning are vital to keeping students up to date with their work and ensuring they are still getting their much-needed education.
Teachers can mark, record and store student grades, content and learning documents on the platform and schedule learning for upcoming classes.
The platforms also help with ensuring attendance with their tracking capabilities.Like many industries, the learning available can range from single short form training to in-depth and comprehensive courses with grading and certification. Types of training can include
There is a reason that millions of organisations utilise LMS products and services. We have listed some of the recent stats and benefits of using an LMS below:
It is easier to update and publish learning to a large audience quickly. Therefore you know that all of your staff are utilising the same knowledge and learning at the same time. It quickly becomes a more cost effective delivery method than for example class room training.
Learning and development functions and managers can easily monitor who has completed their training and when. With more modern LMS solutions having real time reporting this ensures you are up to date on completion statistics for your entire organisation.
Time is money when it comes to business. Saving time drives efficiency and allows you to focus on higher priority tasks. LMS is proven to save time versus conventional training due to the amount of information that can be delivered quickly and effectively.
No longer do your organisations employees have to travel to a venue to receive training, saving people getting stuck in traffic and extensive round trips.
Training your employees in the right way means that they know exactly what to do in their job and can reach a higher level of productivity. There is nothing worse than feeling like you don’t have the skills to complete the task at hand.
With an LMS solution, your team gets more efficient and interactive training, increasing your retention rate. This also helps save on recruitment costs which we all know can be pretty steep.
The back end of LMS systems is where you get to see if the learning you are allocating to staff is effective and has high uptake. There’s no end to the number of options you have available when viewing different data types, as most platforms offer an array of customisable metrics and views.
Analysing the data helps the LMS administrators see if the course/program is effective. If there are tests at the end of a course or program, they can see the results and see who should be allocated extra learning to fill in skills gaps.
Due to the interactive element of the training within these solutions, the right training will increase employee engagement. Likewise, new ways of training like gamification which have been proven to increase engagement help employees enjoy and consume their learning.
If your LMS solution has a robust and easy to navigate user interface, this can also keep the employees engaged for longer than they would be in a conventional classroom. Some solutions also include inbuilt translation and dyslexia tools which also helps interpret and understand learning and improving learner engagement.
LMS solutions sometimes don’t come cheap, but there are plenty of ways to save money versus conventional in-class training. We touched on this earlier where if you are running a training event, you have to think of venue costs, coaching costs, travel costs and a whole host more. This form of learning not only saves that money but also allows your staff to complete their training quicker, meaning they can get back to focusing on their work.
Due to progressions in technology and innovations in the space this is fast becoming a less used form of accessing an LMS solution. Software-based, the platform will be installed on your computer. With this comes the responsibility for the hosting and the security of data held within.
Usually, you are charged an annual license fee to use the software, increasing upfront costs. You can also be charged fees for upgrades, customisation and branding.
This tends to work better in larger organisations as you will need an IT team to support the infrastructure and running of the software.
With the rise of the internet, it was only a matter of time until LMS solutions enabled web based learning. The most common form of delivery allows learners to access online training from anywhere, as long as they have an internet connection.
The responsibility is on the vendor to handle the security, maintenance, implementation and updates, making the solution more accessible to small and medium sized businesses. This system is cloud based and holds all of your learning documents, videos and data meaning it no longer takes up space on your organisations server.
Easy upload of data, custom branding and employee lists is something a few web-based platforms also offer. Generally, they will charge a monthly or annual subscription with lower costs than locally hosted software products.
Migrating across different LMS platforms is also made easier with Web based solutions, uploading all the relevant data to a new provider can take as little as 15 minutes. With web based being broadly more flexible it can also adapt as you scale up or down your business.
With technology developments over the last century, LMS was the natural compliment to in-class and virtual learning. With the treasure trove of knowledge available being so vast, you can easily find courses that can fit perfectly into your business.
Learning management systems allow you to migrate your training systems onto an automated platform that saves you time and money. Adapt to a more hybrid work model and cope with the current times that we find ourselves in, keeping your team captivated even at home where distractions can be abundant.
In our opinion, the positives massively outweigh the negatives, but we are a bit biased as we’ve created a fantastic solution ourselves.