A learning management system (LMS) is web-based technology or software application. LMS is used to implement specific learning processes as well as assess the users. eLearning has grown extremely popular with the age of technology and even more so with the shift from in-person to at-home studies. An LMS service provides a user-friendly interface that is operated by administrators, instructors, and students. Businesses of all sizes, government agencies, educational institutions, and independent contractors often use an LMS to easily educate and train employees and students. Before purchasing, investing, and using an LMS, you should ensure the LMS has the best features to facilitate success.
1. Management of User Functions
The most effective LMS has features that allow administrators and educators to efficiently manage user functions such as:
- User registration
- User access
These user functions are critical. Do you want to be able to provide a certificate upon completion of the course? Do you want to be able to successfully message and communicate your message to students or employees? Does the training need to be purchased? These user functions serve an extremely important purpose. For example, these functions prevent free public access, ensure content is delivered, and guarantee meetings are kept. An administrator should be able to change user functions to meet the needs of their instructional course. If you use different software for meetings, removing user access to a calendar prevents confusion among students and employees.
2. Universal Design
Operating systems vary between devices. An Apple product has a different interface than Windows or Chrome. A successful learning management system can be accessed from various devices whether it is an android or Apple product, desktop, tablet, laptop, or smartphone. The best LMS will have a universal design that is coded to display the best version suited for each device. What if the user is on the road or the Internet goes down? The best designs also allow access to downloadable content, so the user can study, train, or watch while they are offline.
3. Course Management
While an LMS should store all of the course content, the most successful LMS allows administrators and educators to change and manage the course content. Course content should be easily manipulated, created, and managed to best deliver a personalized learning experience. For example, one administrator may use a slideshow platform, while another administrator may prefer to use a discussion board. This ability to change content delivery creates a personalized learning experience. Each user learns and absorbs differently. Personalized course management is a key ingredient to successful elearning.
4. User-Friendly Application
The instant a platform or interface becomes difficult to use is the minute you will lose user attention. Users should not have to focus on how to use the interface, they should be able to focus on the content that the administrators are trying to deliver in the interface. For example, if a training course takes an hour, the hour should be spent on the content delivered on the training, not navigating and accessing the content.
5. Assessment and Certification
Once the content is delivered, how do you assess the user’s understanding of the content? Will the user be able to utilize the content in their job or in their course work? A superior LMS has the capabilities for the administrator to assess the user’s knowledge. An example of an assessment is a quiz. Can the user answer all of the questions correctly for certification? Is the user required to watch videos for training compliance? An administrator should be able to assess the user’s compliance and identify any gaps. An audit may be performed by a governing agency. Administrators should have access to compliance reports such as the user’s hours spent in training for certification, to supply auditors with the proper verification documentation.