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Learning Management Systems, when done right, can be a huge blessing. They can allow you to centralize all of your training material and design curriculum and educational options for your employees that can be taken anytime, anywhere. Learning Management Systems have become hugely important in the past few years, but even more so in the aftermath of COVID-19, which has seen more and more people forced to work from home or take on other job responsibilities.

Unfortunately, many Learning Management Systems fail to meet their full potential. Read more

In a world with an increasing emphasis on valuable skills, the rapid eLearning business is reaching and influencing more people than ever before. Rapid eLearning courses are training courses that can be developed in three weeks or less. The modules can be completed in under an hour.

Many companies have adopted rapid eLearning as the standard for teaching concepts and skills. Rapid eLearning enables companies to teach faster and with lower costs than ever before, due to quick development times and customizable rapid development templates. After accounting for all of the advantages of rapid eLearning, it becomes clear that utilizing them leads to a higher return on investment for the company and more efficient learning for learners.

Rapid eLearning Has Lower Costs Than Traditional Learning Programs

One major advantage of implementing rapid eLearning is lower costs. This is due to the use of standardized course templates, reusable and easy-to-update components and the development of a common user interface. These things all lead to quick development, saving on the costs normally associated with producing learning programs, such as paying for extensive development and implementation. In addition, organizations that make use of rapid eLearning services have a significantly better experience when it comes to updating and maintaining their programs, as the standardized modules can be updated to account for policy changes or advanced educational standards quickly and easily, saving further on costs.

LMS

Learning Management Systems have the tools necessary for producing rapid eLearning courses. It is vital for a corporation to select the correct LMS that will fulfill their needs as many LMS cater to various requirements, from sales-oriented training services to personal education programs. Each LMS has its own options as it comes to tools to develop your own online courses.

Drawbacks of Rapid eLearning

Despite the aforementioned advantages of rapid eLearning including cheaper production and speedy development, there are some disadvantages that come with the service. Due to the standardized course templates and sometimes generic graphic-design styles used in rapid eLearning courses, a learner may become disengaged after following a few courses.

It is important to use fresh graphics and design to avoid disinterest. And most importantly make sure the course content has depth to keep the learner motivated and engaged.
Rapid eLearning is not well suited for in-depth, specialized training. In addition, when a subject matter is extensive and requires many educational tools to teach properly, rapid eLearning may not be the most effective method of training.

Why Rapid eLearning?

In summation, rapid eLearning combined with the correct LMS is very effective for organizations seeking to reduce costs and streamline the education of their employees. Overall, if implemented correctly, rapid eLearning brings with it many significant advantages that can change the way a company teaches its employees.

 

The need for a centralized platform to effectively and efficiently address multiple facets of learning management has given rise to the increasing popularity and ubiquity of the learning management system software.

Different aspects of learning management such as administration, course design and management, progress tracking, training management, and more are now unified within a single, easy-to-use solution.

There are various learning management system examples to choose from. With a good LMS software, organizing content and creating courses is a breeze. Students or learners are able to access learning materials from any device and learn at their own pace. Educators can monitor the progress of their learners and evaluate their performance more effectively.

One can easily list the advantages an LMS brings to any organization. But how do you optimize your learning management software and fully maximize its potential?

1. Go Mobile

Mobile learning is not a recent innovation. It has been a staple functionality for many common learning management systems. The adoption of mobile-based learning has seen an increase in the past 4-5 years. The trajectory of its implementation shows that this e-learning trend will be a mainstay in the future.

Learning management system experts credit this to the extreme flexibility that mobile learning gives to its learners. They can easily access reading materials, instructions, and other content through their laptops, desktops, smartphones or tablets. They can perform tests and submit essays on-the-go.

Looking from an administrative standpoint, mobile learning gives educators and administrators higher engagement. Such strategy empowers learners to perform and learn at their own pace. This significantly improves completion rates, which positively impacts the organization’s bottom line.

Such insight raises a few expectations. Organizations have to come up with courses, content, and other materials that are either mobile-adaptive, mobile-responsive or both if they are looking to get the most out of mobile learning.

2. Adopt a Digitized ILT Strategy

Instructor-led training, or ILT, is not a dying method of teaching and learning. There are still organizations that prefer to train or educate people within a controlled physical environment with an instructor physically present at the helm.

However, with the advent of mobile technologies, as well as innovations in online communications, ILT-based courses and programs are getting boxed in and limited. On top of that, there is a growing demand for tech-friendly learning that is either blended and/or fully online.

In fact, there’s a ‘classroom vs. online learning’ debate going on. From the looks of it, the online side is winning.

Among the reasons that fuel said demands are the reduced budgets for training and the need for shorter, faster employee training cycles. A traditional ILT setting costs more since it requires more money and resources (instructor fee, printed materials, use of office facilities, and accommodation of instructor and trainees) to conduct the training.

Blended and fully online ILT is significantly cheaper, as instruction is delivered online or through video conferencing. It eliminates the need to gather people in a single location and shoulder other expenses such as the instructors’ accommodation, fare, and professional fees. 

By shifting to a digitized ILT, learners are able to consume content and other learning materials as well as instructions and insights from their instructor via online channels. Trainers can access their course management system and track progress and analyze the performance of their trainees. They can provide feedback and further instructions as effectively as they can even if they are not physically present. 

The digitization of ILT not only speeds up learning, but organizations enjoy significant savings on costs while reaping huge returns. 

3. Give Learners Control

Self-directed learning is seen as an effective approach to learning and development, particularly in the corporate environment. Employees are encouraged to choose what they want to learn and how. They are given the onus of learning instead of placing that responsibility to the teacher or instructor.

To empower self-directed learning, organizations must provide employees unhindered access to instructional materials, LMS metrics and other content for learning to make them feel like they are in charge of their learning path. This enables them to map out their growth and development within a time frame of their choosing.

Experts believe that many organizations are recognizing the value of self-directed learning as well as its rewards. It is a trend that is poised to continue in 2020 and beyond.

4. Gamify the Learning Process

Incorporating gamification elements, such as rewards, points, and contests, in learning has helped improve engagement among learners and enhance their retention rate. Gamified learning has many applications. In particular, experts cite the employee onboarding stage as its biggest area of application.

In fact, up to 69% of new employees are likely to stay with their company for more than three years if they are eased into the workplace environment through a well-formed onboarding process according to this SHRM Foundation report. Gamification in the onboarding process results in higher retention rate and application by new hires while creating a branded experience for the employer. Apart from onboarding, gamified learning can also be used on product training and skills testing.

A few years ago, most of the learning industry is not sold on the concept of gamification and its impact on learning. However, for the past two years, the implementation of gamification-based learning has seen a steady increase. And there is no stopping yet.

If you are currently selecting LMS vendor or doing a learning management system comparison, choose one that lets you have fun while learning. The best learning management systems should not just be easy to use, but should also allow you to fully make it your own based on your processes.

5. Leverage Interactive Videos

Most LMS comes with video conferencing and video chat features. Only a few are equipped with interactive video capabilities. But that will soon change as video-based learning is quickly gaining traction, providing organizations and learners a new and highly engaging learning alternative.

The 2019 State of Video in Education report revealed that 98% of over 1,400 respondents view interactive videos as an instrumental tool in creating personalized and self-paced learning. Respondents include international educators and students.

The digital learner of today is no longer bound by the traditional conventions of learning. Unhindered, real-time access to learning materials and other content is now a reality. Smartphones and tablets are interactive. People consume content through these interactive platforms. It makes total sense to implement interactive videos for learning that learners can access and consume via their smartphones.

Leveraging interactive videos greatly improves the effectiveness of your LMS. For one, you can create engaging and immersive videos that are personalized to suit user preferences. Two, capturing relevant information and statistics is a breeze. This helps you go deep into your learner’s data and discover insights that you can use to further improve your learning programs and your learner’s performance among other things.

The Future of VR/AR for Better Learning

So, what’s next for LMS?

Virtual reality and augmented reality is fast becoming relevant in the online learning sector. That said, only a few LMS offer VR/AR-based learning. But with the many benefits it brings to both organizations and learners, there is no doubt that VR/AR-based learning will be a staple LMS capability in the future.

With VR/AR training, learners can effortlessly shift from theory training and immerse themselves in a virtual reality space through their mobile phones and specially designed headsets. Within the VR environment, users are able to experience situations where theory and application meet, and where they can carry out sans the risks.

The 2019 Augmented and Virtual Reality Survey Report revealed that 78% of the 200 VR/AR startup founders believe that their products are highly applicable in training and developing the workforce. Meanwhile, 53% of the respondents said that VR/AR technologies provide learners safe and site-specific virtual training environments that they can repeat. Thirty-six percent thought VR/AR-based training is far more cost-effective compared to standard training.

Experience is the best teacher. With that, VR/AR-based learning is arguably the next best thing to empower your team to improve on their skills and knowledge.

People are your company’s most important assets. It’s essential that they maintain and gain the knowledge that sets your business apart from the competition. Adopting the right open source learning management system (LMS) makes it possible for you to offer dynamic training in a way that reduces costs, improves learning outcomes, and adapts to your organization’s changing needs.

The learning management system market is expanding enormously. Each day, dozens of new LMS platforms appear. So how do you choose? As we firmly believe in open source software, we have created a list of the best open source learning management systems available today that are suited for businesses. Here are five of the top open source LMS platforms on the market.

#1 Totara Learning

Totara Learning is an LMS that was developed in New Zealand for businesses that need to offer training in agile environments. Totara Learning is completely customizable, which allows you to create learning modules that are unique to your brand. Totara serves businesses that operate in education, financial services, manufacturing, and hospitality.

👍 A key benefit of the Totara Learning platform is that it’s built for businesses with unique features as multi-tenancy.
👎 Industry experts note Totara’s complexity and expense as its most prominent downsides.
👎 The platform is also perceived as difficult to use.

#2 edloomio

The edloomio platform is an enterprise LMS that’s designed for internal training. Edloomio supports uploads of existing content for easy course creation. With edloomio, your data is kept safe on secure servers that comply with Europe’s strict General Data Protection Regulation.

👍Industry insiders find edloomio to be very easy to use right out of the box.
👍Unique features for internal training such as onboarding, compliance training, etc.
👎 The platform is fairly new.
👎 Premium support is not 24/7 available.

#3 Moodle

An exclusive on our list as Moodle is not build for business. But Moodle is one of the most well-known LMS platforms on the market. It’s specifically designed to support teachers that operate in the education market. The downloadable software is maintained by the Moodle Project with the financial support of service partners from around the world.

The developer community for the Moodle Project is vast, which enables it to make periodic software improvements that benefit users. While Moodle works well for customers such as Microsoft’s Open University and the London School of Economics, its features aren’t designed for businesses that operate beyond the education and training market. Other users note that the software is complex and a little hard to use.

👍 Biggest community with continues development.
👎 You will need a developer to setup and customize.
👎 Not easy to master. It’s features are overwhelming.
👎 The platform is also difficult to use.
👎 Not build for businesses.

#4 ILIAS

ILIAS is an open source learning management system that enables public sector organizations, schools, and businesses to create tailored learning scenarios. ILIAS has been around since 1998, and its developer and user community is large and active. This means fewer bugs and more innovation.

👍 ILIAS users love the system’s flexibility and numerous features that support optimum customization.
👎 Other people note that the software is complex and hard to use for newbies.
👎 The system’s interface really needs an update.

#5 OpenEdx

OpenEdx is a open source learning management platform for the education and training community. Instructors create learning content within OpenEdx that includes multimedia presentations, adaptive video streaming, and virtual reality simulation environments.

OpenEdx was originally developed to support edX, which is the online learning environment for Harvard and MIT.

👍 Edx videos are integrated. (Not all are free though)
👎 The platform is hard to set up.
👎 Some users note that it lacks the extensive set of features that’s standard on other LMS platforms.

Conclusion

Open source learning management systems offer many important options to businesses. Whether you need to train large groups of team members or deliver instruction to students around the country through your tutoring business, you’ll quickly realize the value that the right open source LMS brings to your organization.