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.