This month, we’ve examined what an organization needs from an online training solution in order for it to be effective and worth your investment. There are many Learning Management Systems available at almost every price point, and it can be hard to decide which one will best meet your needs. One way to narrow it down is to determine exactly what features your learners, administrators and decision-makers need from the LMS and evaluate how it meets (or doesn’t meet) those needs.
Let’s look at how SkillBuilder® LMS responds to the needs of these three main user groups.
Right for Your Users
Learners, whether they’re your internal staff, clients, or the general public, need an LMS to be efficient and user-friendly. They want to get to the content without having to learn complex navigation or software. With SkillBuilder® LMS, learners can use the intuitive interface to register themselves, browse course catalogs and get assignments from their managers or instructors.
For internal staff, training needs to be on-demand and tied directly to job performance. As we discussed in Modern Learning Challenges, staff have very little time to focus on training and when they do turn to training, they want it to be quick and to the point. SkillBuilder® LMS allows training to be broken into Learning Items, which can be extremely specific—a video, a downloadable document, or a link. A Learning Item can be used as a reference for a job task, as it doesn’t require the learner to click through a PowerPoint deck or an entire online course in order to find the document or link that they need.
Many tasks and concepts can’t be fully explained in a single Learning Item, so your Learning Items can be grouped into Learning Paths. Each Learning Path is made up of a collection of related Learning Items which, taken together, teach a specific skill.
Finally, Learning Paths can be organized into Categories or Bands. It may make sense for your organization to have all of the accounting-related training in a Band so that department has their materials grouped together. Or perhaps the Band will contain all of the Learning Paths related to a piece of software, or of interest to a certain audience. You’re able to customize the way all of the training is organized, which means it can be tailor-made for your purposes.
Administrators and Developers
An LMS may look good to the learner, but it also needs to be simple to administrate and update. The immediate benefit is saving time for your developers and administrators, as they don’t need special knowledge in coding or complex new software in order to add or edit courses. In the longer term, this ease of use means that the courses are more likely to stay up-to-date, and therefore remain relevant longer.
SkillBuilder® LMS is designed to be flexible about the type of content it can support, which means no time wasted converting between formats or getting documents, videos or other media to work in another piece of software. Imagine that the job aid for a task has just been updated. Rather than go into an online course, find the specific changes, make the changes, re-publish the course and make the new version available, your developer or administrator can simply upload the PDF.
We know that not all learning can be delivered online, which is why SkillBuilder® LMS lets your team manage in-person seminars, live sessions, instructor-led classroom materials, and on-the-job task evaluations from within the same platform. Each student or staff member who is in the system as a learner can be assigned to download a PDF and attend an accompanying webinar right in SkillBuilder® LMS, which helps everyone keep track of their learning.
The setup of SkillBuilder® LMS is just as flexible. Your developers can enable tax calculations, Open Badges, a storefront, SEO keywords, discussion forums, self-registration, and much more—all without building any new code or having any special programming abilities. These features (and many more) can be turned on or off, giving your LMS a custom look and the configuration that makes sense for your purposes. Even if your LMS will be used for internal staff, these options can be helpful for tracking purposes and ensuring that renewable licenses (like First Aid or other regulatory training) are always up to date.
Stakeholders and Decision-makers
Stakeholders may not use an LMS for development or for training, but they do need to be able to run reports in order to measure success and identify areas that need improvement. SkillBuilder® LMS includes reporting features like Learning Item completion rates and order details that allow decision-makers to quickly see the usage and income of the LMS platform. The ability to run specific, customized reports lets your executives and decision-makers see exactly what is happening within your LMS, which in turn shows them the value of having the LMS at all.
Decision-makers can customize the analysis based on their requirements and cut out any extra information. Need to see the effectiveness of an advertising campaign for a public-facing course? You can run a report on how many times a specific discount code has been used. Need to see which staff are due for a re-test on their WHMIS training? Try running a report on the expiry date on completed courses and get a list of who needs to be re-certified in just a few clicks.
The ability to get excellent, streamlined data is essential for your stakeholders, as they need their information to be on hand at all times rather than waiting for another busy department to prepare a report for them. Reporting features like the ones available in SkillBuilder® LMS allow decision-makers to make their decisions with more complete information.
SkillBuilder® LMS allows you to make new or updated information available to your learners with ease by simplifying the job of your LMS developers and administrators. The flexibility of formats and ability to include a variety of items as independent Learning Items makes it easy to keep the platform relevant and searchable.
SkillBuilder® LMS is also appealing to anyone who needs to run reports to get complete and up-to-the-minute data on completion rates, learner numbers, certification expiration, income, course popularity and more. Make it easy for your stakeholders to see the value of your LMS by giving them the power to run the numbers for themselves—instantly, easily and narrowed down to the information they want.