Instructional Design

LMS 101: Creating a Solution

Training and development isn’t exactly a place where you want to “wing it.” While you may be interested in creative solutions and off-the-cuff content, going into training without a learning management system (LMS) could leave you flying blind. By getting control of your training modules and properly tracking learners and their success in the program, you can better offer exactly what your learners need in the easiest, most efficient way possible.

Demystifying LMS

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that it’s just another tech abbreviation: You need to get to know LMS if you want to take your training to the next level. In essence, an LMS is a method by which you can administrate, deliver and track your training and education efforts.

This goes beyond a casual desire to know whether or not learners are actually viewing and interacting with the material, but a way to streamline the entire training process. From content creation to user engagement, an LMS allows you to better evaluate the effectiveness of your module, allowing you to tweak until you reach training perfection.

Types of Learning Management Systems

When searching for the perfect LMS, you’re bound to come across a few different types, all which can leave you scratching your head. Learning management systems usually come in two different categories: Installed or software-as-a-service (SaaS).

Installed systems can be free or paid via a one-time fee, and once downloaded, it’s up to you to manage. These tend to work best for smaller organizations and modules, and for administrators who want the most control over the LMS – for the least amount of money. Still, an installed LMS usually gives you the most freedom to tailor the learning experience, upload new content and track your learners’ progress.

For more features and a simpler experience, SaaS-based LMS can help remove some of the guesswork from managing your modules. With a SaaS, you have a dedicated customer service team available to help, with regular updates and features. It may work best for larger organizations that require ongoing and changing training modules.

Choosing the Right LMS

Choosing your LMS will come down to a few important factors: Practice, feedback and integration. If it’s possible, taking a few different systems for a test drive within your organization can help you gain valuable feedback from learners and test whether or not the features are a good fit. Talk to other organizations that use the same LMS and make sure the included tools are of worth to your organization.

Learning management systems aren’t a one-size-fits-all type of application. What works for another organization might be a total dud in your workplace. Luckily, there’s no shortage of system, which means you have the luxury of being picky.