There is a huge variety of LMSs to choose from – all have different functionality and come in at wildly different price points. Some operate on a single-purchase CapEx basis while others operate using a SaaS model whereby companies are charged on a subscription (OpEx) basis which varies according to the number of users.
What are LMSs?
LMSs stands for learning management systems. They are software that companies use to train staff. LMS stands for Learning Management System which is a tool that disseminates training courses that were created in software called an authoring tool. Some are expensive, standalone pieces of software that require specialist operators. Others are lightweight, mobile-based software that’s designed to function on a smartphone or mobile device.
10 tips on choosing the best LMSs
1. Mobile based
Mobile computing is increasingly becoming the dominant form of computing. As such, it makes sense to use LMSs that are specifically-designed to disseminate training on mobile phones. While many traditional eLearning courses can be accessed on mobile devices, the user experience is annoying and fiddly and acts as a barrier to engagement and learning.
One of the most effective forms of learning is spaced repetition. By repeating training at increasing intervals, knowledge becomes embedded. But be sure to use the correct spaced repetition schedule as incorrect revision timing makes learning ineffective.
Having your own employees train other employees makes learning much more effective and relatable. Some LMSs only allow specialist authors to create lessons while others (especially template-based LMSs) enable anyone to create courses themselves (or with minimal assistance).
Learning is most effective when it doesn’t feel like learning. Making it fun, challenging and competitive by using gamification makes completing courses more of a compelling proposition to learners.
Microlearning involves breaking subjects down into just a few, easily-digestible parts. It’s very effective as learners are not overwhelmed with superfluous information which means there’s a much greater opportunity for knowledge to pass to long-term memory. It’s one of the core features of good LMSs.
Typical training courses can be expensive to create, involve external specialists and delivery can take weeks. However, by using an authoring tool with interactive templates, anybody can create a lesson in the morning and distribute it in the afternoon. This also enables LMSs to be agile enough to allow frequent updates – something that keeps learners interested and prevents them switching off when presented with out-of-date content.
7. Cloud distribution
Training courses are regularly comprised of enormous file sizes. Consequently, sending them out to learners is prohibitive while expecting them to download them from locations with mediocre internet access is impractical. However, if you choose LMSs which distribute material via the cloud or an app, content can easily be streamed anywhere in the world using only basic broadband requirements.
Games are one thing, but offering real world prizes for completing courses (or achieving the best scores) can push completion rates to 100 per cent across the board. It’s far more effective to offer multiple small prizes (such as shopping, food or coffee vouchers) rather than the opportunity to potentially win one large prize… maybe.
Good LMSs will have extensive analytics built in. This way, L&D professionals can easily see how learners are faring: who is succeeding and who’s struggling? In doing so, they can identify whether a course needs adjusting or if learners need nudging to complete their lessons.
A potentially very useful feature of LMSs is push notifications. Being able to inform individuals or groups of learners that there is a new lesson, deadline, prize or prize winner is incredibly useful – especially if that notification appears on the learner’s own smartphone screen as an app notification.
If you’d like to learn more about EdApp’s mobile-focused LMS and integrated authoring tool – which offer all of the above features –get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also try EdApp’s Mobile LMS for free by signing up here or in the box below.