A learning management system (LMS) is a must for any educational institution, but it isn’t just schools that can benefit from an LMS. Many businesses also use them for employee training and education.
The trouble is, without a lot of experience creating and maintaining an LMS, many businesses can feel a bit lost when implementing the software. If not designed and maintained properly, your system isn’t going to serve you, your employees, or your customers.
Whether you’re looking into getting a new system or you want to make your existing system even better, follow these tips.
Choose Open over Closed Source Software
No matter what kind of software you use, you almost always have the choice between open and closed source programs. When it comes to some things, like securing important information, closed source software is likely to be your best choice. However, when it comes to learning platforms, open source is the way to go.
Closed source options are limiting because they don’t provide you and others on your team with the ability to change the software. In contrast, open source programs enable you to customize your system in an instant.
Additional benefits of open source software include:
- Open source LMS systems are just as secure, if not more so, than closed source LMS options.
- You will always own your data and the code you created for the platform, which makes it easy to move to another service provider.
- Users are constantly monitoring and improving open source platforms, which means you always have access to the latest technology and features.
Make the Learning Environment Interesting and Engaging
There’s a lot to do when it comes to designing an online course. Most of the time, teams concentrate on the content in the LMS, and although it is an extremely important part of the online learning experience, it’s the little things that can really make a difference.
Making an online learning environment engaging means making sure the online course looks exciting by choosing interesting color schemes and images. Keep the layout uncluttered and clean, and make sure navigating the platform is easy. Things like videos, charts, and even gifs can be a great way to break the monotony of a course.
Make It Easy to Use
It doesn’t matter if you’re designing a website or an LMS, if you want people to use the platform and enjoy doing it, you have to make it easy to use. That means being mindful of your design, but when it comes to a learning management system, you also shouldn’t assume that everyone will be able to use the platform without a little training.
Introduce the LMS to employees who will be using it and allow them to play around with it, asking questions about how it works. If you have remote employees, or you don’t want to dedicate time to walking everyone through the platform, consider creating a tutorial that has to be completed before taking the first course.
Facilitating class participation isn’t as easy as it sounds. That’s especially true online. It’s easy to complete the work alone without asking questions or communicating with other students, but you can miss out on a lot of learning opportunities by not facilitating engagement among users.
Open and maintain as many communication channels on the website as you can. That means enabling forums, chats, messengers, and using social media to keep everyone interested and engaged. Make sure there is one easy-to-use channel for asking for feedback or support, and don’t forget to get everyone’s opinion when the course is complete!
Monitor the Use of Your LMS
You may spend a lot of time designing a course, but that doesn’t mean it will have the intended effect. Changes will likely be needed depending on the needs of your students.
Monitor how much time users spend on courses, the progress they make, and how satisfied they are with the content. You can monitor which devices they use to take the class and how well they do on exams. Based on the reports you gather, you can easily make changes with an open source system.
Designing just any LMS won’t have the intended effect. You have to think carefully about what you’re designing, you have to be willing to make changes often, and you have to ensure users are engaged. If you do all of the things on this list, you can ensure everyone gets the most out of your course.