A Learning Management System (LMS) helps you deliver training materials and develop skills within your organization. These systems can be extremely useful, but they can also be too complex. The abundance of available LMS features makes it difficult to decide which is useful and which is distracting.
Before comparing specific LMS feature, you should list learning objectives specific to your organization. Defining your goals will help you choose the LMS features that work best for your business. Not all businesses will need government compliance training (HIPAA, OSHA, etc.), and others may want to offer their training for registration access.
Whatever your need, these eight LMS features are the most important to look for.
1. Course creation
It looks like this is included with all LMS software, but the most basic definition of an LMS doesn’t include a course creation module. Some options require you to bring your own content, which means you’ll have to create videos and content in a separate system and import them into the program. Find an LMS that includes course creation features that will help you streamline your processes.
2. Skills/Certification tracking
Skills and certifications tracking is one of the most important LMS features for almost any type of user. It’s good to train your staff, but you won’t have a benchmark by which to measure performance and improvement if you don’t track skill development and certifications, or at least complete the course. These features can enhance government compliance by making your completed and pending certifications available through an exportable spreadsheet. Tracking acquired skills and earned certifications also allows you to report on employee progress, showing an immediate return to your efforts.
3. Mobile learning
It’s surprising to know that some people don’t have computers at home, but one useful way to deal with this is to study on a mobile device. When your LMS feature offers mobile functionality, including responsive design or native mobile apps, learners can participate in training from any location using any device they own. This is especially useful for certifications that require learning outside of the workday or for distributed teams where learning can happen between calls or visits.
4. Asynchronous learning
One of the best features for improving engagement and knowledge retention is asynchronous learning, which is the ability for learners to complete subjects at their own pace. This means they do not need to be present at a certain time for a lecture or to speak to an instructor. The combination of videos, online readings, posts, and Q&A forums where students can interact with the material at their own pace and time frame helps foster membership and improvement Feedback.
E-Learning to learn is a great idea in theory, but in the real world (where your employees live) you’ll likely want to encourage the process. Game features can turn to learn into a friendly competition. While it may not make your subject more interesting, adding gameplay features to your courses and training programs will engage learners, speeding through the boil and increasing compliance.
6. Video conferencing
Students who need individual attention or have complex questions will appreciate the LMS feature that includes video conferencing functionality. While bulletin boards and email can cover most of your communication needs, video conferencing allows you to have tough conversations. Your business will appreciate that you don’t have to pay external registrations to communicate directly with your students.
7. Social learning/message boards
Like many things we do every day, learning is social and your LMS feature should include features that help your students learn from each other. Not only does this improve the learning process, but it’s also a great way to relieve stress on your coaches. By adding message boards and social learning features, your students can ask and answer questions in the forum settings. The best way to show your understanding of a topic is to teach it, so let your students teach each other.
8. E-commerce and subscriptions
Many LMS feature programs offer a channel to publish your content to a wider audience, so you can monetize what you’ve built. In that case, look for an LMS that gives you access to the learning content. To join a course or learning module, users provide their email address, make a one-time payment or accept a monthly subscription. Adding a subscription course to your website is a great way to generate recurring income using your collective wisdom.