So you’ve invested in a LMS for your company – congratulations! But how do you get started with your online training program?
To help you on your eLearning journey, we’ve put together some top start-up tips. Read on for our ultimate LMS beginners guide.
Create A Batch of Introductory Training Items
The first thing you’re going to want to do is to create some content for your LMS users. If your learners are new to online training, it’s essential to make a good first impression, so aim to make their first interactions simple and fun. Your introductory training items should be relatively rapid to complete and attractive to look at. Consider microlearning (bite-size modules) to lure them in and attention-grabbing graphics to keep things stimulating.
Translate Courses Into Multiple Languages
Your new Learning Management System likely offers many great automated features, and translation is probably one of them. Accessibility and ease of understanding are critical to positive eLearning experiences, so why not instantly offer your content in a few different languages? You might have a company with offices all over the world, or a diverse workforce that includes folks with differing mother tongues. From the very beginning, ensure your courses and modules are available in the languages your employees are most comfortable with to remove all possible barriers to learning.
Add Video And Interactive Elements To Training
Elearning content presented in a visually enticing format generally goes over best. One great way to do this is to create variety throughout your courses by offering training materials via a selection of media.
These days it’s pretty simple to add a video to courses. It has the benefit of being entertaining if you think the topic can stand some gentle humour, and also opens up access to individuals who struggle with more traditional text-based delivery. A video needn’t be a pricey Hollywood production either. A camera, a tripod and some decent natural light are all the tech you need to create a simple instructional video of a speaker explaining a concept.
Other interactive elements you could add to create more dynamic content can be found in your LMS dashboard. Gamification is currently a very popular concept in eLearning, and building modules with game-like elements is a nice way to boost user interaction. This can take the form of a simple click-button quiz or a leaderboard feature where learner scores can be posted to stimulate a little friendly office competition. Some Learning Management Systems support Virtual Reality software where your trainees can go through real-life work scenarios too.
Test Your Training Items And Gather Feedback
We can’t emphasise the importance of feedback enough. How will you know if your courses are hitting the right note if you don’t ask?
To some degree, developing superb eLearning content for your company does include an element of testing and evaluation. One way to do this easily could be to add a simple (and brief!) feedback form at the end of your new courses to gauge how they come over. Ultimately, successful eLearning outcomes rely on the content being both relevant to your employees’ daily work, and interesting to boot. Your folks will absolutely let you know if this is or isn’t the case if given the opportunity, and gathering feedback is an effective way to iron out any errors or glitches in your content that initial testing might have missed.
Opening a channel of communication is generally perceived by trainees as positive. If you care about their eLearning experience, staff will see online training as a welcoming, supportive universe rather than a directive from on high. What you should be aiming to do with your LMS is to build a culture of learning so your staff and your company continue to thrive.
Include Assessments And Certification
Another great idea to adopt from the beginning when it comes to a strong start with your Learning Management System is to offer not just assessment but certification too.
With assessment, perhaps in the form of a quick quiz at the end of a course to test knowledge retention, you’ll get an idea of how your learners are doing with their studies. Why not offer them something extra in return? The opportunity to accrue certificates, qualifications, or even badges and points can help motivate trainees to take a course and stick with it. Plus, your employees will feel supported as they follow their individual career paths. A great piece of software can even automatically issue downloadable certificates directly to the learner once they’ve completed a course. Tangible results and rewards go a long way to keeping folks on their learning paths.
Encouraging Online Group Learning
Online learning via an LMS isn’t necessarily a solitary activity. While many people are happy to work through courses alone at their own pace, others enjoy and deeply benefit from social learning. Social learning has recently emerged as a popular trend in eLearning and it’s a great way to bring teams together. It’s good practice to start as you mean to go on, so we recommend you offer group training courses from the beginning of your LMS usage.
A simple way to do this is to utilise features such as forums and group video chat which come as standard with most eLearning systems. Invite a group of learners to a course topic, encourage them to organise into teams and assign training content for them that’s designed to test and improve things such as collaboration skills, group problem-solving and perhaps even leadership. By including course elements that stimulate these skillsets, you’ll be widening the training formats you offer (and thereby keeping things interesting) but also teaching something other than information retention.
Keep An Eye On Tracking and Reporting
Your new Learning Management System should have an easy-to-use dashboard that gives you plenty of ways to track the progress of your learners. We definitely recommend making use of these tools at your disposal from the get-go. Your LMS administrators should have access to detailed reporting, and be able to drill down into that data to generate reports for managers and CEOs so you have a clear picture of how your LMS is supporting your business.
By regularly evaluating eLearning results and engagement, you’ll be able to see which courses are popular and quickly completed, and which ones perhaps need a little more work. You’ll be able to spot gaps in your workforce’s knowledge and respond with new courses to improve things too.
Automate Your Training Content To Save Time
Your Learning Management System should be easy to maintain, so if you’ve chosen it well, you’ll probably find it has a suite of automation tools you can leverage to help your administrators with potentially repetitive tasks. Most robust LMSs have auto email tools to remind learners to keep moving through their modules, in addition to automated course suggestions you can set to target folks in specific departments at certain times. For instance, you could create a simple course for onboarding or orienting staff that can be sent to new recruits on their first day.
Communicate With Learners About What’s Next and Important
And finally, remember that eLearning software is designed to aid communication: the communication of key information you need staff to know, but also to communicate why all this training is necessary. One of the best things you can do with your newly purchased LMS is to use it to embed regular online training into an ordinary work week.
So! Utilise your LMS tools to issue alerts, reminders or intriguing animated pop-ups to help employees stay interested in their workplace education. Regular updates as to what new courses are available to follow are critical, as are notifications about the availability of uploaded resources such as handbooks and manuals, or refresher modules if test scores seem to indicate they might be necessary.
We’ve previously mentioned the idea of fostering a culture of learning, but it bears repeating here. Keeping your learners engaged with online training from the very beginning of LMS adoption is at the heart of a happy, talented workplace.