Even before the global pandemic outbreak, the eLearning industry adoption rate was steadily expanding. Now, it’s exploding, as most organizations were forced to invest in virtual learning due to the abrupt prolonged lockdowns. According to a Global Market Insights study, the eLearning market is estimated to reach $375 billion by 2026. As such, there is an impetus for most companies to begin incorporating eLearning technology to fuel their growth and expansion.
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the top 5 features you’ll need to have when deciding on an LMS for 2021.
Learning Paths with Progress Tracking
Learning paths are like roadmaps a learner must follow to complete their training. While learning paths are a prevalent LMS feature, each LMS has its take on how it works. Trainers can establish and deliver course content that requires pre-requisites or following a particular sequence of courses, including setting a path along a timeline. Some LMSs include branching options, traveling along a specialized path based on which course(s) they choose. Learning paths are a great way to keep learners on track as it prevents them from skipping around and helps keep them focused.
An essential consideration that should accompany an LMS with learning paths is progress tracking. The ability to track progress gives instructors detailed analysis of a learner’s journey, including specifics of the process. For example, with progress tracking, trainers can see details about class participation, quiz and test results, time spent, and other data to precisely know how the trainee is performing, enabling the ability to provide them with instant feedback.
Interactivity is essential to providing the best learning opportunities for your trainees. A user-friendly LMS should provide a way for learners to interact with each other, learn from each other, and direct interaction with the trainer. Interactive training allows for live discussions, instruction, and feedback. It will enable trainers to oversee the businesses as needed, interject when necessary, and frees up more time to assist those who need more significant one-on-one support.
Some courses can be better understood when inclusive of peer to peer conversations, such as interactive whiteboards. These tools aim to create more ways to participate and learn from each other versus traditional rigid formats. Also, interactive video can serve to engage learners by asking specific questions or providing guidance to your learners after each lesson or chapter within the course.
Personalized Learning Features
Interestingly, most trainers have realized that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to content development over the past few years. Each learner is unique in terms of their length of service, experience, or department within an organization. These varied learners require a different approach, pace, and training style to increase effectiveness. Utilizing a user-friendly LMS enables trainers to create custom content deliverable to specific learner groups.
The right LMS will also give trainers the benefit of working with their learners on a more individualized basis. Learners who are experts at certain functions can be provided with courses that further enhance their knowledge and expertise. Similarly, learners starting from scratch are offered subject awareness from a basic level to advance.
Blended learning is the best of both worlds. It’s the ability to marry different training formats that provide greater flexibility for learners to engage, learn, and develop at their own pace. A modern LMS should allow you to provide a well-rounded variety of training, including live, instructor-led training (ILT), virtual classrooms, on-demand learning, and mobile and social learning capabilities. Using multiple course formats and styles is a way for learners to train anytime and anywhere and works well with the trainer and learner’s schedules.
Assessments, Quizzes, and Surveys
Real-time progress measuring and monitoring are essential in an LMS environment. This is accomplished by including assessments, tests, quizzes, and surveys within a course. The more customization an LMS can provide along these lines, the better. Surveys offer the ability to track and gauge learners’ reactions and opinions of the course content and delivery style.
Storytelling is both a concept and a feature that provides information to learners using real situations and examples to make a point. Instructors can now craft course content by presenting case-based “stories” with real examples, while narrative-based storytelling uses fictional situations and examples to illustrate and demonstrate a learner’s ability to grasp better and acquire knowledge. A good LMS will allow you to build courses using multiple storytelling formats to explain specific problems or scenarios that show the learners how to overcome them.
Now that many organizations are dealing with an increase in learners working from home, in scattered locations, it’s imperative that you incorporate an LMS into your L&D ecosystem. As you sort through many LMS options out there, remember to consider the features listed above in making your decision. The “best” LMS will help consolidate multiple tools under a single umbrella. This enhances learner engagement, increases communication and interaction between trainers and learners while deepening learner knowledge and understanding of their roles and function. Best of all, it allows them to keep themselves up to date in a self-serve manner with the most relevant subject matter, enabling the potential for tremendous learning success.