E-Learning becomes ever-more-popular every day. Though technology is usually used for colleges, universities, online courses, it is quite useful for your business too. If you’re interested in it, then this article is a must-read. That’s predicted that the global LMS (Learning Management System) market size will reach USD 22.4 billion by 2023. That’s not bad growth comparing with USD 9.2 billion in 2018, eh? The figures speak volumes. Thus, that’s what makes 98% of all companies at least to plan to implement e-Learning by 2020. So, how exactly LMS can be beneficial to your business? Let’s investigate it together.
» Learning management system: what is it?
LMS is an app-/web-based platform for training, learning and improving your employees’ qualification and workmanship. Using this unified educational technology, you can create courses content, manage learners, track the progress, collect the data, get detailed reports and access the documents of the individuals, and utilize other administrative functions. LMS incorporated into your enterprise gives your employers access to educational materials and the ability to enhance the skills, further their careers, ease onboarding, etc.
» Types of learning management systems
Today you’ll find several types of LMS available on the market to pick from. You can select an LMS with various functions offered to answer your demands in accordance with your budget, requirements, goals, needs, and purposes. Let’s observe the most widespread LMSs to use in 2019.
› Free LMS gives a stand-alone solution, but it’s limited in features, tools, and courses. Besides, it’s much harder to update and upgrade the program. Plus, it can have some hidden fees.
› Commercial LMS will cost you some money, but in its turn provides you with total support, a wide range of options, tools, features. Also, it’s much easier to deploy, use, and upgrade.
› Installed/Hosted LMS is hosted on your own servers with all the data stored on it. The advantage of the locally-based product is the ability to customize and individualize the LMSs. The main drawback is the responsibility for all the updates, upgrades of the software, safety, security, and other administrative tasks that become yours, but not vendors’.
› Cloud-based SaaS LMS is hosted on the vendor’s servers. Such kind gives you more flexibility and accessibility to the data from anywhere because the info is stored in the cloud. Besides, in this case, a large part of responsibilities rest on the vendor that eases your work by times.
› Open Source LMS gives you freedom, but also responsibilities, because anyone has access to the original code with the ability to redistribute and modify it at any time.
› Closed Source LMS doesn’t share its original code for anyone. Note that online Saas / Cloud LMS is always closed source systems.
› Integrated LMS. It’s one of the most convenient types to use for your business. The highlight of the LMS is that it can be easily integrated with other applications already used. What’s more, a host of add-ons, features, tools can be added to your LMS easily and problem free.
› Course-creating LMS. Not each LMS turns to be LCMS. It’s one more thing to check in case you are going to create your own courses with unique design, materials, and classes. Otherwise, it is just a tool to utilize to distribute learning content.
» How to benefit from learning management system?
Yes, now it’s clear that LMS has lots of advantages, tools, and features to implement in your company. Anyway, how you can benefit from LMS? Here we gathered the most obvious profits of LMS used. Let’s check them out.
› Improve employee performance
Learning, training and evaluating employees is the main reasons to implement LMS into your business. LMS gives immediate access to the materials at any time they need it, providing the solution, answers, help. That can improve employee performance by times.
› Reduce training costs
Investing in the growth and skills improvement of your workers is always a good idea. The better your employees know their job, the higher the revenue you can expect. Thanks to the LMS you can reduce the educational costs by times. Just because it denies such added expenses like a trainer fee, work time lost for classes, expensive travels, course materials, etc. What’s more, your employees can study online in their free time at home and/or office, when and where it’s convenient for them.
› Simplify training administration
Today a lot of things can be done online, and staff training is one of the first things on the list. Due to the variety of built-in features and tools, LMS can ease administrative tasks and cut the time required for it by automating a host of the repetitive and routine tasks you do manually. It gives the ability to focus on the more important things like the effectiveness of the course, the progress of the employees, measuring the results, and others.
› Manage and track employee progress
One more useful feature of modern LMS is the ability to gather and analyze the data. Thus, not only can you improve the skills of your workers, but also manage and track their progress. In such a way you can change the learning courses making it easier or more difficult depending on the reports you got. Thus, you will increase the effectiveness of the training.
› Make onboarding easy
Onboarding new employees is a time-consuming process. If implemented successfully, LMS would save you time and resources - it contains all the needed information to help a newbie to get started with a project. Thus, there is no need to waste the time of other workers on the training of a new member or repeating important information. Just give access to certain courses and/or classes and make onboarding a really easy thing.
› No Missed Training
LMS and eLearning at all give the freedom to the learners and trainers. Every employee can create own schedule of classes not to miss out any and fit the busy timeline. That can be quite useful for you and your workers. Everything left to do for you is to track the activities and progress. That promises a huge incentive for training.
» Top 7 Features of the LMS will Grow Your Business in 2019
The popularity of e-learning makes LMSs evolve fast and offer great features. The range of options available impresses. However, it can happen that it won’t ease your choice, but make it more complicated. That’s why you should choose the software depending on your needs, requirements, goals. Here are our top 7 LMS features that are must-have for your business in 2019. Let’s observe each one separately.
#1 Communication management
Learning can’t be fully realized without communication between trainer and student. That’s why modern LMSs have built-in communication tools like emails, chats, video calls, discussion boards at your disposal. Employees/trainees and trainers can communicate by means of the tools to make the learning process more effective. Also, there can be the ability to integrate third-party web-based plugins for the purpose in case no implemented tools are provided. Thus, you can add LinkedIn, MailChimp, Facebook, and others.
Reports are an essential part of the learning and measuring the results of the students/workers. It’s what helps you to manage, control, and track the progress along with the effectiveness of your courses, and, therefore, your workers. The real trouble is if the reports don’t meet your demands and don’t satisfy your needs; when the data gathered doesn’t help you to size up the situation. Then LMS featured with tools to create custom reports and audit logs are what you need to look for. Thank god, you have a wide choice of such LMS on the market.
One more useful and must-have feature of LMS to look for is custom notifications. It’s obvious that administering the training and courses takes a lot of time, not only yours but your workers as well. And that costs you money. Reduce expenses by means of LMS notification tools. You and your employees can create the training schedule to be automatically notified by the system not to miss out the classes. In such a way you spend less time on routine administrative tasks and focus on more crucial things. Besides that, it’s bound to eliminate the impact on the performance of your workers’ duties.
#4 Online video conference
It becomes a common thing that large organizations and companies have employees all over the globe. It’s obvious that the ability to make learning more human, as well as face-to-face, is what you would like to find in your LMS. That makes online video conference one of the tools to keep a sharp look-out. Some LMSs have built-in or at least integrated tools to launch real-time teleconference with the interactive group to collaborate and/or have classes. If your enterprise’s workers are spread over the world, we recommend specifying if the LMS supports that feature.
What is scalability when we talk about LMS? It’s another useful and must-have feature for large companies to search for. Especially, in case you plan to add users to the courses. It’s crucial the LMS continue work smoothly without lags, cracks, freezing while your audiences grow. Today there are lots of LMSs that support a large number of students added at any time without any change in the performance. So, check the LMS for scalability if it’s your case.
Multi-tenancy is one more key feature of the LMS to look for, in case your organization or enterprise is large enough. That’s because you have to create different courses of the various degrees of difficulty to satisfy all the needs and demands of your audience. Thanks to the feature, you have the ability to serve multiple groups with different courses within the framework of the single LMS. Hence, multi-tenant systems permit you to customize your learning courses, divide the audiences into targeted groups, link other elements to each segment created, give different permissions, etc.
#7 Skills assessment
It doesn’t matter how good your course materials are if they are not effective for your trainees, workers, new team members. You should check if the LMS has the assessment tools for revealing skills and knowledge gaps of your employees. Hence, you can change and adapt the course program according to their needs in time. That is why you should control, manage, and track the progress of the employees and test them to understand the level of their knowledge to see when it went wrong and fix it. That is how you'll make your LMS courses to be valued.
» How to choose LMS for your company?
One more important thing left to do is to select the LMS for your business. Knowing how, it's not so difficult task though. And here we are to ease your choice. Everything is much simpler than it seems to be at first sight - just make the next steps to succeed:
1. Define the aims, needs, objectives, audience.
2. Identify the requirements to LMS and focus on the key features.
3. Evaluate each vendor of LMS, read reviews, explore the market.
4. Set the budget, factor in the growth of your company.
5. Check if the system can be integrated into your company.
6. Try a demo version to test LMS.
After these steps, you’ll be able to sort out plenty of the learning management systems that don’t meet your demands. As a result, you will close in 2 or 3 systems that can be implemented and used for your company.
» Bottom line
Summarizing all said above, it’s no wonder why the amount of companies that utilize or are going to implement the LMS to improve the skills and work of their employees grows constantly. Today LMSs offer you a wide range of options to manage the course programs, workers’ progress, and onboarding in the most efficient manner.
LMSs differ a lot from each other. Therefore, it’s so important to implement the LMS that answers your demands, needs, requirements, goals, etc. best of all. Read reviews, compare vendors, explore the market, and know your audience to succeed as well as benefit from LMS used in your organization.