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The eLearning industry is booming. Tons of free and paid resources are available for companies of all shapes and sizes. Thus, learning new skills, growing your business, and training your employees has never been easier.
Using free online eLearning tools is great. If you have the budget, paying for more specific employee training services will take your business to new heights. Still, outsourcing can only take you so far. The next step is implementing your own learning management system. This article will give you the LMS implementation tips you need.
An LMS, or Learning Management System, is a software that allows employers to document, track, administer, and deliver training courses for their employees. These systems are widely used in the corporate training world and have had a huge impact on filling in knowledge and skill gaps that were previously hard to detect. This is due to LMSs' capabilities to track, analyze and output data related to user interaction with virtually any training course.
Implementing an LMS helps grow your business' learning culture and allows you to identify training needs. Although mainly focused on online learning delivery, an LMS can also be used to provide synchronous and asynchronous course content to learners. Instructors can also benefit from using an LMS as a classroom management tool.
Now you know the value that implementing an LMS can bring to the growth of your business. Let's see what steps you'll need to take to successfully include and deploy a Learning Management System.
1. Define Objectives
At the heart of any successful employee training program lie the objectives. Starting without having clear objectives is like steering a ship in the fog with your navigation tools turned off. You'll most likely fail to reach your destination and perhaps even crash into an impassable obstacle. Setting clear goals for your business and solid learning objectives for employees will give you a clear idea about the type of LMS you need.
2. Form an Implementation Team
You know the direction you need to go in, now you need the team to help you do it. If you already have some of these people on the payroll, great. If not, it's time to start looking. Your LMS implementation team will consist of:
A Team Leader- this is the person who will oversee the whole process and make sure the LMS best practices are being put to good use
An eLearning Specialist- he or she will make sure the content transfer from other platforms or content creation process aligns with the learning objectives
A Project Manager- the PM makes sure everything stays on track and on deadline
A Learning and Development Admin- this person is charged with making sure the LMS stays in line with your business' organizational goals
An IT Expert- this specialist handles all integrations and makes sure everything works as expected
3. Create a Plan and Set Your Deadlines
The next step is meeting with the team to create an LMS implementation plan. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and things are being done in the right order. Talk to your IT contact or LMS vendor to figure out how much time the implementation process will take start-to-finish, and what milestones your team needs to reach and by when.
4. Migrate Data
Start migrating content from other platforms into your new LMS. You might want to keep some courses and archive others. This also depends on the file compatibility between the old eLearning platforms and the new LMS.
5. Test Run
Send your LMS out on a stroll! Let a small group of employees test the functionality, interactivity, and user experience, then gather as much feedback as you can. This will help you identify any errors and allow you to correct them before the official launch.
6. Launch Your LMS
Now you are ready to launch your new LMS. Still, the journey doesn’t end here. Remember the number one LMS best practice is having a continuous growth mindset.
7.Data Collection and Analytics
Keep improving your LMS by paying attention to the data and feedback gathered from learners.
1. Train Your Employees
Regardless of how tech-savvy they might be, employees will need to learn how to use the new LMS. You can create small, microlearning-type modules to teach learners how to interact with the Learning Management System in the most efficient ways. You can also hire an instructor to walk them through the LMS platform functionality.
2. Create a Learning Culture
It's important to keep employees in the inner circle by nurturing the Learning and Development culture at their workplace. This is where the look or user experience of the LMS comes in. Make sure the visuals are attractive but not distracting.
3. Keep Communication Open
Forums, social media groups, and discussion boards are great for keeping everyone talking. Make sure employees have different ways to communicate with each other about the LMS and course content. Also, aside from collecting data straight from your LMS, provide an easy way for your employees to give direct feedback about their learning experience.
4. Encourage an Engaging Environment
One way to make learning exciting and keep learners engaged is by using gamification. Introducing game design elements, like leaderboards and badges, into the LMS will bring in the fun factor into the learning experience.
5. Empower Employees
Professional growth is important. But, employees feel empowered when they are given the option for personal growth. Ensure you add learning modules that speak to the student's own growth desires and needs.
6. Ask for Feedback
A great feedback loop is the foundation of a successful business. Employees need to feel like they can share their woes and you need to be able to clearly communicate your expectations to them.