August 25th, 2015
Implementation of LMS in a large organization: Critical factors for acceptance
Most organizations that are serious about training and learning are also serious about Learning Management System. While initially, LMS were put up in place to deliver selected online courses, the trend now is to create a common consolidated platform to manage all training and learning initiatives across an organization.
For a large organization, the learning management system manages, delivers and tracks online learning as well as instructor-led classroom trainings. Since an enterprise-wide LMS implementation involves substantial investments, a positive ROI is what all organizations aspire for – and this is achieved only when the LMS is accepted across enterprise. Here are a few ways to encourage LMS adoption across organization.
Factors for LMS acceptance: Among Learners
Learners are the end-users of a learning platform. Among early adopters of the LMS, the experience of the learner within the platform did not hold prominence. The main objective was to ensure that the managers or instructors were able to utilize it the best. But since learner experience directly related to learning uptake and impact of the training initiative, new age LMSs now take into account that they have to provide for superior experience for the learner as well.
- Usability: No matter how many features does a LMS boasts of, Usability ranks at the top for users. Clean designs and familiar structures increase the ease of use of a LMS. New age LMSs keep that in mind – proving features like tabbed views and single-sign on which not only makes it easier for the learner to navigate but also saves precious time.
- Relevance to work: Training can be effective only when its relevance is clear for the learner. Keeping this in mind, to increase acceptance of an LMS, make sure that it provides training courses as per the needs of the learners. For instance, for a large automobiles giant, we customized our proprietary WiZDOM LMS. We created a course catalogue that enables the learners to see all the courses relevant to their current job role and for their skill gaps to them, right after signing-on to the system – within a single click. This quick access to relevant material led to a significant rise in learning uptake.
- Analysis: Contrary to initial belief, learners can also benefit from the reports and analysis generated by the LMS. Many LMSs now allow learners to view reports as per their needs – in order to empower them for self-evaluation. For larger organizations, dashboards on the UI can also benefit the learners a lot. These dashboards can share courses which are most successful, departments which had the maximum learning uptake and so on. This helps learners get motivated as well as find suitable courses within the LMS – as per their needs.
- Gamification: Something that is fast catching fancy of learners is gamification of learning process. Earn points, badges, accomplish different levels and trade them for gifts – all this while you learn – what can be cooler than that! Many new age LMS’s including WiZDOM have now started incorporating gamification elements to enhance learner motivation, and if your learning audience includes a good portion of young learners, then you should definitely check out gamification feature in the LMS.
- Social Learning: The favorite grouse against e-learning is that it does not have avenues for social interaction between peers and instructors – which is a powerful push for learning. But with new-age LMSs, social learning can be encouraged through live chat, discussion boards, wikis and blogs. Learners can be encouraged to proactively participate in discussions and debates, post queries and share achievements. This increases the appeal of the LMS by leaps and bounds.
- Cross Device Accessibility: Learning doesn’t come naturally to most learners, and learning adoption becomes even more difficult when learners are largely travelling or if they have very limited time in their office (e.g. for customer facing staff). For such learners, ability to learn while on the move becomes a critical requirement. If your learners are of similar profile, do check for LMS access over mobile devices – both in offline and online mode to maximize LMS usage.
Factors of LMS acceptance: Among Managers
For managers or trainers, the LMS has many benefits – So an LMS which has increased utility for managers/trainers will enjoy better acceptance from the entire organization. There are many features that can increase the utility of a LMS for the managers/trainers as well.
- Intuitive Dashboards: Most LMSs have the capability to create custom reports as per the needs of the managers. These reports can be further customized to suit domains and smaller groups within an organization to drive incentive programs and so on. Features like Skill-Gap analysis can help managers ascertain the skill levels of their workforce and assign learning courses to them accordingly. And if all this information, such as course progress, skill gap alerts, training suggestions, how other teams are doing etc can be made available in form of intuitive dash-boards, that then further increases the scope and utility of the LMS for the managers.
- Assessments: Evolved LMSs have assessment engines that can empower managers to understand their learners better. Managers can utilize available report formats or create their own to suit their needs. They can also assign frequency of reports – so that they can be automatically intimated of the learners progress from time to time. Red flags within the reports can help them identify slow or reluctant learners – who can then be given suitable encouragements or incentives for learning.
- Collaborative Learning: Social learning within a LMS benefits managers and trainers as well. While learners are the participants in various social platforms within the LMS, managers can take up the role of administrators – who oversee discussions, often raise relevant topic of discussions and extract the knowledge out of interactions. This knowledge can then be archived within the LMS and shared with others or utilized in future. They can also share their own views and knowledge to aid learning of the entire group.
Factors for LMS acceptance: Among Stakeholders
Finally for the Stakeholders like HR, Top managers and Training heads, the LMS is truly beneficial when they start realizing ROI. However, there are features within the LMS that can find favor within this group as well and increase utility as well as acceptance.
- Integration: An LMS should be easily integrated with existing systems like HRMS as well as other Departments like HR and Accounts. This makes sure that administrative and supervisory tasks can be streamlined and automated. The overall cost and impact of education can be then be automatically tracked and quantified– a mammoth task in a large organization.
- Reports and Assessments: With advanced reporting structure, an LMS can automate all reports and direct them automatically to relevant stakeholders. For instance, the Auto-mailing feature of our WiZDOM LMS sends regular data updates to all stakeholders. Various stakeholders do not have to make individual requests for the same – as the frequency and recipients can be assigned while creating a specific report
- Managing all Training events: In addition to technology-aided learning, there are many other training events that a training manager plans for the learners over the span of a year. An LMS should be able to plan, schedule and manage all training events as well as create reports accordingly. This aid the L&D manager to assess trainings better and align them to learner needs.
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