Increasing LMS utility with Learner Dashboards

Posted on : April 13th, 2015
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A New age LMS does much more than just making content accessible and keeping a track of the learners’ progress. Modern LMSs also make sure that the learning content remains relevant to the needs of the learners. They do so by extensive content catalogues, which are searchable and make sure that the learner can quickly arrive at the required information. The reporting function of new age LMSs also makes sure that there is room for customized reports that the learners can also utilize to take control of their learning.

learning management systemA new-age feature in LMSs today are Dashboards, which provide the most important set of information on the LMS interface – so that the learners are aware of their progress every time they log on to the system. Our proprietary LMS WiZDOM has a Learner dashboard, encapsulating the progress of the learner through multiple courses, the cumulative progress as per the entire learning curriculum, as well as a learning calendar to plan for trainings as per individual schedule.

An effective LMS dashboard enables learners to visually see relevant Learning content on the LMS as well as keep a close eye on their performance. It helps them manage better their time spent on learning and thus achieve learning objectives in a better way. Dashboards also help administrators and managers, providing an added way of making sure that the learners are duly motivated for learning. On the whole, it helps the organizations to get a step closer to achieving business goals out of the LMS and attaining a positive ROI on the learning initiative.

When creating a Learner dashboard, here are a few things to be kept in mind –

  • Choose relevant metrics: There is a lot of information that is captured by the LMS, but all of it cannot be relevant to the learner. It is important to choose the metrics that truly benefits the learner and positively improves their experience. Insufficient information does not meet the learners’ expectation from a dashboard. However, an information overload must also be avoided as it creates unnecessary clutter. Also, the chosen metrics should be aligned to the learning objectives and help the overall aim of the learning initiative.
  • Updated and current information: To be useful to the learner, the information should be updated real time. As the chunk of the information displayed on the dashboard is churned out of the LMS itself, this is not a difficult proposition. Even if some of it is linked to other systems within the organization, like the HRMS, make sure to keep information channels open for display of current and relevant information on the dashboard.
  • Visuals are important: Dashboards should be visually attractive to grab the attention of the learner. Use right colours, shapes, lines, shading and any other tools that heighten visual perception. Avoid inappropriate or frivolous graphics that take away from the learning experience. Also avoid the use of visuals that are not commonly seen, as many learners may not be able to understand them at all.
  • Simple accessibility and use: Also, the learner dashboard should be displayed at a prominent section of the interface – preferably the homepage, so that the learners get a quick recap of where they are and their preferred routes within the system. The learner may not spend quality time going through the metrics every time, but a quick look on upcoming training events or new content on the system can be helpful in deciding their preferred learning path.
  • Build-in interactivity: Dashboards can also be made interactive to make sure that the learners utilize it well. With filters and different views, the learners can be given the option of customizing the data presented as per their needs. If the option of customization of data seems too much, simple things like customized skins and different colour options can also make the dashboard more appealing to the learners and help remove any resistance that may arise due to the ‘newness’ of the initiative or its perceived worth among the learners.

A learning management system brings along with itself sizeable investments, and taking proactive efforts towards making them learner-centric is a step towards achieving a positive ROI. Learner dashboards are definitely a step towards making a LMS more learner-centric and useful for all stakeholders within the organization.

Arunima Majumdar

Arunima is the Marketing Head at G-Cube. She loves exploring and blogging about innovations in training & learning for the new-age corporate sector.

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