E-learning field advances with giant strides: according to Global Industry Analysts (GIA), e-learning market is expected to reach $168.8 billion by 2018.
More and more companies are contributing to online learning field by implementing e-learning strategies, integrating components and tools for employee training and e-commerce practice. E-learning, in comparison with regular education methods, allows cutting costs and provides anytime/anywhere learning by means of Learning Management Systems (LMS) usage.
LMS is e-learning software developed for delivering, tracking, reporting and managing learning content, learner progress and integrations. (Source: edutechwiki). And if your business decided to integrate one as well, this article is right for you.
E-learning software implementation requires a careful plan and strategy. Before even starting to look for an LMS vendor, you need to make a careful analysis of your organization. It will be the first step toward doing business with LMS.
Step 1. Analysis
By analysis a careful research of your audience, the technical side and the business itself is meant.
• Audience: Company’s staff is quite diverse and before implementing LMS you need to ask your employees whether they are willing to take courses and learn online. A good solution here is to carry out surveys;
• Technical side: LMS implementation requires software and hardware availability. A prior testing will exclude unexpected obstacles during a course process;
• Business: By consulting with the departments’ representatives you will receive a full picture of expected LMS features and then, based on the composed list, you will start the LMS provider search. Step 2. Administrative work
LMS’s smooth run requires people in charge that is why you need to make necessary appointments: IT department specialists, who will deal with LMS implementation and maintenance; designers, who will deal with the Front End interface; course creators and developers, who will work on eLearning software development; instructors and trainers, who will support learners, answer their questions, check course completion and evaluate results.
Step 3. LMS search
LMS market is wide and choosing the right LMS provider is not an easy task to accomplish. There are plenty of websites where you can compare learning management systems based on their functionality, price policy and features’ availability (example: www.lms.findthebest.com).
Another way to find a good LMS is by asking e-learning community members (community articulate.com is one of the most attended.
Forums discussions about LMS).
A third way – colleagues’ consulting and finding out whether they are satisfied with their current LMS vendor. Plus, most LMS companies have pages with the list of clients and you can check whether similar businesses choose this particular LMS developer. For those, who are new to the LMS sphere, learning management system comparison table is presented here.
Step 4. LMS choice
After careful market research the LMS choice is finally made. Now you need to pay attention to such aspects as a careful DEMO testing, a contract review, flexible pricing possibility and future customization rates.
Step 5. LMS implementation
LMS implementation can be provided by the LMS support team (in some cases this is included in the license price) or by your IT department specialists. It doesn’t matter who installs the e-learning platform, what is vitally important here is constant testing. You can involve a small group of employees first and then proceed to full-scale LMS usage. By following this kind of approach you will not only avoid large-scale mistakes, but will be able to make necessary changes based on employees’ feedback. Your courses need to be user-friendly, easy to use and navigate through. Learners shouldn’t face any difficulties while registering for the course and taking classes. Usability is a key.
Step 6. Team preparation
After a careful LMS testing, when everything is ready for use, work on the employees’ involvement into the process of e-learning by showing how to use the LMS, describing benefits of online learning, visualizing long-term goals and making examples of an effective LMS set up.
Step 7. Content strategy
The courses should include a variety of information formats. Avoid plain boring texts, use media files, quizzes and links to useful external resources.
Step 8. Learning process monitoring and improvement
LMS implementation is not enough, even if you took into consideration all the above-mentioned facts. Running business with LMS will be effective if and only if you and everybody else, who is in charge of the LMS work, monitor results and make necessary changes according to learners’ testimonials, up-to-date technology and marketing trends. Social media integration, mobility, LMS in the cloud and much more to think about.
Building business with learning management system is a difficult task , but following the described steps, you will be able to bring your business to success!
The article is written by Ilona Hetsevich. She works for a project, devoted to e-learning software development, and writes based on company’s experience in the e-learning field. More information about available LMS features can be found at : www.joomlalms.com or social media platforms