Maximize the use of the features of a learning management system (LMS) by considering the best practices indicated in the following guidelines on using an LMS.
LMS Best Practices: When Looking for a Provider
When looking for an LMS provider, follow these best practices for evaluation.
- Consider the time to deploy and train.
- Look at flexibility, ability to customize, and reporting capabilities.
- Keep in mind ease of use.
- Realize a cloud-based system can lessen your IT’s department burden.
- Demo the system.
LMS Best Practices: When Instructors Use the LMS
Instructors should follow these best practices for using an LMS.
- Organize well and direct students to key documents.
- Keep the course space clear so students can easily find the syllabus and course schedule.
- Clearly name documents.
- Use announcements effectively.
- Use tools such as discussion boards to build community.
- Complete the training.
LMS Best Practices: For Continuous Improvement
Best practices for continuous improvement include evaluating:
- ease of registration and navigation
- training and help
- resolution of technical issues
- completion rate of online courses
- overall user satisfaction
LMS Best Practices: For Project Management
Classic project management techniques can add to the success of your LMS and include:
- Start with the project sponsor and approved project charter
- Identify critical elements to the project charter
- Remember to manage by objective
- Use a project plan
- Remember inclusion and the perspective of others
- Understand the project process that includes initiate, plan, execute, monitor and control, and close
Follow these best practices in project management:
- Know the role of the sponsor, advocates, project manager, change manager, and vendors.
- Keep up good communication to all parties involved including the end users.
- Involve all parties early to help with buy-in and implementation.
- Evaluate your product and implement improvements.
LMS Best Practices: For Administrators
Keep these practices in mind to address administrator issues.
- Track and report on training activity
- Provide online testing
- Associate required training modules with annual certifications
- Create pre-requisite training
- Capture on-line and instructor-based training
- Provide managers with access to training activity for their direct reports
- Link to training records in an HR system
Some LMS system providers to consider
Some of the open source systems include Moodle and WebWork. Some of the commercial LMS providers include JoomlaLMS, ProProfs, Saba Software, SAP, SharePointLMS, and Blackboard – the biggest provider. As an example of what is available, consider that ProProfs is a provider that offers the Training Maker product. This type of product can:
- include the benefits of a cloud-based SaaS (software as a service) system that can work for a group that has a smaller IT department
- provide online learning software to companies such as Cisco and Dell and educators in schools that include Harvard, Yale, and the University of Phoenix
- give you a chance to try a free demo
- let you add media, quizzes, and certificates
- allow for reporting and analytics
- help you create online courses
- provide a list of client recommendations
- allow for anywhere and anytime access