A recent survey revealed that an astounding number of organizations are considering a change in their current online learning technology.
When you end up with the wrong learning management system, you pay more price than it would have been when you don't use one at all. That's why it is important to choose an LMS with top LMS features like this.
Generally, buyers of modern LMS software compare not only the prices of the tools but also the features on offer. The right features at the right price are considered advantageous to their business.
Picking up a good LMS employee training may seem challenging at first. But you have to jump through hoops to get to the right LMS features that can meet your learning & development needs.
This blog digs out the 10 must-have features that every market-leading LMS offers. Continue reading to find out.
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1. Support for Mobile Devices
What good is a mobile responsive e-learning course if your LMS software isn't mobile compatible? Given the increasingly widespread adoption of mobile devices today, having a mobile compliant LMS is no longer just an option.
At the bare minimum, a good LMS software should support the HTML5 framework, to allow for the viewing of the learning modules across the wide range of mobile devices available today. So, if you're out on the market shopping for an LMS system, don't forget to test it for its cross-device functionality.
2. Assignments Management
As much as we hate exams (remember high school and college days?), there are fewer better alternatives to properly-designed assessments. Any learning program that does not incorporate some form of an assessment mechanism to evaluate the learners is, therefore, incomplete.
Assessments become especially relevant when it comes to employee training where learners are awarded certificates upon successful course completion.
In its simplest form, an assessment mechanism will enable trainers to upload assignments and conduct online exams for a proper evaluation. More advanced learning management systems come with integrated assessment engines that educators can use to plug in a question database to build their assessments.
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3. Tin Can (xAPI)/SCORM Compliance
Tin Can and SCORM are software specifications that allow LMS applications to “talk” to other applications (cross-software communication). Today, this is among the must-have features of LMS systems. As such, any serious LMS software worth its salt will at least be SCORM-compliant.
Tin Can, also known as xAPI or Experience API, goes a step further and incorporates the ability to track a wide array of information across a number of different platforms, including those that aren't supported by SCORM.
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4. Integrated Authoring Tools
Integrated content authoring tools can go a long way in taking any LMS software to the next level. Take an example – you want to test the learners' ability to take the concepts they just learned and put them to use in a specific scenario. An integrated quiz authoring tool could be the perfect answer!
Similarly, a survey/questionnaire tool to quickly gather feedback on a course module could come in handy. A good LMS software will allow trainers to build different kinds of content (an HTML page, a quiz, or a questionnaire) without having to invest in third-party apps.
Modern learning management applications provide an integrated, end-to-end eLearning solution, allowing course creators to create, distribute, manage, and edit entire courses from scratch all the way to the finish, no matter what the content type (an HTML page, a quiz, or a questionnaire).
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5. Asynchronous Learning
The end-goal of any good Learning Management System is to ensure learners find the content engaging and are able to retain knowledge. Asynchronous learning, the ability to allow learners to keep learning at their own pace, is a great way to ensure that. With integrated asynchronous learning, LMSs take away the requirement for the learners to be physically present for the training session or to be able to talk directly with the trainer.
This can be achieved by integrating video lectures, online resources, personal messaging, student-teacher forums, and other media with the learning materials so that students feel free to learn at their own comfortable pace at anytime they want.
Gamification is fast evolving as the industry standard for eLearning, and should be an absolute necessity for all LMS software out there. Just as any experienced instructor will tell you, creating an eLearning course is only half the battle won; the other half, of course, is to get your learners to pay attention. And that's where gamification can be so handy.
Any good LMS application should include game mechanics to help add elements of excitement and engagement to courses. In other words, it should make learning feel less like a 'task' and more like playing a game of Need for Speed or Super Contra, if you're old enough to remember those days of Nintendo.
The term "gamification," in the context of eLearning, means introducing certain elements of gameplay into the courses that are more game-like. This includes integrating well-known and time-tested techniques, such as points, scoreboards, badges, levels, and rewards with the courses.
7. Intuitive User Interface
At the end of the day, any LMS system, however feature-packed, will become irrelevant if it doesn't come with an intuitive user interface. The user interface of an LMS is the bridge between the learner and the learning system.
Several components like icons, buttons, tooltips, menus, welcome screens, and onboarding guides make up the user interface of modern learning systems.
For an LMS software to be truly effective, it's important that the learner's interaction with the system must be simple and straightforward. If the interaction becomes a barrier to the learner's learning activities, then the entire system fails.
8. Interactive Discussions and Peer Support
Learning is much more than merely studying a given subject. Good training methodologies aim at developing skills and knowledge in any field via interactive community-based discussions, peer support, sequential tasks, activities, and games. Accordingly, any modern LMS system should include support for collaborative forums and interactive support tools to help create a dynamic learning environment.
Community-based tools such as discussion boards, content ratings, the ability to upvote or downvote content, and the ability to follow other learners and educators make it easy for students to collaborate with peers, instructors, and managers even after the actual course has ended.
9. Reports and Analytics
Advanced reporting and analytics features are essential for any LMS as they offer meaningful insights on how effective your training is, and how well your training courses are aligned with your goals and objectives.
Good reports encompass eLearning compliance tracking as well, to ensure that learners are able to receive and meet the required educational standards. Reporting analytics should include better student analysis and management capabilities. This way, it becomes easier to track which learners are performing better and which ones need additional help. It should also be able to highlight areas of the course that require more attention or need to be recreated.
Last but not least, how well does the LMS scale?
The ability of an LMS to scale as needed is among the in-demand LMS software features and it should be a top priority when you're looking to buy any modern learning management system. Any good LMS should support the growing needs of a business, allowing it to scale up or down as needed. Typically, such an LMS will come with a flexible pricing structure that charges businesses based on the number of learners they have. This way, you end up paying only for the number of users accessing the platform in any billing cycle. As the business grows, so should the LMS.
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Looking for the Best LMS Tools? Look No More!
If you're planning to replace your existing online training software with another better, use the exhaustive LMS features list discussed in this post as your reference point. Also, perform an LMS feature comparison between, say, top 10 LMS systems. That way, you're certain to end up with a robust tool.
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