While selecting a learning management system, don’t only think about how it will fulfill your current goals and use cases. You also have to adapt to the evolving business needs.
Many LMSs promote themselves as flexible, but in the time of need, your IT team is forced to make several changes, wasting resources that could have been spent in other operations.
What the creator of an LMS often fails to highlight is that flexibility doesn’t come often. Change is necessary and your learning management system should be able to personalize as per your business needs.
1. Determining the Flexibility of a Learning Management System
To find out how flexible an LMS is, consider the following factors:
Adaptable and scalable – As your company evolves and scales up, it’s necessary for your LMS to easily accommodate these changes with minimal effort.
Integration – Your LMS must be able to integrate with different business systems.
Permissions – By offering a diverse set of permissions, an LMS offers considerable flexibility to a variety of individuals – from learning administrators to the front line managers.
Reporting – You can receive crucial and valuable insights with flexible reporting functionality
Features – An LMS should provide the flexibility to perform all forms of training. Build your ideal learning processes that are more effective and beneficial
While choosing an LMS, remember to review the features mentioned above before you explore other requirements.
2. Selecting a Learning Management System
It’s rare that a company invests in an LMS and uses it as-is. Most organizations attempt to personalize it as per their audience and needs. According to some studies, over 60% of organizations that bought an LMS, tailored it to meet their unique demands. While exploring an LMS, fire away specific questions, such as the following:
How much can you customize the user interface?
What learning paths are offered?
Can you modify your LMS’s look and feel?
What types of authentication protocols are available?
Is your staff responsible for the customization?
What are the elements that need to be customized?
Is customization too hard? Will you need the IT staff to perform it?
What are the costs associated with an LMS?
After you choose a vendor, it is necessary to be open with your vendor about what your company requires. This way, the vendor reviews your recommendations and tries to implement those functionalities in the future updates.
Deciding which LMS to choose is a tough decision where you have to keep several factors on top of your mind. Make sure you keep flexibility at the top of that list. In this digital age, it empowers organizations by providing them with a competitive edge and lets them stay agile. Also, it provides a much-needed boost to their training effectiveness because it produces a learning environment that is conducive to the way people learn. Hence, keep flexibility as your topmost priority when you get to pick an LMS.
In this post, we go through different customization options. Make sure you get an LMS that is flexible enough to let you perform the following steps.
1. Let Your Learning Management System Communicate Like You
As you spent most of your time managing your training department, a whole new work culture grows in your company. Your organization has a unique brand voice, which is quite different than your competitors and this is something that will weigh a great deal in your eLearning initiatives. Most of the time, your learners are not affected by what you say; instead, they are influenced by how you say it. They expect you to communicate a specific voice that is captured in the company culture. This brand voice must be integrated into the training, enabling employees to fit easily and quickly into the organization. Your learning management system must allow you to modify titles and labels wherever you want. By doing so, you keep up the message’s consistency that is so vital to your organization.
2. Add a Custom Logo
A business’ logo plays a pivotal role in branding. It lets the target audience identify the company immediately and remains in their minds for longer. It is apparent in the subject lines of email and hangs everywhere in the company’s building. Fortunately, most of the hard work is already done by your marketing professionals. What you need to is to ensure that your learning management system shows your logo prominently.
3. Add Custom Banners
Imagine you spent a great deal of time preparing a module for your employees. Your research work was extensive and you also even went as far as to work overtime for several days. As you proudly release your learning asset to your employees, you get hit by the bitter reality over the next few days – no one is paying attention to your eLearning module.
If nobody knows about your eLearning modules, how are you supposed to train employees? Consider adding custom homepage banners that advertise all the major elements of your package with major successes, news, and changes. Next, get their attention and draw your users with engaging content. These banners can be added to different parts of your website, informing your learners.
4. Modify Colors
Your branding guidelines include your company’s color palette – usually, they can be found on the first page. Colors help define your business more subtly. According to studies, they invoke imperceptible cues in the user’s subconscious and encourage them to think in a certain way about your brand.
Your company’s research think-tank has already picked the ideal colors that reinforce your brand identity. You can build on these efforts by seeing to it that your learning management system allows you to adjust the color palette as per your brand’s vision.
5. Personalize Email Alerts
If you are looking to release a new eLearning initiative, send automated email alerts to your learners. Such a flexible feature empowers your users to take the right action. Also, make sure that the emails are personalized and align well with your brand voice.
By writing your organization’s voice, you speak the same language as your learners. Besides, you will also sound more engaging as opposed to the typical automated emails that contain a dull voice.
6. Incorporate the Right Features
Everybody learns in different ways. This poses a significant dilemma for the eLearning industry. It’s simply not realistic to create on a single platform that can meet every learner’s expectations.
Due to this complexity, a lot of eLearning platforms provide a basic product that comes with the essential functions that can be enhanced with extra features. This strategy allows administrators to create a personalized LMS, having only those features that they require. For instance, discussion forms are useful in mathematical and analytical courses, so you can add them to your LMS where learners try to find how different solutions work.
7. Consider Social Features
In some cases, your audience needs a quieter environment where they can concentrate without any disturbance. On the other hand, social learning functionality is more useful in other cases. It lets your audience exchange ideas and offers them a sense of ownership. One user’s response can lead the others to clear their concepts.
8. Enable User Generated Content
What if you don’t need to customize the learning content for your learners? This is possible if you let them do it by themselves. Trainers want the best for the employees, but expecting them to know everything about the company is unjustified. This is where user-generated content can be effective.
Individuals having first-hand experience are better suited to resolve queries. Provide them with a platform that enables them to upload and share their own learning assets. With social features, they can contribute meaningful content to the training program.
9. Offer Learning Paths
Learning rarely goes in your intended direction. A marketing professional can discover an aptitude for programming in the middle of their job. Luckily, today you can set on any path that you have a passion for. There is no reason your past should discourage you.
An LMS needs to promote the true essence of learning. This doesn’t mean only containing a diverse set of courses, but your learners should be enabled to choose and access different learning paths, allowing them to create their learning journey. Go through your LMS’s permissions and the user hierarchy. Your goal is to make it flexible enough that the right content ends up being displayed to the right individuals.
10. Introduce Gamification
Gamification refers to integrating game elements into boring stuff – a ploy to make it more interactive and fun for the target audience. Reward the best performers with badges and offer tempting rewards so they keep competing for the top position in the leaderboard, using the platform frequently.
Gamification offers an extra layer of customization to your LMS’s admin. They can create badges, consider how badges will be earned, group users in the team, and have teams fight each other. With some creativity, your learning experience can become extremely engaging and fun, encouraging your learners to maximize learning.
At first, it seems easier to choose a less tedious route. Many LMSs don’t come with many customization options. Such platforms don’t let you think and innovate properly and thus squander many opportunities.
A better option is to consider an LMS that is flexible and lets you customize a wide array of functionalities. With this, your employees can learn more effectively– these outcomes can be seen in your company’s growth.
In a nutshell, a flexible LMS allows you to build more flexible eLearning initiatives, letting you reinforce your company’s principles. With several custom features at your disposal, there are endless opportunities. Just make sure to follow all the considerations mentioned above.
For more details, you can get in touch with Racoon Gang. Our professionals have diverse experience in learning and development processes/design, teaching, and content creation, with all the popular educational technologies. We specialize in working with Open edX. However, we don’t only work with the Open edX platform and can also develop and design any custom eLearning solution, thanks to our experienced team who have an in-depth understanding of eLearning technologies and possesses extensive technical background.
We were one of the platform developers of the Open edX platform, back in 2013. Our team boasts a strong background in Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics, and have a significant history of project management.