What are the Key Features of an LMS?
With the increasing popularity of learning management systems and the growing awareness of the benefits they can offer, more learners are seeking to understand about eLearning’s value. An increasing number of organizations have started to invest in capable learning management systems (LMS).
An LMS solution is an online learning and training software that enables creating, organizing and efficiently delivering learning opportunities and material.
A Learning Management System creates many benefits like automating processes like learner enrolment and facilitates in the creation of intelligent training courses. It aims to enhance an organization’s employee training programs by working on two crucial components:
- A server that enables course creation, efficient management, and effective delivery.
- A user interface that is easy to grasp, learn, and use.
Besides working on these two components, the purpose of learning management systems is to ensure the efficient delivery of course contents and tracks learning progress.
Although some features vary depending on the training objectives of the organization, the basic features in all commonly used LMS platforms aim to simplify the following:
- Course registration and course contents delivery
- Course administration
- User data tracking and analysis
- Performance-oriented tasks
- Collaboration between the course instructor and learner
What are the Standard Features of LMS?
While a Learning Management System typically has numerous benefits for solving problems with learning management, one key feature is that it enables learning professionals to facilitate individual learners in meeting their learning goals, by leveraging specific data elements.
If you’re looking to source a decent LMS for your organization, you must first understand your training goals and prove the ROI, and then shortlist your options.
Moodle is an LMS with a lot of customization options, but since there are many LMS offerings on the market, a side-by-side comparison of LMS features, pricing, and reviews is a worthwhile exercise.
For example, looking at Canvas vs. Google Classroom or Google Classroom vs. Schoology can help you understand the key distinctions between systems you may miss otherwise. There is some debate around whether Google Classroom is an LMS or not, but it's worth a comparison with traditional LMS.
Once you’ve ensured they have the following features that are considered a ‘standard’ for learning solutions:
- Enabling Diversity in Learning Styles
An LMS essentially focuses on the fact that everyone has different learning needs and ways they can meet those needs as students use LMS. Your members can further personalize their training experience by choosing courses that have content that suits their learning style.
Personalized courses are more effective in terms of gaining and retaining useful information. While there are different types of LMS platforms, an LMS generally focuses on meeting around four recognized learning styles:
- Visual learning style that is aided with images and graphics
- Auditory learning stimulated by listening and speaking
- Written learning through reading and writing
- Kinesthetic learning by performing tasks
- Offering Broadcasting and Recording Tools
A learning management system that offers broadcasting and recording tools lets you turn your Webinars into new courses or use them as a part of existing courses. This way you can repurpose content and save resources.
- Integration Ability with Online Community
While e-Learning is great and all, it lacks the social aspect of classroom learning. However, this can easily be sorted by integrating an LMS with an online community, offering learners access to subject experts and peer support. This is a great blend and offers the best of both worlds – the comfort of choosing your place and time to learn, yet interact with others
- Enabling Personalization of Learning Paths
Your LMS should provide learning paths to specify the order of access to learning materials. This way, when a learner completes one course, you can set up an automated campaign that suggests related courses, adding to their relevant skills and personalizing their learning journey while increasing the profitability of your organization.
- Reporting Tools
Reporting a learner’s progress is just as important as learning itself, and a disadvantage of LMS can be not using the reporting features effectively. Learning management software contains reports regarding all domains, ranging from the participation of members to their progress. This helps in identifying areas for improvement and developing strategies accordingly.
What are the Key Features of a Learning Management System?
The most basic functions of an LMS are to create online training programs, enroll learners in those programs, and report their progress upon completion of their online training experiences.
While each LMS option available in the market offers a different set of features, there are some commonalities and key features that you must look out for when selecting an LMS for your organization. We have discussed a list of the must-have LMS features for your online learning program that enables learners to focus on their training without getting overwhelmed.
Automation cuts downtime spent on micromanaging training by removing redundant tasks. Setting auto enrolments that are integrated with the HR enables the automatic addition and removal of users. A great LMS simplifies course creation and delivery of course content to your learners.
Your LMS is the center of learning for all those enrolled in your training programs, and it impacts how your business brand is perceived. Therefore, an LMS must feature a consistent theme offering a seamless user experience that stimulates learner engagement.
- Mini LMS Learning Portals
Learning portals are like mini LMSs. Once a learner is added to one of the learning portals you can tailor its course content in accordance with their specific training needs. This is easily achievable by copying content from one learning portal into another.
- Learner-Friendly Experience
For providing an awesome learner experience, your platform must be learner-friendly so users can focus their energy on training, instead of working their way around your LMS. The learners must be able to access and complete training irrespective of device, time, and place.
- Automated Assessment Tools
An LMS exam feature should enable you to experiment with setting different formats of exams and automate them so that learners can practice and learn through self-reflection.
- Certification Tracking
It’s essential to train your employees and encourage them in developing new skills but tracking those skills and providing certifications is important to keep the spirits and sense of achievement high. An LMS can enable learners to cover specific material in certification programs and be better qualified for certain tasks.
- Integration with Webinar Tools
Integration with webinar tools like Zoom and MS Teams etc. will lower the task redundancy, and allow you to schedule and manage meeting sessions within your LMS. Consider integrating with a Webinar tool that your learners are familiar with and benefit from the reduced cost of online training resources and increased learner efficiency.
- Blended Learning
Blended learning is a combination of online learning and conventional classroom-based, Instructor-Led Training. The classrooms can be replaced with webinars, offering greater accessibility and enhanced learner experience.
Automated functions and a single set of login details reduce the workload of the IT department, enabling them to focus on improving and expanding the LMS development.
- Gamification Feature
One of the main purposes of an online LMS is to create an engaging learning experience, which is exactly what the gamification feature enables you to do. It enables you to set clear goals and build a sense of accomplishment for learners by setting up achievable and interesting milestones. Badges and points are awarded to nurture a good competition.
- Social Learning Tools
Social media has connected the world and become an almost-integral part of our lives, therefore, to enhance the interest in training programs, major companies prefer LMSs that comprise social learning capabilities. Such LMS keeps users engaged in social learning, enhancing their learning experience continuously.
Reporting is an essential and valuable LMS feature that informs a learner about the impact of the learning process. Reports generated through LMSs reflect the learner’s performance and show if the ongoing training has made a noticeable impact on a specific type of learners say, corporate learners.
The assessment mechanism is designed for learners to take automated exams, and the LMS reports show learner progression allowing them to self-reflect on their online learning journey. These exam reports can also be used to identify trends and plan a mode of action that leads to improvement.
- Automated Learning Path Function
To successfully manage a growing number of learners requires juggling several tasks such as assigning relevant courses, creating new learning content and updating the old content, analyzing learner progress, etc. Opting for an automated tool ‘learning paths’ enables you to plan out and structure courses, with ease. Sequenced learning paths are time-saving and enable hassle-free and organized management of tasks.
- Ecommerce Functionality
An LMS with Commerce functionality makes it easy for both internal and external customers to browse, preview, and buy training catalogs and/or materials. By integrating with payment platforms such as Paypal or Shopify, you can easily design and sell training courses to different groups of customers.
- Data Migration
The technical complexities in transferring learner data and course content from one LMS to another make the transfer hard and complicated. However, the ‘Data Migration’ feature enables users to easily switch to a new LMS and reupload all their information and training data.
- Dynamic-Content Reminders
You can send dynamic-content email notifications to learners through integrations like MS Teams, etc. These emails facilitate learners with their online training material. Once a learner interacts with your LMS, these email notifications are triggered.
- Responsiveness Across Multiple Platforms
For implementing a successful learning program, it is essential the chosen LMS is responsive across multiple platforms such as mobile phones, laptops, or tablet devices. This offers a convenient and flexible learning experience allowing learners to choose the method, time, and place where they want to learn.
- Multilingual Interface for Global Learners
With organizations currently having a more global workforce and collaborations as well as customers across the world, they need to conduct global-scale training hence the need for a multilingual LMS interface. This would localize learning programs and enhance their rolling out.
A user-friendly and multilingual interface is important, as according to an analysis carried out by the Brandon Hall Group 74% of companies are considering switching to different LMSs because of an unsatisfying experience with the interface of their current LMS.
- Collaboration of Remote Workforce
The pandemic has changed the working dynamics globally. Remote work has grown popular increasing the need for technology-enabled methods for team communication and collaboration. An LMS must be ready to cater to the mobile learning needs as well as those of a remote workforce.
- Security of IT Environment
One set of login details must be required for verified and streamlined access to different learning systems. This can significantly increase both the popularity and the security of the IT environment.
What are the Key Features of an LMS?
While each LMS has a somewhat different feature set, some key features are considered a standard for basic use of enrolling learners, creating training programs, and reporting learner progress. Some of these common features are:
- LMS integrations with social learning tools
- Broadcasting and recording tools
- Personalized user experience
- Data tracking
- Offline learning trackers
- Diversified assessment tools
- Automated email reminders and notifications
- Centralized and updated learning materials
- Flexible data reporting and analytics
- Remote or mobile-learning friendly
What is the Most Important Feature of an LMS?
LMSs comprise a lengthy list of essential features, however, the most important one is: Personalized User Experience and Flexible Analytics.
A great LMS should be able to provide a personalized user experience to enable greater learning, by offering content based on a learner’s user history. This means that learners associated with a certain profession should be suggested relevant training courses in the LMS.
Moreover, frequent quizzes and adaptive assessments will enable users to identify and prioritize the improvement areas. That said, a personalized LMS paired with flexibility in analytics, providing customizable reports and a visual representation of learner progress, enables LMS professionals to better adjust their training programs to meet user needs.