Top Features of a Learning Management System (LMS)
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Learning is meant to be accessible, and in a world driven by technology, trainers can train at scale, provided they have the right tools. A Learning Management System (LMS) streamlines online training, coaching, and teaching while giving students and teachers a convenient platform to connect.
With a feature-rich LMS, you can create, design, deliver, and manage online courses. Moreover, these online learning platforms are cloud-enabled, allowing users to connect from anywhere in the world. In this blog, we will explore the best features of an LMS and its performance-enhancing functions.
What is a Learning Management System (LMS)?
A learning management system, as the name suggests, is a digital solution used by trainers to plan, deliver, and assess lessons and trainees all in one tool.
Using an LMS, instructors and trainers can provide bespoke training and teaching to their students. Some learning management systems are integrated with advanced features like gamification, which makes learning more interactive and dynamic.
In an era of 360-degree learning, institutions and corporates realize the importance of having an LMS. However, we have seen incredible growth in the usage of an LMS after the pandemic. Let’s see how.
Rise of LMS after the Pandemic
During the pandemic, 1.2 billion students in 143 countries were affected. Thanks to the forthcoming learning management systems, the majority of educational institutions were able to continue educating their students.
An LMS fits perfectly with the then-prevalent norms and guidelines of the covid-19 pandemic. Moreover, the transition from on-site to online learning was completed in various phases. Beginning with a rapid transition, it met a few hiccups in the initial phase. However, with the passage of time and surplus increase in demand, institutions buried their hatchets with LMS. Entities kept upgrading various configurations and normalized the new way of studying and working with the new e-learning infrastructure.
Exploring the Top Features of a Learning Management System (LMS)
Whether you are looking for an LMS service provider or are planning to get one custom-built, features are an important part of the process. In this section, we will explore the must-have features of an LMS that can help institutions run smooth and advanced learning programs.
A well-thought LMS should help trainers build courses according to their requirements. This can be then used to share content in all forms with students and employees. A course builder makes it easier for the institution to diversify the course material, share assignments, quizzes, and more with the students. An LMS with editable course design helps you tailor-build courses that meet users’ requirements in a personalized manner.
After building courses, users also need tools to manage them. This includes adding and removing courses, enrolling new students and trainees into the program, and monitoring the progress of each user. Given the dynamic environment of learning, having a course management feature will help you make requisite changes to the course.
Learning Paths for Students
LMS-enabled learning paths let trainers and teachers build multiple courses in a specific order. As students enroll in the courses, they can access lessons according to their existing knowledge and preferences.
Learning paths are essential for LMS catering to students and large organizations having extensive training programs. This allows them to have multiple training lessons and programs while paving the way for a comprehensive training plan.
LMS on Mobile
Another important feature of an LMS is its mobile version. Making an LMS portable and responsive increases the frequency of a learner using the platform. Accessing the LMS on smartphones and tablets will increase the retention rate. With this feature, you can help your users learn at their own pace.
Portable LMS becomes quite useful for training in industries like healthcare, construction, and retail. Within this, you can also add the mobile notification feature and send messages or in-app notifications, sending updates and reminders.
Self-assessment is a handy tool meant for students and trainees using an LMS as it gives them a retrospective and current view of their progress. Added with self-checks, progress charts, quizzes, and reflections, this feature is meant to improve the engagement levels of the users.
Moreover, using the results from self-assessment tools, they can understand their existing capabilities and make improvements accordingly. Make self-assessment an integral part of your LMS to allow your users to gain a better and detailed understanding of their learning path.
An LMS should provide administrators and managers with real-time insights about each learner. The vice-versa should also be true, as the learners need to track their own progress.
Looking at their progress, the instructors can easily build customized lessons and learning paths. Continuous assessment with the help of real-time insights will allow learners to become self-aware about their learning progress.
When managing a course, you will need several additional tools that are independent of what you do in an LMS. Using different tools can be time-consuming; hence choose an LMS with integration support. With integration, numerous functionalities can be accessible at one place, making user experience better and more convenient. It can include integrations to CRMs, single sign-ons, user database, and industry-standard Learning Tool Interoperability (LTI).
For instance, in Jetpacked, we collected student’s data from a platform called ‘Clever’ and integrated it with various Online Learning Programs (OLPs). Additionally, this aggregated data was also used to identify relevant insights.
All the published content and courses on the platform can be moved to the central catalog manager. From here, all types of users can access the entire collection of resources and courses available on the platform. You must also enhance this feature with search and filter options, which improves accessibility and user experience.
Most Important Components When Building an LMS
Having had a look at the features above, it is obvious that a question pops up in your head – “How to build a resourceful LMS that entails these best features?” It is essential to keep in mind that building an LMS requires following many nuanced technical and design-related processes.
In this section, we will look at the three quintessential components to build a top-grade learning management system.
Intuitive User Interface
With an LMS, your target should be to deliver a well-thought interface. Anyone who has never used an LMS before should be able to use it with ease. That’s the level of intuitiveness you need to build.
Cluttered dashboards make it difficult for the users to navigate and find the features they need. An intuitive interface is where users find it easy to use the platform. While designing or checking an LMS, focus on the ease of navigation.
Gamification inserts gameplay into a non-gaming system, like an HRM, LMS, etc. Gamified interfaces and systems improve user engagement by adding fun-filled functions like leaderboards, levels, rewards, points, badges, rankings, scores, etc. As a result, the users are motivated to use the LMS more frequently.
Gamified platforms are built after extensive research and understanding of the target audience. Understanding the end-user’s digital habits, thought processes, and behavioral patterns inspires the style and design of the platform to be gamified.
Check out our blog on gamification in edtech and learn how we helped a US-based online learning platform gamify its LMS.
Building a utilitarian Learning Management System (LMS) requires careful attention to security in order to protect sensitive trainee, student, and course data. Some useful security measures to keep in mind include – using strong encryption protocols, regulatory compliances like COPPA, FERPA, or GDPR, data privacy, disaster recovery, and vendor security when using third-party integrations.
Building LMS for Businesses – The Digicorp Way
Digicorp is in the business of building new possibilities by innovating and discovering new ways to build modern solutions. We have helped TechSoup improve upon its existing LMS that caters content to thousands across the globe. Learn about it in detail below.
TechSoup Courses LMS
TechSoup aimed to rebuild its LMS and bring it at par with Open edX. When they chose Digicorp for this formidable task, upon careful assessment, we found several gaps in the existing LMS that were inhibiting TechSoup’s growth and its capability to deliver content across the target audience.
From a confusing user onboarding system to language translation issues, a lack of intuitive design, subpar UX elements, and a slow payment process, there were several problems waiting to be resolved.
Understanding the problem is half the battle won. For the second part of the reformation process, we redid the design, improving the overall platform aesthetics, functionality, intuitiveness, and navigation.
Some of the elements we improved include login-logout workflows, data export, user session management, tracking system, language translation (made it automatic), checkout and payment feature, upselling- reselling system, and integrating smart analytics into the dashboard.
Techsoup Courses LMS by Digicorp
In the year 2021, TechSoup – an end-to-end provider of technical support and technological tools to millions of nonprofits across the world – decided to replace its existing Learning Management System (LMS) with a new one based on Open edX. They sought assistance from Digicorp to achieve this goal.
To learn more about how we assisted them, please refer to the complete case study available here.
The popularity of learning management systems has been increasing since the pandemic, with several institutions and corporates taking advantage of its capabilities. However, for an LMS to help its users, it must have all the features required for advanced and adaptive learning. At Digicorp, we stay updated with the latest trends and insights about our domain-expertise industries including ed-tech. Get in touch with us to learn more about how we can help you build or rebuild your dream ed-tech platform.
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