Let’s set the scene.
It’s your first day at your new job as a training development manager and It’s up to you to build a solution for training, including a team of L&D professionals.
You’re sitting at your desk, happily organizing your new hire paperwork and putting away office supplies. But suddenly, you’re interrupted by a high-pitched notification sound: you’ve been called to the board room.
A bit unsure, you gather up your laptop, phone, and notepad and proceed down the narrow hallway to the end, where the board room is located.
Every chair is filled with an executive. You meet the gaze of seemingly a thousand stares as you enter.
“So glad you could make it!” Says your boss, standing off to the side in the front of the room.
“I thought you could give us a quick summary on eLearning learning management systems since you seem so knowledgeable about them.”
You stop in your tracks and ponder why your manager would put you on the spot, especially on your first day.
But regardless, you take a few steps forward and turn to address the waiting eyes at the table.
*camera freezes on the scene*
Ever find yourself in a situation like this? Nobody likes to be put on the spot.
If you’re trying to modernize your company’s training, you’re likely going to be asked why an eLearning LMS is a good choice.
This article outlines what eLearning systems are, how they can be used for online training, and what benefits they have to offer.
Let’s get started!
eLearning Learning Management System
What exactly is an eLearning learning management system, anyway? A learning management system (LMS) is a tool used to manage and host online training courses and materials.
With an LMS, you can:
- Create courses for internal training purposes
- Facilitate collaborative learning experiences
- Design training for clients or external partners
- Have one centralized location for all your training
Who uses eLearning Learning Management Systems?
LMS platforms are used by many organizations, from small businesses and startups to post-secondary institutions.
For example, a startup would use an LMS to host some internal training and maybe even external training courses for their customers. In contrast, a post-secondary institution would use an LMS to host thousands of courses divided between a wide range of facilities and students.
How to Use LMS For Online Training
Learning management systems are powerful tools. You can use an eLearning LMS to give life to even the most boring courses. But setting up the system well requires a bit of advance planning.
Of course, building and organizing your courses on your LMS depends on the platform itself and what features it includes. This section will discuss how to set up a basic learning experience using LMS features found in Tovuti and other major LMS platforms.
Create Course and Learning Material Categories
Assigning categories to your courses and learning materials helps learners find things easier, keeps things organized, and helps with the LMS’s searchability. For example, let’s say you’re using your LMS to provide training for your employees that work in different departments and are on different teams. In this case, you could assign categories to your courses like “marketing”, “sales”, “finance” etc. to represent different types of courses and their relevance to the different departments and teams in your organization.
Create Custom Learner Portals
Another important user interface feature is custom learner portals. These allow you to tailor learning experiences to specific audiences. With Tovuti, for instance, custom learner portals are used to display certificates, badges, assigned courses, and more. The portal can also be customized to meet your organization's needs with different modules. These portals also act as a homepage or dashboard, meaning that the learner doesn’t have to navigate through the entire LMS to find courses and learning resources that are relevant to them. Instead, it’s all displayed on their portal.
Add Video, Audio, and Images to Your Courses
Your LMS is much more than just a centralized location to store training materials and resources. It’s also a way to deliver training in a much more interactive and engaging way. To do this, you can use Tovuti’s built-in course authoring to create full courses from the ground up, complete with more than 40 different interactive modules, like guess the answer, mark the words, memory game, and more to add a bit more fun to your courses.
Use Lesson Gating to Keep Learners on Track
It’s important that training follows a logical flow so learners know what order to take courses in. Lesson gating is an important feature for ensuring that learners are engaging with course content in the correct sequence. For example, you wouldn’t want a learner to jump straight to an advanced course without having the context and knowledge that they would need from previous courses, as it would likely leave them confused and frustrated. Instead, lesson gating prevents them from taking a course before they’re ready.
Take Advantage of MicroLearning and Mobile Responsiveness:
Let’s face it, our attention spans for online training can be low. Spending hours taking courses can quickly make learners' eyes glaze over and severely affect their ability to take in information. Instead of focusing on creating courses that are long and a pain to slog through, taking advantage of mobile responsiveness and creating small pockets of consumable content is the way to go. With microlearning, learners can access information that only takes a few minutes to learn. Breaking up courses or learning materials in this way makes eLearning content more accessible, easier to dedicate time to, and overall provides a better experience for your learners.
User Groups and Permissions
User groups and permissions are essential to consider for your LMS, especially if you’re going to have a lot of different learners accessing the system. User groups allow you to segment out categories of users so they can all be assigned the same courses or to make it easier for managers to obtain progress information for a set of employees. On the other hand, user permissions ensure that learners only have access to the parts of the LMS that they need to have access to, and nothing else. This is important for keeping the system secure.
5 Benefits of eLearning Management Software For Managers
LMS eLearning software’s main function might be to provide training, but it has many other advantages for L&D managers. These benefits include getting an overview of an individual employee or team’s performance, including identifying areas for improvement, saving time and money, and much more.
Helps Identify Gaps in Employee Knowledge
Using an LMS can help L&D and regular managers identify knowledge gaps in employees. For example, suppose a group of customer service representatives complete a test on a customer-facing process and receive low scores. In that case, the manager can use the response data to identify which aspects of the process were the most difficult for the employees to understand. From there, the manager can provide additional training and coaching to fill that knowledge gap.
Helps with Evaluating Employee Performance
Most learning management systems (Tovuti included) provide a way to get a bird’s eye view of employee performance through LMS analytics. These reports can be customized to provide a variety of different types of information, from test scores to time spent on courses. This kind of information is best used in conjunction with other performance metrics (ROI, KPI, etc.) to give a good overall picture of an employee’s performance.
Increases Employee Retention
Giving employees more opportunities to hone their skills does a couple of important things: first, it helps them do better at their jobs, which directly benefits them and the company, and second, it helps them feel valued as an employee because you’re investing in them as a person. eLearning LMS software can house hundreds if not thousands of courses, meaning that you can provide training that suits every team throughout your organization.
Tovuti, for instance, offers an integrated course content library with thousands of courses from third-party providers in a wide range of topics and areas. You can even white-label these courses with your company logo and colors to truly make them your own.
Saves Time and Money on Training
With an online learning solution, companies can save big money on training that would otherwise come with additional overhead costs. Expenses associated with travel and classroom bookings are eliminated when you move to online instructor-led training, and the best part is that sessions can easily be hosted using an LMS. An often-quoted statistic is that IBM saved over $200 million just by switching to online training over in-person, further proving that switching to online training can have big benefits, including cost savings.
Allows Employees to Prioritize Continuous Training
When employees have the opportunity to hone their skills, it has the natural benefit of improving their overall work performance. Providing access to eLearning and Instructor-led courses through an LMS makes it easier for employees to prioritize training alongside their other tasks. Just the simple fact that a training platform is available to employees to log into from any device allows them to prioritize training, as the platform is just a login away.
Using microlearning also gives employees a way to consume training in short bursts. Instead of dedicating hours to a course, they can watch a quick video or read an infographic, meaning even the busiest employees can find a few minutes here and there for training.
Most Common eLearning Management Systems
We will let you in on a little secret: the most common LMS software offerings out there share very similar features. Ok, maybe that’s not such a big secret, but the point is that on the surface, many of the popular LMS platforms can look the same. You might as well cover your eyes and point, or flip a coin to pick one, right?
Nope! What you need to know about each of these eLearning management software offerings is what exactly makes them different from each other. With this information, you can understand the uniqueness that each brings to the market and decide based on how well that aligns with your organization's training goals.
The following table explores different common eLearning management system software:
How Much Does an LMS Cost?
The total cost of an LMS will vary, but will typically run you several thousand dollars, not including recurring monthly subscription fees (if applicable). This cost typically covers things like onboarding, setup, and implementation of the LMS into your organization’s existing tech stack. Suppose you choose a self-hosted system over a cloud-based one. In that case, your costs may increase exponentially since you’ll be looking at additional hardware and system maintenance costs over and above the cost of the software itself.
How do you Increase Sales with an LMS?
eLearning management systems can help you increase sales in a number of ways. First, by providing training opportunities for employees to hone their existing skills, whether it be in direct sales, customer service, or technical support. When employees have better skills in these categories, they can provide a better customer experience, increasing sales. Your LMS can also be used to train employees on new product offerings, giving them more confidence when selling these products.
What Features Make a Good LMS eLearning Platform?
When you’re looking for a good LMS eLearning platform, it’s essential to consider the following:
- User experience
- Ease of use
- Content management capabilities
- Reporting and analytics
If an LMS can tick all of these boxes, then chances are it will be a good choice for your organization. In Addition to these basics, you’ll also want to make a list of features that are specific to your organization’s use case. For example, suppose you want to monetize your existing training to sell to other organizations and clients. In that case, you’ll want an LMS that supports extended enterprise, including custom learner portals, the ability to accept payments, and the ability to keep groups of users segregated from the rest of the system.
Are Online Learning LMS Platforms Secure?
Many cloud-based online learning LMS platforms use the latest security features and technologies to keep your valuable data safe. The main features you should be looking for that indicate secure online eLearning management software includes:
- Frequent backups. Data backup should be done daily since learners will likely be accessing the system and taking courses on a daily basis.
- Two-factor authentication. This login procedure ensures that the right person is accessing the LMS.
- Regular maintenance of the system. Keeping your LMS up-to-date not only keeps the software running smoothly, but also helps keep it secure and able to block the latest security exploits.
- Data encryption. When data is transferred between two applications (e.g. transferring data from your LMS to your CRM) encryption ensures that the data can’t be intercepted while this process takes place.
The world of LMS for online training is quite expansive, with offerings tailored for a variety of use cases from higher education to regulated industries, such as healthcare. Online training is quickly becoming the norm for corporate training, with more and more businesses wanting to take advantage of the cost savings, better training opportunities, and increased employee retention that is made possible with eLearning.
Whether you’re new to using an electronic learning management system or looking to upgrade from your current solution, Tovuti is a great choice. We offer full onboarding and training to ensure that you get the most out of the software.
Learn more about Tovuti today by watching our Demo!