A Learning Management System (LMS) is an e-learning software meant to streamline learning and manage the entire process of training. LMS was developed by IT experts and educators to address the lack of administrative tools to organize, monitor, control and evaluate online learning activities of students and trainees. As with any new technology, there are some challenges that arise with implementing LMS. In this document, we shall learn some time-tested methods to successfully implement LMS.
Planning an LMS Implementation
Planning is a major factor to a successful LMS implementation. Any business process changes such as the implementation of LMS, will likely become a success when they align with the specific needs of the business. Implementing LMS is a critical approach to meeting the transformational needs of a business and thus require a strategic plan. You can start the planning process by asking your LMS vendor to provide you with a project-plan template that will include all the tasks and steps needed to successfully implement the LMS from the vendor’s point of view.
Identify your current training workflow and the areas for improvement
Identifying how your company conducts tutorials and trainings is key to a successful implementation of LMS. Documenting the areas to improve will also help you avoid future setbacks. You can start by knowing the actions you are planning to streamline, the configurations you will need to integrate LMS and the systems with which the LMS will be integrated. All of these will be determined by your LMS vendor and by the specifics of your implementation. Your LMS vendor should be able to train you on how the product works and then require you to make system configuration decisions according to your knowledge of your business methods and your understanding about their LMS product.
Define and Prioritise Key processes for your deliverables
Defining and prioritizing the key processes for your deliverables is crucial to the successful implementation of LMS. These may include inputting your training materials into the LMS or testing the data migration programming.
To successfully implement LMS with your deliverables, make a broad implementation step containing your processes and whittle it down into the core tasks that must be executed for your deliverables. For instance, you need to check that your training materials are in a format compatible with the newly integrated LMS, before entering them into the system. Defining and prioritising key will make a successful implementation of LMS.
Overcoming the challenge of “something new”
When implementing a new LMS, change is a big concern. While most employees or trainees are not averse to learning, they can have mind-block thoughts about learning without the direction of a tutor/instructor in a self-paced manner. This mind-block thought is the greatest challenge to the success of LMS implementations.
To overcome this, ensure you market the LMS well among the staff and stakeholders. State clearly the benefits of the LMS – both on the short and long term. Make directed efforts towards reaching out to the learners and stakeholders, possibly through mails, meetings, banners, presentations and events. Training sessions and practices should also be held to get the trainees get accustomed to the e-learning software and workings of the new system configuration. Accordingly, organizations may accustom LMS to be mobile-enabled in order to allow learners access learning materials whenever they want.
Selecting the right LMS
There are several different types of LMS software available out there for e-learning but selecting the right one will ensure the successful implementation of LMS. Each LMS software application from different competing companies comes with features that vary, although they all have the same core objective. There are some expensive LMS that contains features that are way beyond what is needed by a specific business or institution. On the other hand, there are cheaper open-source LMS that contains simple features that are relatively good enough for businesses and organizations with fewer learners. Most LMS software can streamline and deliver content to the learners according to their needs. They also monitor the learner’s progress and can make reports on their progress. For businesses that want more, advanced LMSs are equipped to render and manage different types of training content including audio recordings and videos.
Beyond LMS Implementation
During the planning process, you should also think beyond the implementation. Make decisions to determine:
Who will be maintaining the LMS post-implementation?
How will you train new users on the application system?
What formatting would you need to use to keep learning and training materials consistent?
What permissions would you make for LMS data and features?
In the virtual classroom, content authors should not always let their target market or students act as passive viewers only. If it always allows online students become passive learners most of the time students will probably lose focus. Losing focus could let online students do other things than pay attention to their lesson. In real classrooms, student chat, draw and even sleep if they are bored, in the virtual classroom distraction are abundant, online students could play online games, check email, visit their networking account, stream videos and do other online activities