What Defines an Ideal Learning Management System(LMS)?

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A simple tool designed to run learning modules and tests in an academic institution has evolved into an all-purpose application/software, which is now used in both academia and enterprise learning across the world. From running tests to performance evaluation at work, to social learning features built into the LMS to integrated ERP and CMS facilities to power full-feature websites; the LMS is no longer a simple learning system!

Best features of an ideal LMS

The Need For A Learning Management System

From the earliest versions of the LMS that just ran basic training videos and presentations supported by instructor training; the modern LMS has evolved significantly. The popularity and affordability of smartphones and decreasing user-attention spans have contributed to the growth of ‘bite-sized learning’ and ‘video-nuggets’. With the focus shifting on ‘anywhere, anytime learning’ the current breed of learning management systems is designed to offer a great learning experience on mobile phones and tablet devices as well.

The ‘Learning Management System’ as a subset of the eLearning industry has evolved to become a stand-alone and prosperous industry domain of its own. With over 700 plus learning management systems available in the market catering to the demands of enterprise learning and higher-education; organizations looking for an LMS are spoilt for choice.

In our blog post today, we will look at the key features that an ideal LMS or LXP should possess.

The modern, user-friendly, intuitively designed LMS

This is a significant factor that determines the success of an LMS. You could pack in all the features that a user may need into your product, but if it is not user-friendly and intuitive by design; then you’ve lost the battle. As per a popular statement in UX-Design – “Even a child should be able to use your LMS with ease.”

LMS with Diverse Features

A good aesthetic design alone does not guarantee success. Does your LMS offer all the functions and features that users demand? Be it the ability to track informal learning, a dedicated mobile app, or integrating existing eLearning, cloud-based, or remote hosting; every LMS provider is looking to innovate. Stay ahead of the competition to make your LMS stand apart.

Integration Capabilities

Many organizations have created their LMS products by building upon open-source platforms like Moodle, Forma, and ILIAS. Most businesses look for a high level of customization that goes beyond just the rudimentary – ‘look and feel’ updates. Customization requests focus on the integration of existing learning with the new LMS, integration of LMS with existing ERP and CRM systems, and much more. Salesforce is the world’s #1 CRM platform that is used by leading organizations across industry verticals. If your LMS allows easy integration with Salesforce, then it is a plus for your LMS product.

Real-Time Analytics on LMS

Analytics and data are the cornerstone of every business now and L&D is no different. If your LMS is designed to offer in-built real-time data reports then you have ticked an important requirement. With the growth of Experience API or xAPI; administrators can now track learning even when the learner moves away from the core LMS and accesses information in a new browser window. This is a significant shift and adds greater flexibility to learning.

Market and Sell Your Courses Using the LMS

Several eLearning organizations are shifting to a course-catalog model wherein they offer popular courses for a specific fee. The topics range from ‘Safety and Compliance Laws’, ‘Office Etiquette’, and ‘Essentials of PowerPoint’. In addition to this organizations also offer courses created by industry-leaders, which are white-labeled as per their branding and offered to learners. What was once a rare request is slowly turning into a de facto requirement in modern learning management systems. Organizations are looking for LMS products that allow easy integration of existing courses and the ability to market and sell courses through the LMS by becoming a ‘learning marketplace’.

Does your LMS offer a built-in eCommerce feature?

Social & Personalized Learning on Learning Management Systems

It is a part of human nature to seek approval and likes from one’s friends. The growth of social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram is ample proof of our desire to be recognized and find our personal ‘15 seconds of fame’. Social Learning as a specific offshoot of learning has gained popularity in the past three to four years. We have seen industry-leaders ‘Totara LMS’ offer products like ‘Totara Social’, which are focused on social learning. L&D practitioners also agree that a social element to learning, which allows learners to challenge co-learners to take up modules, share scores, and participate in gamified-puzzles and assessment modules, remain more engaged and ultimately leads to better retention of learning. So, ensure that your LMS product incorporates social learning.

In addition to this recommendation engines are becoming smarter. Does your LMS suggest learners to pick a relevant course matching their learning requirements? When the LMS looks at the learners’ progress and skill-set and offers relevant learning content it becomes a combination of adaptive and personalized learning. This is quite pertinent to the ‘Assessments’ section of learning programs.

Does your LMS offer a mix of social and personalized learning?

Mobile Apps based on the Learning Management System

Yes, we are all aware of the growth of mobile usage and how more learners are accessing learning content ‘on the go’ on their smartphones. In such a scenario it becomes important for your LMS to offer a powerful variant of the product as an app. Remember, not a skinned-down basic variant of the product but a full-function LMS experience on the mobile app. Invest in developing the apps and it will hold your LMS product in good stead.

Customer Support & Pricing

These are two key qualities that go together and affect the success of any product. LMS pricing usually works on the ‘number of licenses model’. With on-demand learning growing, organizations selling an LMS product seek to find the right business strategy to sell their product. Do you offer excellent customer support? Is your customer support team trained to handle queries both technical and non-technical? Exceptional customer service can ensure repeat customers. Great products have been let down by shabby customer support. Don’t fall into the trap of poor or negligent customer support, empower your customer support team, and make it a customer success team.

The Evolution of LXP (Learning Experience Platform)

eLearning is experiencing a paradigm shift as corporate learning becomes more learner-centric. While LMS has played an essential role in eLearning technology, the future is LXP — the Learning Experience Platform.

LXP has evolved from traditional LMS technology to make effective use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for a user-centric approach. Personalized learning paths are one of the key capabilities of an LXP that make it better suited to modern learning than a traditional LMS. It gives the user more control to choose a trajectory aligned with their learning goals. 

Choosing between the LMS and LXP does not have to be difficult. LXPs can be easily integrated with authoring tools, making the shift from an LMS simple.

Are you ready to take the next step in corporate training? Origin’s Fractal LXP is cloud-based that can be deployed remotely and scaled as per need. The modern learning landscape is rapidly evolving to provide a holistic learning experience tailored exactly to your organization’s unique needs. 

Sign up for a free trial of Origin’s Fractal LXP here.

What makes a good LMS system?
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LMS can be a great asset, but only when using the right one. Ease of use through intuitive design, Social & Personalized Learning for users, integration capabilities with existing eLearning, cloud-deployment, or remote hosting are just some of the features that make Fractal LXP ideal as an evolved, modern LMS system.

What is the purpose of LMS?

A Learning Management System (LMS) is an online system or software that can be used to plan, execute, and assess the learning needs of an organization or enterprise. In simple words, software used in eLearning programs and which helps in administration, documentation, tracking, and recording.

How do LMS systems work?

The best way to imagine a learning management system, in its current form as an LXP, is to think of it as a large private website portal. “Private” because despite being remotely deployed and entirely cloud-based, only users with login credentials will be able to access the site. Within the LMS, learning modules are available for users along with assessments and other learning tools. Learning Experience Platform takes this a step further with more advanced tools such as gamification, analytics, custom-generated learning paths, and playlists based on individual users, etc.

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