Back-to-school is, more than ever, a year-round part of life for adult learners.
Faced with this rising tide of demand for online learning, educators, instructors, course creators, and other leaders in the knowledge-sharing business may be feeling stressed by the challenge of responding cost-efficiently to a 12-month back-to-school period.
The roots of this stress may be found in the educational technology (ed-tech) you’re working with. Perhaps you’re wrangling with the constraints of a basic e-learning platform. Or maybe, your legacy learning management system (LMS) is overloading your staff with admin tasks and slowing the growth of your learner base.
Adding to the stakes for your organization are the rising expectations your learners have regarding digital experiences: expectations shaped by the easy and convenient online interactions your learners are having every day with some of the world’s most forward-thinking organizations.
Fortunately, ed-tech offers a solution for cost-efficiently relieving the stress of this year-round back-to-school demand — the modern learning management system (LMS).
By automating processes and efficiently creating, managing, distributing, and marketing your online learning offer, a modern LMS can help your learners reach their goals while supporting your budget and bottom-line goals.
Here’s how an LMS can help alleviate some stress.
1. Centralize and streamline the admin of all your learning activities
Managing all your learning activities, both online and offline, means orchestrating a lot of moving parts. That can be a time-consuming and laborious task for your team. The beauty of an integrated LMS is that, from one location, you get both a top-down view of your entire course offering and the power to manage it efficiently.
From assembling your online course content to storing it, managing, and distributing it, your LMS empowers you to incorporate all these functions seamlessly and manage it all effortlessly through an intuitive interface.
Furthermore, an integrated LMS with must-have automation options can eliminate many repetitive tasks. For example, when a learner enrolls, all the related actions are automatically executed.
Similarly, you can more easily manage/automate tasks like scheduling, registration, attendance, testing, compliance, performance tracking, and more. These efficiencies relieve your team of a big administrative burden.
2. Reduce the costs of reaching your Total Available Market (TAM)
An LMS helps you efficiently manage both your in-person and online training. What’s more, your LMS’ powerful functions simplify the expansion of both your online course offering and its geographic reach, so you can extend your Total Available Market (TAM), i.e., the total number of people who could potentially be interested in your online course offering.
A modern LMS enables you to do so in various ways:
- Through quantitative and qualitative surveys of learner needs
- Speedy assembly of online courses in response to demand
- Streamlined online marketing capabilities that ease expansion into new territories, such as integration with Google Analytics and social media APIs to provide data on demographics, user behavior, and social shares
- The almost cost-free, global distribution of courses, facilitated by multi-lingual interfaces, 24/7 access, and an e-commerce shopping cart that automates enrollment.
While it’s true that no first-tier LMS is free, its ROI is clearly demonstrable. (To learn more, click on 4 Steps to Building a Business Case for Your LMS.)
To read more about clients who empowered their organizations with an LMS, check out our case studies.
3. Offer your learners anytime-anywhere convenience
Cloud computing powers the best LMSs. With a cloud-based mobile-ready LMS, you can offer your learners the flexibility and convenience of learning wherever they have a computing device and Internet access.
Furthermore, a cloud-based LMS enables system-wide content updates within minutes, so all your learners, wherever they connect to you, are on the same page as they review your latest educational content, data, or news.
4. Monitor your learner’s progress
Naturally, you want to stay attuned to how your learners are doing in your courses, so you can make the necessary adjustments that support their progress. First-tier LMSs enable you to do this in real time through learning analytics and reporting tools. They offer data and visualization aids to help you understand learner behavior and detect patterns across different courses and contexts.
For example, you may find that in a particular course video demonstrations are more effective than slides. This insight can become a guideline shaping your course content.
Online surveys can also provide qualitative and quantitative feedback on the learner experience. For instance, learners may inform you that they want more live feedback. Immediately, your instructors can adjust their course design to enhance engagement with the course.
In addition, LMS reports come in multiple formats, so you can slice and dice your data by course, learner, group, or any other category.As a result, you can respond to learner issues on the spot.
And export it to Excel for more analysis.
For a deeper dive into LMS reporting and analytics tools, do check out “5 Ways Your LMS’ Analytics and Reporting Tools Can Enhance your Training Center’s Performance.”
5. Personalize learning paths
The granular insight gained from your analytics and reporting tools also allows you to personalize the learning paths of your individual learners. When content is more personalized, you enhance learner engagement.
If, for example, your learners are performing in widely diverging ways in a course, you may want to split up your learners into groups. High-performers could be given more advanced content while learners needing special attention could get more preparatory materials.
6. Respond quickly to learner trends and needs
Let’s say you want to benefit from a trend in contemporary learning and development. For example, on-the-go adult learners looking to upskill or reskill are taking a succession of short courses rather than committing themselves to years-long certifications or apprenticeships.
To respond quickly and flexibly to this trend, your organization could:
- Offer modular, stackable courses that cover a specific area of knowledge or capability.
- Take a typically long course and break it down into shorter components.
- Create stand-alone micro-learning courses focused on specific needs.
To recognize learner achievements following these courses, you can offer micro-credentials.
Without an LMS, the time-to-market for designing, authoring, and distributing such online courses would be significantly longer and entail a potential loss of opportunity to competing organizations.
With back-to-school a daily event all year-round, there’s no need to burden your team with additional stress. You can expand your online course offering with ease while significantly reducing your administrative burden and reaching more learners cost-efficiently.
Furthermore, when exam time comes around, you can gain additional efficiencies (and peace of mind) with online exams that have an integrated auto-proctoring solution.
To learn more about how exactly you can do that for your organization, connect with us.