A learning management system (LMS) is a platform used by organizations to deliver and track education and training programs — regardless if it is for academic or corporate purposes. Depending on the organization, an LMS can be used for training, music studio management, new-hire orientation, education, or employee knowledge retention.
More and more organizations recognize the value of using LMS technology in their training and development initiatives. In fact, according to statistics compiled by eLearning Infographics, 72% of global organizations agree that LMS provides them with a competitive edge.
11 key features of LMS software you should consider
So how do you choose the right LMS for your organization? Below is an LMS features checklist that you can use in your evaluation. You may also check some options of learning management system from FinancesOnline to help you decide.
1. Course creation and management
Streamlining the learning process is one of the benefits of LMS for teachers. Hence, your LMS should provide you with top-notch course creation and management capability. Ideally, the course authoring tool should let you create content with ease, allowing you to use multiple formats such as videos, audio, PDF, and live virtual classes.
Your LMS should also be SCORM- and Tin Can (xAPI)-compliant.To be able to switch between these widely-used e-learning standards gives peace of mind that you can use whichever file you want to work on.
2. User-friendly interface and responsive design
Having a complex learning management system is counterproductive. An ideal learning management system should provide the best possible user experience. It shouldn’t give you a hard time learning and figuring out how it works. That means it should be easy to learn and navigate and should provide you with an intuitive user interface. Otherwise, it is not worth using at all.
3. Learning Portals
Learning portals allow an organization to deliver tailored course content to multiple audiences. Like mini-LMSs, learning portals should be customizable to conform to its target learning audience’s specific needs. It should also allow seamless transferring, reusing, and copying of content to save time and resources, as well as establish a centralized training for the organization.
4. Support for mobile learning
An effective LMS should provide a good learning experience including the ability to access content from any device. The pandemic also brought the need to access education through online learning, thus raising the demand for mobile device learning support.
Also, by adding mobile learning support you add value to the course offerings as learners get access to the content from a device they are more comfortable with. In fact, an overwhelming majority or 64 percent of learners today find that the ability to access learning content from a mobile device as an essential part of the learning process.
5. Assessment creation
To be able to provide training the best possible way is just one of the objectives of learning management system. Apart from that, it should also allow organizations to measure performance and skills development. Preferably, your learning management software should provide student assessment tools such as tests and quizzes, homework, exercises, and one-to-one learning sessions.
6. Reporting and tracking
Another important feature that every LMS software should have is reporting and tracking. There should be a reporting for both the learners and the staff. The learner dashboards should indicate the activities they have participated in, how well they performed, and how close they are to completion.
The staff dashboard, on the other hand, should provide crucial KPIs such as their most popular courses. These reports will help the organization evaluate its training effectiveness, opportunities to improve, and how its students prefer to learn.
Gamification enhances engagement and overall learning experience by incorporating gaming elements such as points, competition, and progression. It is not surprising, therefore, that gamification is one of the most requested LMS features among learners.
Also, the gamification industry is also expected to grow to $30.7 billion by 2025, according to a Gamification Market report by MarketsandMarkets, which reflects the growing demand from consumers and enterprises alike.
An LMS should allow e-Commerce integration. This integration will allow the learners to purchase the courses right on the platform itself. Not only is it a secure way of selling the product, but it also enhances the marketability of the offerings.
As an organization, you would want to have your brand accurately represented on your LMS software. It should be customizable to let you use your brand-associated themes and design. Meanwhile, white-labeling allows users to erase all vendor-identifiable elements.
Some of the elements you would want to be customized to reflect your brands include the portal, login page, and the multi-portals. The white-labeling feature, on the other hand, should let you use a customized domain and personalized emails.
10. Integration and automation
Your LMS software should allow you to incorporate the features and functionalities of your favorite third-party apps. Third-party apps integration extends the capabilities of your LMS and enhances user experience.
Meanwhile, automation helps your organization save time by allowing you to eliminate repetitive tasks without compromising consistency and quality. Some nice-to-have automation features include:
- auto-assigning based on specific criteria;
- single sign-on;
- reports automation;
- auto-enroll learners from CRM, HR, or other applications;
- triggered notifications; and
- automated certifications.
Lastly, your LMS software should have sufficient security features to guard your organization and members’ sensitive data. Some of the important security features an LMS should include an IP blocker, password identification, anti-spamming, anti-malware, data encryption, and mobile security.
Consider first what your organization needs
When shopping for an LMS software, you may find that vendors offer most, if not all, of these learning management system features and benefits, and even more. However, what your organization actually needs should be the top deciding factor in determining which LMS application is the right fit.