The rise of hybrid and remote work has created a higher demand for online training opportunities. Organizations that have adopted permanent remote work options must also provide remote training and onboarding for their employees. Employees who work remotely even part-time can work from anywhere, so providing online learning and development (L&D) programs is essential. After all, remote employees need access to have the same training opportunities as in-office employees.
Online and virtual training is more important than ever considering the ongoing skills and labor shortage that is presenting a challenge to a majority of organizations. Providing current employees with upskilling opportunities is beneficial for both the employees and organizations.
Job seekers are looking to companies that will provide them with training. Data shows that online L&D opportunities may be one of the keys to attracting and retaining talent. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) recently reported that “Learning and development (L&D) programs can be an appealing benefit. In fact, skills training is one of the top perks younger workers look for in a new job, according to a 2021 Gallup survey conducted on behalf of Amazon. In that survey, 66 percent of workers ages18-24 ranked learning new skills as the third-most important perk when evaluating new job opportunities.”
To fully benefit their employees and teams, organizations must provide employees with access to engaging and immersive virtual and online training. Incorporating a robust learning management system (LMS) is critical to creating a successful and effective training program.
How an LMS Can Elevate L&D
An LMS is a multi-functional software platform used to plan and execute learning and training for schools, government agencies, businesses and other organizations. In a corporate environment, an LMS is the foundation to create and deliver professional development and compliance training. LMSs are effective for online learning because their components allow organizations to handle online course creation, course and content management, and administrative processes.
LMSs also include a learner/user interface that is easy to use and access. A robust LMS easily connects with other digital tools such as video conferencing as well as collaboration tools to elevate the learning experience. These components allow an LMS to meet the goals of creating and delivering a highly engaging and effective learning experience.
Different Types of LMSs
Some of the most widely used LMS are open-source software, which can be downloaded for free by anyone. Any developer or organization can modify or adapt the code for their own use without having to pay licensing fees. Open-sources LMS are generally a flexible, cost-efficient and versatile solution for certain types of organizations. Open-source programs are typically upgraded constantly and often have a large developer community involved with the solution.
The most modern and advanced LMS solutions are cloud-based, software as a service (Saas) systems. With a SaaS LMS, there’s no need to upload the software or install on the organization’s systems. The SaaS hosts the service and stores data, and the organization can easily access the software, which is usually a low-code model.
Modern LMS Features That Drive Engagement
Modern, cloud-based LMS have features that allow organizations to deliver high-quality, engaging learning experiences to employees. One of the main benefits of LMS is the easy access to the system. Operating on one comprehensive platform, the LMS includes course content, training program access, interaction with instructors and learners, assessments, feedback, reporting, progress, administration and enrollment.
There are other key features of an LMS that allow organizations to create engaging learning programs, including:
- Easy integrations: Advanced LMS use experience application programming interfaces (xAPIs) to create easy integrations with many other digital tools. For example, video conferencing, quizzes, human resources (HR) tools, business tools (such as shared calendars) and communication tools like employee messaging platforms, chat and documentation sharing.
- High security: Look for secure platforms that protect data, personal information and content . Solutions need to provide industry accepted best practices for transport security, keep confidentially shared documents, files and content secure, and offer the ability to do all these things on network infrastructure the customer can manage and control.
- The ability to support multiple languages with multilingual tools that are built into the LMS.
- Scalability: Advanced LMSs are adaptable for anyone who needs to provide L&D, from small organizations to enterprise-level businesses.
- Supports and provides gamification opportunities, which keeps learners focused, enthusiastic and motivated. Some examples include leaderboards, points and badges.
- The ability to support and track certification training, providing maximum value for employees.
- Artificial intelligence (AI)-based personalized learning to provide a highly effective and engaging experience for the learner.
Video Conferencing and Collaboration
A video conferencing platform is another key component to elevate corporate training and L&D. Advanced video conferencing software complements the LMS to create opportunities for face-to-face video collaboration.
Some innovative features to look for include:
- Easy integration with the LMS so that video becomes part of the training program’s foundation.
- A cloud-based platform as a service (PaaS) that allows organizations to customize their video classrooms.
- The option to store course recordings on the organization’s private cloud or the PaaS own secure cloud for future training sessions.
- High-quality HD audio and visual capabilities for optimal content and communications.
- Seamless collaboration tools such as annotation, whiteboarding, full media and document sharing right from the video conferencing platform.
- Strong safety and security options for courses, screensharing and other collaboration activities. Look for true end-to-end security with the latest transport layer security (TLS) standards up to and including TLS 1.3 on all platforms.
- Supports breakout rooms for small group interaction and opportunities for instructor feedback.
- Seamless API integrations for business and other productivity tools
With an advanced LMS, organizations can create and implement engaging L&D programs that can be adapted to suit the needs of their teams.