Associations work hard to meet the needs of their members, which means offering innovative continuing education programs. To meet this need, learning management systems (LMSs) are evolving and changing the landscape of e-learning design. While there are many common misconceptions about e-learning (lack of engagement and personalization, for example), it is a powerful tool that can help association members become lifelong learners and maintain the level of skills and certifications needed in their industry. E-learning may seem like a challenge to develop, but it can offer a scalable and trackable solution for associations that want to educate their members.
With the ever-growing LMS landscape, e-learning is becoming more interactive and personalized, and it’s becoming easier for instructional designers to create impactful courses. Here are five important ways the evolving LMS is changing e-learning design.
1. Interactive Learning Environments
Interactive learning environments can contribute to a positive experience for your members through:
Course authoring capabilities: Being able to add interactions to videos and drag-and-drop experiences results in learners’ retaining more information than if they simply read content or watched a video.
Gamification: A little friendly competition can go a long way. Scoreboards and other game elements keep learners on track to complete their courses, and displaying completion badges on their online profiles increases their engagement with other members.
Social learning: With social learning, your members will retain more of what they learn and be motivated to complete additional courses. Social learning can include discussion boards and live chat features. In addition, if your organization hosts a live learning event for local members, you can upload materials so that online learners have access to them as well.
An interactive learning experience will motivate members to complete more courses. As learning management systems evolve to incorporate more interactive elements, your members’ professional development will benefit as a result.
2. Consistent Course Experience
As LMSs have developed over the years, it has become easier to create consistent courses. The more consistent your association’s experience is for your members, the more likely they will be to come back for more. Successfully making your content consistent means:
Providing high-quality content: When you offer high-quality content, you’ll keep your learners motivated. With features such as course templates, an association LMS should make it easy for you to quickly create content without compromising on quality.
Automating communication: Use your LMS and association management system to automatically send out email notifications to your members. Keeping your learners in the know will keep them engaged.
Using consistent branding: Modern LMSs can make your training content look like a branded association platform. Learners won’t even notice that they’re redirected to a third-party site to take courses.
3. Personalized Learning Experiences
Personalization is another element that has impacted e-learning design. With personalized learning, you can tailor each learner’s experience to his or her needs and interests. For example, modern LMSs can:
Make recommendations: Many systems can recommend courses based on learners’ history with the LMS, their interests, their past purchases and other information stored in the system.
Send automated notifications: Automatically notify members when there is a new course available to them, based on their interests.
Help with performance: Adaptive assessments and quizzes reflect learners’ performance throughout a course and enable them to focus only on the skills they need to improve.
When your learners have the chance to learn more about topics that they find interesting, they’ll become more invested in the course. Personalization has evolved within the LMS landscape and is having a significant impact on how people learn.
4. Trackable Data
Along with a personalized learning experience, you can also track the data you need to understand how your courses and learners are performing. For example, you can:
- Recognize in which areas learners are excelling and where they need to build their skills more.
- Create, modify and organize assessment questions or reuse questions that have worked well in the past.
- Categorize your questions and tag them by skill.
- Create a course, provide training and assess learning all in one system.
- Provide detailed information to help learners when they answer a question incorrectly.
With an LMS, you can better understand your learners and gain insight into how your programs are performing with the help of comprehensive reporting capabilities. With this insight, your courses will maintain high quality and become invaluable to your members.
Learning management systems are becoming more flexible, making it easy for learners to access your courses and keep track of how they’ve grown. Customization benefits include:
Access on-the-go: Find an LMS with a mobile application to enable learners to access your courses from their mobile phones and tablets, in addition to computers.
Important documentation: Many continuing education (CE) programs have ever-growing lists of requirements. Let your LMS do the work for you using flexible credit-claiming experiences and dynamic certificate generation.
Integrations: Many learning management systems can integrate with other systems, such as association management software, enabling you to supplement member information with important course completion data.
When you can customize your learners’ experience, they’ll benefit from improved professional development, and you’ll benefit from keeping them educated and engaged.
The evolution of the LMS is changing e-learning design for the better. By becoming interactive, more engaging and personalized and by offering data insights, your LMS can improve learning outcomes. As your LMS continues to evolve, your organization will grow along with it.