Whether you provide education and training for a government, health care, nonprofit or corporate organization, it’s important to create a learning ecosystem that encompasses the latest technologies and best practices to ensure learner success. For most organizations, these technologies include a learning management system (LMS) for employee onboarding, compliance training and regulatory certifications, or continuous training.
According to eLearning Industry, the LMS industry grows by 25 percent annually. While there’s clear value in using even a basic digital learning solution, it can be difficult to understand how to structure your learning platform to achieve success. Here’s some advice that can help.
3 Things Your LMS Should Be Able to Do
1. Reflect Your Organizational Structure
Your organization consists of various roles, departments and hierarchies, each of which requires specific training content and, thus, permissions to access training. Ensure your LMS meets every learner’s needs using personalized learning. It should enable you to assign learning plans to specific departments or segments within the platform and report on each division as needed. Then, provide management rights and security permissions to specific roles so leaders have an overview of their learners’ progress. This type of role-based and personalized training approach helps L&D professionals organize training and onboarding and deliver an engaging and effective training solution across the organization.
2. Integrate With Existing Systems
In most cases, certain departments require unique tools or information systems outside of the LMS. To help streamline learning efforts, make sure that you can sync your LMS with your important secondary systems to enable a seamless flow of learning data and other information between systems. This approach eliminates the need for manual duplicate data entry and can make it much easier to track learning that happens both inside and outside of the LMS.
3. Provide Continuous Training
As employees continuously hone their skills and take on more responsibility in their positions, they’ll require educational content that meets their needs. Your LMS should enable you to provide just-in-time training for employees.
Tailored professional development allows for continuous content that is relevant to learners as they progress through their development plans. An LMS that allows learners to access training that is applicable to their current roles and specific responsibilities will help you offer more effective workplace learning.
Open Source: Creating an LMS Designed for Organizational Learning
With these specific goals and LMS functionality in mind, you’re well on your way to creating a future-proof program that provides effective training as your staff and organization scale and evolve. However, some learning platforms are better able to meet these goals than others. It’s important to understand that there are some key differences among learning platform capabilities based on whether they use closed source or open source technology:
- Open source: software for which the original code is freely available and may be redistributed and modified.
- Closed source: software whose code is not shared (also referred to as proprietary software).
There are particular benefits to using an open source learning platform to streamline training efforts and enhance the overall e-learning experience for your employees. Open-source platforms give training managers the freedom to customize and incorporate branded content, innovative plugins and other third-party tools, and other e-learning best practices into their learning strategy to meet specific business needs.
Closed-source LMS solutions are more limiting. They typically only enable organizations to use what’s included: a branded LMS with proprietary tools, design and functionality. In terms of learning platforms, open source technology enables you to create your ideal business LMS platform, rather than being forced to compromise with an out-of-the-box solution.
With the robust functionality and flexibility of open source learning solutions, you can ensure your training platform will meet your company’s evolving needs to provide successful organizational learning for years to come. An open source LMS will enable you to build a solution that reflects your organizational structure, integrates with your existing systems, and offers continuous and effective training specific to your staff’s needs and best learning practices.