Industries across the globe are making rapid, drastic changes to how they operate due to COVID-19. According to LinkedIn’s 2020 Workplace Learning Report, 51% of learning and development pros planned to launch upskilling programs this year.
Taking training online with the help of a standard, out of the box learning management system (LMS) is no longer enough, especially when eLearning is not just an option but a necessity in these trying times. To improve the development process of skills that are now required in the new normal, companies should consider securing a customised LMS.
A customised LMS allows users to modify the platform’s visual and structural design, integrate optional modules and other systems that extend its functionality, alter the way content is delivered, and assign specific roles to different users granting varying levels of control and access to the platform. It is distinct from standard LMS’s that restrict customisation to simple elements such as uploading company logos and changing colours, with providers having majority control over what can be done with their platforms.
Here we look at some of the benefits a customised LMS can bring to your organisation’s training programme, from the high-level administrators to learners learning from the front end:
1. Stronger Branding
Training a workforce or channel partners is as much about imparting knowledge and developing skills as it is about inculcating company values. Such values are expressed both directly and indirectly through a company’s branding.
Branding is best when it is omnipresent, so that it sticks in the mind of employees who interface with it on a regular basis. With a customised LMS, the smallest piece of training material to the overall visual design of the entire platform can be designed to carry the company’s brand.
Branding doesn’t end with having a logo stamped on top of a training course. It also covers the more visible aspects such as the graphical interface to the more subtle elements such as the tone and messaging. A customised LMS ensures learners absorb an organisation’s culture whenever they undergo training.
2. Increase in User Adoption
The ability to customise your courses and tailor them according to the user’s needs benefits both the learner and the administrator:
The foremost benefit of having a customised LMS is that it lets organisations improve usability via visual design modification. In the process, users are more likely to take part in the eLearning ecosystem.
A standard LMS has a set interface and a predefined way of presenting courses that may feel cumbersome and not always clear to a wide number of learners with varying preferences. By customising the visual and structural design to better cater to the users’ specific needs, they will have an easier time interfacing with the platform and seeing what’s in store for them in terms of what steps they need to take to complete courses and internalise lessons. You can also customise the layout, which will make it easier for users to navigate the training programme.
Administrators can take a top-down view of how learners engage with an eLearning programme. One of their major duties is to understand how effective a programme is, which is done by setting metrics, collecting data, and presenting such figures in a manner that would clearly establish pathways for learners to make progress. A customised LMS provides admin tools that can refine their reports, tracking methods, and mapping capabilities—all of which can make an administrator’s job so much easier.
Customised LMS providers can also offer a comprehensive managed learning service so that administrators can offload more minor tasks to the providers and focus on other more urgent matters.
3. Cost-efficient in the Long-term
The upfront cost of a customised LMS may be higher than your standard LMS, but the freedom that you gain from paying a premium will pay for itself in the long run, especially if you’re looking to sell your training courses.
The cost-efficiency mainly comes in the improvements in the eLearning programme across the board brought on by using a customised LMS.
This kind of platform accommodates varying learning styles, as the LMS can be modified to fit the specific needs of learners. Whether it’s implementing only a certain set of functions that learners actually find useful or designing the interface in such a way that learners find appealing, the tailored experience that comes with a customised LMS makes the whole process of learning smoother. There will be less time and resources spent trying and failing to engage learners with a restrictive system suffering from feature bloat and a design that doesn’t cater to their sensibilities.
4. Agile Course Delivery
In this fast-moving work climate, contingencies have to be in place if main plans aren’t followed through. Sometimes, companies have to pivot quickly to face unexpected challenges.
When it comes to training, there may be a need to roll out updates for course materials as soon as possible to reflect shifts in business strategy or prepare for projected trends. There are also industries that frequently add to their product line and have to train their employees constantly on new products.
A customised LMS allows organisations to deliver course updates whenever it’s necessary instead of having to follow a strict training roadmap laid down by a vendor with a standard LMS. Changes can also be large-scale or granular, depending on what needs updating, without having to upend entire training programmes.
5. Promotes Collaborative Learning
One of the long-standing benefits of online learning is to make it easy for learners to study at their own convenience. They can set their schedule and take courses outside the confines of the classroom, office, or training centre.
The trade-off to such convenience is that conventional eLearning can be isolating, as learners don’t get to share the learning experience with others that a traditional training programme facilitates. This is a problem especially when 87% of employees believe that social knowledge sharing is essential.
A customised LMS can break down the barriers of isolated self-paced online learning by allowing the use of various communication channels through the platform. Users can connect to one another through live chat and discussion groups where they can talk about the courses they are taking and help each other better understand complex concepts.
The joy of collaborative learning can also be achieved through gamification. Learners who complete courses and score high on their evaluations can share their accomplishments through social media integration via the customised LMS, and this can drive friendly competition. The resulting gamesmanship can then lead to genuine performance improvements in the workplace.
As social learning methods have a 75:1 ROI ratio compared to formal web-based approaches, it’s even more apparent to look into a customised LMS solution.
6. Greater Administrative Control
The LMS user experience goes beyond how learners navigate a platform’s interface. Administrators also need to be able to do their jobs seamlessly without being too resource-intensive. Whether it’s sending notices to hundreds of users about the availability of new courses or giving specific user privileges to staff members of varying seniority, such tasks can easily turn into tedium if admins have little control over the LMS.
For example, with a customised LMS, admins can easily send bulk emails and personalise messages to users. Learners can feel they are being catered to, while cutting down the time spent for admins to email every user in the system.
Admins will also be able to provide specific levels of access to users based on what roles they fill in the system. From instructors to managers to learners, each member can be assigned a role with certain privileges. A customised LMS can grant admins the power to group users together and design courses that are only relevant for particular groups.
7. Flexibility for Longevity
No matter the field or industry, organisations are not static entities. They change over time, growing and diversifying their staff, increasing their competencies, and widening their range of offerings to survive and thrive. Any organisation that hopes to keep their members well-equipped with the skills and knowledge to face new challenges should have a customised LMS.
A customised LMS has the flexibility to be moulded the way its users prefer, anticipating the possibility that it might have to undergo multiple transformations to adapt to the organisation’s evolving needs. Such a system is built to last instead of having to be discarded the moment a paradigm shift occurs, which is exactly when organisations require a stable foundation for training staff.
Enjoy the Advantages of Customised LMS
The control and flexibility provided by a customised LMS makes realising company training goals much easier. Ensure your eLearning programme reaches its maximum potential when you deliver it through the fully customisable learning management system from Wahoo Learning. Book a demo today and see it for yourself.