Next generation LMS: what should you expect?
Gone are the days of the LMS as a platform with rigid, static architecture! In the past, it evolved with a singular focus: to be used for the efficient distribution and tracking of learning content. This limited focus has meant the traditional LMS has struggled to adapt to the new demands placed on it by administrators and learners (as we have looked at in our recent white paper): new functionality on an older system often seems like it is ‘bolted-on’ or an afterthought.
Thankfully, in the wake of recent coding technology and a veritable revolution in web application design, a new generation of LMS has already started to become more responsive, and is finally fulfilling the all-important role of helping administrators align training to their organisation’s strategy.
So are you planning a system that dances to the music of the future, or are you about to saddle up a dinosaur? Here is my take on the top key features of the next generation.
Ease of use
Organisations carry around with them a huge amount of information. Allowing employees the means to access, assess and use it is critical to their success. People learn, share and review information best with one another in socially-enabled learning environments, and the new breed of LMS is evolving to take this in its stride. We can now recreate the face-to-face environment digitally, where people feel free to share information and learn from one another. Only this way it’s quicker, more efficient and can bring people together globally.
Looking at the B-side, how is this information accessed and tracked by the administrator?
The answer is that any digital tool adopted by an organisation has to be easy to use across all relevant stakeholders. That’s the starting point to a successful LMS implementation. In our case, administrators need an intuitive LMS that provides instant access to information. The new LMS can do just that, borrowing from improvements across the digital world in terms of searches, sorting and storing of information.
An LMS that’s SIMPLE to understand and to manage
The fresh approach new-gen learning platforms bring to learning technologies is helping to organise data so the administrator can grasp the key progress steps of each employees’ training, thanks to a simplified visual presentation.
This means keeping only to the information that’s really needed. What do we really need in terms of basic system entities? Courses, groups, categories, user types and branches. That’s about it…
Smart titling along with meaningful graphics make it all a touch easier to understand, and so navigation becomes as easy as glancing through your list.
When it comes to adding new users to the platform, or linking new systems, instead of the user having to install plugins and change configuration files, the modern LMS allows administrators to hook it up with any third party system in as few steps as possible – usually, having the user add their API key or authentication credentials is enough.
Report like a pro!
Reporting has always been an important part of an LMS, as it offers the insight needed for the training progression and engagement.
Any LMS default report type can provide basic information such as the number of users enrolled or basic progression indicators.
The new LMS takes it to the next level. It still allows for creation of custom reports, using the same filters and tools that are available for the default report types. The novelty is that you can add visual and interactive effects, giving administrators more freedom to navigate back in time and explore different scenarios. We’re moving away from the rigidity of the old-fashioned reporting task into something practical, relevant and malleable.
A new generation of responsive LMS is making its mark in the world of learning technologies.
We’d love to show you how we design bespoke systems based on Saffron Spark, Grow and Share that include all these new features!