Easily Avoidable LMS Errors
Staff surveys across all business types often conclude that “Learning and Development” is one of the most important elements of a person’s job role.
However, data from Learning Management Systems often don’t reflect this positive attitude by way of practical application. The disparity between what our colleagues tell us and the actual data can be caused by some relatively minor errors or oversights, all which are avoidable or fixable. So, if you’d like to see your eLearning investment translate into maximum impact, here is our top five suggestions.
- Don’t waste staff time.
Problem: Businesses quite often mandate a course based on no assessment of its need or pre-knowledge check. No one wants to allocate their precious time or mental capacity on topics that aren’t relevant, that they don’t see as relevant or which teach things they already know.
Solutions: Always check that a course is required before allocating it to staff. If it’s a pure matter of compliance, then make learners aware that it is provided as a part of your duty of care. Help them understand why they need to do it and reinforce the personal benefits. Make sure that courses in this category are concise and only last as long as it takes to meet the objective. Where possible provide a short knowledge test to ensure that only those that need the course are allocated it.
- Ensure that courses bridge the knowledge gap.
Problem: Larger more complex topics are often delivered within a single course. The initial stages create a foundation of knowledge upon which subsequent sections then build. This approach is very logical but can result in valuable time being lost as learners wade through sections and quizzes in areas that they already fully grasp. By the time they reach the valuable section their concentration has already started to wane, and knowledge retention has diminished.
Solution: Break complex courses down into more manageable sections or modules without the necessity for every section to be completed in a linear fashion. Then offer a topic knowledge test to all learners before they begin any section. The test results can then be used to help guide staff to begin the course at an appropriate level.
- Deliver content in the most effective manner.
Problem: Despite many conflicting studies and learning models, most people recognise that they have a natural inclination to knowledge delivered in a particular style. Some learners will prefer content read directly to them whilst others will want to read at their own speed. Illustrated topics help to create visual links for some whilst others respond if knowledge is parcelled together with graphs and statistic.
Solution: Modern design tools make it possible to create courses with an option for learners to preselect their natural style before advancing into the main body of the content. Applying this approach as a solution can help learners maintain concentration and knowledge retention but it will extend development time and increase costs.
- Allow the topic to drive the style.
Problem: In their desire to create a brand identity eLearning courses can start to look like a cloning exercise. There are benefits to creating content in a recognised format or style but try not to let this stifle creativity.
Solution: Allow the course topics to help shape your approach. Remember that courses are for internal consumption and therefore you can be more creative and less reverential should you so wish. At the heart of all course creation is the need to transfer knowledge which is retained and used. Sometimes a more extreme or whacky approach can be even more effective. However, it might be wise to test your intended approach on the key stakeholders and a small sample group before proceeding too far!
- Don’t keeping running around the same tree.
Problem: If you keep doing the same thing then in general you’ll get the same result. Over time even the most creative team will settle into a pattern of behaviour. This tends to speed up development but can blunt the creative edge.
Solution: Try mixing up your internal development team or select the services of a new outside agency. New people and approaches challenge the existing system and offer new and fresh ideas. Different won’t always be better so be careful to use LMS usage reports to measure current course data and then compare that against the results of newly created content. Don’t expect revolution but foster evolution.
Lastly, one of the most important things you can do to maximise the impact of your courses is to promote them. You can develop the most effective, polished and entertaining content possible but if your staff don’t know it’s there then they won’t have the privilege of experiencing it. Remember that you’ll need to regularly promote your LMS and its courses. Make your internal advertising campaign as varied, exciting and imaginative as your courses. Don’t be afraid to blow your own trumpet and make success stories personal if you want to win hearts and minds.
For more free advice or for less free course development why not give us a call on 0330 024 2881. Alternatively, if you are a little shy, use our website chat feature or complete our online form.
Original Article by Cortexa