This article was previously published on eLearning Industry

As training becomes integrated into workplace operations, developing the ability to streamline processes and deliver contextual learning has become more important than ever before.

Now, there are two primary areas to look at when getting your training program to deliver; your content, and the software that backs your efforts.

When it comes to content, you can either have your courses developed in-house or rely on one of the numerous off-the-shelf programs and courses out there. But, getting your LMS to align with your goals? Well, that’s a whole other ball game.

Here’s a rundown of the features that should definitely be a part of your corporate LMS:

1. An Intuitive Interface

1 out of 3 employees say, “Bad User Experience is a barrier to learning”.

– Trainlikeachampeon

From managing the operational performance of your LMS to collaborating with cross-functional teams within your organization, your LMS admin has quite a lot on his plate, and the last thing he/she needs is a knotty Dashboard or a dull Content Management System.

Even if you’re well versed with the technology, it’s always advisable to make sure your Dashboard is user friendly. Besides, if you find yourself spending hours in front of a screen to grasp the basics of something seemingly very easy, there’s a good chance your learners will have an even harder time. A good User Interface is a definite must-have for the admins as well as the learners.

2. Easy Management Of Users, Roles, And Access Levels

Now, you’re obviously going to be dealing with a number of different entities ranging from supervisors and trainers to course creators and trainees, and each of them is to be granted a certain level of access to your LMS.

Hence, you need to make sure your online training platform allows you to segregate all these users into multiple such roles and enables easy management and tracking of their activities.

3. In-Built Authoring Tools

An authoring tool essentially refers to software that helps you create courses for your Learning Management System with ease.

For instance, your course content would include text, images, equations, tables, videos, and other multimedia content. In the absence of an in-built authoring tool, you’ll have to resort to a number of external content creation tools which makes content development extremely time-consuming and infeasible.

4. Flexible Learner Registration And Login

“If your registration process looks and behaves differently across different points on your website, you can lose as many as 50% of your new registered users.”

– Janrain

With Single Sign-on, your trainees don’t have to go through a lengthy sign-up and verification process. That’s because platforms like Google or LinkedIn have already verified them and can vouch for their identity.

And what’s in it for you? Less work on the backend. You don’t need to futz around with passwords or worry about hacks and potential security risks.

Offering an SSO option on your LMS, enabling self-registration and customization of user profiles, are some of the basic features that make for a great User Experience on your LMS.

5. Automated Course Enrollments And Notifications

“Push notifications can boost app engagement by up to 88%!”

-Invespcro

Managing course assignments can be quite a task unless you let technology take the front seat here. You don’t need to manually assign, un-assign or schedule courses for your employees, groups or teams when your LMS can handle it for you.

For instance, if a learner completes a certain course, you can use an automated email to direct him/her to the course that’s lined up next, send over a certificate or a feedback form. In this case, the completion of the course can be the ‘trigger’ whereas the automatically sent email, would be the intended ‘action’.

Automated notifications are a great way to stay connected with your employees and remind them about upcoming events, tests or courses.

6. Multiple Course Formats

1998: Average attention Span: 12 minutes

2008: Average Attention Span: 5 minutes

2018: Average attention span:?

– Grovo

One of the primary objectives of your LMS is to keep your audience engaged. Needless to say, this makes it extremely important to use captivating course layouts for displaying your content.

Techniques like drip-feeding content, webinars, and gamified learning have proven to be extremely effective over the years.

7. Interactive Course Content

“Employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than to read documents, emails or web articles.”

– Panopto

If you think video content is the best way to hold your learner’s attention, wait till you experience what interactive videos can do for you!

Contemporary LMSs focus primarily on user engagement and have been quick to jump onto the ‘interactive content’ bandwagon. Goes without saying, your online training software needs to support integration with interactive video editing software like H5P.

8. Multiple Assessment Tools

“Millennials will comprise 46% of the workforce in 5 years.”

– Grovo

Reaching and teaching millennial employees challenges you to adapt your methods to the learning needs of learners today. You can make tests and quizzes more dynamic by incorporating a number of different question types such as multiple choice, free text, sorting, matching, essays, fill-in-the-blanks etc. within your courses.

Randomizing questions, providing hints, limiting attempts and setting time limits for tests are some great ways to entice your learners.

9. Support For SCORM, Tin Can API And LTI

SCORM or ‘Sharable Content Object Reference Model’ is a set of technical standards for your eLearning content. Currently, there are 5 different versions of SCORM and your corporate training LMS content should ideally be in conformance with the latest ones.

Tin Can API or the experience API happens to be the latest accepted standard for your content. It’s a lot more flexible that SCORM and allows you to get valuable insights into the learning behavior of your employees. It delivers more reliable data across the widest range of devices and browsers.

LTI or ‘Learning Tools Interoperability’ is a specification that was developed to seamlessly connect your LMS with external portals, learning object repositories or other educational environments.

10. Reporting Modules

Your corporate training LMS should be able to aggregate your users’ activities and allow you to view them in lucid forms. Gaining insights into the average course completion rates or the top performing courses will help you iteratively perk up your course content and thus improve the learning efficiency of your LMS. Data regarding an individual’s learning activities will help you implement adaptive learning and fine-tune the course progression to best suit your learner.

Now, you may discover that your LMS isn’t configured to track or report what you need. In order to make the most of the data you gather, you need to be able to set it up to be apt for your requirements.

Real-time learner data, competency tracking, consolidated trainer feedback, and comprehensive completion reportswherein every activity, big or small, gets tracked and factored into final, crisp insights, could play an important role in closing skill gaps especially if you’re into mLearningblended learning, or Instructor-Led Training sessions.

11. Collaboration Tools

“We aren’t built for a lecture – Humans forget 40% of what they’ve learned after 20 minutes and 60% after just 6 hours.”

– Trainlikeachampeon

In a business learning context, social learning can go way beyond live video lectures and group discussions.

You can foster collaboration between learners across your organization through social technologies like blogs, wikis, discussion forums, subject-matter directories, videos or online mentorship programs.Naturally, you’ve got to pick out the right tools for the job.

Summing Up

As the economy continues to advance, businesses are looking for new ways to improve upon the skills and agility of their workforce; and you just cannot afford to fall behind. While the above list of features can serve as a fair starter-pack for your Learning Management System, you must also make sure it can cohesively integrate with other third-party software.

You may spend plenty of man-hours on creating and curating effective content, but if your LMS doesn’t back you up, your execution is inevitably bound to fall through the cracks. So, keep an eye out for the latest trends in corporate training, and ensure your training program helps your workforce reach their full potential!