The core features and requirements of learning management systems (LMS) are related to the administration, tracking and use of digital training and education programs. Companies use a learning management system to help provide training and direction for employees — but these types of systems often times have several other related uses, too. Learning management software can help companies improve on-boarding, recruit talent, improve employee skill sets, and analyze performance across departments. Here is a checklist of the most popular and critical features that learning management software programs offer to businesses:
Core Learning Tools
Fundamentally, a learning management system helps facilitate e-learning content and structuring online courses. It helps fine-tune different types of online training, such as online safety training and training oriented toward the company’s specific needs and/or corporate culture.
Some common features of these tools include embedding PowerPoint presentations or videos into online training courses. Some LMS vendors also offer e-learning tracking, where companies can see, at a glance, how particular learners performed in these training modules. Some vendors offer post-lesson assessments for this purpose, as a part of elearning reporting.
Performance Management Tools
Some learning management software platforms go beyond just assessing training, and offer ongoing performance management information for business intelligence. Performance-focused learning resources can be built into a particular LMS platform. With sophisticated LMS tools, businesses can analyze the proficiency of employees in a particular skill area, assess their leadership capabilities, or focus on different types of core business processes and how well people perform them.
Most organizations today will require some type of content standardization so that course content can be delivered across different systems and devices. SCORM has been a long standing standard in the LMS industry but now APIs have become a powerful alternative for creating content standards and connections across the growing collection of systems and devices.
Test and Training Customization
Along with the ability to embed multimedia in testing, companies can utilize learning management software features that provide formats such as multiple choice, short essay questions, question randomization, and learning feedback. Training customization is an important aspect of learning management systems that offer more flexibility for corporate training.
Single Sign-on (SSO)
With the rising number of systems an employee needs to access, implementing a Single Sign-on process improves productivity and reduces strain on IT. Integrating your SSO process with your LMS, while not required, can be beneficial and is highly recommended.
Centralized Human Resources
Several learning management systems offer companies the ability to put more of their human resources data into a central interface. These systems may also provide time and attendance tracking features to show who’s on the job at a given time, and what each individual’s attendance record is.
Other features specific to learning management software help with the scheduling of training programs. All of the digital and online training, as well as on-site or classroom training, has to adhere to a particular schedule for each individual on-boarding process. Scheduling can be a labor-intensive aspect of training and e-learning management. These vendor solutions automate some of the scheduling, to take the burden off of human resource professionals.
Talent Acquisition and Management
Lots of learning management software vendors provide a range of talent management tools. Recruiting features include, for example, databases for promising candidates, tools for posting job advertisements, and other digital resources related to attracting top talent. Some systems offer specific compensation tools that help you price talent to the company’s advantage. For instance, industry-wide salary tools show a range of comparable industry pricing for whatever role a company is trying to fill.
Corporate Culture Features
Another set of useful learning management software features include developing consistency across an entire staff. Some vendors advertise their systems as offering a sort of ‘career road map’ to professionals, with easy-to-understand performance management and proficiency tracking data. This data benefits trainees by showing them their progress towards achieving their goals. Although such employee-facing tools are often seen as an “add-on” to a core learning management software offering, they can ultimately be some of the most useful aspects of LMS.
Learning management systems can also be used to ensure fair treatment across the entire company, assessing whether policies are being implemented equally across the board.
All of the above types of data can be utilized for learning management reporting. A learning management software review editor system provides specific reports and analytics for decision-makers, showing how people are on-boarded and how they do after they’re hired. Leaders can analyze e-learning courses and content on a regular basis to develop and assess their long-term strategy. The method in which reporting is offered by an LMS is critically important for many customers. The reporting module needs to include an intuitive interface that promotes efficiency and a smaller learning curve for adoption.
Pricing and Support
Another common non-functional requirement of learning management software is per-user pricing — the ability to only pay for active users in a system. This helps a company purchase learning management software efficiently when the business scales hiring and training either up or down. Additionally, an LMS commonly offers 24/7 or another type of consistent support, such as phone support during training and implementation processes.
Maintaining industry compliance standards is another standout feature of learning management software. For companies working with federal government projects, vendors can offer compliance tools for the Office of Federal Contract Compliance, or other types of standards helpers. Safety training elements provide tools for maintaining compliance with U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards.
Essentially, most of the above key features are geared toward a holistic learner and performance management process; the other features are business or IT requirements. It starts with getting people on board, getting initial training done and then track that training, but it also goes well beyond that.
Many vendors are crafting learning management software tools to track the full employee life cycle, for example, where on-boarding training data is archived and even, in some cases, set against further aggregated data over time. Competency and performance tools are a big part of how LMS systems enhance business operations, and provide much of the value that these software packages bring to an enterprise.