Top 17 LMS features (Plus 12 non LMS features you need)

 

17 LMS Features You Need: 

 

A learning management system (LMS) can be your powerhouse as you showcase your organizational assets to the world. It lets you organize and publish your courses and facilitate training (online or instructor-led). By now, if you are delivering online training or are a training center, you know how essential an LMS can be.

LMSs can help you organize your internal team members and trainers and monitor your learners’ progress. Advanced reporting features let you prove the impact of learning to your constituents. Without an LMS, you will feel unorganized, fragmented, and unable to standardize the quality of your teaching.

But with all the LMSs out there, how do you choose what is right for you? Why is there such a gap between the cost of LMSs? Why do some LMSs cost a few hundred dollars while others cost over 20 thousand?

Different LMSs have different functionalities. We have listed the top 17 features that we believe are essential for any training institute, college, university, NGO, or organization that wants to get serious about online training.

1) Social Learning Tools
2) Advanced LMS Reports
3) Personalized learning paths
4) Course management
5) Internal role management
6) Globalization
7) E-commerce
8) Scalability
9) Blended learning
10) Offline Mobile learning
11) Gamification
12) Assessment tools
13) Blockchain Digital certification
14) A.I. Virtual Coach
15) Notifications
16) Calendar configurability
17) Video conferencing

1) Social Learning Tools ?

This feature means that learners (and instructors) need learning environments to communicate with each other, collaborate, and share best practices. When evaluating your LMSs Social Learning Tools, consider the following:

  • Can learners communicate and collaborate?
  • Can instructors meet, share best practices, and network privately?
  • Does the LMS support user-generated content?
  • Does the LMS encourage social media sharing?

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2) Advanced LMS Reports ?

Sophisticated reporting is an essential feature of quality LMS platforms. As a training center, you need to be able to:

  • Monitor learner engagement
  • Monitor instructor performance
  • Analyze engagement trends over time
  • Analyze learner behavior

Quality LMSs should let you customize what you want to see in your reports, and how often you see them.

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3) Personalized learning paths ?

Quality LMSs let you create a sequential learning plan tailored to your learner’s experience. Creating a personalized learning path may include:

  • Creating a custom learning plan for your learner to help them meet a job requirement.
  • Intuitively make suggestions to your learner depending on their preferences.
  • Creating equivalencies between courses, so learners meet the required prerequisites of courses. 

Personalized learning paths make learning more accessible, attainable, and less daunting.

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4) Course management ⚙️

Course management is probably one of the main features of an LMS. Still, until you roll up your sleeves, get into an LMS and start uploading your training content, you won’t know how crucial minor course management features can have on your overall success (and mental health ?).

  • You need to be able to change your course layout.
  • Easily upload and manage course materials.
  • Enroll users in bulk.
  • Bundle courses together in a learning plan.

Check your LMS course management features carefully. Try uploading and testing content onto the platform and test your user experience.

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5) Internal role management ??‍?

As your training and development team grows, you might have different groups within your organization: instructors, assessors, internal quality assurance officers, and even external auditors (if you are accredited by awarding bodies). Your LMS should be able to:

  • Let you assign a hierarchy within your platform (groups assigned to different people like an organizational chart).
  • Create custom permissions for your internal team.
  • Allow external auditors (from awarding bodies) access to audit learning.

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6) Globalization ?

You didn’t start investing in E-Learning to train people in your backyard. Your training programs can be considered as solutions to challenges that many people around the world face. LMSs should be globalization friendly:

  • Ability to customize translation to align with critical cultural differences.
  • Right-aligned for languages such as Arabic and Hebrew.

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7) E-commerce ?

Selling E-Learning online is an important revenue generator for many organizations. Your LMS needs to be able to:

  • Allow learners to preview course materials
  • Invite learners to enroll in free or promotional courses
  • Offer coupons or promotional offers on courses
  • Sell single courses, bundles, or subscriptions.

Additionally, you need to track your learner engagement in free courses and then monitor their behavior across paid courses to plan enhancements to your learner journey and marketing campaigns.

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8) Scalability ?

Scaling E-Learning programs is not an easy task. Your LMS needs to be a robust and trusted system that will not hang, break, or surprise you with errors or downtime. It would help if you thought about:

  • Planning for an increased number of users.
  • Adjusting materials and making them relevant for different audiences.
  • Be ready to duplicate, modify, and make changes to your course without affecting existing learners.
  • Allow you to add new features, third-party plug-ins, and integrations as you grow.

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9) Blended learning ??‍?

For now, most of us are offering completely self-paced training courses or live virtual sessions. However, we may also want to use blended learning approaches that include face-to-face learning elements. Quality LMSs should let you easily create flexible courses to allow for all these methods of learning.

  • Self-paced learning (E-Learning)
  • Live virtual sessions with the instructor (Instructor-Led Learning)
  • In-Person learning (for classroom sessions, meetups, verification, observation visits, etc.)

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10) Offline Mobile learning ?

The best LMSs don’t rely on consistent 5G internet. We need to accommodate learners with variable and unreliable access to resources, which is why offline mobile learning is so important.

  • Learners can access courses through a smartphone.
  • Learners can download the entire course or course sections onto their smartphone.
  • Learners can complete assignments and then sync their learning when they can.

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11) Gamification ?

Want to create healthy competition between your learners (or team members)? Gamification helps learners retain more information, boosts learner engagement, and helps create an overall positive learner experience.

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12) Assessment tools ?

As a trainer, you understand how vital assessment is—assessment of the knowledge, skills, and sometimes even aptitudes. Whatever you are assessing your LMS should allow different ways to assess your learners.

Knowledge Assessment:

  • Test / quiz
  • Written Assignments / Essay / True False / Fill in the blanks

Skills Assessment

  • Recorded interview or learners
  • Observation of learners in their working environment
  • Written testimonial of learner from their peer or supervisor
  • Portfolio of work prepared by the learner
  • Evidence of practical application of learning (development of tools, documents, artifacts)

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13) Blockchain Digital certification ▉

Blockchain digital certifications are more reliable than paper (or PDF) certifications. A blockchain is a digital ledger of duplicated transactions and distributed across a network of computer systems on the blockchain. Your LMS should:

  • Allow you to prepare custom certificates.
  • E-certificates that can be published to the blockchain.
  • Allow learners to share their credentials on social media or keep them in their digital wallets.

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14) A.I. Virtual Coach ?

Virtual coaches in the LMS help guide learners while engaging with courses on your platform.

  • They make recommendations to your learners.
  • Steer them through learning activities.
  • Answer simple questions.

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15) Notifications ?

Notifications are custom messages that your learners get at specific points during their learning. Notifications are triggered by actions such as:

  • Notifications sent to learners upon enrollment.
  • Reminders notifications.
  • Notifications sent to instructors about assignment review and grading.

LMSs should have a comprehensive set of ‘triggers’ for you to choose from and an easy way for you to design, custom, and translate your notifications for your learners to help them have an effective and enjoyable learning journey.

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16) Calendar configurability ?

Where would we be without our calendars? LMSs should:

  • Display a calendar in your learner dashboards to help them visually anticipate deadlines, course live sessions, and important upcoming events.
  • Export your calendar activities to your google or iCals.

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17) Video conferencing ?

It’s not just Zoom… learners around the world are using different video conferencing technologies, and your LMS needs to keep up and integrate with them.

  • Adobe Connect
  • GoToMeeting
  • BlueJeans
  • GoToWebinar
  • WebEx
  • BigBlueButton
  • TeleSkill
  • SkyMeeting
  • OnSync

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12 Non-LMS Features You Need:

 

In addition to all the features mentioned above, there are many other things that E-Learning providers need. Learning management systems require time, resources, and maintenance. Without these additional features, just an LMS can inhibit productivity and learning from happening.

Here are 12 more things you need to make your LMS a success. Don’t get an LMS without considering these:

1) Graphic Design of Storefront
2) Resources and Guides
3) Exclusive Instructor Network
4) Technical Support
5) Relevant Case Studies
6) Social Media Posting
7) Translation & Adaptation
8) Press Releases
9) Strategic ScaleUp Advice
10) Social Media Advertising
11) Course Design Support
12) Internal Database Notification

1) Graphic Design of Storefront

When you buy an LMS, you usually get a default design or bones of a storefront. It would be best to have a graphic designer who understands the LMS you are working with to customize your storefront’s branding, look, and feel. Sometimes, you might need more than a graphic designer – a CSS specialist – to help you further customize your landing pages and storefront.

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2) Resources and Guides

Are you designing your E-learning courses, or do you have a team of program developers? Either way, you will need clear and easy-to-follow guides on planning, sectioning, preparing, designing, recording, uploading, and testing your E-Learning courses.

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3) Exclusive Instructor Network

E-Learning instructors and designers benefit significantly from being in contact with others in their field. You can do this independently, but why not share and learn best practices from instructors in your field.

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4) Technical Support

No matter how user-friendly your LMS claims to be, you will need a technical support manager or coordinator to help you with the specialized setup of your LMS (unless you are working with GCA, of course).

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5) Relevant Case Studies

When you purchase an LMS, they usually provide you with case studies of other training providers. However, sifting through those case studies and finding the ones relevant to your needs is not an easy task. It would be best to have case studies of training centers with similar requirements, types of courses, workflows, and processes.

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6) Social Media Posting

Every course you publish should have thumbnails, graphics, multimedia, and several posts for every social media platform. You will need to analyze your audience’s social media behavior and post appropriate content. Quality, information, awareness building content that showcases your passion.

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7) Translation & Adaptation 

As you grow and scale into new regions and territories, you will need specialists who can help you translate and adapt your course for different audiences. You will need basic translation experts, local subject matter experts, and bilingual technical experts who can navigate the LMS in the targeted language.

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8) Press Releases ䷮

Just focusing on your course content is not enough, and it would help promote your course through blogs, articles, promotions, and events. Press releases or working with PR experts will help you get your program in front of the appropriate audiences.

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9) Strategic ScaleUp Advice

Scaling up your training programs to new territories and regions is an essential next step for any successful and effective E-learning program. To plan for your scale-up, you will need strategic business development specialists that have experience with global partnership building, cultural awareness campaigns, and cross-cultural negotiation.

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10) Social Media Advertising 

Social media advertising gets more complicated by the minute. There is a lot of competition facing E-learning programs. You need to work with social media geeks to help you set up successful social media ads.

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11) Course Design Support ??‍?

Expectations for quality E-learning are changing faster than ever before. Learners expect much more than a PowerPoint. You will need to work with instructional designers who know the latest tools and methods for engaging online learning design.

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12) Internal Database Notification ?

Once you start growing your learner database, you will need to start planning for notifications that go out specifically to users on your LMS. Internal announcements are a way to share special offers with an exclusive set of audiences.

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GCA is a solutions-focused LMS platform and training support system for organizations that serve children around the world
In March 2020, we watched as tens of thousands of professionals serving children struggled to move their trainings and services online.
The world was not prepared.
Children paid the price.
We created an online PLATFORM that supports the professional learning needs of adults in various child-serving sectors.
We created a FRAMEWORK that shows children at the center and is surrounded by our target audience of partners, child-focused professionals and organizations.

#ELearning #LMS #LearningManagementSystems

Get all the 17 LMS features and 12 non LMS features with GCA

➡️ Host your courses on the GCA platform

 

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