Reaction to your first LMS

By Outcrop consulting

23 Sep 2014

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What sort of things happen just after you launch your first Learning Management System (LMS)? Well apart from some emotional letdown from the core project team, there are some other things that are likely to crop up. These include:

Short Term (Weeks 1, 2)

‘How many staff have logged in?’

A real estate agent will tell you that, generally, the higher the number of people viewing a house for sale, the more likely it will sell. Similarly, the more people that login to your LMS, the more likely some learning will occur. There’s likely some truth in that … be prepared for a senior manager or perhaps your project sponsor asking this question after a few days.

‘Please give me a list of all the on-line course completions.’

Yes, you’ll be asked this. Chances are that pre-LMS, compiling a list of training done was challenging, if not impossible. That’s one of the reasons you got an LMS – right? So expect to hear this question often. And if your LMS allows you to automatically email that report to a senior manager, resist the temptation to send it daily – it won’t be long until the manager requests it to stop, or be sent less frequently. Consider including a count of the completions at the top too.

Medium Term (Weeks 3, 4)

‘How many people haven’t done their compliance training?’

After the initial joy of being able to get lists of training completed, the focus soon turns to what training hasn’t been completed. Training gap reporting, compliance reporting … the concept goes by a number of names and your organisation will have its own, but in essence it’s a measure of the proportion of training that needs to be done, but hasn’t been so far. Timing? Well, your compliance community will likely ask this question at the end of your first month, certainly by the next end of quarter. Assuming your implementation project went swimmingly, your compliance community is a project stakeholder and will already know when they are expecting their first compliance training gap report, or how to retrieve it themselves. So that’s fine, but the first report they get will likely initiate a degree of follow-up. Here’s where your reporting regime for compliance training should be recognising the four main target audiences – individual learner, managers, divisional heads and whole of company (compliance community). How that is best achieved deserves its own blog, watch this space ….

Medium Term (Weeks 5, 6 and beyond)

‘Can I put my course on-line?’

By now your LMS is settling down …

  • no-one is interested in how many people are logging in
  • there’s spirited discussion about first level support processes (hopefully just fine-tuning)
  • face to face courses are being scheduled and attended, and
  • Managers realise someone is watching completion rates on compliance training.

Content owners and subject matter experts (SMEs) are now seeing the benefits of on-line delivery/recording and are getting noisy about getting ‘my course’ converted to on-line. If you have an instructional designer or two they are great for filtering such requests … they can spot a ‘bad’ course from 400 metres and putting it on-line ‘as is’ won’t improve it. ‘Death by Powerpoint’ is just quicker on your LMS, with no opportunity for the SME to clarify learner questions.

It helps if you have a documented process by which requests for conversion to on-line are considered objectively. This would be part of your on-line learning content development strategy – you’ve got one of those haven’t you? And even if you have, by now the learners are getting confused by some ambiguity in your compliance assessments. Yes, there is a content maintenance load being generated from the content you had published on day 1. Getting an appropriate balance between updating old, and generating new, content is one of the challenges you will face on a monthly basis.

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