Finding an engaging and user-friendly Learning Management System is not an easy task. With so many options out there, how can you make sure you’re choosing the right system for your particular business?
In this article, we will walk you through some of the features a highly engaging and user-friendly LMS needs to have, so you can recognize the right system when you see it.
Why the LMS Learner Experience is Critical
A boring and passive learning experience means low engagement, low completion, and poor knowledge retention rates. Research shows that without any reinforcement or connections to prior knowledge, learners forget 56% of the information in one hour, 66% after a day, and 75% after six days. 87% of millennials in the workforce feel that their learning experience is boring and not relevant. An engaging and interactive learning environment means that learners are more likely to remember and apply what they learn, and therefore contribute more to the organization.
Where Most Traditional LMSs Fail When It Comes to Learning Experience
According to Research.com, one of the biggest barriers to satisfaction with learning technology is the poor user experience. Most traditional LMSs that try to provide a simple learning environment end up providing a dull experience. Lesson after lesson, video after video, and next to zero interactivity.
For learning to be effective, it doesn’t only have to be simple, but also interesting and interactive. It means that accessing and participating in a training has to be as easy as opening your Facebook app, but the training itself should also be engaging enough to keep employees focused, interested, and hooked throughout the entire process.
In the next section, we will share some examples of features you’d like to see in an interactive and engaging LMS. While not all of them are must-have features, we highly recommend choosing an LMS that offers at least 80% of these capabilities.
What the Ideal LMS Includes
According to the 70:20:10 model, 70% of all we learn comes from observing others, 20% from interacting with others, and the remaining 10% from consuming content. That means that social learning is the most natural and effective way of learning.
When looking for an LMS, you want to make sure that social learning is an integral part of the process. Some LMSs offer a discussion forum, but the problem with it is that it’s separate from the learning process and is not built into it.
Make sure the LMS you choose includes real social learning, whether through tasks that involve other learners, discussions related to the training with other employees, or features that encourage people to share their experience with others.
Feedback on learning
In most LMSs, learners are relatively isolated and rarely receive any feedback on their performance. Since feedback is a crucial component of effective learning, it is super important that you choose an LMS that facilitates a connection between learners and their mentors or managers. This type of connection allows learners to receive feedback on what they’re doing, improve their performance, and finish the training more knowledgeable than they started it.
Examples of features that support feedback include coaching capabilities, a learning community, and a buddy system.
Real learning happens when we apply and practice what we learn. A study by Scott Freeman showed that students were 1.5 times more likely to fail in a class where lectures were given, as compared to a class with active learning approaches.
When it comes to online learning, it’s just as important to provide an active learning experience and move away from passive learning methods. Passive learning includes reading a lot of written information or watching videos without any activities linked to them.
Some examples of active learning within an LMS include reflection questions, quizzes, questionnaires, and real-life tasks that require employees to practice what they are learning. When employees remain active throughout the training process, they’re much more likely to remember what they learn and apply it in their daily work.
Gamification is the process of using game elements in a non-game context. Gamifying a learning process can increase learner motivation levels, improve knowledge retention, and boost engagement.
Gamified LMSs can include point systems, leaderboards, badges, and story-telling elements. Since the brain processes stories and game-like experiences more effectively than it does a string of facts, see if you can find an LMS that introduces learning as a game or a story rather than a dry library of content.
Blended learning support
These days, blended learning has become the new standard in organizations. Learning is no longer delivered only in a frontal way, but is usually combined with virtual meetings and online lessons. If you’re looking to deliver blended learning experiences, go for a system that allows you to create a full learning journey through the LMS. That means that virtual meetings can be accessed via the LMS, and learners can participate and complete training-related activities all in one place.
Accessibility and availability are some of the most important factors for a successful LMS adoption, which is why it is critical that you ensure accessibility of the LMS you are using via mobile devices. According to Research.com, learners using smartphones to access online learning platforms complete course materials 45% faster than those using a computer, and 70% of learners are more motivated to learn when they are using mobile devices instead of computers.
Appealing look and feel
While it may sound superficial, the look and feel of the LMS user interface has a major impact on the learners’ experience. So many LMSs out there have an incredibly outdated design, which makes it boring and even frustrating to interact with the system. A modern and appealing design that is still simple and intuitive can significantly increase the engagement and participation rates.
Ready to Start Your LMS Buying Journey?
If you are looking for an engaging and interactive LMS, and have anywhere between 50 to 5,000 employees in your company, then myQuest might be the right solution for you. Schedule a call with us to learn more.