Having already discussed the important features an LMS must cover in order to provide the administrator with a seamless and intuitive experience, it’s time to discuss the features that cater to the learner. Learners come in all sizes shapes and flavors; they are new, they are experienced, they are demanding, in need of guidance or simply in total control of everything.
They want to be treated fairly and given equal opportunities to learn. In an eLearning system, the trust a instructor has with the learners in a physical classroom is not present. The instructor has to come up with ways to engage learners and create that sense of trust and community in order to bridge the gap.
Below are the top 5 features for LMS users:
1. Learning curve: steep or gradual?
It doesn’t take long before you realize “You’ve got this!”. As online services strive to be as intuitive and easy-to-understand as possible, an LMS should be no different. If your LMS is a platform you can understand to the point where navigating through content, completing tests and submitting assignments is an effortless task, then you’re home.
2. Mobile LMS
The whole point of eLearning is mobility and the freedom to arrange your studying habits in the manner best suited to your lifestyle. A good LMS should have a responsive design, meaning that it should change depending on the device you are using it through, in order to accommodate the appropriate viewing modes, resolutions and other features that assist in the use of other devices like tablets and smartphones.
3. Community features
This question is rather subjective, because it is not always only up to the system to accommodate such a feature. This is part-LMS part-Instructor, and even in the cases of a platform that offers social features like Discussion forums, chat plugins etc. it is up to the instructor to engage with his learners in order to inspire an environment of collaboration, which can then be used by the learners to help each other and work as a learning community.
The end-user has no monthly subscriptions to worry about, but LMSs were designed to offer the ability to distribute content over the internet. Content, and information in general is very valuable, so LMSs offer the ability to sell courses. As a user, having the ability to buy content in bulk (packaged/grouped courses) or use coupons/discounts is a very important feature, because you can ensure that quality content can be put on sale and even more people may be able to take up the opportunity of eLearning at a better price. As an end-user, eCommerce security is a great concerns for users around the globe. A good LMS will offer alternatives to its payment methods to make sure that the different demographics can be serviced with the safest and most secure ways.
With the hype of universities jumping on the bandwagon of no-border eLearning and offering courses that would otherwise be very expensive to take in a university setting, for free, certifications have become an essential means in achieving two goals:
- Solidifying the importance of courses taken online, in contrast to the low trust they had been treated with for quite some time
- Raise the standards of already existing training programs in order to further legitimize eLearning in the eyes of employers and employees alike.
From the standpoint of the end-user, an LMS is a tool used to facilitate a smooth learning experience online and on-the-go.
The Features we feel are very important for the LMS user are:
- A gradual learning curve: you want to motivate your user to learn, not waste time into learning how to use the platform, getting frustrated in the process.
- Responsive Design: The LMS platform must be suitable to view from any device in order to allow users with Tablets and smartphones to take learning on-the-go, anywhere!
- Community Features: Users need to have a sense of community, whether to ask for help or meet people who have similar interests and possibly similar questions is always important.
- Discounting, Coupon and other eCommerce solutions: Allowing system-wide discounts, seasonal coupons and packaging courses into more affordable bundles is an idea to not only reduce cost for your user, but also to attract more users and spread the word of your content.
- Certifications: As eLearning becomes all the more popular, the need to solidify the foundations of eLearning and legitimize eLearning courses in the eyes of both employers and employees while at the same time raising the standards of certifiable content.