This post has been updated on October 23 2018.
When you implement a new LMS in your school, you want to ensure its success. But how can you measure LMS success? An easy way to do this is by setting goals for what you want to achieve with it and measure them. Any LMS goal is connected in some way to how much and how well the system is being used in the school.
The best way to control this is through training. The better training you provide to your staff, the sooner they will adopt the new LMS and understand how to use it to achieve school goals.
Keep reading to find out how you can track LMS success in your school and how to increase its success through training.
How to track the success of an LMS
When a school decides to get an LMS, they usually do it for a reason. The LMS should have a purpose, which means the school is looking to accomplish something with it. For example, a school doesn’t get an LMS because it’s the latest trend in online education; they get an LMS because it can help increase course completion. In this example the goal or purpose of the LMS is to increase course completion.
Each academic institution is different and LMS goals can vary from one school to another. Here are some other examples:
- Increase student retention
- Moving from offline education to online education
- Increasing teacher productivity
- Improving student scores
There are many schools that don’t set goals, making it almost impossible to track and achieve LMS success. Let’s put it this way, if you don’t have a goal set for what you want to do with the LMS, how can you tell if the system is working out for you or not? If you do have goals, then you can measure if you’ve reached them or not.
You also need to get very specific with your goals. Instead of “increasing course completion” as a goal you could use “increasing course completion in 2018 by 15%”. This will make it easier for you to track the goal.
So now that you have your goals set, how do you make sure you achieve them? If you’re expecting a detailed strategy, then I’m afraid I will have to disappoint you. The key to achieving LMS goals is as simple as making sure teachers and students know how to use it at its full capacity.
If you look at the examples of goals above, you will notice a common pattern. Usually LMS goals are related to how well the LMS is used by faculty and students and what results they achieve with it. If your staff and students don’t know how to use the LMS and maximize it, then you will most likely not achieve your goals.
And how can you make sure everyone is maximizing the use of the LMS? With training, of course.
How training can improve LMS success
Any goal that you will set for the LMS cannot be accomplished if the system is not being used by the entire school. You can’t just implement an LMS and expect people to learn how to use it by themselves. You need to train them. The better training you provide to your staff, the sooner they will adopt the new LMS and understand how to use it to achieve school goals.
Let me give you an example. Which of these schools do you think is more likely to achieve the goal of increasing student retention:
Example 1. A school implements a new LMS and doesn’t provide any training to staff and faculty on how to use the new system. Not all teachers understand how to use it and they learn what they can from guides and videos. Teachers use the system at an elementary level, without being concerned on how to increase student retention with it.
Example 2. A school implements a new LMS and develops a training program with live sessions that teach staff how to use it, what is the purpose of the LMS, and how they can use it to increase student retention.
I’m sure you can tell which school has a better chance of achieving the goal.
Here are a few reasons why training can help increase LMS success
Training increases LMS adoption. People learn faster how to use a system if they are provided with proper training from the beginning. If they receive guidance and understand the system, they’re more likely to continue using it and maximize it.
Share your LMS goals. The best way to ensure you reach your goals is to share them with the people that will work towards them. Teachers and faculty need to be aware of the LMS purpose and what you hope to achieve as a school. Through training you can ensure that people learn what they need to achieve your goals.
Go beyond the LMS usage. It’s not enough to teach how to use LMS, you also need to include strategies on how they can improve their jobs using the system. This way teachers will improve their activities, which will lead to higher productivity rates and better results.
Face to face training is always more successful. Providing just videos and guides on how to use a system cannot be called training. People learn better through human interaction and guidance. They need to ask questions and need to have someone answer them right then and there, as they learn. This helps them learn faster and assimilate information better.
Create a training machine. After you develop a training program, you can use it on an ongoing basis and only make small adjustments along the way. Basically you will have a system that works by itself, which will make the entire process more efficient.
Creating a training program goes beyond doing a simple session where you show staff how to use the system. You need to create an ongoing program that is based on the LMS goals and adjusted to the needs of your users. You need to assemble a team for the training, know your audience and their needs, plan the content, schedule the training, and much more.
At this point you might get scared thinking this is too time consuming, too expensive, you don’t have the people and the resources, and so on. Trust me, it’s not that hard to do it and you can start very small. In terms of resources you only need a well trained LMS person, a classroom with computers, and a screen projector. And for the actual training content, you can also plan in the beginning for a very simple outline. The most important thing is to start somewhere.
To make things easier, in a upcoming post we will show you how to create a training program step by step, so stay tuned for that.
How to apply this in your school
The first thing that you can do is to start thinking about what you want to achieve with the LMS and set your goals. Make sure to make your goals as specific as possible and time bound. This will be your foundation for LMS success. Check back later on this post, we will add a link to the step by step guide on how to create your own training program.
I would like to know what are your LMS goals, so please feel free to share them in the comments section below.
Graham is the CEO and Founder of CYPHER LEARNING and NEO. He is a serial entrepreneur, e-learning enthusiast, published author and educator.