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4 Signs It’s Time to Switch Your LMS

Originally posted by Andrew Krzmarzick on the GovLoop Blog.

Learning Management Systems (LMS) are only growing in popularity. In fact, according to Docebo’s E-Learning Market Trends and Forecast report, the global LMS market is estimated to grow by 23% between 2017 and 2018.

This strong growth can be partly attributed to the strong technological advancements and innovations of today’s systems. The LMS used to be a place to store, access and review course content but today it does so much more.

Obviously switching to a new, state of the art LMS is a large undertaking, especially for government agencies. But there comes a point where you can’t afford to NOT switch up. Here are four signs that your time with your LMS may be nearing the end.

1. You’re spending way too much money

Legacy LMSs are often inflexible, clunky and costly to operate. If the LMS was custom-built, it can even be more costly to maintain. You probably are paying some, or all, of these hidden costs:

  • Annual software maintenance and licensing.
  • Ongoing operating (labor) costs.
  • Integrating, maintaining, and updating the software and hardware.

New cloud-based systems charge a predictable monthly cost, with implementation and upgrades included.

2. Getting data insights is a pain (or impossible)

You need an LMS that has advanced analytics and reporting. If you can only do data analysis from exported Excel files, you’re missing out on data visualizations and dashboards that will equip your team with actionable insights they need to do their jobs better.

I am proud to say that GovLoop has built a fresh LMS we’re calling the GovLoop Learning Platform that leverages the reporting capabilities of xAPI, also known as “Tin Can API.” The same folks at the Department of Defense that created SCORM have seen the need for more flexible reporting capabilities that extend beyond current, limited ability to record only what happens on your LMS. I’d encourage you to watch the following video to learn more about xAPI (and ask me to see a demo of our platform, if you’re intrigued).

3. Employees aren’t really using it

Even if you can get data from your system, you may find that the data shows users are not engaged. Pinpointing the reason for unengaged users can be a difficult task, though. Potential reasons could include:

  • The user interface is not intuitive.
  • The system is not easily accessible on different devices.
  • The trainings are long and don’t promote participation.
  • Information is not well organized or easily searchable.

With light-weight, user-friendly and mobile-friendly designs, a new LMS can tackle at least three of four of the causes for bad engagement. (The first view I had of ours two years ago was a set of mobile wireframes that focused on the user experience for smart phones and tablets – in other words, we designed with mobile in mind.)

4. There’s no social aspect

Today’s LMSs are not just a place to store courses but an interactive learning environment. Interactive elements, like group discussions and wikis, enable learners to collaborate and share knowledge. Additionally, new LMS systems have mentoring and coaching capabilities that create more robust learning, engagement and retention.

We’ve been working with a number of agencies to configure the GovLoop Learning Platform for these kinds of interactive learning experiences – from staging a 3-week course to running a flipped conference. We’ve also used it non-interactive functions like hosting course registration. I’m pretty excited about its flexibility and look forward to talking to more of you about it.

If you’re experiencing any of the above pain points, it may be time to switch or upgrade your LMS.

Visit the GovDelivery Learning page or send Andrew a note at andrew@govloop.com if you’d like to learn more.