From learning management systems to just learning

Learning, regardless of how and where it happens, has changed forever. Rather than flipping through binders and clicking on slides, interactive online learning platforms are now available for use on a computer, laptop, tablet, or Smartphone.

Not only are we learning in a new way, but we’re also learning from a new place: a learning management system (eLeaP LMS).

Learning and Learning Management Systems: The Early Years

Companies started using learning management systems to train their employees in the 90s. The first LMSs were developed on higher education online learning platforms, with courses taught by teachers and defined class modules.

Early versions of the LMS were primarily used to track employee training content and compliance, which was typically done by HR and R&D professionals. During this first phase of e-learning, employees learned from pre-recorded lectures and CD-ROMs, followed by post-course assessments. The entire process of scoring exams, recording results, developing reports, creating certificates, sending certificates, etc., was done manually.. Over time, this practice has adapted to the increasingly digital world.

Learning and Learning Management Systems: What They Look Like Now

With the rise of the Internet, the nature of learning has undergone a radical transformation. Nowadays, it is no longer enough to offer quality content to your learners; the content should also be engaging, adaptable and provide an overall positive user experience.

Learning content is no longer a one-size-fits-all proposition, but rather a personalized experience based on learning tailored to each individual.

This need for personalization and adaptive learning paved the way for the learning management systems we have today.

In the nonprofit space, for example, a strong nonprofit LMS provides interactive learning environments for learners, and has built-in course creation and assessment features.

eLeaP offers comprehensive reporting functionality so for profit and nonprofit organizations can better understand their members and make data-driven decisions.

The future of learning and learning management systems

While the internet has prompted us to personalize the nature of learning experiences and adapt learning management systems, the ubiquity of mobile devices and smart phones has created an additional need: mobile learning.

Modern society today consumes 90% of the world’s information through its Smartphone’s and tablets, and learners are doing the same.

Learning management systems with stellar mobile capabilities will become best-of-breed for years to come. For nonprofits, offering on-the-go content and offline access will ensure learning happens where your learners are. Mobile versions of LMSs will become increasingly popular, as will other platforms needed to manage a large membership base.

What are the benefits of a Learning Management System?

The typical LMS  features may seem expensive at first if you are just starting to organize your distance learning, but it is an investment that makes sense: you don’t need a specialized training department to add value to an LMS. A good LMS, especially a Collaborative Learning tool , allows everyone in the company to create and share courses.

An eLeaP LMS  is by far the most efficient way to manage distance learning materials, both upstream for administrators and downstream for learners. Today, ad hoc solutions such as YouTube video tutorials, educational materials, and webinars have their limitations. Although you can share some information this way, without the authoring  tools provided by an eLeaP LMS, you will never be able to create a comprehensive and structured training program . Going from simple online training courses to a complete distance learning course content will make you gain credibility.

With a learning management system LMS, training managers can quickly create complete courses, without the help of a developer. All important information is stored together in one place so employees can easily find what they need. Since the training modules are infinitely modifiable and reusable, this system easily adapts to the growth of your business.

An LMS makes courses more impactful and simplifies their use. With an LMS, your teams can access the compliance  training catalog anywhere and anytime to learn at their own pace. The more you facilitate access to online courses, the more easily your teams will follow them.

At the same time, administrators can check the interest these courses are generating and see if employees are really taking advantage of the resources available to them. The back-end analyzes and the comments left by these same collaborators make it possible to guarantee the quality and usefulness of the courses, and to rework them if necessary.

E-learning process also preserves know-how : if employees share their expertise in an online course, it will remain even after they leave.

Why opt for an LMS?

The use of an LMS to create e-learning programs improves the training of employees, it also allows:

Increase employee satisfaction: it is more pleasant to follow e-learning programs than to participate in long lectures. The 2020 eLeaP LMS  Workplace Behavior Study found that 51% of employees prefer guided online self-paced training over instructor-led training.

Retain employees: The link between career development and employee retention is well established. According to the 2020 LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report , 94% of employees said they would work longer at a company if it invested in their career development. Helping employees learn new skills and grow at work is a great way to show your commitment to them.

Facilitate integration: onboarding is a crucial step in the integration of a new employee . It sets the tone for your business life and helps to onboard and motivate new employees. Studies have shown that ensuring a good onboarding journey makes employees 69% more likely to stay in their role for at least 3 years. 

Increase knowledge retention: e-learning gives employees more control over their learning journey. They can take their time to learn complex concepts or go back and revise previous modules if necessary. As a result, the Research Institute of America found that online learning increased retention rates by 25-60%.

Reduce training and development costs: an LMS is an investment in the future of training in your company. Although the costs may seem high at first, creating unlimited accessible online courses is significantly cheaper than organizing in-person courses. Many large companies have saved thousands or even millions of dollars by switching to an e-learning model.

Improve team spirit: while online learning may seem like a solitary activity, new Collaborative Learning platforms make it possible to involve employees in the process of assessing training needs, creating courses and encouraging them to give feedback.

Improve the return on investment of training programs: an LMS makes it possible to measure the effectiveness of various educational programs. Refine them to get the best return on investment. Some LMSs integrate with your tools (like Salesforce or SAP) so you can see the direct correlation between your training and your business results. This data allows you to allocate your training resources more efficiently and optimize your training budget.

Adopting an e-learning program does not necessarily mean that you have to stop all your face-to-face training programs. Many companies do Blended Learning: they mix face-to-face training with an online training catalog.

What use cases should you use an LMS for?

Most companies use an LMS to create standard employee training, but the possibilities go way beyond that. Here are more ways to use online training to enhance your company’s learning programs:

On boarding and On boarding: As mentioned above, a strong onboarding process will set the tone in your business and make it easier for employees to adapt. More confident and better prepared, they will evolve in good conditions. According to Glass door, successful onboarding increases new hire retention by 82% and overall productivity by 70%.

Ensuring good integration is all the more important if remote working is the rule, and employees do not have the opportunity to exchange live to learn from each other. A strong and comprehensive remote on boarding process compensates for this communication problem and ensures employee motivation and efficiency.

Improved technology skills: According to an IBM report, more than 120 million workers in all sectors will need to be re-skilled over the next three years to keep up with advances in automation and AI. Online training programs are one of the most cost-effective ways to help technical people learn about new technologies.

Soft skills training: Soft skills are among the most difficult to teach. With an LMS, it is now possible to create courses to learn conflict resolution, leadership, time management techniques, etc.

Sales enablement: Sales teams receive in-depth product training from onboarding and throughout their careers. LMSs are increasingly used to train in sales, even remotely.

Compliance Standards Training: An eLeaP  LMS is perfect for providing compliance training to mitigate business liability and risk. Training on work safety, harassment or diversity reduces risks and promotes a more serene work environment.

Customer training: your training offers are not limited to employees within your organization. Some companies use their LMS to educate potential customers, onboard new ones, or even train existing customers on new features.

Ellen Hollington

Ellen Hollington is a freelance writer who offers to ghostwrite, copywriting, and blogging services. She works closely with B2C and B2B businesses providing digital marketing content that gains social media attention and increases their search engine visibility.