8 Modern LMS Features That Drive Learner Engagement
September 19, 2017
On the hunt for a new learning management system and interested in modern LMS features? Based on our experience, any LMS can host your training content, but an LMS with modern features lets learners take training into their own hands. This list includes 8 modern LMS features that will set you and your team up for success.
1. SOCIAL AND COLLABORATIVE LEARNING
Community functions like discussion boards, content ratings, upvoting, and the ability to follow specific users make it easy for learners to collaborate with peers, instructors, and managers long after the training course has ended.
Educational researchers have been touting the benefits of discussion features in online learning for decades now because they allow participants to mindfully reflect on their peers’ contributions before responding—and this type of thoughtful collaboration may be one of the most important elements of effective online training.
Capturing and encouraging conversations that surround your business’ training content and best practices is a powerful way to help your team learn more efficiently and effectively. It also gives you insight into what training content is working (and what’s not).
2. INTEGRATED COMMUNICATION TOOLS
The “If you build it, they will come” approach doesn’t work in L&D. Not only do you need to develop great training—you also need an effective communication strategy to let people know there’s exciting new content in their LMS.
It’s more like: “If you build it, market it internally, give learners multiple ways to engage with it, and reward the effort, they will come.”
That’s why one modern LMS feature on the rise is integrated communication tools. Integrated communication tools allow you to create training alerts on users’ dashboards, send email notifications and newsletters, display pop-up notifications, and even have a news portal where users can quickly see what’s happening in the company.
3. REAL-WORLD GAMIFICATION
Don’t think of gamification as a distraction. Instead, think of it as a way to hook learners and get them excited about training. We’ve seen real-world gamification drive results like a 5.5x increase in course completions and nearly a 2x increase daily logins.
Incentives like points, leaderboards, badges, and levels motivate users to engage with your LMS and increase their social capital. They also create friendly competition.
The concept is simple—show people their progress, reward their performance, and they’ll want to do more. Truly modern LMS platforms go the extra mile and allow users to trade in their points for real-world rewards like apparel and company swag.
4. BLENDED LEARNING
Blended learning occurs when the best delivery methodologies available for each specific learning objective are incorporated into a curriculum, according to ATD.
And based on our experience, to create a perfectly blended learning experience, you need to let the subject matter inform your modality, embrace learners’ constraints, and choose a learning platform that supports blended learning.
If a learning platform has modern capabilities, its LMS features should supports and encourage blended learning. How? Its user interface should make it easy to upload and complete courses across a variety of modalities—from ILT and VILT to eLearning and interactive learning guides.
5. GREAT CONTENT
You can have a platform with every learning management system feature available, but if you fill it with boring, uninspiring content, you’re not going to get very far.
Boring PowerPoint presentations don’t cut it anymore. Your employees can’t learn if they’re sleeping through their training. Training content that gets results is short, personalized, and engaging.
6. EASY TO USE
A modern user interface isn’t enough. An LMS with nice visuals can still be a nightmare for learners and administrators to use.
You want an eLearning platform that not only looks great, but is also well organized, easy to access and navigate, and just makes sense for users.
From CRM tools like Salesforce to HR and recruiting systems, you have many software products you already use to manage your day-to-day. Who wants to remember another username and password?
That’s where integrations come in.
When choosing an LMS, consider features like APIs (application program interface) and SSO (single sign-on). APIs, SSO, and other integrations can help you work your eLearning platform into your workflow seamlessly.
8. Analytics to prove roi
It’s time to look beyond baseline reporting to help determine ROI. Course completion and pass/fail rates are a good start, but your LMS should deliver other valuable data and insights.
For example, track how popular and helpful discussion threads and resources are. Track course ratings and reviews. And merge your LMS data with other business results like VOC scores (Voice of the Customer), sales, revenue, how long it takes to get new employees up to speed, etc.
Armed with these analytics, you can identify training gaps. You can also see what content and formats resonate most with learners, and use all of these insights to inform how you design your next training module.
Put Them All Together
Think finding a single platform with all these LMS features is a pipe dream? It’s not. In fact, we call it Spoke®.
Spoke is a modern learning platform that combines personalized, social, and collaborative learning with real-world gamification and built-in communication tools to keep learners engaged.
How much more engaged? Compared to other leading platforms, companies using Spoke have seen up to:
- a 5.5X increase in course completions,
- a 3.5x increase in logins, and
- a 2.5x increase in non-required activity
If you’re not seeing those results with your current learning platform, check out Spoke.
What LMS Features Matter To Your users?
If you’ve completed your LMS requirements checklist, let us know which of these 8 modern LMS features made it to the top of your must-haves list. What other items did you prioritize? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.
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