To buy or not to buy–here’s what every business should consider before investing in an LMS.
Have you been thinking of how to provide better education and learning opportunities for your employees? Or you need an efficient way to handle the documentation that is growing and sometimes hard to find? The answer is a learning management system (LMS). LMS is software that supports learning and is used by organizations to manage content, training, and learning compliance records and offer multiple modes of learning instruction. Think of the LMS as the roadmap for all learning and educational documentation.
I’m not alone in thinking this way. The LMS market is expected to reach a value of close to $65 billion by 2030, according to a recent study by Meticulous Research. With this staggering growth statistic, you or someone on your team will more than likely want to explore the expected ROI for such a purchase.
First, consider that these platforms facilitate many modes of learning. Online learning is the most common form of instruction associated with an LMS; however, these platforms can also support face-to-face learning, as well as blended learning.
Face-to-face learning: With face-to-face learning, learners are physically together at a specific location. In these situations, an LMS can be used to make the learning curriculum consistent and typically includes polls that can be facilitated live. Many also have record-keeping tools to house classroom worksheets, sign-in records, and assessments. Learning happens at the same time, at the same place.
Online learning: With online learning, learners are not physically in a classroom or together, but can access live meeting rooms, connect with other learners, and engage with facilitators and curriculum completely virtually. Here, learning happens at the same time, same place–or anytime, anyplace.
Blended learning: Blended learning is where any portion of the learning can occur in either format: online or in a classroom. An LMS helps keep all components of the learning consistent and documented. Available tools can facilitate both classroom and online learning experiences.
There are many benefits of using an LMS in corporate education as well as consequences when companies decide not to invest in one. Thus, it is not surprising that adoption numbers will continue rising.
Benefits of using an LMS
Here are some of the benefits of using an LMS:
- The ability to create purposeful custom learning that reinforces desired employee behaviors
- Increases employee access to content and flexibility
- Increases cost-effectiveness and time savings
- Increases learner attention and engagement
- Increases consistency between training organizations
- Increases ease of tracking compliance
- Adds efficiencies to programs like orientations and safety meetings
- Provides flexibility and better resource use for the different learning environments (e.g., forms and lectures done online; in-person classes for hands-on learning and meet and greets)
- Pinpoints training needs, communicates needs quickly, and deploys immediately
Consequences of not using an LMS
And there are consequences of not using an LMS:
- Learning is non-existent or seen as a box to be checked, resulting in a high-risk organization
- Employees are taught at the same time, in the same place, and often do not retain information
- Systematic learning costs more money and time than when using an LMS
- Increases levels of dissatisfaction and lower knowledge retention
- Little or no consistency between training or trainers
- Reduces training records organization; records may not be in compliance
- Wastes time and resources when little to no learning occurs
- Learners all relying on the same format and mode does not provide the same value or benefit for company resources, instructors, or employees
- Training set up and completion can take days or weeks
For a company looking to impact training, the question is not whether to purchase an LMS; rather, the focus is on how to make the best LMS choice, the subject of a future article.
Article originally published on September 22, 2023 on Inc.com.