A learning management system (LMS) is an incredible tool for educational institutes and businesses for training students, customers, and employees online. However, like every new revolutionary technology, the implementation can be challenging, and LMS has some disadvantages you should be aware of before you begin.
The benefits of tracking learners’ training can be even greater for the organization providing the training due to the ability to use the data. If an organization provides training to external learners, they may also decide to sell this training, which may enable them to generate revenue and profit.
The effort to effectively use an LMS poses several challenges since it is merely a tool. With the right use of APIs, an LMS can become a robust solution for all the learning and development needs of the target audience. We will examine some of these challenges in this article, based on our experiences managing training programs and learning management systems.
Here is all you need to know before investing in a learning management system:
What is a Learning Management System?
It is a significant investment to purchase a learning management system. Investing in an LMS, even if it is an economical option, can be costly for a company.
Even though most companies do not mind investing in a learning management system, they want to make certain that they will receive a good return on their investment before making a decision. The importance of a good Learning Management System cannot be overstated.
Most organizations and companies, especially the smaller ones, view Learning Management Systems as unnecessary expenses. Today, however, a top-of-the-line Learning Management System is imperative for effective training.
There is no doubt that it is one of the best tools you will ever invest in. This is also a must-have for all organizations, regardless of their size. The right Learning Management System can help your company improve its performance by providing employees with professional online training. Additionally, a good LMS can make your investment in training more profitable.
Key Challenges of LMS
Using a learning management system is only as good as the people using it, and problems with interaction can result in users becoming dissatisfied with the system as a whole. Consequently, productivity and work satisfaction are affected.
Level of Technology Savviness
One of the biggest challenges is getting individuals to use a learning management system. From leaders and managers who may not be the most tech-savvy to learners who have little interest in engaging with a complex learning methodology, onboarding users is a multifaceted challenge. Therefore, the needs of each user must be taken into account.
Raising awareness and educating the rest of the organization about the benefits of using an LMS can be achieved through an internal marketing campaign. Incentives for completing courses are another effective way to entice learners and promote eLearning. It is also helpful to have a system for adding users to the LMS since familiarity with its features can make it easier.
For an in-house IT department, managing an LMS internally can be very challenging. There is a great deal of complexity involved in LMS platforms, which require extensive knowledge. In addition, it places unique demands on IT departments, which are not always familiar with such tools. IT must integrate with in-house tools such as your Human Resources Information System (HRIS), maintain servers, provide technical support, and ensure cyber security. Managing an LMS hosted on a private server and making it accessible on a variety of devices can be challenging.
IT resources must be assessed honestly to allocate them efficiently without compromising the effectiveness of the learning management system. Consider looking into IT support from the LMS vendor, which can also include hosting.
Using the data provided by an LMS is the only way to determine whether it is making an impact. Data tracking is built into modern LMSs, which record every action a user takes when interacting with them.
There should be plenty of valuable information available to administrators, managers, and instructors when it comes to completing courses and passing tests. To produce accurate reports about the LMS’s effects, data must be analyzed and interpreted. By presenting data in graphs and charts, an LMS with lots of features can help make this process easier.
Reasons Why LMS Implementation Fail
There are several reasons for the failure of LMS implementation that you should consider before investing in a learning management system. The key reasons for LMS implementation failure are as follows:
It is critical to realize that LMS is just a tool for business. It is wrong to expect that deploying an LMS solution will take care of your training and educational requirements. It is equally important to have the right strategy along with the right solution that can offer the right suite of features as per your needs. It is good to ask fundamental questions about the effectiveness of an LMS solution before deploying one.
No Transition Plan
It is one thing to have a strategy in place and it is another to have a seamless transition from an instructor-led training model to a digital or hybrid model. Most LMS implementations fail mainly because of a lack of understanding between traditional and modern learning.
Most of the LMS implementations fail because it starts with the selection of an LMS solution that is not user-friendly. It is simple to understand that if a solution is complicated to use, it will not be used frequently by users. As a result, it is better to select an LMS solution that is easy to understand and use. You should always run a trial before implementing any LMS solution.
Most trials and the initial period of LMS deployment are not enough to highlight the full potential of an LMS. A business needs to have the right integrations in place to have a seamless experience. For instance, there are features like an AI-powered question generator that can be integrated into the LMS system to increase its performance. Similarly, other useful integrations can be used for a seamless experience.
Poor Customer Support
It is important to have a proactive customer support team from the LMS provider. In case you are facing a team that does not provide adequate customer support, you are in for a hard time. Most LMS implementations fail because of poor customer support from the vendor.
Some LMS solutions can have limited features where the needed features are missing from the offerings. As a result, the LMS implementation is not able to achieve the desired results for the business. This can be overcome with the use of API integrations. The use of API integrations in LMS can help share data seamlessly with the client applications.
How Can the Disadvantages of LMS Be Solved?
There might already be some pre-existing software at schools, such as an attendance system or a planning portal. To take full advantage of the new technology, one should discuss how the LMS will work with these systems before implementing it. You can import attendance data from your pre-existing software into your LMS if your LMS lacks an attendance system.
It is difficult to hold students’ attention during a two-to-three-hour live lecture when they are engaged in e-learning. Even educators find it exhausting to sit in front of the screen for hours on end and keep a class engaged. The use of LMS solutions might come along with visual analytics that can help track student engagement by analyzing posture, behavior, and eye-tracking.
Schools need to have the right mix of recorded and live lectures to overcome this problem. To make this practice more effective, pre-recorded lectures could be conducted for a specific session, and then live online lectures could be conducted to address the doubts of students and explain the topics taught.
Therefore, students won’t have to spend hours watching live online lectures. It would be possible for them to finish the pre-recorded lectures in phases at their convenience.
The duration of live lectures would also be shorter since students would only be able to ask questions. There would also be a greater level of engagement. For teachers to be able to do both, good LMS platforms should provide both pre-recorded and live online lectures. This can be done effectively with the use of a question-generation platform.
Pros and Cons of LMS
Like any other solution, LMS deployment comes with its pros and cons. Here are the key advantages and disadvantages of LMS solutions that you should be aware of:
Pros of LMS
Easy Learning Framework
The deployment of LMS in an organization provides a learning framework that is easy for learners. Also, as it allows for several models like blended, online, storytelling, etc. to be implemented in the same system, it makes the entire learning experience engaging and effective for the students.
The learning material, once uploaded on the LMS, can be accessed at any location or geography with the use of an internet connection. As a result, it makes the content more accessible to learners.
As an LMS allows you to consolidate all the learning material in a single system, it is much easier to review and report company-wide data and trends. With the right analysis, you can have access to the effectiveness of training materials in the organization or an institute at your fingertips.
Reduce Learning Costs
The key benefit of a learning management system is that it helps reduce the costs of training. As most programs are designed for online or blended learning, it is a much more affordable version as compared to face-to-face training.
Cons of LMS
Limited Online Ecosystem
With all the advantages of an LMS system, it is still an online ecosystem which at times can’t be compared with an offline training ecosystem. The limited online ecosystem has its working style and how it can be leveraged to make training useful and interactive. However, there are some limitations for all stakeholders which need to be kept in mind.
Several trainers are driven by charisma and presence in an offline ecosystem. However, it is not possible to create the same effect in an online web video. As a result, LMS systems are not able to create the same ecosystem for the trainer in some scenarios. The presence and charisma of a trainer are not easily replicated in a life or recorded session on the internet.
With heavy reliance on online and blended formats, some learners may find it difficult to acclimatize to working on an LMS in the initial period. Some learners still prefer training in the traditional format. For these customers, it is difficult to have a positive experience.
It is important to conduct extensive research on LMS before one moves ahead with selecting one. In recent times, especially concerning the pandemic, online learning became the new normal which propelled a new shift in the way education functions, and how teachers and students interact with each other and the learning material. According to UNESCO, as of May 25, 2020, 990 million learners, or 56.6% of the total enrolled students have been affected by COVID-19-related school closures.
As a result of this, online education through the use of LMS became the nucleus of education. Moreover, as per statistics taken from a university’s LMS during the initial school closure period (March to June 2020) indicate that student submissions and activity nearly doubled from pre-pandemic usage levels.
With the help of LMS, teachers curate and correlate educational materials, craft the goals of learning better along with aligning assignments. Furthermore, as learners can witness their real-time progress, it proves to be beneficial. Additionally, the goal of LMS is also to establish communication between learners and instructors.
However, there is only so much your LMS can do. Take advantage of the system’s capabilities by understanding its limits before using it to avoid any unnecessary issues caused by unrealistic expectations.
The implementation of an LMS can be a daunting task, but it can bring many benefits to your school. To avoid any issues arising, make sure to consider the above steps and don’t underestimate the amount of training and support your staff might need.