How to Get State of the Art Training -- Without Replacing Your LMS

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It’s no secret that most L&D people hate their LMS.

Unfortunately it’s not always possible to replace it. And if you’re in charge of delivering a specific training program, it can feel like a non-starter to even bring it up.

But just because you can’t replace your LMS, doesn’t mean you have to be shackled by it.

Here are 3 ways you can get a better training experience -- without replacing your LMS.

1. Host content outside of your LMS & import scores

This option is pretty simple; you host your new training content on a cloud based platform, and funnel all the analytics into your LMS for reporting.

 

When Would You Do This?

You’d likely use this option if you need rich content that better addresses your training needs, but you need to access reporting in your LMS.

 

PRO

Great Training Experience. Because you’re outside of your LMS, you’re not limited by SCORM, which means the content can be much richer than standard LMS content. With this option you can create rich game-based content, and host it within a fun narrative based platform -- which helps improve both learning and engagement.

 

CON

Neutered Tracking. Usually, when you host your content outside of your LMS, you are able to track much more granular data. But when you funnel that data back into your LMS, you can’t get the same depth of information. You can only import data your LMS is setup to receive -- which in most cases is just pass or fail.

 

2. Feed LMS scores into a cloud-based platform

Instead of exporting data to your LMS, this option lets you import data from your LMS into the cloud-based platform.  This allows you to leverage existing LMS courses and reward employees for taking them.

For example, in the cloud-based platform you could set up a narrative where employees can spend points to “level up” their virtual world.  By importing scores from your LMS you’d be able to reward employees for taking specific LMS courses -- which would in turn, encourage them to complete more courses.

 

When Would You Do This?

You’d likely use this option when you have existing LMS content that you want or need to use, but need to create a more engaging experience to get employees to take the training.

 

PRO

Better Overall Experience. Using a narrative structure is a great way to motivate employees to take more training, even if the content itself isn’t that engaging. The desire to unlock more of the story and advance or improve helps to motivate employees to take more LMS courses, even in voluntary training.

 

CON

Content Isn’t Engaging. Since you’re still using boring LMS content, the actual learning aspect of your training isn’t being improved. Your still relying on employees to actually learn from reading a PDF instead of improving the content you’re using to teach information.

Tracking is So-So. Because you’re importing scores from your LMS into the training platform, all you’ll be able to track is whatever data your LMS records.  You won’t have any granular data that’d help you find knowledge gaps or track learning growth.

 

3. Avoid Your LMS Altogether

Finally instead of trying to work with your LMS, you can avoid it altogether.

In this option, instead of feeding data in or out of your LMS, you’d build your training program within a cloud based platform -- completely outside of your LMS.

 

When Would You Do This?

You’d use this option when both the experience AND the tracking are important. For example, in training programs where the outcome and application of learning are critical to the business -- like information security awareness or digital adoption training.

 

PRO

Great Training Experience. By hosting your program outside your LMS you’re able to create rich learning experiences using game-based training, video, simulations etc. And it can all be hosted in a narrative based platform, which makes the experience much more engaging.

Surgical Analytics. Because you’re not funneling info in or out of your LMS, you can track much more granular data. This helps you find your superstars, slackers, and knowledge gaps -- all of which can help you create better training in the future and prove your program’s ROI.

 

CON

Consistent Reporting. Since your reporting and analytics are outside of your LMS, you don’t have the same centralized location for data and reports. While this isn’t an issue typically on individual training programs, if you start to run a lot of these kinds of courses on different platforms, it can be more work to pull broader reports.

 

The Bottom Line

Your LMS doesn't have to be the stick in your training mud.

There are multiple ways to work with or around your LMS and deliver a more engaging training experience.

You just need to choose the best option based on your overall training objectives.

 

Looking for an alternative to your slow-moving LMS? Check out our LMS vs PLE infographic here.