Improving Learner Retention with LMS

Incorporating best practices in your LMS can save you time and money.
Did you know a research study by Civitas, an education technology company, actually suggested that knowing how often college students log onto learning management software is a sure-fire way to predict if they will stick to their studies or drop out. Learning Management Systems (LMS) have always been popular with educational institutions and increasingly more organizations are realizing that LMS engagement is a good predictor of learner retention.

So. what is LMS and how can you improve learner retention with it? A Learning Management System (LMS) is essentially a software-based platform that allows the management, delivery, and measurement of training and learning programs. Most of these are cloud-based solutions and LMS is used to deliver a variety of learning strategies from compliance training and certification management to sales programs. There are different LMS delivery options – 1. open source, which are usually free but require the user to have some programming experience, 2. enterprise or commercial LMS – which can be of two types – SaaS (Software as a Service), which is cloud based and in which a vendor provides support services and opportunities to scale up and get upgrades – or Installed LMS, which is hosted on the purchasing organization service who will also be responsible for any maintenance and upgrades. 3. Industry-specific LMS, which is customized for a particular industry and hosts training material that meets the requirements of that specific industry.

Today, advanced LMS technology allows you to not only train, track and evaluate learning but also encourages the user to consult, collaborate and contribute to the process and thus aid in learner retention.
A common complaint against traditional training practices is that they are not engaging enough. Browsing through heavy files, powerpoints or pdfs can get overwhelming. One way to ensure that your training material is engaging is to use a variety of interesting content types – from webinars and memes to short videos and story boards. Mixing up content will encourage greater involvement. Always remember that too much information can impact retention. Bite-sized learning that is focused will provide better results.

Just having one long session of training can not only be boring but also prevent learner retention. Instead, consider dividing up training material into a mix of activities – this can be in the form of a live chat, using a discussion board and if budgets permit – even simulations, virtual reality and other interactive activities. Include surveys and assessments to test and provide opportunities for learners to review and summarize their learning. Additionally, include built-in metrics to analyze any learning gaps. This will help you improve and innovate to meet user needs.

Mark Constantino, CEO, MyCloudCure, author says,

“A LMS will allow you deliver and manage good training material to your employees, clients or partners, and if you can incorporate best practices that will encourage social learning, it will help in improving learner retention and save you both time and money.”

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