Using an LMS to streamline and manage your employees’ online training can be one of the smartest business decisions ever made, as long as it is done effectively.
Once you have decided to take your training to the next level, using an LMS, it is time to remember about a certain group of activities for managing your employees’ online training and successful LMS implementation plan.
9 Rules for successful LMS implementation:
Design a Clear Syllabus
While a syllabus may seem like a rather standard thing to include in any course, the requirements for an online course syllabus are a bit different. First of all, policies and procedures should be explained thoroughly. It should also include a detailed explanation of the expectations and formats for turning in assignments. You should also include clear guidelines to learners about how they should communicate with you on private matters, as well as asking questions which would be of interest to all learners.
After these matters have been addressed, your syllabus should address the more basic matters of learning. You should provide a course schedule and the list of assignments, as well as instructions for locating all relevant modules and materials. Finally, it is a good idea to include specific technology expectations and addressing some basic troubleshooting, and providing a list of services and resources offered by the institution, which may be valuable to learners.
Create Virtual Sections
With a large number of learners in a single online course, it is easy for the discussion boards, chat rooms, and instructor to become overloaded. When classes are usually divided into sections for the purpose of creating workgroups, it is also a good idea to create virtual sections (or workgroups) for the purpose of keeping the chat rooms, discussion boards, and instructor from becoming overloaded.
Create Participation Policies
In order to get the most out of discussions within online learning courses, it is best to create participation policies for your learners. Just what these policies are depends on the instructor, however, a good example is having to discussions per week with learners being required to post at least one response to each discussion as well as 1 to 2 responses to other learners.
Decide Between Internal or External E-mail
Most LMSs offer internal email for the students and instructors to use to communicate, however, whenever you are deciding the best strategy for managing your students online learning, you will have to decide whether this internal email or your regular external email is the best course for communications. Both forms of email offer various benefits, so the decision basically depends on the instructor’s workflow habits and which one would be most convenient and beneficial.
Incorporate Online Lectures
One of the best options afforded by LMSs is the wide variety of ways that a lecture can be presented. Traditional lectures have been a part of the learning environment for as long as anyone can remember, crossing them over into the online environment can be just as effective, if not more. Online lectures can be presented in both audio and video formats, however, they should be shorter and more to the point than traditional 45 minute lectures. These lectures should serve as the foundation for further student reading and research. You can also provide notes to coincide with a lecture via email, webpage or learning module.
Be a Mentor
One area that is vastly neglected by many online instructors is the role of the mentor. As an instructor. Your goal should be to challenge, support and provide vision for your online learners. One of the biggest benefits of online learning is the ability to communicate frequently and conveniently with students. Addressing students’ concerns, questions and issues is one of the biggest aspects of keeping them engaged in the online learning environment.
Engage in Special Interest Projects
Special-interest projects can be done within groups or individually. They provide students with a sense of accomplishment and practical experience. The incorporation of projects with the learning materials helps to make the learning more relevant to the students’ lives. Many times, student projects are only seen by the instructor, however, they can also be shared within groups so that the learner can obtain a diverse variety of feedback and viewpoints. The incorporation of projects can help online learners to pursue special interests, create or right for an audience, and publish or present their finished work on the Internet.
Introduce Collaborative Learning
Collaborative, or group, learning is just as effective in online courses as it is in the traditional classroom. Having students work in small groups with a variety of learning activities can help them master the material and help teammates learn as well. Collaborative learning is more effective for promoting self-esteem, cognitive development and positive peer to peer relationships. However, in order to work effectively online learning collaborative activities have to be carefully designed.
Take Advantage of Case Studies
Case studies are a great teaching strategy, which allows learners to draw and learn from their own experiences. An appropriate problem situation that is relevant to the concepts being taught, and is also relevant to both the experience and interests of the learners, is the key to creating successful case studies. Case studies can be conducted individually or in group learning environments, it emphasizes practical thinking, and it assists in identifying principles and applying those principles to future situations. In the online learning environment, case studies can designed and presented in a variety of ways, such as webpages, conferencing groups, discussion boards, forums, and so on. Case studies in online courses also allow the vast resources of the Internet to be tapped by instructors and students to aid in the contribution of information, expert advice, data, case development and analysis.
Using a LMS to manage your employees’ online training is one of the most effective steps that can be taken to ensure the continual development and improvement of employee performance. The most integral step that must be taken with the LMS implementation is determining what learning management strategies are going to be used for the most effective results. Incorporating the 9 strategies outlined above can help you achieve this goal.