SkillBuilder® LMS and Your Learning Ecosystem
When the people, content and processes that make up your L&D program form together, we call it a learning ecosystem. Whether this learning ecosystem thrives or struggles depends largely on how well you pick the technologies that support it. Our last blog article has discussed the advantages and disadvantages of different learning technologies you may wish to consider, but here we will take a focussed look at what a learning management system, specifically SkillBuilder® LMS, brings to the table.
Choosing an LMS
I really liked the cane toad analogy from the last time we talked about learning ecosystems, because it perfectly illustrates how quickly things can spin out of balance when the wrong outside force is introduced. And how do you make sure you're introducing the right outside force? Well, let's first assume that you've done your homework and decided that an LMS is the way forward for you. That being the case, there's a few things you need to do:
- Identify your business needs
- Define your evaluation metrics
- Identify your "must have" and "nice to have" features
- Identify potential vendors
- Schedule demos and take part in free trials
- Consider an RFP process
There are so many LMSs on the market that choosing the right one for your organization can seem like an overwhelming task, but it's important you "kiss a few frogs" to avoid choosing a toad (I really like this analogy!).
SkillBuilder® LMS and You
Let's take a closer look at SkillBuilder® LMS, and some of the ways it can help take your training program to the next level. Sarah outlined a few features you should look for when choosing an LMS:
Ease of Use
Your LMS should not only be attractive and intuitive for users, it should also be simple to administer and update. However if you want to get started, SkillBuilder® LMS has you covered - self-registration? Easy! Creating bulk registrations for groups of learners? Also easy! Use our set-up wizard to create learning , evaluation and recognition items and set whatever certification requirements or prerequisites you need.
Support for mobile and blended learning
The SkillBuilder® LMS team understands that the modern learner needs to access information on the go, whether at point of need on the job, or during their travel time. We have made our learning flexible and accessible - the essence of mobile learning. And to fully optimize blended learning in your organization, SkillBuilder® LMS gives you the ability to create personalized learning experiences through a combination of face-to-face and online instruction.
Testing and assessment
SkillBuilder® LMS offers a variety of evaluation items that allow you to assess how well your learners are functioning within your ecosystem:
- Assignments: Assignments are learner-created items that can be uploaded for grading by an evaluator. They can include videos, essays, written responses, spreadsheets and other items.
- External Qualifications: Qualifications from professional associations, government organizations or external vendors may be required or may, at times, meet your needs better than internal training. These qualifications can be uploaded into SkillBuilder® LMS so you can confirm that your employees are completing the training they need for their positions. Or, simply reward learners who have gone above and beyond your requirements by attended training outside your organization (i.e., conference participation).
- Online Exams: SkillBuilder® LMS's robust, enterprise-level online exam environment allows the structuring of online exams using a full blueprint with multiple categories so it's easy to pinpoint gaps in instruction or performance. Question types include multiple choice, short answer and essay-style.
- Practical Evaluations: For times when the best assessment is skill demonstration, practical evaluations allow for on-the-job evaluations.
Reporting and tracking
You need to know (or be able to find out!) what's working and what's not in your learning ecosystem. How can SkillBuilder® LMS help? Well, for one thing, our customizable reporting options allow you to drill down to the point that you know which downloads are most appealing to learners, how learners are performing in their assessments (and where your knowledge gaps might lie), and how individual learners progress through your courses. Better yet? SkillBuilder® LMS allows you to produce easy to read reports that are simple to export to your chosen program
Not only is SkillBuilder® LMS intuitive and user-friendly, it's a breeze to make it look exactly how you want. Customize your:
- Logos and colour schemes
- Site URLs
- Learning Path displays
- Learning Plans
- System notification emails
- Completion certificates
- Open Badges
- Registration preferences
- eCommerce preferences
Your learning ecosystem doesn't necessarily end within the walls of your organization. The right LMS will allow you to seamlessly expand your ecosystem across your city, your country, or around the world. What does SkillBuilder® LMS bring to the table? Well, it provides accounting, eCommerce, taxation, order processing and other business functions. It can also:
- Allow customers to pay for courses using their preferred credit card and a secure payment processor like PayPal, Moneris, or Bambora
- Create a variety of discount codes to support marketing initiatives
- Accept payments in a variety of currencies
- Allow your administrators to configure the type of taxes (sales, provincial, state, federal, etc.) included in any purchase, based on the purchaser's country and region
I never realized quite how effective game mechanics were at motivation until I started learning a new language on Duolingo - nothing got me to log in every day like the threat of falling lower on the leaderboard. Bring that energy to your training program with SkillBuilder® LMS, which allows you to leverage options like Open Badges, point scoring, leaderboards and tiers. Nothing gets your learning ecosystem humming like engaged and motivated learners!
There are advantages and disadvantages to every LMS - think of it this way, no LMS is perfect; it's all about finding the perfect LMS for your organization and its learning ecosystem. SkillBuilder® LMS might just be the solution that you're looking for. We have worked hard to provide a full-service application that can help you with everything from motivating learners, to tracking their progress, to expanding the reach of your training program. Could we be the right application for you? Start a trial run today!
Sarah is an Instructional Designer at BaseCorp Learning Systems and is currently completing a PhD in Educational Technology. Her research focuses on implementing competency-based learning systems in all types of organizations. When she doesn't have her nose in a book you can find her at the gym, on the ice, on the ski hill, drinking wine or in a coffee shop … with her nose in a book.