Today, most organizations have a Learning Management System (LMS) to facilitate some parts of their corporate training. LMS’s are effective and helpful in organizing, hosting self-paced training and reporting on compliance. These systems are evolving rapidly to meet the needs of the modern corporate training world, but try as they might, there are still some essential things that an LMS just isn’t built to do.
Your Learning Management System (LMS):
Won’t run on its own. Often, companies think that by employing an LMS they won’t need as much manpower to run a training program, but this isn’t true. While an LMS is an advanced technology that is improving year over year, it can’t do the work on its own, it only facilitates. It must be fed content (that your staff must author), continuously managed, and interpreted frequently for effectiveness. This still requires manpower, in fact maybe even more than needed without it. This is not meant to bash LMS’s, but to point out that many people are under the false pretense that they do all the work for you. This simply isn’t the case.
Can’t replace instructors. Even once your employees have authored, managed and interpreted the success of your LMS, the system can’t replace instructors. LMS’s are really great at one thing, and that’s facilitating self-paced learning. Self-paced learning cannot be used to teach high-value topics or skills; that stuff is too complicated to breeze through in an online course. Your instructor-led training (ILT) will still need compelling instructors and dynamic training materials to meet all of your corporate learning and development objectives. Besides, given the diversity of learning styles in today’s technologically advancing world, some employees will always learn better from face-to-face interaction and guidance.
Doesn’t ensure training success. If I haven’t made the point clear enough, while LMS’s are usually advertised to be automatic and self-operating, they are not a magical solution that will automatically increase the effectiveness of your training. LMS’s are a tool that can make light topics and compliance mandates easier to distribute to large amounts of people. The content you put in and the employees behind creating said content are the real drivers of success. Even if you buy the best LMS product on the market, you won’t be successful without dedication and input from whoever is operating the LMS.
The biggest takeaway from this article should be that an LMS, while a great tool, is just that- a tool. Successful training programs require a variety of tools that work together in unison. And likewise a tool is nothing without a capable, innovative user on the other end.
Sources: “The Red Hot Market for Learning Management Systems” by Josh Bersin, forbes.com.