How to Integrate Learning Management System Successfully: 7 Important Steps

A Learning Management System (LMS) is an e-Learning software platform that allows online instructors to manage students and educational materials. It’s a modern way to educate people and track their training history. A big advantage to using an LMS is it allows you to easily structure and organize course material then make it available to students online.

Usually, an LMS comprises two components: a server for managing course material and a user-friendly browser-based interface for students. The course server can be used to authenticate registered enrollees. Schools have survived during the pandemic because of these e-Learning systems, which can further facilitate employee orientation, train marketers, and implement workplace safety programs.

INTEGRATION PROCESS

Learning Management System

  1. Pick Your LMS Implementation Team

Picking your LMS implementation team is where the integration process begins. Working with an experienced IT or software development team can help reduce technical difficulties in setting up your learning management system. The DIY method doesn’t always work for businesses that lack technical talent, so it’s very advantageous to have a team of technology experts on hand to ensure the LMS is installed correctly and operates smoothly.

  1. Planning and Timeline

You can either build your own LMS, outsource to a developer or find suitable software that’s already on the market. Customizing your own solution gives you the most flexibility and freedom to do what you want for your online business or classroom. Since effective communication is a major key to learning, be sure to select appropriate messaging and project management tools.

Ideally, the software is specifically designed for your industry. It should also be set up for easy scalability, meaning as your market expands, you’ll have a seamless solution to accommodate growth. Your LMS should be built with reliable security that may include encryption or multi-factor authentication for user accounts. Another consideration is the system must be designed to allow integration with other technology such as a human resource information system (HRIS), customer relationship management (CRM) software, and an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

  1. LMS Configuration

Configuring your LMS platform should be based on your organization’s structure, roles, and responsibilities. In order to keep confidential data as private as possible, it must be stored in its own system. The overall configurations should yield an intuitive, user-friendly interface. Perhaps it will resemble a dashboard in which students or employees are already familiar. The more it’s configured for simple operation while avoiding unnecessary features, the easier it will be for instructors to get training underway quickly.

  1. Course and Curriculum Structures

An e-Learning course can be structured in various ways to suit specific goals. Simply by implementing an LMS, you’ll have plenty of functionality for designing creative courses. This innovative technology opens up many possibilities for new ways of learning. You can design your own learning paths, which are clusters of courses within a program constructed to help reach learning goals. The use of learning paths allows you to enroll several users in various courses at once.

The concept of blended learning functionality is another valuable benefit to educators and students because it blends teacher instruction with self-paced online learning. A course can further be structured to integrate with virtual reality, which is useful for simulating hands-on experience. An LMS gives you control of how you build content for your courses with different types of media such as video, audio, and graphics. Courses can be developed in groups customized for specific branches within your organization.

The fifth annual LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report recently found that 59 percent of 1,260 surveyed e-Learning professionals agree that expanding and elevating skill levels is a top reason for businesses to use learning software in 2021. Learning HIPAA compliance, for example, is essential for healthcare workers, as it can be achieved with an LMS.

The popularity of online video games fits into the education equation more than traditional professors and managers may realize. Thanks to an LMS, it’s possible to structure courses to include gamification elements to draw in video game fans as a fun bridge toward learning. These elements might encompass scoring systems, skill levels, badges, and opportunities to win points or prizes.

  1. Prepare For Data Migration

Moving data from one system to another might seem simple but can be challenging. Various errors can occur if data is not handled carefully. That’s why it helps to hire a technology consultant who oversees IT deployment. Professional technicians will ensure data is completely backed up before attempting to transfer it to the LMS.

To achieve successful data migration, your deployment team needs to take three essential steps. The first step is to compare features in your old system with your new LMS. This process is known as feature mapping, as you determine which old features you want to retain with your new system.

The next step in preparing for data migration is data cleanup. This step is crucial for making your LMS as efficient as possible. As defense contractor Raytheon has reported, every dollar spent on data cleanup in the transfer from one system to another saves an organization $16 to $25 afterward. What’s involved with data cleanup? It’s a process that eliminates unnecessary duplicate files, outdated reports, and other clutter. It essentially resets a content system so that the data that lands on the LMS are accurate, relevant, and current.

The final phase to prepare for smooth data migration is to create Comma Separated Values (CSV) templates, which allow for bulk data transfers. This step is important if you plan to transfer thousands of user profiles. An Excel spreadsheet can easily be converted to this format.

For old systems that don’t have buttons to click for mass transfers, the migration must be done manually. At this stage, it’s necessary to make sure your new LMA conforms to either the SCORM or AICC standards for online courses to interact with the system. SCORM communicates through JavaScript while AICC delivers HTTPS-based messages. While SCORM requires course content and the LMS to be on the same server, AICC allows for content to be on the same or separate server. Another difference is courses can be divided into modules using the SCORM standard.

  1. Testing

The integration process is incomplete without testing the LMS to make sure all the functions and features work properly. Never assume the technology will take care of itself, otherwise, your first presentation will be unpredictable from a technical standpoint. Conducting a pilot run will let you know if the platform portal is ready to be utilized for e-Learning sessions.

The system needs to produce training reports and track trainee interaction. Check to see if features such as bookmarking work properly. Make sure the system is compatible with mobile devices, understanding that many users will view course material on small screens. Test any mobile apps that go with the course to make sure they download seamlessly then function properly.

  1. Assess And Wrap Up

Quality control is the final stage of data integration from an old content management system to a new LMS. Conduct an actual workflow to make sure all the data is where it needs to be and can be easily accessed. For easy scalability, analyze the performance of assigning a large load of coursework to a long list of users, which can be achieved with a load testing app.

Once you’re happy with how your LMS performs, start educating administrators and others on how to use the system. Ask for feedback from stakeholders after letting them perform a User Acceptance Test (UAT) so that you can refine any nuances.

CONCLUSION

Employers are increasingly using e-Learning software to train employees in a way that speeds up learning curves. An LMS can be used in multiple ways, including product demonstrations, job training, and learning government regulations. The software platform makes coursework easy to structure and design, which is ideal for global learning institutions and businesses with multiple workers. Ultimately, investing in an LMS saves time and money while raising awareness, making it a worthwhile expense.

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