Digits’ top tips proud to be published in top eLearning Industry ebook

Digits’ Managing Director Colin Bull gives his Top 5 tips for successful Learning Management System implementation for leading industry ebook.

1. Plan Your Training And Implementation Strategy

These might seem obvious questions to ask, but you would be surprised how many organisations start with vague ideas of what they are trying to achieve with the LMS. Are you transferring formal learning online, providing access to a self-led learning portal and community based knowledge sharing? Do you need to identify skill gaps to shape your content? Do you need to evaluate current knowledge via a TNA and tailor learning journeys accordingly? What does the LMS need to deliver day one and what will be the short, medium and long term goals? This understanding underpins every decision you will make in the project, sets clear success criteria for you and the LMS provider, as well as providing the “bait” to get your stakeholders’ interest.

2. Engage Stakeholders Early

You wouldn’t believe how many people don’t do this and wonder why implementation is delayed. Without internal buy-in it won’t go anywhere. IT is critical but HR, Finance, Marketing, whoever else you need, must also be included at the start, especially if you are intending to integrate data from other systems. Get them on-board with your thinking and when they’ll be needed in the project. They must feel ownership. They will be your ambassadors, critical friends and end users too!

3. User Engagement

Pivotal to everything! After all, the end users are the raison d’être for the LMS, aren’t they? Unfortunately, they are typically the most overlooked in an implementation. Don’t fall into this trap; for your implementation to be successful you must understand the user. How and where will they access the LMS? What is their age range, IT skills and expectations for the system? By shaping interfaces to provide engaging and simple access, you will remove the immediate blockers to engagement. Every learning journey needs to have clear outcomes and personal benefits. If you can personalise it to their role and make it relevant, driving them to exactly what they need, do so. Gamification and social add-ons make excellent tools to engage and add to the experience. Above all, keep it simple!

4. Blended Content

Thinking of re-developing your entire content to move it online? Allow plenty of time in your plan! (see Tip 1). Vary content through blended media. It doesn’t have to be highly interactive to launch, so look at what you already have and build new content as required. Content can be delivered effectively as bite sized videos, pdfs etc? We engage with authentic scenarios in familiar environments, so create short videos using real people; think YouTube! Does the LMS need to track face to face or ‘on the job’ training experiences? A good LMS can present content in a blended, engaging manner. If the learner doesn’t know where the system ends and the learning content begins, then all the better. But again; keep it simple!

5. Realistic Timescales

Without this, Tips 1-4 are pointless. The most successful LMS implementations are delivered in phased, bite-sized roll outs. Don’t forget to include time for testing, piloting, marketing and, most importantly, feedback at each stage. Feedback provision is important if you are to further engage your end users and then illustrate how you are responding and improving their learning experience. Rolling out in achievable phases will help sustain user participation and quick wins will attract top-level buy-in. If timescale is the most pressing factor in your project, then...keep it simple!

About the author

Colin Bull is Managing Director of Digits and passionate about delivering creative and next generational learning solutions combining almost 30 years’ expertise in digital learning development.