7 Ways In Which An LMS Encourages Learner Autonomy

7 Ways In Which An LMS Encourages Learner Autonomy
Summary: Wouldn't it be wonderful if your learning program looked after itself? If you give your learners a sense of ownership, there's no telling how far you could go.

It's True That An LMS Encourages Learner Autonomy And Here Are Some Examples

How do you measure the success of a training initiative? Do you swear by a handy list of compliance check boxes and your reporting tools? Success can’t be so easily quantified, especially when you’re aiming for real changes in behavior.

The biggest win you can hope for is that you create a learner-led training program. In this case, your learners are allowed to buy into the program and build their own momentum. To make this a reality, you need to forget all you know about training management, for a moment at least, and focus on creating the right environment.

In this learning space, your people can feel a sense of ownership and pride their accomplishments. This is the key to creating a training program that can grow organically and eventually look after itself. Here are a few things you can do to make it a reality.

1. Make Knowledge Available

The foundation of a powerful training program is knowledge. Your future learning leaders need to be able to find the knowledge they need quickly and easily. Online Learning Management Systems are ideal, since they can be accessed from anywhere at any time. Make sure all of your learning content is categorized and sorted in a way that will make sense to your learners. Also, it’s essential that the platform can be accessed on mobile devices, since this is how most people today choose to use the internet.

2. Make It Easy To Use

Because of the many advancements in web design, your people have been conditioned to expect a minimum standard of user experience. They have also become more literate in user interface best practice and they no longer have the patience for UI faux pas. Make sure your Learning Management System meets or exceeds this standard and look for any sources of friction that might be putting the users off. If your people need to think too hard about using the system, they might run out of steam before they even get near your training content.

3. Make It Relevant And Meaningful

Bland, featureless learning platforms create bland and featureless experiences. You can avoid this fate with the right mix of customization options on your LMS. You should be able to change the colors and imagery on the LMS to better reflect your brand. You can even go one further and edit the phrases and labels throughout the platform. Together, these let you build an online environment that’s perfectly suited to your organization. This is important as it gives you more opportunities to reinforce the vision and values behind the training. This ethos lies at the heart of every learning objective and it’s essential for creating a relevant learning experience.

4. Make It Entertaining

If your LMS isn’t getting a lot of traffic, despite being uncomplicated and easy to use, there’s one other thing that might be driving your people away – your LMS might just be too boring. If you’re one of those people who believes that learning isn’t supposed to be enjoyable, then prepare yourself for constant disappointment. On the other hand, if you’re determined to make your training successful, make the experience entertaining. Use game mechanics and let your people earn virtual awards for consecutive logins, for example. You can also spice up your eLearning content by creating learning games instead. That might sound complicated, but with a little imagination and the right authoring tool, game based learning might be just within your reach.

5. Create A Learning Community

Some people have a natural tendency towards autonomous learning and they’ll happily discover new things on their own. For the rest of us, a little encouragement goes a long way. Social interaction is a must if you want to create a self-sufficient learning environment. Aside from giving learners a chance for public recognition, it lets them discuss the topics that matter to them. Giving them a space to share their thoughts lets them ask questions and find real answers from real people. This kind of knowledge has greater relevance and thus, a better chance of sticking.

6. Keep It Flexible

Formal training approaches prescribe a list of learning objectives that each person must complete in order. This A-to-B path doesn’t leave a lot of room for exploration and discovery. A large part of learning autonomy is giving the learner the sense that they are treading their own path. Make sure each learner has access to a variety of media and ways to apply the knowledge they’ve learned. This lets them follow the path that suits them best, and knowing they did it their way with help instil a sense of ownership.

7. Enable User Generated Content

On your mission to ensure greater learner autonomy, you will likely run into an unexpected challenge – your learners consume the training so quickly that you end up running out of content! Not to worry, when you get to this stage, your learners are ready to contribute further to their learning community. Encourage them to create their own training material to fill any gaps or even suggest improvements to the existing content. You can also use the gamification and social elements on your platform let your people earn ‘expert’ status. This coveted label might be all you need to inject passion into the learning experience.

Final Words

Since the boom in social media and collaborative technologies, information has become more democratized. In this exciting new world, the online learning your people receive needs to match the experience they have elsewhere online. Once you can do that, your learners can rise to the challenge and help build a better training program together.

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