8 Signs That You Need A New Learning Management System

8 Signs That You Need A New Learning Management System
Summary: Has your learning lost that loving feeling? Is this just a rough patch or is it time to move on to pastures greener? See if you can recognize any of these red flags.

Why You May Need A New Learning Management System

If you’ve had the same Learning Management System since time immemorial, you probably think you’re happy with it. You’ve grown accustomed to its interface, you’ve learned to ignore its flaws and you’re just ‘comfortable’. Besides, think of the upheaval you might have to endure if you made a change.

But what if there was something better out there? What if the right Learning Management System is waiting for you, but because you’re so ‘comfortable’, you’ll never find each other? If you take that leap, there could be a happier, more productive future in front of you. Your new LMS won’t just be a place to store your eLearning – it might just be the catalyst that sparks off an organizational transformation! If you really care about the success of your training initiatives, you need to make the difficult decisions.

If it’s time to say goodbye to that legacy Learning Management System, here are a few warning signs to look out for.

1. Nobody Uses It

The simplest way to tell if it’s time to ditch that old learning platform is if it’s just not being used. Don’t go burning your bridges just yet! There are many reasons why your Learning Management System has become a ghost town. You might have the ideal learning management system, but you’re lacking an engagement strategy. Sort out your internal marketing before you make any rash decisions.

If you’ve done all you can to bring the learners to their Learning Management System, but they’d still rather do anything else, you might have bigger problems. They might just not like the platform, but how are you supposed to know for sure? Send out an online survey to get a little more feedback. This is also a great opportunity to find out what they really want in a Learning Management System.

2. It’s Hard To Use

You remember the old days of web based applications, right? As long as a system performed its task, it didn’t matter how clunky and awkward it was. It didn’t matter, because all applications were clunky and awkward – it was just a fact of life we could happily ignore. Then along came our saviors, the UX experts!

Since the importance of user experience has been recognized, we’ve found ourselves in an arms race where developers try to make their applications easier to use than their competitors’. As a result, we no longer tolerate any system that’s hard to use. If your LMS is still stuck in the pre-UX age, you’ll struggle to keep your learners engaged and that training you’ve worked so hard on won’t have an impact.

3. Everybody Gets The Same Experience

Does your Learning Management System offer any personalization options? If not, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but in the last few years, personalization has become an essential element in any learning initiative. Your learners are all different. They have different personalities, different jobs and different needs. Their Learning Management System needs to mean something to them on an individual level.

If you shop around, you’ll find a whole world of amazing personalization features out there. Every learner can change their profile picture, update their details or add an introductory blurb about themselves. Some platforms even let them show off their projects and build an online portfolio. If you’re struggling to get people to log on, offering them opportunities for public recognition can go a long way!

4. It’s Just An Online Archive

If you’re stuck with a dusty old ‘legacy’ LMS, you can easily understand why nobody wants to spend too long engaging with it. In a lot of cases, they are little more than online filing systems. Here, monotonous manuals and stodgy slideshows can be categorized and stored away for nobody to see ever again.

If the rise of social media has taught us anything, it’s that people love to communicate and interact with one another. If all you have is an online archive, your learners are more likely to ask one of their peers for advice on another social platform (or, of course, in real life). Social learning platforms can have a huge impact, not only on your training, but on the entire organization.

5. It Doesn’t Work On Mobile Devices

Let’s suppose your Learning Management System still looks comparatively sleek on your desktop. It’s not the most modern interface in the world, but it doesn’t look like a website from 1996 either. You might even have a few social features, or if you’re really lucky, some game mechanics! Unfortunately, everything falls apart when you try to access the Learning Management System on a mobile device.

At best, the interface isn’t mobile responsive and it’s hard to read the text on the screen. At worst, the LMS is just impossible to use. With more people preferring to use their mobile for online tasks than desktop, it’s more important than ever that your LMS is optimized for mobile. You also need to make sure the content is bite-sized and easy to consume on the go, but that’s a story for another day.

6. Instructors Use Other Tools Instead

Learner apathy is something you can almost understand. When it comes to instructors and trainers, there’s simply no excuse for them not to use your Learning Management System. That’s where all of your online training lives! How can they hope to create a great blended learning program without using your Learning Management System?

On the other hand, maybe they know something you don’t. Your Learning Management System might have huge problems that you’re just so used to, you can’t even see them anymore. I know it’s hard, but you need to know for sure… Run a quick report of your instructors and find out when they last logged in.

7. Training Interventions Have No Impact

Your people make your organization. If you want to go further, you need to help them go further too. That’s the purpose of training in a nutshell. Your Learning Management System should be the engine that drives their development and in so doing, moves your business forward. If those training interventions don’t result in positive behavior changes, then your engine might not be up to the task.

Part of the problem is that the Learning Management System doesn’t engage the users effectively, but that’s not all. Many older learning platforms don’t give the range of analysis and training evaluation options that modern Learning Management Systems offer. With greater insight, managers can make smarter decisions and deliver training that has a measurable return on investment.

8. Your Business Has Moved On

Think about when you signed up for your current Learning Management System. Was it more than three years ago? More than five? A lot has happened in the world and learning technology has come a long way. If your LMS provider has moved with the times and introduced new tools to help you deal with new challenges, then you might just be okay.

The chances are your business hasn’t stood still in that time either. Your Learning Management System might have been perfect for the small start-up you had a few years ago. But now that you’re an international force to be reckoned with, the stakes are higher. You need to be sure that your Learning Management System is built to deal with your specific needs.

Final Word

If everybody stayed with their LMS providers, in spite of all of the problems, innovation in the learning technology industry would grind to a halt. Brave learning managers have big ambitions for their learners and they’ll seek out the right tools for the job. It’s these forward-looking individuals that keep learning platforms evolving to meet the needs of today’s users. Your choice is simple: stay in your comfort zone, or take the leap towards better things!

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