It feels like people have practically made a sport out of complaining about their company’s learning management system (LMS). It’s important, however, to weed out employees who are more dissatisfied with the content of learning programs than with the LMS itself, but even with that caveat the picture is bleak. And it’s not just the employees who are expressing their dissatisfaction.
One of the last major studies done in this regard was by the Brandon Hall Group in 2015. In a survey of hundreds of companies, it revealed that 31% would not recommend their LMS to others and 38% were actively looking to replace their LMS. When asked to rate 17 aspects of their LMS on a scale of 1-5 with one being low and five being high, the one that ranked lowest of all was the ability of the LMS to meet the company’s future needs, scoring an average of only 2.57. Just a year ago, HR and talent management guru Josh Bersin wrote in Forbes, “Most corporate learning environments are built around an older corporate LMS, that only really manages compliance and formal training well” (source). Here are 5 causes of learning management system dissatisfaction:
1. Lack of Robust Social Learning Functions
The days of a one-way relationship where eLearning professionals create content and upload it into the LMS for learners to access it are gone, or at least they should be. Greater success is found in social learning where the learners themselves are more fully engaged in a collaborative learning process. After all, one of the major features of life in the digital era of the 21stcentury is engagement through social networking platforms. If you want to avoid learning management system dissatisfaction, your LMS should (at a minimum) include live chat(which is how more and more communicate these days), social stream(of learner-generated news, announcements, updates, etc.), groupsfor more focused discussions on narrower topics, team-based learning and leaderboardsfor more collaborative learning and healthy competition, social Q&A(as opposed to a static fAQ) where learners answer questions from other learners, social surveys/polls to gain insights into what learners want.
2. Cannot Serve as a Performance Support Tool
One of the new trends taking root is to think of the learning function in a company primarily in terms of a performance support tool that helps employees do their job better. The idea is to provide employees with real-time on-the-job support – think of it as “just-in-time learning.” When an employee has a question in the middle of a task, can they immediately get the information needed to support their performance? There are huge ramifications here for how learning happens. It would require bit-sized micro-learning content that can easily be found and accessed, probably from a mobile device. When learners can’t get or find what they need when they need it, learning management system dissatisfaction is the result.
3. Does Not Handle Video Content Well
The digital era is also one where videos have become the medium of choice for consuming all kinds of content, including corporate learning content. Right now, nearly 80% of all Internet traffic is video. Facebook alone averages more than 8 billion video views each day adding up to 100 million hours of video watched on a daily basis. If your LMS doesn’t handle video content seamlessly, the result will be learning management system dissatisfaction. Get an LMS that can easily handle both streamed (integration with video streamers like YouTube, AmazonS3, etc.) and uploaded (good quality in various formats). Also look for robust video management features in an LMS (FPS auto-detection, video overlays, video bookmarking, etc.).
4. Poor Accessibility and User Interface
Getting back to those employee complaints about the company LMS that don’t have to do with the quality of the content, a major beef among users is when navigation is difficult. If the controls aren’t intuitive and it’s hard to get to where you want to go or find what you’re looking for, people quickly “opt out” of learning altogether. And in the digital era, your LMS and learning content simply has to be fully responsive and accessible on any device at any time of day. When the LMS isn’t accessible or user-friendly, the result will always be learning management system dissatisfaction.
5. Weak Analytics and Reporting
In the digital era of Big Data, if the analytics and reporting functions of your LMS feel small, the result will be learning management system dissatisfaction. Anticipate what metrics you know you want and make that a part of your evaluation of LMS platforms. At a minimum you want to see all the basics around learner participation, performance and completion rates. Then you want to make sure there are robust functionalities to gather learner feedback on course content as well as LMS functionality. And of course you need there to be robust learning assessment functionality to find out if your learners are meeting learning objectives, which can and should include implementation of learning over time after the course has been completed.
If your company is suffering because of one or more of these five causes of learning management dissatisfaction, it may be time to find a new LMS. Take a close look at the eLeaP option with a 30-day free trialto find out if it might be the LMS for you!