25 January 2021
5 key things to consider before you create an e-learning platform
Some important things to think about when you’re planning a new learning management system (LMS) or setting out to create an e-learning platform.
Launching an LMS is a big job.
Within that big job there are numerous smaller tasks, and each one of those will require you to make countless decisions that will impact how the e-learning platform ultimately performs. And each of those decisions will probably raise more questions that need to be answered.
If you’re not careful, the planning process for your LMS can turn into a sprawling, never-ending spider diagram. In those circumstances, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s really important to your project. It helps to take it back to basics and break the big job down into some key areas that will make or break the project.
With that in mind, when we start to create an e-learning platform for a client, we like to bring the planning process back to five key pillars that are absolutely essential.
They might not be what you’re thinking. Let’s find out…
Put simply: how are your learners going to get onto the new site? Without getting this right, and making sure it’s simple for users, nobody is going to be using the new learning platform, so all the other considerations are a waste of time.
We’ll think about things like integrating your LMS with existing systems and putting in place single sign-on, so that when a user logins into another system they are automatically logged into the LMS.
Once we know how your learners are logging into the LMS, we next need to think about how they are going to sign up for courses. How will learners enrol on courses? Who will maintain the enrolment process? Can we automate any or all of this process to save you time and money?
That leads us nicely onto the next pillar. Management and administration of an e-learning platform can be time consuming. That’s true of all sites, let alone something like the Western Union LMS, which has up to 500,000 learners.
Anything we can put in place at the outset of the project to automate processes for your team will save you a lot of money, time and headaches. Among the areas in which we will look to automate as much as possible are:
Automatically assigning a piece of learning to a user based on their role, skills or other criteria of your choosing.
We’ll automate welcome messages, course enrolment confirmations, reminders and other notifications.
Generating and sending out scheduled reports to your stakeholders.
Issuing certificates or badges to learners when they complete learning without any admin for you.
Getting your user updates and other integrations automatically updating in the background.
The fourth pillar of our five key considerations is course management. Similarly to the enrolment strategy, it is important to define who will maintain courses and what this will entail. And similarly to reporting, our advice would be to keep it as simple as possible. As much simplicity and uniformity as you can muster will help to ease the burden of course management over time.
Who needs to know what and how often do they need to know? Your LMS will offer almost limitless possibilities for creating all sorts of different reports for various audiences.
Generally, our advice is to think about the reports that will most help you to keep track of your KPIs. Beyond that, keep it as simple as possible. You can always create new reports further down the line, once the need has been established. In the planning stage, just get the essentials right.
Your next steps to create an e-learning platform
Those are the five main things to consider. Once you’ve got those nailed down in your thinking, everything that follows (including the UX design, hosting and delivery of the learning material itself) will serve your key requirements and help your new learning platform to achieve what you want it to achieve.
If you’d like a chat about your plans to create an e-learning platform, feel free to fill out the form below and we’ll give you a call.