An LMS has become an integral part of organizational learning. It has long moved from being a platform where to upload and deploy learning to becoming the main gathering of tools used in all having to do with L&D programs.
Perhaps the feature best loved by learning professionals is the reporting capability.
No longer having to manually insert scores in excel in order to build pivots and pie-charts has made everybody’s workload lighter and more pleasant. Reporting is essential because it shows stakeholders what has been done and with what results and is an excellent indicator of how well (or not) things are going.
When everything is great, comprehensive reports are merely the ‚show and tell’ of the L&D department. When things go off track, it’s also these reports that can give a good view of what the pain points of the learning programs are. Here is what to look for.
Check the attendance numbers count
While the point of organizational learning is to provide quality and not necessarily quantity, how many employees are enrolled in certain modules has something to say about their relevance. Whether people choose to take some courses themselves or are asked to do so by their superiors, how many individuals go through a certain learning path shows how useful it is.
Read more: Why each employee needs a learning path
If certain modules have really low attendance, the call may be made to discontinue them as they would only take up space and appear redundantly in searches. However, if modules that used to attract big crowds suddenly seem to be dropping in attendance, it’s a clear indication that something has gone awry recently.
It may be that the information is no longer up to date or that there is another module online that is more suited to learner needs. Finding out exactly what the pain point is and fixing it in a timely manner may save some effort and money that would go into designing another one.
Mind the assessment scores
These are not only relevant to participants wanting to see their names high on the leaderboards. Whether we’re talking about an assessment which takes place at some point during the module, or a final assessment which will give a learner their final score, assessments are a very clear indicator of how well people understand the material presented, and of how able they are to put it into practice.
If there seems to be an epidemy of very low scores, it is a cause for concern. It’s normal to see some learners struggle a little bit but if the majority displays difficulty, it’s not them, it’s the material that needs tweaking. Either it is too difficult, the presentation manner is not the best or there are some prerequisites necessary.
If, on the other hand, everybody seems to be flying through the course and getting the highest scores all the time, it’s a clear sign that the learning module is not challenging at all and that issue ought to be addressed.
Read more: How to go about e-learning assessments
Look at the halting points
Sometimes learners reach a place in the learning material where they just seem to be stuck. Data gathered by the LMS comes in really handy in identifying these stops and seeing if it is just a matter of no progress for a period of time or subjects or units that get skipped altogether.
It could either be that participants feel it is unimportant or redundant or that it is too difficult. Presentation of topic may also constitute an issue as it often happens that some items are not rendered as instructional designers meant.
Whatever the pain point turns out to be, paying attention to the data and identifying these patterns allows for an issue to be solved before it turns into a bigger problem.
After fixing it, it’s all right to invite those who struggled in the first place to take a look and offer feedback on the updated material. This will also help with refreshing the information for them.
Analyze the stops
E-learning has the great advantage of being flexible. It is easily accessible at the learner’s convenience and is not in any way invasive to the work tasks. However, this also means that any module can also be abandoned at any time.
Of course, there are times when individuals decide to end the session and pick it up later due to personal reasons. But if there is a greater number of enrollees quitting in the same spot and not returning, then there is a general issue having to do with the course and not the individual schedules and preferences.
Apart from taking a look at the content and working at making it more accessible, a good idea is to add some sort of incentive for moving forward and completing the module. Another strategy is to have additional explanatory material in the form of video, animations or SME presentations.
Regardless of the manner chosen to address these stopping points, making sure they become easier to navigate is paramount.
All in all
There is that popular saying that „information is power”. In this case, gathering relevant data from the LMS to identify and address the pain points that arise in e-learning programs gives L&D specialists the power to design and deploy better courses with a greater positive impact in the organization.
Graham is the CEO and Founder of CYPHER LEARNING and MATRIX. He is a serial entrepreneur, e-learning enthusiast, published author, and educator.