These Are The Top 3 Challenges for LMS Users
If you’re a professional completing participating in continuing education (CE), there’s only one kind of challenge you should be willing to accept: a challenging assessment following the CE activity. When it comes to using an education provider’s learning management system, or LMS, the number of challenges should be zero.
Zero challenging interfaces. Zero challenging instructions. Zero challenging self-service options.
And yet, LMS users of all stripes encounter challenges every day when attempting to use a provider’s software. According to one recent survey of nearly 200 corporate LMS users, the three most common challenges were:
- Difficulty learning to use the software
- Technical issues of various kinds
- Integration with other software, or the lack thereof
Here in the CE world, there’s absolutely no reason for learners to face these problems when using your LMS. Let’s explore why these issues hinder learning – and find out how to fix them.
1. Hard-to-use software makes CE participation a struggle.
Imagine you’re sitting down to complete an online CE activity. In this case, the activity is based on enduring content. You’ll read some reports and view some images. Afterward, you’ll complete an assessment. Sounds easy enough, right?
Well, it should be. But in this case, things are a little… clunky.
When you log into the provider’s LMS, you navigate to the activity you want to complete. Easy enough. Then, when you try to view the content, a pop-up window opens. You see a progress bar on the screen – a really slow-moving one. Eventually (90 seconds later?), the content displays on screen. Whew! You were starting to think something was broken.
As you’re working through the activity, you realize it’s time to pick up your kids from childcare. You look for an option that will save your spot so you can start again when you get home. You can’t find the option. Pretty soon, it dawns on you that you’ll have to reload the entire activity and go through every single screen again when you’re ready to finish the activity.
The horrible irony? The LMS does include a tool for saving your spot and picking up where you left off! It’s just really hard for users to find.
This kind of experience can make online CE feel like a chore. At worst, it can discourage learners from seeking CE online at all.
The good news is that the problem is avoidable. You just need an LMS built around your learner’s best experience.
By selecting a continuing education LMS that integrates all conceivable functions associated with activity completion – from activity selection to content access to assessments – you can say goodbye to slow, user-unfriendly experiences. What’s more, you can provide a learner-centered design that makes it easy to complete simple tasks.
You know, things like pausing an activity so you can restart it later.
Prioritize usability for your learners, and you won’t have to worry whether they know how to use the system. You can know for sure that they’re not going to struggle.
2. Technical hassles inhibit learners’ progress.
They can also make your day a whole lot more difficult. Ever had to spend an hour fielding support requests about something you didn’t know was a problem? Of course you have.
In a typical continuing education LMS, technical hassles can manifest in a variety of ways:
- Performance slowdowns due to server issues
- Poor usability resulting in questions about how to complete tasks
- Broken links or links leading to the wrong place
- Inexplicable error messages
- Feature malfunction due to buggy code
The list goes on and on. Every technical hassle makes it harder for learners to complete activities and, therefore, harder for them to learn. That’s not good.
What’s the solution? Be extremely studious when evaluating an LMS and an LMS provider! Specifically, you should be making sure the provider:
- Knows your industry and anticipates your unique concerns
- Tells you where your data is stored and how often it’s backed up
- Provides a quality service level agreement, or SLA
- Shows you every aspect of the system, so you gain an understanding of the administrator experience and the learner experience
- Lets you use the product on your own time. Sandbox accounts are one way to do this. What matters is that they’re not just showing you a scripted demo – they’re also letting you use the software for yourself.
- Offers complete transparency about the business process, including any onboarding or training that needs to be done.
3. Seamless integration increases efficiency and reduces frustration.
When it comes to CE software, there are two basic flavors of integration:
- Integration among CE processes
- Integration between CE software and other systems
If you use a typical continuing education LMS, you may be accustomed to so-so to sub-par performance on both fronts.
For example, maybe your LMS automatically processes credits following activity completion but there’s no immediate way for learners to download an updated certificate. This scenario is due to a lack of integration among processes. Being able to download a CE certificate might be important to your learners!
At the same time, you might use other software that connects to your LMS. Maybe you deliver content via a dedicated website and handle CE from another application. The two systems may or may not interface with one another. If they do, you might be hesitant to call the integration “seamless.”
Inadequate integration can frustrate your learners, and you don’t want that. The solution is to opt for an LMS that:
- Integrates all learner-driven processes, including self-service tasks, into a single experience, and
- Is flexible enough to integrate with any systems you’re obligated to keep using; your LMS provider should have experience integrating its platform with disparate enterprise systems and be capable of managing the build.
It all comes down to knowing what you want from your LMS… and doing your homework.
None of these LMS challenges need to bring your learners down. In fact, they don’t have to be challenges at all!
By knowing what to look for in a continuing education LMS – and rigorously vetting the vendor – you’ll know you’re getting a product that’s easy to use, virtually free from technical issues, fully integrated. You’ll spend a whole lot less time helping learners use you LMS.
And your learners will enjoy fewer distractions as they pursue their primary objective: learning.