learning management system
One size doesn’t fit all I
Presenting the dream learning platform that most L&D experts wish for
t’s based in the cloud, offers five-star reporting and learner support, calculates return on investment (ROI) better than anything currently on the market, and understands that the learning needs of one industry are unlikely to be the same as the learning needs of another. These are the top-line
specifications you get when 175 L&D experts assemble online to brainstorm the learning management system (LMS) dream machine they’ve always wished for. The perfect LMS blueprint is the result of a new collaborative research programme from REDTRAY. Launched in February this year, LMSwishList, promises to uncover the must-have features that L&D experts most want to see in tomorrow’s learning platforms. Over the past three months REDTRAY has used social media, direct
communications and good old low-tech word-of-mouth to reach out and gather insight from users of every major learning management system available on the market. So far, 175 training, development and HR experts have taken part in the programme, sharing their thoughts, opinions, frustrations and expectations online at lmswishlist.com
“The perfect LMS may not exist yet, but the new insights to come from the three month study brings its development a significant step closer,” explains REDTRAY managing director Vicky Jones. “The cross-industry collaboration we’ve witnessed for LMSwishList exceeds anything we’ve seen in LMS research and development previously. Over the past weeks learning experts from all parts of the corporate training industry have opted to share their thoughts and insights with us in more detail than we ever thought possible.”
We don’t all wish for the same thing She adds: “One of the criticisms often launched at providers to the L&D industry is that the learning management systems they create try to be all things to all people. They want to please all users all the time, but ultimately end up pleasing very few. Having sliced and diced the data that LMSwishList has delivered for us, it’s easy to see why this criticism sticks.” When asked to provide an overall satisfaction rating for the LMS they used
today, just two in 10 L&D experts scored their system at 70% or higher. Nearly eight in 10 LMS users are seemingly dissatisfied for essentially two reasons.
They are disappointed either because the things that their LMS claims to do falls short of expectations (functions like reporting, course management or online assessments are high on this agenda), or because it doesn’t do the things that they think a modern LMS should, like virtual classroom, social media or effective ROI calculations. The big story that LMSwishlist helps us tell, however, is that the key features
that L&D leaders expect from the platform they use can change dramatically from one business sector to the next. For instance, when L&D experts from government, public sector and defence outline the features they really want to see in the next LMS they procure, the features they list aren’t the same as those prioritised in sectors such as finance and legal or IT and telecoms.
Reaching for the cloud One thing that everyone in L&D does seem to agree on is how the LMS should be deployed. A cloud-based LMS is today’s most wanted option. If the learning leaders get what they wish for, more than half (55%) of all LMS will be in the cloud sometime soon.
Moving towards mobile When vendors look at mobile learning they see the fastest-growing business potential the industry has to offer, but it’s important to understand that procurers look at the same thing and see a learning delivery method that’s still some way from maturity.
When LMSwishList asked learning leaders to say how users access their LMS
today, more than half (52%) said that the PC wasn’t just the dominant point of access, it was the only point of access. So for the moment at least, mobile learning is not part of the learning mix at all for the majority of L&D departments, and it plays only a minority role in the companies that do use it.
Where mobile is part of the corporate learning mix, little more than 10% of all course content is accessed via a smartphone or a tablet. Smartphones and iPads are the devices most likely to be used by learners who access training on the go today. Less than 10% of L&D professionals say that any learning is accessed via ’alternative’ tablets such as the Blackberry PlayBook, Samsung Galaxy Tab or Motorola Xoom. This PC-dominated blend of access isn’t going to last long, though. When we ask learning leaders to predict how users were likely to connect with the LMS in three years’ time our landscape changes dramatically. By 2015 less than 1 in 10 expect the PC to be the solitary access point for
the company’s learning portfolio. For most of the people participating in our study, mobile is expected to play a significant, although still essentially complementary, role in the business of learning delivery.
The dominant thinking across the learning community participating in our
study is that, by 2015, about 70% of corporate learning will be acquired at the desktop over a PC, with the remaining 30% accessed over a mobile device. The mobile device used to access learning in 2015 is nearly twice as likely to be a tablet as a smartphone, according to our study group, but no significant preference (between iPad and other tablet devices) is yet apparent.
12 e.learning age may 2012
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