Making Your LMS Earn Its Keep
Often organisation’s learning management system or LMS is ‘one size fits all’. It’s part of a larger HR system and has limited features and functionality. Alternatively, organisations fund multiple LMS’s to cater for all their requirements. These solutions restrict how you can expand the services of your LMS to other parts of your organisation or outside your organisation and also limits the potential of learning capability impacting overall company performance.
Do these requirements sound familiar:
- Learning groups such as multiple teams within the organisation that each have their own distinct learning activities and business rules
- The need to provide training to external contractors for compliance requirements
- Clients that you provide training to as a ‘value add’ or even sell your training to
- Pre-employment and on-boarding activities
From a learning management system perspective these examples require the following solution:
- Different business rules are required, for example approval is required for training internal employees but is not needed for external contractors
- Different branding may be required for different divisions within the organisation
- Different learning activities may be targeted to different groups of learners
- Training is managed by different departments within the organisation
- Managers and clients require reporting for their own teams reports as well as the organisation
- Managers and clients only have access to the data of their team or employees
- External organisations are outside the companies IT infrastructure
This type of solution is known as an ‘extended enterprise’ learning platform. Traditionally these groups of learners may have been excluded from an implementation, by including them, you are making your learning platform earn its keep which is rewarding to the L&D Team and can also generate revenue for your organisation.
Birch Learning Platform is an LMS, LXP, LRS all in one. In Birch we call these groups ‘communities’. A community is the top-level category for grouping users. Birch supports multiple communities within one instance or subscription licence. Each community can have different colours, navigation, course catalogues, learning paths and business rules. Let’s explore this by looking at three typical scenarios.
Scenario 1 – Internal Employees
This is traditionally what your LMS has been implemented for. Clients may require job roles to have their own learning paths based on their job roles, a skill/capability framework, and a self service facility that allows learners to register into courses with or without approval workflow. It may also allow employees to request external training and add their own personal achievements such as licenses or other qualifications.
To achieve this in Birch, some features could be:
- A community with corporate branding
- Secure single sign from corporate intranet
- Dashboards display Goals created for each job role’s learning path
- Goals have rules to release each learning element as previous ones are completed
- Goals with a variety of learning experiences for the learner to complete – for example videos, on the job assessment, reading documents, eLearning content etc.
- New Refresher Goal appears after a certain amount of time after completion of initial learning
- Manager Dashboard reflects team performance against organisations performance
- Event calendar with upcoming learning opportunities for learners to register into
- Manager approval on new learning registrations
- Learners add own external achievements
Scenario 2 – External Contractors
The external contractor scenario is common in a number of organisations. For an external contractor to commence work, they usually have to complete some form of induction such as Workplace Health and Safety training or other information that may be pertinent to the organisation and site. This may be required from a compliance point of view.
Some features you would use in Birch for this scenario are::
- A new community separated from the employees and branded differently
- Dashboard that reflects external contractor goals versus internal employee goals
- The inclusion of a self-account creation form with a defined URL and defined rules
- A feature to make the account automatically inactive after a certain period of time
An external contractor can create their own account within Birch via the URL provided, log into Birch, complete their induction and if successful, print off a completion certificate to hand to the site representative upon commencement. Optionally you may have them upload their various licenses if required.
All this could be done prior to commencement, saving work time and improving the efficiency of the on-boarding process.
Scenario 3 – Your Clients
Your organisation may have some great eLearning resources you have developed. Why not make these available for your clients? This could be a great ‘value-add’ for your clients, or you may even wish to turn this into another revenue stream with your clients.
For example where you have product knowledge eLearning modules for your sales force, why not make them available for your clients? Not only would you be providing online content to upskill their staff, you would also be providing them with a portal that allows them to report and track those learning activities. In addition you are building a stronger relationship with your client.
A new community for clients is created in Birch that could have the following rules::
- Branding based on your client’s website
- Dashboard that reflects your client’s context
- Accept secure online payments
- Reporting for clients on their employees