If there's one thing we love about learning, it's that there's always something new on the horizon.
New research brings new insights to your courses. New trends lead to new training methods, and new technology helps new starters on their way to a new career.
But all of these exciting changes come with a price: Your Learning Management System can't stay static forever.
Like any useful tool, it needs a little maintenance from time to time. And if you want your learning programmes to be as efficient, accessible, engaging, and successful as possible, you'll need to give your LMS a little TLC.
So we've put together a few quick tips to help you get started – to keep your LMS clean, smooth, and ready for the new year ahead.
1. Trim the fat
If you've been running your LMS for a few years, you've probably moved through several iterations of learning and training, adding new modules and replacing out-dated courses as you go.
But unless you've been especially diligent, you've probably got a few ancient bits of content knocking around – and they need to go.
It's not just about being neat and tidy. It's about removing any barriers that can get in the way of your users' learning experiences. When your list of available courses is clogged up with legacy content, it's harder for your learners to jump straight into the modules they need.
(Even worse: you might have out-dated mirror images of the important courses you're trying to push – which means your learners could waste their time learning irrelevant material!)
On top of that, you'll also need to think about cleansing your userbase.
People get promoted, change their roles, move to new departments, or leave the company entirely. And if you leave old user accounts and logins on your system, it's a potential security risk.
(And of course, it's not going to help you get accurate reports and statistics about your learning programmes when your system is full of ghost accounts!)
But don't get too trigger-happy. Depending on your industry and the type of course, your company might be required to keep its training records and users' data for a certain period of time. So while you definitely don't want old courses and old user data on your live LMS, you might still need to back them up safely somewhere else to stay compliant.
2. Keep your back-end up to date
Updating your core LMS should be a given. It means you'll have the most recent useful features and functions ready and available – and it also means you'll have all of the latest security updates and patches that you need to stay secure.
But things are a little more complicated than that.
If you're using third-party plugins to give your LMS some extra functionality, you'll need to try and keep those up to date, too. And unfortunately, not every plugin gets updates and support frequently enough to keep up with every new version of your LMS.
So at some point, you might have to make a difficult decision. If you need to update your LMS to a new release – but the plugins you use aren't supported by that release – you'll have to think carefully about just how essential those plugins are to your company's everyday learning.
3. Freshen up your content
If we're being honest, this part is probably going to be a lot of work.
Depending on the size of your company and the number of courses you have (and the state they're in!), trawling through your older courses to refresh and update them could feel like a whole new project in itself.
But if you're serious about your company's learners and their experience (and since you're here, we hope you are), then you know just how important it is to create the kind of learning content your audience deserves.
In particular, you should be looking out for any courses or content that aren't:
- Accurate – Especially after changes in legislation or industry conventions
- Engaging – Is your content rewarding, lively, and accessible (and is there room for some gamification?)
- Media-rich – Different people learn in different ways (think about videos, forums, podcasts, polls, and more)
- Concise – Do some of your courses drag on for longer than they should? Could any of them be broken down into manageable microlearning modules?
People change, and so do the trends and expectations of your learners. So if you want your LMS to stay engaging and successful in the new year, you need to eliminate weak links – and that means making sure every one of your courses stays relevant and useful for as long as possible.
Worried your LMS isn't up to scratch?
If these quick tips have got you thinking about the new year ahead, we'd call that a success.
But if you're not sure where to start, we've got a quick and simple solution:
Get an LMS Health Check from us here at Hubken.
We'll give you a detailed, independent review of your self-hosted Moodle or Totara Learn site, checking through the configuration and environment of your LMS, and picking up any common problems that your LMS might have.
So if you think your LMS might need a tune-up, just give us a shout and we'll show you what we can do.