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How to improve the learner experience with a data centric LMS approach

4 min reading time

Organisations that have chosen to empower their L&D initiatives with e-learning can expect to instantly deliver a better experience for their learners. That being said, L&D teams and e-learning users are continuously looking to make further improvements by utilising all the vast tools and features that e-learning platforms have to offer. One of the most recent trends within the e-learning industry is the adoption of a data centric approach to online learning using available features and tools in an LMS. Keep reading to find out how data-centric learning can improve the learning experience.


LMS analytics and data

One of the biggest benefits of using a modern learning management system (LMS) to deliver online training is the range of available analytics tools and reporting features. An LMS may have features such as in-course reporting tools or a custom report builder. With these tools, LMS admins can automatically create reports or gather data that will help them build a detailed picture of how an L&D programme is working and whether the learners are successful in their training.

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Data centric e-learning focuses on the use of data, gathered from LMS analytics and reporting tools, to develop and improve the learning experience. L&D teams can collect and analyse data from various sources across an LMS and use this data to adapt L&D programmes, lessons and overall strategy.

Let’s explore one example of how to apply data centric learning. An L&D admin may wish to review the effectiveness of a lesson and assess whether it can be improved. Without going through the time-consuming and unreliable process of speaking to each individual learner and asking for their opinion, they can simply use LMS reporting tools to gather evidence of a lesson’s effectiveness. Data such as lesson completion rates or time spent on a lesson by users will inform admins of the true impact and value of a lesson. If data is showing that the majority of learners are giving up on a lesson after several minutes, it may be that L&D teams need to adapt said lesson to increase engagement and enhance the learner experience.


How does data centric learning improve the learning experience?


Personalising the learning experience

To get the best out of each learner, organisations must first see the importance of moving away from generic learning programmes and embracing personalisation. Personalising the learning experience can drastically improve L&D outcomes and while creating a tailor-made strategy or programme for each learner can be a challenge, using LMS data can streamline and simplify this process.

LMS data can be analysed on an individual basis by gathering information on single user profiles. This data can serve as a window into areas such as sign-on rates, course completion rates and assessment results. Armed with this information, L&D teams will have full visibility over the learners who are excelling and those who need further guidance and training.

improving learner satisfaction with data centric learning

Using a data centric approach, learners can benefit from tailored learning plans – created by admins who have assessed data and adapted training accordingly. The learning experience can be personalised by looking at areas such as preferred subject matter or assessment types and adapting the lesson difficulty or recommended reading.


Increased engagement levels

77% of L&D professionals think that personalised learning is vital to employee engagement so if a data centric LMS approach leads to the personalisation of the learning experience, then organisations can expect to see higher engagement levels.

Additionally, admins can use reporting LMS data to analyse which courses or lessons are seeing low engagement levels or high engagement levels. This data can be used to improve the learner experience once again by adapting content according to current engagement levels. For example, if lessons with gamification elements are proving to be more popular than lessons with simple text, course creators or LMS admins may choose to adapt lessons with lower engagement levels by incorporating gamification elements.


A better understanding of knowledge retention

With traditional offline teaching methods, it can be challenging to identify whether learners are retaining the information they have been taught, with formal assessments serving as the key indicator. But organisations that choose to apply a data centric learning approach can benefit from immediate and regular insights into learner knowledge retention rates.

Using data gathered from LMS assessment results or lesson analytics L&D admins can easily identify learners who are not retaining information. This data can signify whether a learner is struggling to retain knowledge on an individual basis or whether knowledge retention rates are low for multiple learners. If several learners are failing end-of-course assessments on one course in particular, L&D admins may need to revisit content in order to improve the learning experience and ensure information is being delivered in the most effective and impactful way.

knowledge retention with e-learning

Using data focussed on knowledge retention, L&D admins can tackle learning deficits by assigning additional learning to users who are failing assessments or encourage online social learning by buddying them up with another learner who has had success in that particular topic area or with SMEs.


Using feedback data

Many organisations achieve higher levels of data centric learning by marrying a performance management system with their LMS. A system such as Totara Perform provides users with a full spectrum of performance management tools designed to aid processes such as annual reviews, and appraisals along with creating goal-based objectives, employee development plans and facilitating peer-based evaluations.

Using the data gathered from a performance management system, L&D teams can further improve the learner experience by identifying skills gaps and evaluating competencies and creating new goals and objectives using data gathered from evaluations. Additionally, feedback sessions driven by a performance management system will produce an audit trail – providing more data for learners and L&D admins to utilise.


Improved insights into learner satisfaction

LMS features such as forums or discussion boards are designed to provide learners with a platform where they can share knowledge and voice their opinion. And by using analytics tools to assess user input, these features can become a key part of a data centric learning strategy.

LMS data can be used to identify common topics of conversation amongst learners or top contributors. With this information, admins may look to add more content that users will enjoy based on what has been discussed, or single out top contributors and promote them to become an internal SME.


Putting a data centric learning strategy into practice

A data centric learning approach can have a transformative effect on your organisation’s L&D but can only be achieved with the right e-learning platform. Our LMS solutions boast powerful analytics and reporting tools that will provide your organisation with all the necessary information and data required to improve the learning experience for the better. Find out more about our product offerings here or get in touch with one of our e-learning experts today.


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