Overrated LMS features you don't need anymore

Choosing your LMS involves weighing up a long list of features. So, which ones aren’t worth your money?

Josh Devanny Chief Sales Officer

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An LMS (Learning Management System) will often be used by organisations to deliver formal training, track completions and produce reports. They make sure the right people have done the right training at the right time.

When you strip back most LMSs you'll find they have similar functionality, like content management, compliance, integrations and tight security. Sure, these features are essential to the effective running of any LMS, but you'll often find that they're supplemented by a range of features that have become traditional expectations without anyone really thinking them through. These features often result in overwhelming configurations, hours of unnecessary administration, and, most importantly, a dated way of learning.

Now, every organisation’s goals are different; these commonly overrated features might be essential to what you want to achieve. But let this serve as a reminder to take a closer look at what you’re paying for - and why you’re paying for it - when you choose a new learning platform.

1) Courses

Old school 45-minute ‘click next’ courses are a thing of the past. They’re time-consuming, dull, and quickly forgotten.

Instead, look to break down the information into individual concepts and bite-sized topics to answer specific questions and challenges your learners may have. 

Chopping up content into easily digestible chunks makes it easy for learners to revisit topics and boosts knowledge retention. Bite-sized topics can be stitched together into pathways, journeys, or associated with campaigns to give them real meaning and purpose. And a mixture of formats including animations, videos, infographics and PDFs help to keep the content engaging and fresh - all while mirroring how we learn outside the workplace.

2) eCommerce

Do you have plans to sell your courses and content online? Or are you simply looking for an LMS to engage and develop your own employees?

The vast majority of organisations will fall into the latter category, and while an eCommerce package will come with all the features to monetise and market your training library, if that’s not on your agenda, it’s a pointless addition - and a waste of resources. 

Pay-per-access eCommerce also necessitates ‘locked doors’ in the learner UX.

Imagine searching for something, finding what looks to be a useful resource, and then being sent away with the message, "you're not enrolled on this, so you can't access it".

On THRIVE we put our flag in the ground as being here for organisations first. If you can see it, it’s yours, making learning so much more accessible for your people.

3) AICC support

As you know, to track eLearning course completions and make sure training content is compatible with your learning platform, you need a set of standards. 

After its introduction almost 30 years ago, the AICC standard is one of the oldest options, and in truth, it shows.

The AICC standard’s reporting and tracking capabilities fall way short of its successors’. It’s complex to use and upload content to. And since the AICC committee disbanded in 2014, there’ll be no more updates or support available. 

That’s why most content providers and instructional designers are leaving AICC behind. But we’re still baffled to see it on so many RFPs (requests for proposals).  

THRIVE supports CMI5, SCORM 1.2, Rustici TinCan launcher and the ability to upload HTML packages for rich content - all of which render AICC redundant. 

Book a free demo to find out more about THRIVE’s functionality and best use cases today.

4) Forums

If forums are the primary place for your people to interact on the platform, alarm bells should be ringing. 

That’s because since forums rose to popularity in the mid-1990s, a whole host of other features have emerged which make entire platforms inherently social. 

The ability to upload, upvote, comment on and share content is a cornerstone of social learning.  Look for simple tools to create and interact with user generated content (UGC), connect your people, encourage more peer-to-peer learning, and make sure knowledge can be pulled from the experts in your organisation and freed from any silos.

By using THRIVE’s UGC capabilities to connect 1,000+ learners across 18 studios and 5 countries, Sumo Group achieved 77% user generated content and a whopping 91% engagement rate. 

Check out the full case study to find out how.

5) Certificates & Grades

Of course, people want recognition for something they’ve achieved. Of course, you should give it to them. But are printable certificates the most effective, engaging and environmentally friendly way of doing so?

In some industries, they’re still seen as a symbol of achievement and pride. If certificates motivate your learners, long may that continue (and please let us know, we’d love to see if this is still the case), but all too often they’re reduced to another tick, in another box.

Auto-generated certificates are soulless and dull. Printed certificates can be replaced by more meaningful alternatives, like a congratulatory gift, or recognition from a business leader. 

So, as the world around us becomes more and more digital, ask yourself: do your people place any value on certificates? Are they really going to be put on the fridge whilst working remotely? Are certificates really mandatory in your industry? Or would your time and budget be better spent on fresh content, exciting training initiatives and campaign ideas that will have a real impact on performance?

Most LMSs will also have a concept of course grades. An individual is given a grade for each assessment and module they complete, and this contributes to an overall course grade.

These grades are borderline impossible to manage - even in academia - and they make zero sense in a business scenario. Today, we see them being replaced by a new-age grading system: gamification. So, look for badges, points, skill levels, achievements and kudos features that let your people recognise, congratulate and thank each other. 

By gamifying learning and offering rewards, you’ll incentivise development and knowledge sharing among your people. Then, you’ll be reaping plenty of rewards of your own. 

What if the best LMS for you isn’t an LMS at all?

THRIVE provides collaborative learning experiences for your people, breaking down knowledge silos and creating digital communities of learning.

We shift the focus away from tick boxes to connection and performance, with user-generated content capabilities, personalised content suggestions, rich data and all the compliance tools you need to build a culture where learners are teachers and content creators too.

We took a closer look at the differences between an LMS and LXP in this blog. Before you choose one - or the other - it’s definitely worth a read, and if you’ve got any questions about how THRIVE can transform your learning culture, get your answers in a live demo here.

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