There are many techniques to ensure the successful adoption of an LMS into the workplace. One of those that I heavily advocate is to educate influential people and key stakeholders within the business, on the benefits and capabilities of the LMS, via a short workshop.
As experts in our field, we know the capabilities of e-learning and our LMS. It is easy to forget that often, our colleagues don't.
When I recently launched an LMS into a global organisation with thousands of employees, one of the most effective strategies for ensuring other employees took ownership of the system and promoted it within their network was to invite them to a short workshop.
During the workshop, we ran through some of the benefits of the LMS of which they may not have been previously aware.
With some simple guidance, you can promote the system and build a team of e-learning champions within the business who will promote e-learning on your behalf.
Will this work for me?
This does not only apply to those of you who are launching an LMS for the first time. You may have an existing LMS with which you are not seeing as much engagement as expected.
This type of workshop can be great to kickstart a failing programme.
And remember – the key to this is value. Demonstrate how the LMS will be valuable to their staff and colleagues, and they will be naturally more proactive in promoting the programme.
What to teach in your workshop
Below are some items that you could include in a workshop:
1. Case Study
People love a success story. A great way to get started and really engage the audience is to deliver an example of where the LMS has been successful.
Maybe you can talk about a course that has been delivered that saw excellent engagement, followed by a measurable change in outcome?
Pick out some of the key things that changed within the business. This will immediately demonstrate the value of the programme and start sowing the seeds for your audience... "if this LMS has been successful for others, how could it be useful to help me?"
2. System Overview
If you are the Training or E-learning Manager at your company, you have undoubtedly spent many weeks buried in your e-learning platform.
Remember - your colleagues won't be as familiar with the system as you.
In fact, some of them may have only logged in once or twice.
Whether they have done so or not is actually irrelevant - a great way to start this training is to provide a brief overview of the system. Explain the main benefits of the platform for the learners and the capabilities of the system – there are bound to be some features they are not familiar with.
In our workshops, we highlighted the following:
- The difference between courses and resources
Courses can be tracked i.e. we can see who has looked at each course, how much time it took them to finish the course, which questions they answered correctly and incorrectly etc.
Whereas resources can be downloaded - many of our customers were working in remote locations and therefore providing off-line access to certain content was a huge benefit.
- Hosting a variety of different content
Content is content, there are no rules for what can can't be delivered via platform (I should add a disclaimer here that obviously the content must be beneficial to the learner! We want to avoid checking any old content up there for the sake of it).
- Social features
With most LMS, we're starting to see more and more social features being added. While some of these can be viewed as 'nice to have' rather than fundamental, demonstrating the benefits to these features will help your colleagues get excited about the system.
Pick the top three, and focus on those. It may be the ability to discuss content with other learners who are doing the same course, it may be the ability to ask an expert questions etc.
A common misconception held by those who do not work in the training field is that creating content for an LMS is a slow, long-winded process. This may be because much of the content on the platform is customised, bespoke content, or maybe people just aren't aware that there are many e-learning courses available on the market.
It is our job as learning professionals to educate our colleagues, especially in regard to off-the-shelf courses.
You can demo websites such as Coursera, and explain that e-learning content does not have to be created from scratch.
If they find courses online that are suitable for their audience and that will overcome a problem that they are currently facing, you can discuss options and deliver that course via your platform.
Remember, unless you work in e-learning, it is unlikely that you will understand the difference between an e-learning course and an LMS. It is our job to educate people on this simple concept.
Some of the titles currently available on these off-the-shelf course websites include:
- Project management training
- Sales training
- Software training
- Customer service training
- Soft skills training
- Productivity training
Give your colleague the links to these course libraries so they can go and do some research themselves. Explain that whilst you do not have an unlimited budget for training, if they have budget, why not invest in online content that you can deliver via your LMS?
4. Manager dashboard
Reporting is an extremely unsexy area of LMS, however manipulating the data captured by an LMS and delivering relevant reports to key stakeholders is possibly the most powerful aspect of using a modern day LMS.
Yet I regularly see companies who do not harness a fraction of the reporting capabilities because they are not aware of the functionality that exists.
So providing some basic training on how to manipulate the data into a meaningful report can go a long way with your colleagues.
By providing a quick demo of how you can create and manage reports, you are saving your colleagues a lot of hassle and something they probably won’t get around to doing themselves.
5. Encourage competition
Assuming your LMS has some form of gamification functionality, you can provide some basic guidance on how these strategies can be used to encourage learners to engage with more training.
For example, you can suggest they offer rewards for those who have undertaken a large amount of training or completed specific courses, or encourage the use of leaderboards to promote healthy competition between peers.
Whilst this list is definitely not exhaustive, it should give you some ideas of what you can include in these types of educational workshops.
Have you run a workshop like this before? Is there anything else we should to add to our list?
If you want to learn more tips for promoting the use of an LMS at your organisation, don't miss out on this free crash course that will help your increase user adoption and improve engagement.