How to Measure the Effectiveness of your Learning Management System

An animated diagram of The mobile platform of Enabley

Training is an investment in your organization’s success. Training analytics protect that investment and allow you to measure the effectiveness of the training. They also enable finding areas for improvement, and ensuring you reach your business objectives. But how to measure the effectiveness of your training? Strategies and tools, like Learning Management Software, should be in place to help understand if your current platform is worth the investment. Content should be grouped logically, labels in the LMS are valuable, and users can find related topics easily.  

Run an LMS evaluation early and often to determine if it still suits your online training needs. 

One of the points to consider is upcoming market trends. These trends might create a challenge in keeping your employees trained accordingly. In the world of rapidly changing information and training requirements, your organization needs to be prepared for the challenges of the future. Additionally, by working more online, your LMS becomes a vital tool to reduce expenses associated with traditional training methods. So to measure the effectiveness of your learning is crucial. 

Another challenge for organizations is that an LMS is often only used for a subset of learning programs. Consequently, it is difficult to have a holistic view of learning programs throughout the organization.   

So, when it comes to LMS, “success” means different things to different organizations.  

Are you looking to boost learner engagement? Reach that all-important 100% compliance target? Or maybe you are looking beyond the LMS, and striving for a particular business metric, such as increased sales, better customer ratings, or more repeat business? A measure of effectiveness in your learning management system will be a good indication if things are going in the right direction.

Here are some standard LMS KPI’s according to Kirkpatrick model – LMS & training evaluation

  • Utilization: How much of the content is being consumed and by whom? 
  • Completion percentage: Do learners complete the courses or drop out part of the way through? 
  • Evaluation: Do learners rate the courses as engaging, interesting or useful? 
  • Time spent: How much time do users, departments or the organization spend on learning through the LMS? 
  • Learning – how does your learning content contribute to the acquisition of new knowledge, skills, behaviors and confidence? 
  • Impact – is your content having the desired effect? 
  • ROI – for every additional $X spent on your LMS; learning has increased by Y%. 

As we can see, choosing the right LMS is NOT an easy task; but there are some ways to research what you want to achieve and to measure the effectiveness of your learning.

Here are some useful tips before choosing your best fit LMS: –

  • Make sure it knows how to identify common sticking points – Online training courses are largely self-directed. Even though online training takes place in the LMS, corporate learners chart their own path and study at their own pace. It’s therefore easy for a supervisor to gauge the average rate of study, and measure the effectiveness. Using ENABLEY, easily identify if a particular learner is indicating some difficulty, or if multiple learners are, which may mean that the section requires revision. The idea is that the LMS is working for you and highlights those areas for attention in your organization.
  • Evaluate the Before and After – important! – Success lies in moving from the unknown to the known. Start and end each section with a question; They could be open-ended or more structured, but they should be content-related. At the end of the content, retest learners to see what they know now that they did not know before. From the instructional perspective, this gives a good measure of the effectiveness of learning and of what parts of the online training course achieve their goals or which may need revising. Are they enjoying the learning experience? It is about your users, their interactions with your LMS and whether it becomes part of their ongoing development. 
Note: Conduct an evaluation workshop with your system admins, as they can give you an inside scoop of User Experience. They have worked extensively with the system and thus, can help you assess user interface, accessibility, and usability of the platform. Evaluations can also help you discover some user pain points, such as navigation issues, that could interrupt the workflow.
  • Notice New Habits – Online training allows you to monitor your employees’ learning patterns.  For well-designed training schedules, your LMS collects data at every step. This offers terabytes of gold that you can sift through to draw all kinds of conclusions. A good way to measure online training effectiveness is to follow up with real-world activities that test the practical application. Use the LMS to deploy online training simulations and branching scenarios that test how well corporate learners apply their newfound skills or knowledge. 
  • Reports, Reports & Reports – Reports give the best indication of whether the platform is worth the investment. By using the LMS reports, you can uncover hidden issues or discover training treasures. Before choosing a LMS, don’t forget to check the reports & insights that you can gain. To check any anomalies in training patterns, you can conduct observations and surveys through different usability tests. Obviously, if your users’ knowledge retention and employee engagement are poor, you won’t be able to accomplish your goals. Through the reporting and analytics sections in your LMS, the administrators have instant access to the survey feedback, giving them an exact picture of the personal experience of each employee. Over time, as people learn more and apply their new skills and knowledge in the workplace, you should see the number and level of competencies in your organization grow. Ideally, your analytics will show that when LMS usage increases, so does competence levels. 
  • Measure Customer loyalty & satisfaction – Measure the learning itself, rather than the system. When employees receive successful online training content, they gain better all-round and customer relations skills. With these skills, they assist customers to make favorable buying decisions by provide them with appropriate service and knowledge. To find out if your LMS is really worth your investment, measure customer satisfaction and loyalty before and after every training course. A continued increase in these two factors indicates favorable ROI. 

So in summary….

An effective LMS isn’t just about disseminating information. Good Instructional designers take a step further to ensure their learners have benefited from their time in the online training course. Since the ‘classroom’ is a virtual setting, there are hundreds of tools to confirm this, but we think the best is to do a little quiz before and after each online training to compare knowledge retention rates. Ask specific questions about what the employees have learned, and how the online training courses helped them. Then, watch and monitor to see if they’re doing anything differently following the training. Finally, assess the effect of these changes on profit margins. 

Let’s be honest, the best time to start measuring the success of your LMS is yesterday, but if you forgot it’s RIGHT NOW! Whether you’re thinking about a new LMS or reflecting on the success of your established system, NOW is the time to decide what to measure, how and when to measure it and what your measurable goals will look like. It is only through measurement that you can prove that your LMS is a success, not just for the learning team, but for the whole organization. 

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