With a rapidly growing eLearning market, it’s easy to overlook advancements and new developments. Depending on how recently you have researched features and functions, you may be behind on what today’s LMS platforms can do. That means your training program may not be using the best tools available, putting you behind while your competition gets ahead.
The best LMS features for your business may vary. The level of depth required is based on your industry, goals, and the job roles you are training employees to fill.
That’s why it’s best to look at what you are using now and compare it to what features you could add to improve it. The following list will help you get started with 10 commonly overlooked LMS features that you may need right now.
- Centralized File Repository or Library
Many of today’s learning management systems include a central file repository. This may appear under different names, like a file library. It must be capable of supporting different file types, not just text documents. Learners, trainers, and employees should be able to explore audio files, tutorial videos, instruction docs, and anything else that is relevant.
The repository should be accessible by all within your organization. Some LMS platforms include permissions settings. You can ensure that base-level files are available to everyone while sensitive or higher-level content requires authorization to access.
Trainees and employees who can search a file repository will be better able to answer questions without wasting time asking others. It is also an easy way to quickly share information. When a coworker asks how to handle a task, a link to a tutorial video or list of instructions can be sent almost instantly.
- Collaboration Tools That Work Simultaneously
Collaboration tools increase the versatility of your LMS. These should allow trainers to work on courses together or trainees to participate in group projects or discussions. Look for a platform that allows users to work simultaneously. This will keep the process as flexible as possible for everyone, regardless of schedule.
Employees and trainees should be able to communicate easily and see what others have added at any time.
- Comments and Versions in Project Files
Comment features improve communication and provide information right where it’s needed. Look for an LMS that allows users to add comments and save versions of project files. Versioning helps protect against mistakes because it gives users an older version to revert to in case of a problem.
Versions also allow trainees and trainers to see what others have added to the project files. It can help solve problems when there is a question about mistakes or contributions.
- HTML5 Format for Simulations
HTML5 is the fifth major HTML version and is recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium. It does more of the work for you compared to previous versions. When recording lessons, HTML5 software can capture clicks that can be animated to show mouse movements.
It makes it possible to create a professional grade finished product for your training class. Mistakes and hesitations won’t show in the final simulation. You can also make changes in the future without re-creating the entire lesson.
Audio can be applied later in short clips layered on each step, which makes editing more streamlined and manageable.
Some platforms offer similar features using HTML4. This format works but doesn’t offer all the convenient features listed above. If you want the best for your training class, look for HTML5.
- Reusable Content with Smart Features
One of the biggest benefits of authoring online courses is the ability to reuse sections of content for other purposes. For example, multiple job roles may have some training crossover. Instead of making brand new content for the same topic for each course, you can create one module or segment and add it to each related class.
Newer LMS features make it even easier to reuse content in this way. Look for a platform that creates a content library that you can pull from any time. These should synchronize when changes are made.
It should also allow you to add content while giving you the freedom to edit the style, so it blends with the rest of a course or curriculum. All content should feel natural and seamless whether it was reused or not.
- An LMS with Accessibility Optimization
Make sure your online learning platform is accessibility optimized. That means it should meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which sometimes change.
The LMS you choose should follow best practices for accessibility. Accessibility authoring should be easy with convenient access to page templates and settings that meet WCAG. It should also be smart enough to let you know that your current content has accessibility problems, like missing captions, transcripts, or alt text.
- Offline Mobile Access That Syncs Later
Mobile learning has made training as flexible as it can be. Trainees can access courses and content from anywhere, anytime. They don’t have to be at the office to work through a class or submit an assignment.
For greater versatility, look for an eLearning platform that includes offline mobile access. This is usually an app that grants access to content and tools without an internet connection. Once the device reconnects, the app should automatically synchronize with the LMS so the learner’s progress and activity are added to their records.
Offline access makes it possible for employees who have limited internet access at home or those who are traveling to keep up with their training.
- Customized Reporting Tools
Analytics and reporting are common LMS features. Data helps us make better business decisions. Your LMS should take it one step further with custom settings. Your team should be able to define which training data they need, and the system should compile it for them.
Look for an LMS that also lets users set up automatic reports with custom filters and settings. The system can generate a report that has everything recipients need and will send it out to everyone who needs it without human intervention. This saves time and makes it easier to get the right information to the right people on schedule.
- Online Training Assessment Features
Online training assessments are a valuable asset for any business. Assessments tell you how training classes are performing. You can see who is retaining information and who may need more support.
A quality LMS will include a built-in assessment engine that makes building tests and quizzes faster and easier. You should be able to choose from different question types, like short answer, true/false, multiple choice, matching, and more.
Assessments also help learners know where they stand in their training. Find an LMS that lets you build assessments from scratch or with templates to save time.
- Certification and Compliance Management
Certification and compliance needs vary from one industry to the next. Having a workforce with certifications can give you a leg up on the competition. It can also help you avoid fines and penalties in situations where certification is required by the government or oversight organizations.
If your LMS doesn’t track certification, your trainers are likely wasting time. Find one that records course and test results, generates certificates, and keeps track of certification dates. Today’s platforms can send notifications or automatically enroll employees in refresher courses when it’s time to recertify.
Learn more about online training features at LMS.org. Read the blog or check out LMS reviews to find the right platform for your organization.