Home > Absorb LMS, Best Practices, Features > The Most Important Learning Management System Features to Support Instructor-Led Courses

The Most Important Learning Management System Features to Support Instructor-Led Courses

June 20, 2013

Richard Nantel, Vice President, Enterprise Learning Solutions, Blatant Media | Absorb LMS

In many organizations, workplace learning consists of getting people into a room to listen to an instructor. If the workforce is distributed, the room used may be virtual instead of physical, and the donuts served may be imaginary instead of real.

When these organizations become fed up with the effort of trying to manage their learning initiatives using pen and paper, spreadsheets, and various stone-age tools, they acquire a learning management system. The smartest of these organizations don’t then abandon instructor-led learning, but rather aim to provide learners with quality content in many different formats and learning modalities:

Absorb LMS Curriculum showing the choice of different learning modalities

In evaluating learning management systems, you should consider the ability of the LMS to support instructor-led events even if you presently think you’ll only be serving self-paced courses to your learners. Your needs over time may change. (Just ask anyone who’s ever paid to have a tattoo removed.)

Here’s a list of LMS features required to manage instructor-led events:

  • Instructor-led courses can take place in a physical or virtual classroom
  • Instructor-led courses can issue certificates as well as educational units, credits, or points
  • Instructor-led courses can be configured to have prerequisites
  • Instructor-led courses can be part of a blended learning curriculum
  • Instructor-led courses can have multiple sessions
  • Instructor-led courses can have sessions that automatically repeat daily, weekly, etc.
  • Instructor-led courses can have sessions that start and end on specific dates

Absorb LMS-Scheduling of an instructor-led session

  • Enrolment into instructor-led sessions can be restricted to specific groups of learners based on any criteria (location, business function, role, etc.)
  • Instructor-led course sessions can be configured to require approval from an administrator or instructor before a learner is fully enrolled
  • The system manages venues, including maximum seating for each room
  • The system manages wait lists
  • Learners on a wait list are automatically notified if a seat becomes available

Absorb LMS- ILT Enrollment

  • The system is smart enough to uncover conflicts, where an instructor or venue is booked for two different events at the same time
  • The system provides a way for learners and instructors to add course sessions to their personal calendars (Outlook, etc.)
  • The system provides a calendar-view of sessions to learners, instructors, and administrators
  • Resources such as study guides and other supporting materials can be attached to instructor-led courses
  • The system can provide instructors with teaching materials associated with their classes
  • The system provides an easy way for instructors to take attendance, ideally using a mobile device such as a phone or tablet
  • Learner performance in an instructor-led course can be graded by an instructor
  • Students are automatically notified if a change is made to the scheduling of an instructor-led courses
  • The system provides learners with clear e-mail communication regarding enrolment, session reminders, and course completion
  • Instructor-led courses can be branded with images so that they appear distinct from other learning content in the system
  • The system has an easy way to provide learners with course evaluation surveys (Kirkpatrick level 1) once they’ve completed an instructor-led course

Have I missed anything? Please add them to the comments section of this post.

  1. Steve Hadlock
    June 20, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    The system provides quick method for administrators to add, cancel and switch participant enrollments.

    • Richard Nantel
      June 20, 2013 at 9:10 pm

      Thanks Steve. Excellent suggestion.

  2. June 23, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Hi Richard – I am thrilled to see your suggestion to focus on a sound course evaluation tool. Far too many times, institutions are left with a less than adequate process for a robust course evaluation system. I enjoyed your article and the remainder of the LMS information as well. Great work!

    Doc Champagne (The Evaluation Guy)

  3. Maria McElroy
    June 27, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    Richard, lots of questions …

    It would be great to know if the attendance tracking tool can keep signature images, preferably with a time stamp … or if this is a feature you might add in the future. We have a number of compliance courses for which from time-to-time we are required to pull reports with signatures … and at present, we pull separate e-reports (different vendor) and separate physical sign-in sheets. Can Absorb track signatures?

    Can Absorb identify whether a training participant receives partial or full credit for an instructor-led course (or none)? Sometimes we will have someone show up who signed in, but for personal or work reasons steps away … and who should not receive full or any credit for the course.

    Also, would like to know if Absorb can make certain courses required (i.e. a basic performance management plan) for individuals and / or groups.

  4. August 31, 2014 at 11:59 pm

    Hi Richard,

    I am a web developer who intends to create an international learning system that is Resource based (I.e a college based on it`s Library) and teaches subjects like economics, politics, health, religion and other academic subjects whose secondary object is also to help other vendors sells stuff (eg. vitamins). My intended number of users is 7.5 billion (LOL). Well, why not; the Net can go to everyone (I intend to outdo Facebook.) So I have a lot of questions. First my system–there is a small prototype out now–is a fully integrated system. Can you integrate your LMS system into my fully integrated system. Can you deal with perhaps a cloud-based system where resources–courses, books, etc–are all over the NET. And talking about making sure venues are filled or not, can your site deal with multiple venues that are managed by multiple people–that is can administrators communicate with each other to: 1) find venues that are open; or 2) to make sure some venues are not double booked. What about security in a cloud system Well, there are a millions other questions. But I know you are one of the top companies in your field and that you are great at integrations.


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