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Posts Tagged ‘Learning content’

A Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up Your Learning Management System (Part 9)

June 7, 2012 1 comment

Break out the party hats and noise makers! The LMS we’ve been setting up throughout this series will now be going live. We’ve accomplished a lot so  far in this series: 

STEP 9: Add Learners

In some systems, your LMS will be “live” as soon learners are added to the system. Learners will be automatically informed of their login information as soon as their learner accounts are created. Also, the enrollment rules or automatic course assignments you’ve created in step eight may now be triggered, which will inform learners that they are now enrolled into courses.

If you’re risk averse, you may want to do a partial roll-out to just one group of learners to see how things unfold before going live with all learners. If you’re fearless, you may just want to go live for everyone.

There are four common ways to create learner accounts:

  • Integration with an HR system or other enterprise application. (See this document describing common ways learning management systems can be integrated with other applications.)
  • Learner self-registration
  • Import learner information contained within spreadsheets
  • Create individual learner accounts

Integration with an HR system is fast and efficient but will likely only create learner records for internal employees. You’ll still need to figure out how to get external learners into your system.

Learner self-registration can be a great option, but you need to ensure that you’re somehow capturing the identifying characteristics you’ll need, such as learner group, job title, etc. during registration. You’ll also need a way to ensure all the learners you need to serve have actually registered.

Importing learner data from spreadsheets can be an efficient way to get started. You’ll need to get access to the data and will need to make sure that the columns in your spreadsheets map to the learner record fields

Creating individual learner accounts isn’t an option for anything but the smallest learner initiatives. The time and effort is just too high.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up Your Learning Management System (Part 8)

June 5, 2012 3 comments

We’re very close to welcoming learners into your new learning management system. Completed so far in this series: 

STEP 8: Create Enrollment Rules or Course Assignments

In some learning management systems, you may need to first create learner accounts within the LMS and then assign learners to the appropriate content. In others, you can create rules related to access to content and course enrollment prior to the creation of learner accounts. So, depending on your system, this step may be step eight or step nine in setting up your LMS. For the sake of this post, we’ll assume we can create enrollment rules first and then create the learner records. The advantage of this approach is that learners will automatically have access to the relevant content the minute they are registered within the LMS. There will not be a delay between the time they are registered in the system and the time they receive notification that they have access to content.

Once again, the work you did on the content inventory document will make this step very easy. You’ve already identified who needs what content, and whether that content will be assigned to that group of learners or simply placed in a course catalog for the learner to select if they wish. You now simply need to create those assignments within the LMS.

Here are some examples of enrollment rules:

  • If learners belong to the group Internal > Sales, assign them to the course titled “Managing Accounts”
  • If the learners have the word manager in their job title, assign them to the curricula called “Management Certification”
  • If the learners are located in San Francisco, provide them with access to an instructor-led session titled “Team Building.”

Absorb LMS enrollment rules

A Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up Your Learning Management System (Part 7)

May 29, 2012 4 comments

By the time you complete this step in the process, you’ll be very close to making your new learning management system available to learners. So far in this series: 

STEP 7: Create Curricula/Learning Paths

If you’re only making individual courses available to learners, then you’ll be able to skip this step altogether. If, on the other hand, you plan to make curricula/learning paths available, you’ll need to create those course groupings.

Once again, the course inventory audit document you created in Step 3: Establish Who Needs What Contentwill make this step much easier. Simply looking down a user group column will identify the content each group requires. If it makes sense to you to bundle those courses into a curriculum, go ahead and do so.

In bundling courses into a curriculum/learning path, you’ll need to decide:

  • Do the courses need to be completed in a specific order
  • Do courses issue individual certificates or does the learner receive a certificate for completing a curriculum
  • Does the learner need to complete all the courses or only some courses in the curriculum

TIP:

If you have high-priority courses many learners will need to take, consider investing the time and effort into presenting this content in different formats. You could, for example, present the material through:

  • A self-paced online course
  • A virtual classroom session
  • A face-to-face session in a physical classroom

If your LMS supports course equivalency and the option to complete some, but not all the courses in a curriculum, your learners will appreciate the ability to take courses in the formats they prefer.

In the example below, the learner must take the course titled “Welcome” but can choose between a self-paced or a Webinar-based version of the course called “Safe Handling and Transportation.”


A Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up Your Learning Management System (Part 6)

May 23, 2012 5 comments

We’ve passed the mid-way mark in our structured approach to setting up a learning management system. So far, we’ve examined the following:

STEP 6: Import, Configure, and Test Content

If you have a large amount of content, this will be the most time-consuming part of your new LMS implementation. Being a strategic LMS super administrator, you realized the scope of the effort in `STEP 2: Perform a Content Inventory Audit’ and consequently may have created a number of course manager admin accounts in `STEP 4: Define Administrator Roles and Create Admin Accounts.’ So, you won’t need to tackle this alone.

If you don’t have a lot of existing content, you’ll of course work through this step fairly quickly.

In this step, you’ll:

  • Create within the LMS topic areas or categories for your content to match the topic areas you identified in your content inventory document
  • Import or create the relevant content within those categories
  • Configure the communication templates associated with your content. These messages and/or e-mails will be how the system informs learners of events. Templates may include:
    • Enrollment messages
    • Reminders
    • Completion messages

Depending on the features of your LMS and the specific requirements of your learning initiative, you’ll then need to configure your content. Here are some common settings you may need to adjust:

  • Images associated with course
  • Course prerequisites
  • Course expiration settings
  • Cost of the course if it will be sold and if your LMS contains e-commerce capabilities
  • Passing grades of exams
  • Education units issued by completing the course
  • Certificates issued upon successful completion of individual courses

Absorb LMS Course Certification Settings

TIPS:

If you have a very large amount of content, considering tackling the content associated with your highest priority learning requirements first. You can then proceed with the other steps in this document and go live with the most urgent content first. You can continue adding new content while learners are completing their high priority courses.

Broadband internet accounts are designed for fast downloading of information. Unfortunately, their upload speeds are much slower. The result is that downloading a 100 MB file video file may go quickly but uploading such a file can take longer. If you have a lot of content to upload, speak to your vendor about options. They may import the information for you or provide you with a way to batch upload a large number of files.

Do you have a many courses that are very similar? (A common course type we see is a video followed by an exam of some type.) If so, you might be able to create one course, configure its settings, make duplicates of it in within your LMS, and then replace the title, video, and exam. Another common example might be instructor-led courses. Duplicating a course and changing the title, date/time, venue, and instructor may save you time over creating each from scratch.