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Archive for April, 2010

LMS Final: The LMS as Social Media

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On April 23, 2010 NO COMMENTS

Social media is a big part of our lives, and it is the future of learning and development. The Internet and social media allow people to blog, tweet, collaborate, post video and content, discuss, and even rate experiences. Training and development should be ready to embrace these things and use them constructively as part of the learning framework. In fact, you may start to see a newer term in relation to Learning Management Systems: SLMS, or Social Learning Management System.

Depending on your vendor, new media features may be part of your LMS. Or, you may choose to create applications internally and apply them as part of the LMS. Some organizations may even make the learning open source, that is, part of Facebook or Twitter. However you incorporate social media, you should first and foremost create a culture that supports social media. In other words, get buy-in on the use of social media from stakeholders and audiences. And if you use it, find a way to both monitor information and measure its effectiveness.  Let’s discuss some social media interactions that you can incorporate into your  Social Learning Management System.

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LMS: Scheduling and Facilities Management

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On April 14, 2010 NO COMMENTS

When you bring your Learning Management System online, you can say goodbye to hand-written schedule books and inputting class lists in Outlook and Excel. Your LMS manages scheduling and facilities, and provides information and data that is easily accessible, just like reporting and tracking. Let’s look at how you can use the LMS to become efficient in scheduling and facilities management.

First, consider scheduling on the highest level, that is, scheduling classroom training. If your organization only uses a couple of rooms in one location, this may not seem like a great leap forward. But if your organization manages multiple training rooms in more than one location, the scheduling “arm” of an LMS can change the way you manage training and development. The LMS can most likely hold information about each of the training rooms, its equipment, its seating capacity, and even its classroom style, i.e. technical or soft skills / seminar. Anyone in the organization that has access to this feature can see the training room availability and plan accordingly.

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LMS: External Customer Service

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On April 5, 2010 NO COMMENTS

A Learning Management System can be a valuable tool for not only your internal customers, but also your external customers. Consider with whom your organization does business. Do you have clients or customers who purchase your products or services, such as machines, software, or business processes? Do you have suppliers, vendors, or contractors who need to be aware of how your organization does business? What about partner organizations? Do you share business or process with other organizations? All of these questions can help you determine who your external customers are-and how you can employ your LMS to help them.

First, let’s look at one of the more obvious LMS features when it comes to external customers: training delivery. Suppose you have new process initiatives, new products, or upgrades to existing products, like software. You can use your LMS to link customers directly to your training via notifications. In fact, why not set up curricula or course “cores” for your clients? This could be an excellent sales tool: consider the impact when the sales team can say, “and here’s your customized training plan for our products”. If your courses and data are set up correctly, your customers can manage their training just like you do via your LMS. And remember that you can also schedule training that may not be delivered via the LMS, such as Webinars or classroom training, via your LMS. Some organizations look at their customers as simply another learner group within the organization’s existing family. Why not carry this into the training and development function using an LMS?

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