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

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.