Improve Learning Management System Courses with User Feedback

Improve Learning Management System Courses with User Feedback


Pamela S. Hogle


Customers love to contribute to improving products. Even better—engaging with them can deepen their loyalty. This applies to courses in your learning management system—and is true whether your learners are employees, channel partners or customers.

Asking for feedback on training content is unusual. And eLearning designers and developers who do include a survey with their training generally ask superficial questions about whether the learner "enjoyed" training—so much so that the surveys are often referred to as "smile sheets." This is a missed opportunity. Soliciting learner feedback and asking the right questions can drive improvements in existing courses—and spark the creation of new learning resources.

"Smile sheets" aren't enough

According to research from the eLearning Guild, more than 70% of organizations that solicit feedback on training stick to questions about learners' reactions to the training and ask whether learners think the training will prove useful. But, while positive results can be gratifying, these questions don't provide much insight.

Instead, learning managers can obtain meaningful survey results by seeking feedback on the actual content. One approach is to ask learners to identify specific elements of the course that were most—or least—useful. Providing a text box where learners explain their responses can offer valuable information on how to improve a course or offer deeper learning, such as creating new LMS courses or resources.

Harness those fault-finders

Some people have an infallible ability to identify an error at 20 paces. Those natural-born editors and fact-checkers are bound to be among your learners, especially in a professional association offering development courses to members, for example.

Customers and channel partners, common external learner groups, may become frustrated if they struggle to navigate a course or find that basic information they need is missing. Providing a way to send feedback and ask questions can instead enlist their help in improving course offerings and design.

Allowing learners to flag errors and suggest corrections or improvements does more than improve the training though. It gives learners a voice, a stake in the training, that can deepen their relationship with your organization. When learners see that you take their feedback seriously and act on it, they feel more invested in the training—and in your brand.

Analyze your results

Soliciting feedback and analyzing that input alongside quiz results and other learner data can be illuminating. The information learners provide can highlight problematic content, for example. Even if the content is technically accurate, if many learners find it confusing or unclear, a revision may be in order.

Improving the content might be as simple as revising a section or reworking a problematic quiz question. Or, feedback could point to a need for deeper content, such as additional courses, a curated resources section in your learning management system with optional content or an interactive activity that lets learners exercise their new knowledge. When the only people providing feedback are the subject matter experts and course designers who created a course, unclear or incomplete content is easy to overlook.

Reap the benefits

Feedback that leads to better training content in your learning management system courses is an obvious way to increase engagement and improve training outcomes. And there's another way corporations can win big: stronger relationships with customers and channel partners.

External learning "customers," whether they're consumers or business partners, feel more valued when the company asks for their input. Giving customers a voice in improving your products also increases their feelings of ownership, connection—and loyalty.

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