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January 13, 2012

Learning Management Practices that Sabotage Scalability

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Organizations that move from managing training manually using spreadsheets or pen and paper to using a learning management system (LMS) invariably see improved efficiency and cost savings. Thrilled with the gains achieved, these organizations often stop short of any further optimization. If the time needed to manage a specific learning program drops from 100 hours when managed manually to 25 hours managed using a learning management system, it's a cause for celebration. Few people subsequently wonder "what can I do to further reduce the time and effort required to administer these types of learning initiatives?" The result is that the organization rarely taps into the true power of their learning management system. Just as most of us use only a small subset of features found in office software suites, learning administrators work within their learning management system in inefficient ways that sabotage the scalability of their learning initiatives. Faced with the need to train a large number of learners in a short amount of time, they have no recourse than to add additional administrators. So how do you know if you're sabotaging the scalability of your learning initiative? Here are some red flags: OVERALL:
  • Your processes are focused on individual learners rather than groups of learners
  • Courses are treated as discrete events, rather than part of learning plans
REGISTRATION:
  • You're often registering individual learners manually
ENROLLMENT:
  • You’re manually enrolling learners into courses
  • When a learner completes a course, you need to manually enroll that learner into the next course
  • You’re enrolling learners into individual courses even when the course is part of a curriculum
  • Courses are treated as discrete objects rather than part of learning plans
COMMUNICATIONS:
  • You’re messaging individual learners one-by-one
  • You’re often using Outlook or other e-mail programs to communicate with learners
  • You’re sending out individual messages, instead of template-based e-mails
REPORTING:
  • You regularly need to repeat the same steps to create a meaningful report
  • You’re regularly creating reports and manually e-mailing them to people
  • Even though you’re using a LMS, you find yourself referring to reports you maintain outside of the system
CERTIFICATION:
  • You’re printing and mailing certificates
  • You’re manually keeping track of when individual certifications expire
  • You’re manually sending recertification reminders
NOTE: I'll be providing a Webinar on this topic on Wednesday, January 18 at 2 pm ET as part of HR.com's Technology Enabled Learning online conference.

How to Manage Large Scale Learning Initiatives Painlessly

This presentation will cover:
  • Why your learning initiative needs to be scalable
  • The costs of administering training
  • How to design a scalable learning initiative
  • Learning management practices that sabotage scalability
  • The most important LMS features to support large-scale learning programs
REGISTER HERE: How to Manage Large Scale Learning Initiatives Painlessly