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February 17, 2020

Why Your Enterprise LMS Needs a Content Audit

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We all have projects we never quite get to, whether it's the closet full of worn out shoes, the cluttered basement or the "My Pictures" folder that seems to contain every photo you've ever taken.

Here's one you shouldn't leave on your list for too long: Conduct an audit of your enterprise LMS content. If you've never done one, there's a good chance your enterprise LMS is hiding outdated material, broken links and irrelevant information. This can be especially problematic when it comes to compliance. Set yourself up for success by sticking to a regular maintenance schedule. It's not nearly as much work it as it sounds—just follow these steps.

Keep an inventory

Begin by establishing—and maintaining—a content inventory. Use a spreadsheet or database to list all your courses, eLearning modules and learning paths. If a course contains several documents and links, it's easiest to maintain your materials at the course level rather than each individual item. In your inventory, make note of the following:

  • Title
  • Type of content, e.g. instructor-led, eLearning or learning path
  • Content category, e.g. leadership, sales or call center
  • Notes on the nature of the content, e.g. contains documents or links, or is an eLearning module
  • Content creator, e.g. vendor or in-house creator
  • Content owner
  • Update frequency
  • Date of next update
  • Access statistics
  • Ratings from employees, if captured

This inventory will be your guide for managing ongoing maintenance, so ensure all custom course development gets entered into the log as it's uploaded to the LMS.

Identify content owners

Content owners are the people responsible for keeping courses up to date. They're typically subject matter experts or project managers collaborating with subject matter experts. When identifying content owners, it's best to name a specific person rather than a team or department. That way you'll always know who to go to when materials need to be updated.

Schedule routine sweeps

From the perspective of LMS administration, it's easiest if you establish a specific cadence for initiating and completing your content audits. For quarterly reviews, send a 30-day reminder to keep everyone on track to finish before the last day of the quarter. Sensitive and frequently changing content should have shorter review cycles, while evergreen content can be reviewed annually or semiannually.

Establish an audit protocol

Craft audit guidelines so reviewers know exactly what to evaluate. Items to consider for your protocol include:

  • Confirm that all links work properly—and that the content referenced is still relevant.
  • Review any examples used to determine if any need to be refreshed.
  • Look for copied sections or duplicates of policies and procedures, and double check alignment with current documentation.
  • Check branding and graphics to ensure they still comply with guidelines.
  • Verify that descriptions still align with the content.

Prioritize maintenance

There are two distinct components to maintaining LMS content: auditing the materials and ensuring they're kept up to date. Be sure to have a system in place for assigning and prioritizing these tasks. Sweeping maintenance under the rug will create a gargantuan project for you down the road. For the sake of your learning and development team's sanity—and your learners' experience—consider implementing a content audit today.

If you're looking to revitalize your organization's learning management system, connect with an Absorb LMS representative for a live demo.