Every relationship passes through different stages from first meeting to real, lasting love. Your relationship with your organization's Learning Management System is no different. On this Valentine's Day, instead of plying you with sweet treats that may inspire a strong initial attraction that will fizzle out over time, we want to walk you through the 4 stages of truly falling in love with your LMS, and making sure your learners do the same.
Stage One: Falling in Love
For many people, love begins with lust. Think of "love at first sight", where you are sitting in the conference room watching a series of LMS demos during your RFP process, and one comes along with a user interface that is just so "pretty" that it catches your eye, and you have just fallen in love at first sight. For some others, they see past the shallow depths of the pretty interface, and are mesmerized by the intelligence and ingenuity of the inner working of the LMS platform as they watch different workflows unfold and they get to know the capabilities of the new LMS.
Falling in love is a wonderful process. Whether you have been looking for the "right one" for some time, or whether you have a chance meeting at an industry expo hall that changes your perspective, the initial stage of falling in love is the same for many people. We project all our hopes and dreams on our significant other, imagining and hoping that they will fulfill our desires. In the case of your LMS, this is where your wishlist of features and requirements forms the basis of both your search and your initial impression of the new system.
“After the comprehensive RFP process, we found that WBT Systems offered a flexible product that could be implemented within our timeline and had the best combination of what we were looking for. We were shown an impressive demo of TopClass working in sync with Personify and it had a professional look and feel that blew the competition away.”
American Institute of Chemical Engineers
For your learners, the first meeting with the LMS can determine how easily they fall in love. As the matchmaker, you need to guarantee that you make this process easy for them. If they are used to logging into your website to access learning resources, ensure that they can make use of Single-Sign-On so that they only have to remember one username and password. Make use of customized branding for the LMS so that learners are comfortable and in familiar surroundings as they get to know the new system. their first visit to the LMS may resemble a speed-dating event, where you have seconds to make a good impression, so make sure to feature interesting and useful content and news that will attract their attention and entice them back to learn more. Hopefully in this way, you can ease the transition from first meeting to ignite a spark...
“Our members appreciate having a single login for all our systems, and the look and feel is far more modern than our previous LMS.”
Australasian Society for Ultrasound in Medicine
Stage Two: Becoming a Trusted Partner
This stage of falling in love is where we begin to learn more about our LMS, where it begins to fulfill our hopes and expectations and our love and respect for it deepens. It becomes a trusted partner with a shared goal of providing a supportive and enjoyable learning experience for our members as they embark on their journey of professional growth and development.
Most likely we are moving through the phases of implementation and the first months after launching the new system now. We begin to learn more about the LMS' capabilities and together work to face and overcome challenges of providing instruction to our learners. We begin introducing the LMS to our extended family and friends (our technology ecosystem), and making sure it fits in with our most important connections (integrating the LMS to our CRM, AMS, or ERP system). As the LMS gains greater acceptance and we become more familiar with its capabilities, our love for it deepens into a productive partnership.
“Every aspect of the TopClass implementation has been flawless. It has been the most effective and straightforward technology transition we have ever experienced. Our LMS now does what we want it to do and we have more control over our learning environment. We are finally happy with our LMS.”
NEA Member Benefits
For your learners, this is where their experience of interacting with the LMS becomes more important that it's initial looks. You want to provide an intuitive, easy-to-use experience, so make sure that the LMS is designed for easy navigation, with a course catalog that is easily filtered and searchable. With a secure and robust integration with your other systems, the LMS should 'get to know' each learner individually and personalize their experience to show relevant resources for their learning needs. Build in support for learners as they explore what the LMS has to offer with catalog or eCommerce recommendations - for example, 'if you purchase this course, you might want to check out this', or 'if you are on this certification path your next required module is this'. Ensure it can track their complete learning history and help to manage the certification process, so that it becomes a reliable resource to turn to.
Stage Three: Disillusionment
Unfortunately, every relationship hits a rough patch from time-to-time. As familiarity grows, our interactions become a little more routine, and we wonder where the excitement and spontaneity has gone from our relationship. We realize that we don't know everything about our partner, our LMS, and the little quirks that we discounted at the start of our relationship become niggling doubts. We question whether it is time to look for something new, or to try to work things out for the sake of the investment we have made in the relationship so far.
At this stage, some couples turn to professionals for counseling and advice. Often, professional services can help you to see things in a new light or provide some guidance to help you to understand each other better. You might even work through some of those issues with your LMS that have been 'bugging' you with the help of your support manager to help you find a resolution that restores your faith in each other.
“One of the key advantages of using TopClass over our previous open source LMS was the excellent support we've received. The WBT Systems support team have been great - knowledgeable and responsive.”
Australasian Society for Ultrasound in Medicine
For your learners, when disillusionment sets in you might try to spice things up in the relationship, to reignite a spark of attraction which will hopefully spur them to re-engage with your LMS. You might try to woo them back with new content, but don't just rely on the LMS equivalent of a cheap bouquet of flowers from the local gas station, the price discount. While this may result in a willingness to reengage in the short-term, unless your LMS can take this initial spark of attraction and truly show the ability to grow and develop with them as the relationship matures, your learners may not stick around. A better option might be to commit to change and try something new together. Introducing a new feature like digital badges might just spark enough interest for learners to re-engage, and then they can share in the rewards of a fruitful partnership as the LMS provides motivation and support to deepen the relationship as they get more involved.
Stage Four: Creating Real, Lasting Love
There’s nothing more satisfying than being with a partner who sees you and loves you for who you are. After confronting the issues that were causing our unhappiness, we can better understand and accept our LMS partner, and we now know how to work together to resolve future issues. As the relationship develops and we create a real, lasting love for our LMS, we will develop a rhythm of familiarity with each other, being a constant and reliable source of support, which makes day-to-day life easier both for us and our learners. Together, we can create a better learning environment for our learners, ensuring their needs are met and that they are happy members of our partnership.
“The success of TopClass LMS is most evident in the significantly reduced number of customer issues. With over 500 AIChE professional and student members actively interacting in the LMS every day, there is less than one user issue per day. TopClass has made our lives and our users lives much easier.”
American Institute of Chemical Engineers
Have you found real love with your LMS?
If you cannot work through the issues in your current LMS relationship and really think it is time to seek out something new that will fulfill your heart's desire and build the foundation for a long and lasting learning partnership, let us set you up on a first date with TopClass LMS by requesting a demo today.