The world is full of myths! There’s that famous space myth that the Great Wall of China is the one man-made object visible from the moon. As exciting as it sounds, this one has been dispelled by NASA as a misconception. Then there’s another one that says that ‘bats are blind’, which has even led to the famous simile: as blind as a bat. Contrary to popular belief though, research shows that bats are certainly not blind and depending upon circumstances use either sound or eyesight when hunting.
Just like the world is full of myths and legends, the world of eLearning too is no exception. In this post, we take a look at some of the more famous myths in the eLearning space, particularly that of the learning platforms, that need to be taken with a pinch of salt.
#Myth 1: An LMS can work as a standalone entity.
An LMS is not a standalone entity. Not anymore at least!) In today’s digital world, most systems perform the best when they are pitched together to work in collaboration, and it’s no different for an LMS too. While an LMS can function well by itself, its value goes up tremendously if it’s integrated with other systems. Integrating and creating a network of systems that can communicate well with each other (by exchanging data automatically) also brings down admin overload by automating tedious and time-consuming manual tasks. LMS Integrations, through APIs or directly, can be at different levels including Content (with Off-The-Shelf Courses or other online content marketplaces), Users (single sign-on functionality) and Data (with HR, Sales, CRM or Marketing systems). Here’s everything you need to know about LMS Integrations.
#Myth 2: It is enough for an LMS to have a Responsive Interface.
It’s a mobile world all the way! As the global mobile workforce is set to increase from 1.45 billion in 2016 to 1.87 billion in 2022, accounting for 42.5% of the global workforce (source: Strategy Analytics’ report), there is, of course, no denying the importance of ‘mobile’. While a Responsive Interface is a must considering that today’s workforce uses eclectic mobile devices and such an interface helps users access the learning module on any device without any loss of information or tracking, it is not the be all and end all. Mobile Apps are equally important because they leverage the various affordances of mobile devices to offer a rich User Experience and efficiency. Mobile Apps are also ideal tools to provide good Just-in-time (JLT) learning support to staff members. Further, Mobile Apps can function without Internet connectivity because content can be downloaded onto the apps (when connectivity is available) and can be accessed anywhere, anytime, even when the device is not connected. This works especially for employees like salespersons and service technicians who often travel to places with no or poor Internet connectivity.
#Myth 3: An LMS can work well only for Online Training.
Learning, today, in the real sense, is all about anytime, anywhere accessibility and as such can no longer be limited to Online delivery alone. Moreover, LMSs have proved that learning is not affected by the presence (or rather absence) of Internet connectivity. Offline Learning allows learners to engage in self-paced learning at their own convenience. The Offline Learning feature in an LMS also ensures that the process of learning is easier since learners do not have to travel for training which means lower dropout rates and better ROI.
Besides supporting Instructor Led Training (ILT) – by maintaining online records and replacing our archaic paper-based systems, Virtual Classroom-based Training, or a blend of all these, an LMS also promotes Social Learning (learning through peers, juniors or seniors outside of the “formal” boundaries) that increases learning efficiency to a great extent. This type of Informal Learning can be enabled through creating discussion groups, enabling user generated content, integrating with social networks etc. Bottomline: The modern-day LMS is a comprehensive package that accommodates and encourages all kinds of learning and is no more restricted to online training.
#Myth 4: A SaaS LMS is just a hype and will eventually die down.
SaaS is here to stay! Choosing a SaaS LMS or a cloud-based Learning Management System over a hosted solution has several perks and paybacks. A SaaS LMS does not involve too much development cost because all you have to do is choose the LMS and get signed up. Also, while a hosted LMS takes a long time to get ready, with a cloud-based LMS, you can have instant deployability. Moreover, a SaaS LMS ensures that everything you require is right in one place and the convenience is huge. So, a SaaS LMS is not just an advanced idea anymore that you could plan to consider in the future because the future is already here and it is all SaaS! It’s time to buckle up and make the switch! Here are a few points to consider when making the move.
#Myth 5: The concept of UX in an LMS is simply overrated.
A UX or User Experience is one of the most important considerations while choosing an LMS because it refers to the way in which users engage with the LMS. A consistent and engaging UX builds the foundation for all other features and functions of the LMS. An LMS that does not deliver a good User Experience can actually act as a turn off because it means learners are simply wasting their time over a labyrinth of roadblocks in the system (trying to master it) and are hardly learning much. A few factors have to considered before deploying an LMS to ensure that the UX is good enough because it matters a lot. You may want to ask questions like is the system too complex, will users be able to navigate their way easily, will it work on any device, are the collaborations and integrations in place, is the User Interface (UI) design working well etc to provide a good UX.
#Myth 6: The talk of Future-Proofing an LMS holds no substance.
If you don’t accept the idea of future-proofing your LMS, chances are you may be left well behind in the race. With the corporate landscape changing rapidly, it’s imperative that LMSs too keep up pace. Companies must have an LMS which will be relevant in the coming years and which will help employees become future-ready. One way of future proofing is to bring in the idea of ‘mobile’ which is no more just a good-to-have, but a must-have option. An LMS that guarantees learner engagement and a good User Experience are signs of a future-proofed LMS too. Today’s LMSs should also deliver bite-sized learning content that can be consumed anytime, anywhere and suits the needs of modern learners who are a busy lot.
#Myth 7: Choosing an LMS with the Most Comprehensive Feature-set is the best bet.
The decision on what kind of LMS suits your organization depends entirely on the needs of your businesses, the learning objectives you are looking to meet, and the demographics and needs of your workforce. No two businesses may need the same LMS features because they may have varied requirements and expectations. There cannot be a one-size-fits-all LMS and every organization needs an LMS that suits its specific criteria. So quite simply, there is no point in opting for an LMS that has all the latest features and uber-cool elements if that is not the need of your business. Before being impressed by a fancy LMS sales brochure, you must make a list of must-haves for your LMS and see to it that those are being met.
#Myth 8: The LMS is dead.
The LMS is very much alive, kicking and, if anything, is growing and thriving as it continues to embrace the new technologies. Though some studies like this Ambient Insight survey say that by 2021 worldwide revenues for eLearning are expected to tumble down, in reality, an LMS is a critical business need. In today’s knowledge economy, eLearning is a faster and more effective method of business training and with modern LMSs, you have complete control of your training program. In fact, an LMS that is well implemented, easy to use, aligned with business needs and is future-proof is bound to thrive well and support your business in the best possible manner.
So, just as the world is full of myths, the eLearning industry too isn’t any different. It only makes sense to be cautious and check the veracity of information that comes your way so that these myths do not affect your business.