If you’re an LMS administrator that’s implementing an LMS for the first time, this blog post is for you. Even if you’re a seasoned LMS administrator, these best practice tips will help if your organization chooses to implement a new learning management system.
Let’s start off by saying that one of the most critical roles in learning and development today is that of the LMS administrator. LMS administrators are responsible for managing the daily overall performance of their LMS, and this is a lot of work. Major duties include, but are not limited to, defining learning strategies, configuring learner portals, customizing and branding the user experience, defining and configuring job titles, user profiles, and user groups. Developing and uploading courses, defining learning paths, scheduling learning activities, and of course, developing and running meaningful reports are all part of the daily LMS administrator activities.
When your organization decides to implement an LMS, the LMS administrator role can seem overwhelming, but it certainly doesn’t need to be. Throughout the years we’ve worked closely with our clients to identify the top five LMS administrator best practices to help ease your transition into an LMS.
Top 5 LMS Administrator Best Practice Tips
Standardize the LMS Configuration Process
Prior to implementing your learning management system, you’ll want to create a standardized and well-documented process for configuring your LMS. For consistency, you’ll want to plan in advance such things as your naming conventions, the fields that will be populated on your user profiles, and course/registration type settings as examples. All administrators accessing the LMS should follow the same processes to keep the operations and data within the LMS consistent.
Define LMS Administrator Roles
Most LMSs have different levels of administrator roles. For example, ePath’s LMS has the following levels: System Administrators that manage all aspects of all portals within the LMS; Portal Administrators that manage all aspects of only an assigned portal; Learning Administrators that manage only learning activities, including creation and registration, within their assigned portal; and Group Administrators that manage only learning activities, including creation and registration, for members in their assigned group(s). With so many options available, each with varying levels of responsibility, it’s important to define LMS administrator roles and channels of supervision for each administrator prior to implementing the LMS.
Establish a Quality Assurance Review
To ensure that you’ve configured your LMS according to the process you defined at the onset of your implementation, have someone else QA your work. Suffice to say, it can be difficult to identify your own mistakes after spending a lot of time configuring your system. This is another great reason why we recommended in our first tip that you document your process – your written guidelines make it a lot easier for the QA person checking your work for accuracy.
Test Your LMS as a User
Once you’ve configured your LMS, set-up your users, and uploaded your content you’ll definitely want to test the LMS as a user. That’s right – test as a user not as an administrator. You’ll want to verify that you have problem-free access the LMS. Ensure that your users can self-register for content and that your eLearning courses launch properly. Have you incorporated videos? Make sure they will play. Do you require an electronic signature for compliance training? Test your own electronic signature. In fact, you’ll want to test all of the LMS features that your users will access to ensure that you’ve set them up properly and that they’re functioning according to your expectations.
Pilot Programs are Great!
Why not set up a pilot program, especially if the LMS is completely new to your organization? You sold the idea of an LMS to your key stakeholders and they agreed that the LMS would be a wise investment to increase productivity, differentiate your company from your competitors, or establish a culture of learning, whatever your reasons may be. Ultimately you’ve invested a lot of time in your LMS initiative. You identified the right LMS, configured it to meet your unique requirements, and populated it with the content your users need. Now it’s time to officially launch your training programs, but what’s the rush? Why not test the LMS with a focus group to identify any potential glitches or areas for improvement prior to a company-wide launch. The feedback you receive might make the difference between a successful and well-received launch as opposed to a lackluster rollout.
We understand that LMS administrators have a lot on their plates so our client services team goes above and beyond to make their jobs easier. Our knowledge center and help files provide immediate solutions to the most common LMS questions and when you partner with ePath you’ll be assigned a dedicated Client Service Specialist to guide you through your implementation, launch, and more.
Looking for more tips? Check out a related post titled Best Practice Tips Every LMS Administrator Should Know!
Susan Distasio | eLearning Industry Crusader | ePath Learning, Inc.
About the Author: Susan Distasio is an eLearning Industry Crusader focused on advocating for advancement and change in the eLearning and professional development industry. An avid seeker of knowledge and continuous improvement, Susan is happy to share her research, observations, and thoughts regarding “all things related to learning and development.” When she’s not out on the learning crusade, Susan can be found with the wind in her hair riding her Harley or simply enjoying life with her husband, Steve, and her Siamese cat, Elvis, and with family and friends.