The Learning Tech

What’s an LMS Use Case?

September 15 2014 | (0) Comments

Are you new to the concept of implementing an LMS to manage your training initiatives?   If you are, you’re probably a bit overwhelmed with the number of systems that are available.   Choosing the right one can be difficult; so you’ll need to be prepared in advance with exactly what it is you want the LMS to do. That’s where LMS use cases come in quite handy.

Generally speaking, you know that you want an LMS to manage your training, and you’ve probably developed a list of “must have” requirements and a list of “nice to have” requirements; but how do you really know which LMS will best meet your needs?   All of your prospective LMS vendors will undoubtedly be happy to provide you with system demonstrations, and this will be the best way for you to narrow your choices.   However; you should be prepared in advance with your list of “LMS use cases” so that the vendors can demonstrate their LMS in the context of your requirements.   This critical step in the evaluation process will give you the best opportunity to see if the LMS performs the way you need it to.

You may be asking yourself – what’s a use case?   A use case is a list of scenarios about how your different users will be operating within the system.   Use cases go well beyond general LMS features and really focus on your user’s tasks and how they will be completed in the LMS.

Here a few simple guidelines to follow when working to develop your use case scenarios.

  1. Identify your LMS users by role. For example, you may have instructional designers, learners, administrators, managers, instructors or maybe even customers accessing your system.
  2. Focus on the 80/20 rule. What scenarios will your users be performing 80% of the time they spend in the LMS; and what tasks will be needed to complete their scenarios?
  3. Once you’ve identified your users and their associated scenarios and tasks, document your findings so that your prospective vendors have guidelines by which to demonstrate their systems to you.

Just to help you put this concept in perspective, here are several high-level, generic use case scenario examples…

Scenario 1:  Our learners must be able to easily navigate the LMS.

User Role and Tasks:  Learner

  • Log in as a Learner
  • Find a learning path
  • Launch a course
  • See completed courses
  • Print certificate of completion, etc.

Scenario 2:  We have instructor-led classroom events.  Our administrative assistant is responsible for the pre/post logistics for each event.

User Role and Tasks:  Administrator

  • Log in as Administrator
  • Set-up live event
  • Assign Instructor to event
  • Set-up email notifications for event
  • Enroll learners, etc.

Scenario 3:  We have a staff of instructional designers that will be using the LMS authoring tool to convert existing materials and to develop new courses.

User Role and Tasks:  Builder

  • Log in as a Builder
  • Upload a PowerPoint presentation
  • Create a course using the authoring tool
  • Add performance support documentation
  • Import video clips

It’s fairly easy to see that when used as guidelines during system demonstrations, use cases are a great evaluation tool that will help you to understand how various vendor systems work and to what degree they will meet your needs.  Good luck!

Susan Distasio | Marketing SME | ePath Learning, Inc.