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The Learning Management System and Best Practices

By Melissa Filich, Certification Program Manager

Did you know GreenRope provides the opportunity to develop and launch interactive teaching courses? The Learning Management System (LMS) allows you to create courses based on whatever service/system/material you provide. Here we will discuss what an LMS is, the history, the fundamentals of using GreenRope’s LMS, and a few best practices.

What is a Learning Management System (LMS)?

Wikipedia defines an LMS as “a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting and delivery of educational courses or training programs.” So, how does this translate to the everyday consumer? In a technology driven society, knowledge is easily transferred from one person to another in the blink of an eye, accessible from almost anywhere. An LMS is a great way to share knowledge with your users/clients/customers while also being able to manage and track their progress. In GreenRope the LMS is a powerful tool allowing you to reach all your students with ease, with all trackable progress automatically added to your CRM. It is easy to ensure their success along the way.

A brief history of the LMS

Did you know that the earliest documented remote education courses date back to Europe in the 18th century? One of the earliest known correspondence teaching examples is from 1728 by way of an advertisement in the Boston Gazette for "Caleb Phillips, Teacher of the new method of Short Hand," seeking students wanting to learn through a series of weekly lessons mailed to them directly. [via Wikipedia]

We’ve come a long way since offering Short Hand classes via 18th century mail. Today, we are seeing an increased focus on synchronous communication. Webinar conferencing, live streaming, screen-sharing tools, and whiteboarding are just a few of the current technology sharing tools popularly used in conjunction with the evolving online teacher/student relationship.

Applying the LMS to your business.

  • Ok, so we have the definition and history but how can you apply it to your business?

    • With the LMS, you can design digital learning courses used to share content related to your business, certify customers, or simply educate team members and others about your business.  

  • What if you aren’t a school and you’re clients aren’t necessarily students?

    • One of our favorite out of the box ways of using the LMS is internally, using it for employee training purposes by doing away with lengthy employee training manuals. Using the LMS in this fashion not only allows you to engage with your employees and/or trainees and track their process as they advance through the material, but is also lessens your corporate carbon footprint - WIN WIN!  

    • In addition to internal training the LMS can also be used for client training and onboarding.

 

But is it really as easy to use as we say it is? YES! Like everything else in GreenRope, the LMS is fully customizable giving you full control over how easy or complex of a course you create. Let's now move into the constructs and best practices for creating an LMS using GreenRope.


Image A

The Basics

When creating your LMS there are three main areas; Courses, Modules, and Chapters.

Courses are broken into modules and each module contain chapters of content.

(see image A)

The chapters are created using wiki articles (Apps > Wiki). The GreenRope Wiki feature works similarly to Wikipedia in the sense that you can create a document library made up of articles written and maintained within your account. At the end of each module users will take a test to confirm they have learned the material. Tests are created using surveys, (Communicate > Surveys).

You can assign a proctor to your courses, requiring users to gain proctor approval before completion. Requiring proctor approval is useful if you want to have additional information submitted, such as an essay or something that can't be graded with a multiple choice survey question.

Once you have created the wiki articles and surveys associated with your course content, you will put them all together in the GreenRope Learning Management System (Apps > Leaning).


Image B

Best Practices

Stay organized

When building courses using an LMS it is imperative that you stay organized. Construct courses and learning materials according to the necessary and significant variables of the service/materials you want your students to have a key understanding of.

Helpful Hint: Name all your courses, modules, surveys tests, and any other related content in a clear and connected manner.  This way, creating in-depth courses will be easy to manage and edit as needed in the future.

Create it once

Avoid posting the same content in multiple locations throughout your courses. Your students will lose time learning the same material twice and you will lose time locating multiple locations when editing and grading the various courses.

  • Example: Let’s say you own a dog training school and want to build an online training  course for your students. If your first module is about socializing dogs and in it you cover everything about introducing dogs to one another you will want to keep all course material on introduction together in the same module. Later, in module two, your content is about bringing a new dog home you have already covered introduction to other dogs so you might skip right into introduction to cats or kids.   

This will also help alleviate frustration later if you decide to duplicate a course for an alternative group of students. Save yourself and your students grief by only posting course content once in its designated module.

Communicate

Stay in continual communication with your students. Use the email EasyBuilder and workflows to create and send course related updates and due dates. Use the personal email option in each student’s CRM contact record to check in on their progress and to strengthen the communication between you and your students.

Walk in your student’s shoes

For many students, the courses created using an LMS can be a place of frustration, fraught with login and training headaches due in part to the LMS administrator’s view of a successful system being much different from the students. One big mistake made when creating an LMS is to do so from a data and reporting perspective instead of from the student perspective. LMS admins should take time to log in as a student regularly to experience the process from the student perspective.   

TEST!

Recruit a team to do a test run through your LMS and provide feedback. Your team should be made up of not only internal members but also a handful of trusted individuals familiar with your materials/services/system.

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Ready to get started? Login to your account and select “New Course” at the top of the LMS (Apps > Learning) page and start creating your new learning management system!

Still unsure? Take a look at this video tutorial, it will quickly walk you through creating a wiki (module), a survey (test), a new LMS course, and adding the created wiki articles and surveys to the new course..

 

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