Businesses rely on learning management systems (LMS), which don’t include microlearning, to implement eLearning training programs. An LMS allows organizations to create and deliver online training courses and certification programs in a single location. Employees not only have access to this important content but can also track and record their own learning progress and achievements efficiently.
Although the LMS is critical to training efforts, it presents serious challenges that impact business performance negatively.
Challenges of Learning Management Systems (LMS)
- Proficiency vs. completion data: An LMS hosts and circulates job critical content and information well. However, learners usually only have to demonstrate that they’ve completed the course and reviewed the material. LMSs provide metrics on activity (e.g., hours spent on a course, registrations) and oftentimes do not test learners’ knowledge mastery levels. Proficiency learning data, acquired from assessments administered after completion of an LMS course, is required. Such data allows organizations to determine if learners have mastered the knowledge or have specific skill gaps that need to be addressed. Proper employee development, through this intelligence, demonstrates the impact of training on the business.
- Low engagement: Learning management systems reduce engagement for three reasons. Firstly, given that LMS courses only check for completion instead of skill improvement (proficiency), learners often lack the motivation to interact with the content to a deeper extent. Secondly, the most effective way to encourage learner engagement is to include learning challenges and gamification that mimic real world situations also known as scenario-based learning. Since social learning is increased through these strategies, the experience is more fun and goal-orientated. Usually, LMSs lack these aspects. Thirdly, LMSs deliver long-forms of content and other drawn-out courses. Learners find it difficult to read through or watch that content and extract important information.
- Difficult to use: An LMS is, for the most part, not intuitive or simple to use for both the learner and administrator, which makes the user experience unpleasant. Learners have a difficult time navigating interfaces to access courses, lowering motivation levels. Learning and development professionals find it tedious to upload and deliver content through an LMS. This compromises the quality and deployment of training content.
- Technical requirements: LMSs have complicated and copious amounts of technical requirements for set-up. Organizations may not have the capacity to tackle these hoops alongside all their other obligations. Successful implementation becomes difficult. Hence, organizations often have to rely on outsourced resources or IT departments to install these systems. Time is spent on admin work instead of on the design of effective training content for learners.
How Microlearning is Different from Learning Management Systems (LMS)
Unlike an LMS that distributes blocks of content and rarely evaluates competencies, microlearning builds skills and capabilities through assessments, scenario-based learning, and the dissemination of spaced out, bite-sized content. Because content is concentrated through these dimensions, microlearning is able to provide precise and comprehensive learning analytics for specific topics and for skill gap identification. Since analytics are derived from real-world learning situations in the form of scenario-based challenges, organizations can best predict how employees will perform on the job. These insights are then used for productive coaching and performance support.
Given that they are short and only sent out every few days, microlearning challenges are easy to integrate into the everyday workflow. Learners aren’t overwhelmed with large blocks of content. This accommodates busy work lives. Correspondingly, employees are more engaged and motivated to complete activities. People simultaneously maintain job productivity and complete crucial training.
Without learner engagement, learning outcomes aren’t achieved from training programs. As per the challenges mentioned above, the LMS does not provide a goal-orientated, immersive, and interactive experience. Not only is your workforce development weakened but employee retention rates are also lowered in the long run. Scenario-based microlearning is the only reliable learning strategy that improves job knowledge and skills and promotes high engagement. Therefore, completion of suitable training enables people to perform to their organization’s standards and needs.
Qstream's Microlearning Technology as an Extension to a Learning Management System (LMS)
Qstream, an industry-leading microlearning technology, seamlessly solves these problems in learning and development. Highly user-friendly and scalable, Qstream deploys short scenario-based challenges every few days. Employees then develop on-the-job skills and are not overwhelmed with too much responsibility to training programs.
Qstream is not an LMS, but rather an extension to it. An extension that immensely enhances an organization’s training goals. Once learners have reviewed heavy blocks of content in the LMS, Qstream allows your business to turn lengthy courses into scenario-based challenges. These challenges not only test the most critical content your learner must know from an LMS course but also make training content relatable. As a result, employees see the value of content directly correlated to their jobs. This encourages engagement. Further, they are best developed to perform on the job. Qstream provides multiple attempts for each assessment to reinforce and retain important information.
Once learners have completed these challenges, the Qstream platform calculates engagement and proficiency metrics in real time and not just the completion rates an LMS provides. But it doesn’t stop there. Qstream takes it a step further and allows executives and managers to drill down on engagement and proficiency data by specific topics, individuals, departments, and countries. Qstream is the only learning and development technology that provides metrics at this caliber. Qstream also uses these proficiency metrics to create leaderboards for participants. Such gamification promotes healthy competition and accordingly promotes high learner engagement. From these actionable dashboards and analytics from scenario-based assessments, managers are enabled to pinpoint skill gaps and coach according to people’s learning needs for on-the-job performance improvement. Executives are enabled to determine the ROI of L&D initiatives and the extent of upskilling and reskilling within their organization. Any skill gaps that exist within your organization are removed. As a result, an organization’s workforce is properly developed. Thus, your organization is enabled to make better strategic decisions.
If you truly want to reach your training goals, Qstream’s microlearning technology and real-time analytics are an integral addition to your LMS-centered training programs. To see Qstream in action, check out this short 2-minute video.