In this series of articles, Elearning Delta has offered advice on how to get your training online quickly and painlessly.
In Part One of this series, we talked about the importance of a Learning Management System (LMS) for disseminating your online training, and how to set up a functioning LMS in only one day.
In Part Two, we focused on quick and easy ways to prep your training content and add it to your LMS courses.
In this installment, we get you to the finish line by demonstrating how to finalize your courses, add your users, and implement other necessary features.
Third piece of advice: Don’t get lost in the weeds!
A robust LMS will have many options and countless features. But that doesn’t mean you have to utilize all the features or learn every detail about every setting out of the gate.
If you need to get your training online right now, focus on the essentials. You can come back to research features and spiff things up later.
Step Three: Publish courses, add users, and launch.
We’ll continue to use TalentLMS to demonstrate the essential settings and features covered in this article. But keep in mind that everything we cover here is relevant to almost any Learning Management System.
Finalize Your Courses
In the previous step, you added your training content to your courses. In this step, we’ll walk you through the final steps to get your courses ready for your learners.
Assessments and Assignments
Learning Management Systems can vary greatly in the types of assessments they offer.
However, the most common assessment types include:
- Multiple choice/multiple selection
- Short text or essay entry
- Fill in the gaps
- Drag and drop
- File upload
- Discussion and debate
- Offline assignments
- Scheduled online or offline meetups
TalentLMS has a nice selection of assessment types. Choose Add and “Test” to see the choices.
Note the dropdown “Show questions from all courses.” This option allows you to build tests from a “Question Bank” of questions from other courses in the LMS.
Most LMSs have a way for you to create and pull from question banks in one form or another.
Once you’ve added your questions, go to Test Options. From here you can set any preferences you have for the test. Don’t forget about the Help area in case you need to learn more about all these options.
Once your assessments and assignments are in place, add sections to break up your content. Go to Add and chose “Section.”
You can move your units and sections around by clicking “Reorder” then clicking it again once you’re finished.
Course settings allow you to customize the behavior of a course to match your needs. Most course settings are pretty consistent across LMSs.
The most common settings you’ll want to pay attention to on any LMS are:
- Whether the learner is required to take lessons/units in a specific order
- When/whether a certificate is issued
- What criteria determines course completion
- How the grade/score is calculated for the course
- Whether there are any prerequisites for the course
- How the course can be accessed (access code, self/manual enrollment, etc.)
- Whether a learner must complete the course in a specified amount of time
Course settings for TalentLMS can be found in two places. The first is on the info screen of the course. From here you can add a code that users can use to access the course, add a time limit, assign a certificate, etc.
The second place to look for course settings is in the course content area. Go to Rules & Paths.
Here is where you can change settings to reflect what order to take lessons, completion criteria, and prerequisites/learning paths.
Add and Enroll Users
Most LMSs offer several options for adding your users. These typically include self-registration, manual input, and import.
When allowing users to self-register, you typically send them a link to the LMS and let them create their own account. Manual input of users is convenient if you only have a few users to add.
Importing users via spreadsheet is the most reliable option, since you maintain control of the data.
TalentLMS has one of the most convenient importing interfaces we have used in an LMS. Go to Import – Export from the main menu.
You can upload a spreadsheet directly or paste the contents of the sheet directly into the interface.
They offer a cheat sheet demonstrating how to format your data for input as well as a downloadable Excel template.
The cheat sheet demonstrates how to import users’ credentials as well as directly add them to your courses.
Tip: Always test the import process with dummy data first so you work out any bugs before using real data.
As we saw above, you can automatically enroll users into specific courses during import. But if you opt for manual entry or self-registration, you’ll still need to enroll users into their courses.
Each LMS has different methods for enrolling users, so best to do your research. But in our TalentLMS example, you can add individual users to courses right from their profile. Click on any user name to get to their profile area.
Or, you can add several users to a course from the Course area. Get here by clicking the name of any course.
TalentLMS also has a nifty “Groups” feature that you can populate with courses. When users are added to the group they are automatically enrolled in the courses. Look this feature up in the Help section to learn more about how it works.
Get Ready to Launch!
You are so close!
But there are still a couple things you should look into before you launch.
Most LMSs come with standard notifications that are almost always turned on by default.
In TalentLMS, go to Events Engine from the main menu. Deactivate notifications you don’t want to use and customize the ones you do.
When you customize notifications, be careful not to remove any critical information like username, password, etc. that is automatically generated in the message.
User Roles and Permissions
Most LMSs will have predefined user roles and permissions in place such as Learners, Trainers, Admins, Super Admins, etc. But you may need to refine these settings for your organization.
Go to User Types in TalentLMS to see the pre-set user roles.
Clicking into a role reveals how detailed you can get when defining permissions.
Caution: This is one area where you can easily get lost in the weeds. We recommend you stick with the default settings for user roles and permissions unless there is specific reason you need to adjust them.
Remember that most Learning Management Systems have robust Help features and knowledge bases to answer most questions during your set up. It is a good practice to do a quick search on a specific setting or feature before you jump in to make changes.
Well, there it is.
You have tackled all of the critical steps necessary for setting up, populating, and launching your online training!
Once you catch your breath, look into other features of your LMS that can improve your site organization and enhance the learner experience.
Here are some examples that are pretty common to all LMSs:
- Organizing courses and users into groups
- Organizing your courses into categories
- Fine tuning your course catalog
- Using automations to personalize the learner experience
- Setting up branches for separate departments in your organization
- Creating learning paths using automations and other settings
- Setting up question banks
- Creating a custom domain and email address for your LMS
- Implementing compliance training
- Setting up competencies
- Creating custom reporting
For a comprehensive list of features in most Learning Management Systems, download our free LMS Review Checklist.
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