How to ensure great LMS content for your learners

In this blog post, we’ll cover how to review your LMS content and the different ways you can create new LMS content.

There’s nothing worse than consuming something and realising it’s past its best-before date. Don’t let your learners experience that with their Learning Management Systems (LMS) content. As an LMS Content Administrator, there can be a lot to stay on top of to ensure your content is appropriate for your learners. Whether it’s catching up on policy changes, meeting new work standards, or fixing broken modules, ensuring your LMS content is up-to-date is essential.

In this blog post, we’ll cover how to review your LMS content and the different ways you can create new LMS content.

Use the Five Ws and One H as a guide

Great LMS content, at its core, should focus on your learners. The Five Ws and one H(external link) (what, who, when, where, how, and why) is a great guide to covering your bases for your LMS content - as an easy win, you can already tick off the ‘where’ as your content will be on your LMS. Because you’re creating content for your learners there will be overlap between the Five Ws and one H, but you’ll want to keep one thing at the center, the ‘who’.

Who is your content for? Who needs to learn the new policy? Or upskill in a particular area? Who needs to be onboarded? To hone in on your learners’ needs, you can check with managers about their people, review current course outcomes, and use a Training Needs Analysis (TNA)(external link). A TNA is a process to help you identify gaps in knowledge or skillset for your employees. Plus, it’s a great way to check if your content is relevant to your business goals.

Remember, you want to create the best eLearning content and experience for your learners, so you need to understand your target audience's needs.

Ask questions

Once you’ve clarified the ‘who’ and identified your learners’ needs, you can begin reviewing your current LMS content. Remember to question everything you have and confirm if it ties back to your ‘who’. You’ll have a clearer view of what content works well, what can be tweaked, and what requires personalisation.

To start on a win, tackle some low-hanging fruit. What is outdated and no longer relevant? By noting what is out of date and who has taken the course, it’ll be easier to identify the gaps. If your learners are completing courses and their actions, work, or conversations aren’t changing, ask yourself why. Is the content displayed in the wrong format? Or is the value not apparent? Perhaps the content isn’t clear enough?

You’ve likely had your learners reach out when they’ve had an issue with their course. Whether they’re unable to open a module, click on a button, or save their progress. There could be a range of issues causing this and one that shouldn’t be overlooked is SCORM rot. SCORM rot is when SCORM content is over five years old and has the danger of being uneditable. Plus, SCORM doesn’t save course progress automatically as the learner progresses if their Wi-Fi connection drops.

To learn how to fix SCORM rot, read this.

Set clear learning objectives and outcomes

When you’ve got a good understanding of what your learners need, your learners need to know the ‘why’. If your learners understand why they’re getting the training, they’ll be able to see the value within it. To communicate the value of a course, set clear learning objectives and outcomes in your LMS.

You can develop your learning objectives through goal-setting methods, such as SMART goals(external link) (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound). SMART goals are also useful to return to when developing new LMS content to check if your content is performing.

Choose how and what you’ll present in your LMS content

Once you have a clear learning objective for your LMS content, you’ll need to figure out the ‘what’ and the ‘how’. What needs to be in the content? How should it look and feel? What formats can you use so the content so it’s easily digestible? This process is known as a full instructional design.

How to complete a full instructional design for your LMS content

There are a few frameworks you can work within if you choose to do the instructional design yourself or with the help of an SME. Popular frameworks are the Nine Events of Instruction(external link), the ADDIE model(external link), and the ARCS model of motivational design(external link).

When working with your SME, your process needs to be well-defined to get the information you need to turn into learning material. Part of this process includes how you communicate with your SME, as you want to avoid assumptions and bias from creeping into your content.

  • Ask simple form questions to ensure you’re covering all the bases.
  • Ensure you set clear intentions and expectations around timeframes upfront and keep in mind that everyone works, thinks, and communicates differently. So, check if your approach is working, and try different strategies if not.

LMS content types

You can present your content in your LMS in a variety of ways to alter how your students process the information.

Here are just a few examples of LMS content types you could use

  • Interactive quizzes: Quizzes can either provide feedback at the end of all questions or each question. You can use a quiz at any stage of the learning journey, from the introduction of new material to revision.
  • Blogs: Blogs or journalling enables learners to reflect on their learning, whether for their reflections or sharing insights with an audience.
  • Videos: Videos are excellent for demonstrating how-tos, and can be an alternative or addition to instruction manuals and guidebooks.
  • Podcasts: Podcasts can include things like interviews, monologues, conversations, storytelling, and roundtables. Often, podcasts deepen learning as topics are explored in further detail.
  • Gamified LMS content: Gamified content is a method to boost learner engagement as they can level up, and earn badges and prizes while learning.

You can create course content using authoring tools such as H5P(external link) to add interactive elements to your course. H5P is user-friendly and allows you to offer your course content in different ways to suit different ways of learning. However, it can take experience to know which methods work best for which question types, how to keep your learners engaged and make it easy to use.

Transform course content into LMS content

You may have existing course content you’ve used historically for paper-based or face-to-face learning, and you may wish to convert this into LMS content. But this conversion process isn’t as simple as typing what’s on the paper. In fact, there’s a skill in translating content into something suitable for digital learning.

If you’re looking to convert paper to digital for your LMS course content, partnering with an experienced eLearning consultant is a good option. They’ll work with you to figure out the best question types and course formats to drive learner success. Additionally, you can partner with an eLearning consultant to develop new content. So instead of you doing the full instructional design, they do. The eLearning consultant pairs with one of your SMEs and works towards creating valuable and relevant information for your learners. We’ve outlined more about this experience in a previous blog about successfully managing your LMS content.

Future-proof your LMS content

Now you’ve got a process in place, how will you future-proof it? When will you find the time to make changes or begin your full instructional design? Maintaining up-to-date and relevant LMS content is an ongoing and iterative process. How will you ensure things won’t slip through the gaps? You can set up regular review periods and follow our advice above, or you could partner with an experienced eLearning consultant whom you can trust with your LMS.

Catalyst has award-winning eLearning consultants and LMS experts who have developed content for a range of organisations and requirements. We work with you to find the right solution for you and your learners, to ensure learner success.

To learn more about LMS content development, contact the team today.