5 ways to get the most out of your LMS training
Do you need training on how to use an LMS?
It may seem like a silly question, but it's worth asking. After all, LMS services are becoming increasingly ubiquitous, and many people entering the workforce have their first exposure to LMS platforms long before they get to college. However, exposure and familiarity with the platforms does not guarantee that people will use them in the most effective way, even if their day-to-day work revolves around these systems.
The world of LMS based on open source MoodleTM is constantly evolving. Therefore, the strategies and tools to incorporate must also evolve, taking your students' experience to the next level.
In addition to being on the cutting edge of academic technologies, many LMS administrators and instructors are unaware that there is so much more they could be doing with their platforms: this includes tools already included that they are not using, integrations and automations that could reduce their workload dramatically. Anyone who is an administrator or instructor and who uses an LMS site can benefit greatly from formal LMS training. This training would help them take their LMS experience to the next level for the benefit of their students.
Here are some of the reasons why LMS training could be a major game changer for you, your organization and your learners. In addition, we include ways to get the most out of your LMS training.
1) LMS training for administrators
It's easy for you to feel overwhelmed when managing an LMS platform. Training can always help you hone your skills, whether you've been lucky enough to work with one LMS platform for most of your time as an administrator, or you've learned to manage several different LMSs.
What are some of the things to look for in a management training course? Look for courses aimed at managers, or courses that offer a manager's view of the training process.
As an administrator, you will have access to functions and permissions that other users will not have (e.g. instructors and students). For this reason, it is important that the training reflects your unique vision. In addition, looking for trainers who are or have been LMS administrators can be a good way to make sure they understand what it's like to be in your shoes, along with strategies and tools can best help you.
For example, our trainers at Open LMS Academy have been in the industry for years, many of them holding positions as administrators, instructors and now, LMS support specialists. For this reason they know what it's like to be in their position.
2) Deepen, learn new skills
If you are looking for something more in-depth than general management training, it may be useful to think about courses that can help you acquire skills that are transferableto your organization. Tools like H5P can be instrumental in creating more participatory learning environments. Also, having a better understanding of accessibility in an LMS ensures that no learner is left behind.
If you are the primary source of knowledge for instructors and LMS end users in your organization, focusing on courses like these can give you more information to pass on to your colleagues. These courses also help you keep your organization up to date.
3) LMS training for teachers
Expectations of what teachers are expected to be (and do) have changed. Gone are the days when all learning was delivered in a classroom or lecture hall. This is a fact of life, whether your organization has gone fully digital or not. It can be difficult to conceive of creating an effective online environment with most responsibilities. However, understanding how to properly use an LMS can lead to more engaged learners, retaining more of the content.
So what should you look for in an LMS course? First, make sure the course is relevant to your specific style of LMS. For example, making a course based on a proprietary LMS when using an open source platform can be confusing. However, once you have determined that the course is focused on the right tools, there are still useful topics to look for, such as learner training, online instruction, and accessibility (to name a few).
It's also good to keep an eye out for tool-specific courses - such as H5P - that can help you enhance your online learning environment. If you don't know where to start, check with your organization's LMS administrator or contact your LMS provider for guidance on which tools would be useful to learn.
4) Choose courses that fit your needs
One of the hardest parts of finding a workout that fits your needs is that it also fits your busy schedule. Self-paced asynchronous training can be a great way to learn. However, asynchronous courses do not offer as much instructional support if you are looking for more instructor feedback. If you are looking for a high level of flexibility, synchronous courses (which offer a combination of live lectures, self-paced content and assignments) can be an ideal balance between flexibility and instructor interaction. Open LMS Academy uses this model for multiple courses, including the option to watch recordings instead of attending live webinars.
The bottom line is this: consider your learning style, schedule and ideal course pacing when looking for which courses to take to improve your LMS skills.
Research what's out there in the marketplace. For example, check out conference panelists you've liked or industry leaders who have given you helpful advice and guidance on platforms such as social media. Be sure to consider the style of the course, the instructor and your budget. LMS hosting organizations (such as Open LMS), are great resources.
For example, our Open LMS Academy offers a variety of courses such as: Designing Accessible and Inclusive Courses, Introduction to MoodleTM Administration and an H5P creation course for the global eLearning community.
Finally, hearing from past course participants is always a good way to know if a course will be a good fit for you. For example, here are some comments from some of our recent Open LMS Academy course participants.
"I got a lot out of the H5P creator course. The presenters were knowledgeable and engaging. There was a "come on in and let's work on this" feel that I found welcoming and inclusive. For me, as a total "newbie", this was a plus. I found the examples and ongoing step-by-step support very helpful. The group atmosphere was good, and I found the input and comments from others in the class very beneficial. The pacing and support materials were effective, without any filler. I also liked the fact that previous cohorts contributed to the one in progress and that this fact was acknowledged. It was a "living document" type experience that added vitality to the content. Others were experiencing the same problems as I was and, because of this, changes were made to adjust to these problems. It was an excellent experience. The wide variety of options in the H5P product was also a positive surprise. It will allow me to improve the presentations I create. Thank you for a great course.- Bill Bateman, Instructional Designer, Southern Oregon University.
"This course is full of content that I will use in the future. The lessons are easy to follow and are supplemented with explanatory videos, which I find very helpful. The instructors are friendly and easy to follow/understand. They are also very willing to help and provide individualized support."- Stacey Scholer
How to get started
Remember that there is no one right way to keep learning. Whether training is delivered through free webinars, YouTube videos, or through blog articles or organized courses, the most important thing is to keep gaining knowledge to support your pupils and students.
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