Whether you’re migrating from an older learning management system (LMS) or integrating one for the first time, implementing a new LMS can be a complex process. Some of the factors at play include the scope of the project, the technical complexities and the resources required. Overcoming these factors isn’t enough: schools and school districts need to have a watertight action plan in order to get the best possible results.
Partners in Learner Success
In this blog, we look at how an LMS can be a partner in the ongoing journey to learner success, from evaluating and onboarding to launching, optimizing and growing.
Evaluate Your Needs to Plan for Success
The goal of this stage is to collectively define what the key success measures are and how the capabilities of your new LMS align with your overall goals. A key component is to look at how you and your partner will measure progress toward reaching your goals. Then, create a plan to achieve them.
Typical actions during the evaluation phase include:
- Discovery: Familiarizing yourself and your team with key features and tools.
- Needs Assessment: Identifying the different needs and goals across your organization.
- Success Planning: Exploring how the capabilities align with your overall objectives and provide solutions to specific learning challenges.
- Consulting: Supporting you and your team as you envision how your LMS can provide a solution to meet your organizational objectives.
Onboard and Launch Your LMS for a Seamless Transition
In this stage, the main focus is to help make sure you are properly set up and ready to launch, whether you are migrating from an older system or implementing an LMS for the first time. Typical actions during the onboard phase include:
- Project and Change Management: Developing and implementing a change management plan as well as an adoption strategy to make sure you and your users are ready to use this system.
- Configuration, Integration, and Migration: Working closely with your vendor team (from consulting to services) to ensure that your system is set up and maintenance is up to date.
- Training: Creating and executing a solid training plan to help you get your educators, learning and development team, and program and system administrators skilled in using your new system. The overarching goal here is to have you and your users set up with an LMS running fast on the key workflows that matter to you.
Optimize Your LMS to Maximize Impact
When optimizing your LMS, your main objective should be to make sure your system is operationalized and easy to manage so that you are ready for this phase of the journey. Typical actions during the optimize phase include:
- Connect: Connecting with the right people, resources, and customers in your industry to see how they are using their LMS to solve common problems.
- Monitor and Measure: Monitoring and measuring usage and adoption of your LMS so you’ve got your finger on the pulse of what your organization’s users are doing (or not doing) with your system.
- Services and Support: Accessing your LMS’s services and support to make sure you’re getting the maximum value out of your investment.
Grow Adoption to Maximize Your LMS Value
Here, the overarching goal is to continually build a partnership with your LMS account team by collectively working toward the goals set out in your success plan. Typical actions during the grow phase include:
- Maximize Adoption: Making sure that a large percentage of your users are logging into the system as a regular part of their learning journey. The courses offered make use of a variety of LMS features and tools to help learners reach their potential and also provide you with data to help you determine who’s doing what in the learning environment.
- Expand Capabilities: Being able to use your LMS to its fullest abilities should be your goal. It’s important to have communities of practice where you can share effective practices, build connections with peers, and collaborate with special interest groups and projects related to your LMS. At D2L, this consists of our Brightspace Community, which is full of regularly updated resources like Release Notes and our Product and Services Preview to help keep you informed.
- Extend Partnership: Participating in some of the partnership opportunities that your LMS offers. For example, at D2L, we have our D2L Champions Program, which gives you the opportunity to create resources that help you tell your story and share your successes.
- Optimize Your Success Plan: Working with your account team to make sure that you are on the right track for achieving your goals and can demonstrate ROI.
Lay the Groundwork for A Successful LMS Evaluation Process
Whether you’re evaluating LMS solutions for the first time or reevaluating your current LMS, it’s critical to listen to the specific needs of your teachers, students and staff. We’ve created this evaluation guide to assist you in the evaluation process to select a vendor that best meets everyone’s requirements.
This guide includes the following resources to help you choose a learning management system:
- A step-by-step approach to the evaluation process, with helpful reminders and tips for each phase
- Answers to common questions such as how do you evaluate an LMS and what makes a great LMS
- A sample project timeline, evaluation criteria, a demonstration rubric, and instrument templates
- Interactive worksheets, activities, lists, and more!
Zeina Abouchacra is the EDU Content Marketing Specialist at D2L. She has worked in the higher education sector in various communications positions as well as a researcher and a teaching assistant. Specifically, teaching undergraduate-level communication university courses. Zeina is currently working towards completing her Master of Arts Communication degree at the University of Ottawa.
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