How To Build a Smart Online Learning Management System?

By ongraph
June 30, 2020 | 196 Views

Latest Industry insights to keep you updated on the latest happenings.

In recent years, the trend of e-learning platforms have been on the rise. In this tech-savvy era, the traditional way of learning has become too old now. It’s now time to adopt the futuristic technologies and create an advanced learning and training program. It could be for training centers, educational institutes, government or non-government organizations, etc. Almost every other industry-specific business today is leveraging the power of the latest technologies to develop a potential Learning Management System (LMS). And the education industry is no exception to this trend.

In a survey conducted by Coursera, it is found that online courses offer more practical knowledge and develop day-to-day subject-oriented skills more effectively in comparison to traditional education. This has led recruiters to start taking online certificates more seriously and thus resulted in an increase in the credibility of online courses.

Market Analysis

The elearning industry is constantly on a stable rise with about 10% of annual growth and presently generates over $50 billion revenues each year. Undoubtedly companies are keen on deploying online learning platforms either to train their employees internally or to make money. Let’s have a look at the market analysis of e-learning industry:

  • As per the MarketsandMarkets report, over the last 3 years, elearning industry has witnessed a steady growth of 5%. It also said that the global market of elearning industry would increase to almost $15.72 billion by 2021. The global market value of it by 2023 would reach almost $22.4 billion.
  • The Docebo report anticipated that the mobile learning market will rise over $38 billion by 2020.
  • There’s another report by Zion Market Research which is based on a 5-year prediction. It featured that by 2022, the LMS market would grow around 19.05 billion with 24% CAGR.
  • According to a Tech Pro Research report, 74% of the business employees who are already using LMS, enjoy the benefits of the BYOD policy. It allows them to learn in their comfort zone from their own devices.
  • As per a report by Forbes, many of the organizations in 2018 invested a vast amount of money into learning and development. The major goal was to fill up the skill gaps besides reaching the full capacity.
  • Another interesting fact is being highlighlighted by Learning House and Aslanian Market Research report according to which about 60% of college students prefer online learning over on-ground learning.

There’s no wonder why investing in the development of the LMS is getting so popular these days. Want to know how to build an impressive learning management system? We have got you covered everything here but before diving into that let’s first understand what LMS actually is and how is it important?

LMS and Its Importance

In simple words, a LMS (Learning Management System) is a website that hosts elearning programs and offers students/employees a way to take part in online training. An LMS enables you to manage administration, reporting, tracking and delivering courses, lessons as well as tests.

Online learning has a number of significant benefits. Some of those are discussed below.

  • Higher Reach

In comparison to live classes where one is bound to available hours, online classes can reach a number of people at the same time.

  • Better Communication

Elearning builds an open connection between users and your brand.

  • Cost-Efficient

With the Learning Management System, one can cut several costs like travel, training venue, printed materials, and lector payments.

  • Recurring Income

Online courses provide one with a recurring income. One can develop their online courses and sell them without putting time aside so as to host them in front of an audience or live.

User Features

In this section, we will define roles that provide specific privileges to the user and give access to platform functionality and features. Within the Learning Management System, there are three user levels – Mentee, Mentor and Administrator. Let’s discuss in detail here:

Mentees consist of the most users in courses having basic permissions in the LMS, are able to view training material and are unable to manage the functionality.

Mentors can craft courses, mark attendance, view course reports, manage course layout, view enrollments, upload and manage training material.

Administrator can manage every aspect of the platform. They will have visibility to all features, apps, and settings.

Mentee Dashboard

In order to login in the LMS as a Mentee, one needs to select a Mentee account type, enter their username and password into the login form. One can also sign in with Google.

After signing in, one can view a list of available courses and select the ones they wish to join.

  • Conferences, Discussions and Webinars

A good practice is to share views on specific topics learned previously. For this reason, facilitating discussions can help mentees to learn from one another and also helps to understand and retain the materials in a better way. Discussion feature enables mentees to ask questions, chat, add a deeper dimension to the course that they are studying and leave comments. They can either begin the conversion, or can reflect on the course material boosting participation.

Mentees can also attend Web conferences and Webinars. Webinars are those that are divided into sessions and mentees can attend online through videoconferencing. In order to take these webinars, mentees will have to access the video conference from their account directly so that their progress can be tracked. Webinars consist of best practices or how-to videos. Such kind of training can be done online, in real-time and broadcasted live, and via real-time comments, mentees can give immediate feedback in question.

  • A Chatbot – Virtual Personal Assistant

Having a virtual personal assistant at each step of learning path helps to interact with the mentee just like a real person via messaging, engages the mentee in realistic conversations, and helps them to complete the course step wise and perform the tasks in a better way. It also helps the mentors by reducing the burden when explaining the same things over and over again to different learners and to answer the questions being raised on a regular basis, checking their homework, assigning projects, identifying grammatical mistakes and spelling precisely and keeping a track of the progress and achievements of mentees. The learning process becomes more personalized, adaptive and productive with the chatbot.

  • Virtual Online Consultation

Online consultations prove to be highly efficient in order to help mentees with challenges that they might come across during learning. Mentees now have ways to reach their mentor and ask questions virtually, thanks to technology. An online consultation helps mentees to get a quicker response, enhances their levels of engagement, as well as confidence to perform the tasks better.

  • Calendar

Dates of webinars, assignments, conferences, tests, events fly around constantly. So, whether it is for personal or academic reasons, calendars provide many benefits to us. Embedding Calendar into the LMS system enables mentees to schedule time on important activities such as tests, webinars, conferences etc. thus enabling them to complete those that have deadlines or are a priority.

  • Progress

The right reporting has a major impact on an organization, significantly changing the way mentees perform their tasks. Are the mentees actually completing the online training activities and modules? How many courses did they complete? Are mentees progressing as per the plan? These are all questions that can be answered by reports extracted from the created LMS.

Mentor Dashboard

In order to login in the LMS as a Mentor, one needs to select a Mentor account type, enter their username and password into the login form. One can also sign in with Google.

In the LMS, the mentor can manage the course content via a single page. Mentors have the ability to upload the training materials, edit content, provide social tools and forums, enable all features necessary for the course, and share links.

In terms of the Course Content, a mentor can do the following:

  • Add Content: A mentor can upload materials allowing mentees to upload and download these materials.
  • Reorder Content: A mentor is entitled to edit the course program that updates on the roadmap automatically and notifies mentees as well.
  • Edit Course Info: A mentor is entitled to edit the course information.
  • View as a Mentee: A mentor can view content as a Mentee.
  • Add Event: A mentor can add conference, webinar or can also schedule a virtual online conference for mentees assigned to the specific course.
  • Share: A mentor can share a link with mentees assigned to the specific course.
  • Mobile App Compatibility: A site can be viewed as well as used on a mobile device.

In terms of the Course Rules, a mentor can do the following:

  • All units must be completed
  • Certain units must be completed
  • A percentage of units must be completed
  • Test passed

A mentor can manage files – add training materials for the mentees such as texts, lectures, video, images – and manage them.

A mentor can view all of the mentees enrolled in the courses that she/he is instructing. In order to do so, a mentor has to access the user’s page which displays a list of all the mentees who are enrolled into the particular course. Every mentee’s item will have the account status as active or inactive, account type, name, email, actions.

Administrator Dashboard

In order to login in the LMS as an Administrator, one needs to select an administrator account type, enter their username and password into the login form. One can also sign in with Google.

With the help of various tools that are available in the platform, an Administrator can manage, organize, monitor and report all of the course activities. After login, one can view the Administrator home page consisting of the following:

  • Courses
  • Users
  • User Types
  • Groups
  • Categories
  • Reports
  • Import/Export
  • Notifications
  • Events
  • Settings

Let’s discuss the most interesting feature – Reports. In the LMS, an administrator can easily and quickly check course progress as well as statistics by accessing and managing reports. Following are the Reports:

  • Course reports
  • User reports
  • Branch reports
  • Group reports
  • Test reports
  • Survey reports

Once selecting the User Reports tab, one can view a list of all the users who are enrolled in the system. If you click on the username present in the user’s row, you will be redirected to the user’s summary for the course.

On selecting the user (mentee), you will be able to see a number of statistics at the top of the page:

  • Active Users
  • Logged in Users
  • Assigned Courses
  • Completed Courses

You can also see Course, Certification as well as Timeline Statistics showcasing a graph and a timeline for the user’s course accesses.

Top 3 E-Learning Platforms to Create an LMS

There are three major types of LMS software available in the market today – Proprietary, Partly  Free and Open Source. The representatives of each type which are most popular are Blackboard, Canvas and Open edX, respectively. Let’s discuss the three types below:

A proprietary LMS platform, Blackboard has been on the market since 1999.  It is distributed under a license and one can use the features and modules that are provided out of the box. Contrarily, this LMS has the most reliable and stable paid technical support, vast and well-organized documentation and has been proven to be a good choice for small-to-medium businesses.

On the contrary, Blackboard needs a lot of supplementary software to offer complete functionality, thus leading to high monthly expenses. Customizations options here are also quite limited.

Blackboard may be suitable for organizations having stable business practices, can afford monthly subscription, and doesn’t require deep customization or frequent changes.

By infrastructure, Canvas is a LMS with features that one will actually use. Their point is that a number of LMS offer many features that users are not even aware about. On the other hand, Canvas offers an intuitively understandable and simple set of features and functions, only the ones that the user will absolutely require. This supposedly will enhance the overall user experience and the adoption rates.

Although, the lack of specific functionality and the cost of deep customization often leads to authors and students dropping Canvas for a good reason.

Open edX is a free open source LMS developed on Python and has been structured around the xBlock ideology. Courses are created from xBlocks that are small individual sections, each of which contain an entire unit of information. These could be combined in any sequence with each other. Open edX Studio is a powerful course creator, which contains all the xBlocks which are available presently, which enables one to compromise and deploy new courses in a few hours.

The main issue with Open edX happens to be the technical issues that appear constantly while installing and managing the software. Probably because of this reason, the potential behind Open edX has yet not been realized completely.

Though, Open edX can prove to be the most easily customizable solution, which can suit all your requirements after proper adjustment.

The Future of LMS

The Learning Management System started in the consumer market, and continues to expand into the business world.

Below are the two major trends that will have an impact on the future of Learning Management Systems:

SCORM Certified

Any Learning Management System that is SCORM (Sharable Content Content Object Reference Model) certified can exchange the same lesson content. Thus, any time lessons are developed, they can be shared across platforms instead of duplicating and recording for a new system.

Having a SCORM certified LMS implies that one can use third-party leesons within their system, and their own authored lessons can be distributed to other systems as well. Although, investing in a certified vendor might not be necessary for your business, certification will be a determining factor when making a buying decision.

Mobility and Gamification

Mobility and gamification features go together as new solutions have been designed to be accessible and interactive.

Employees are increasingly making use of mobile devices for work, thus leading businesses and vendors to meet the demand for a high-tech workplace. According to a survey, out of 350 businesses, 60% wished for a new LMS for meeting advanced needs like mobility.

As vendors craft LMS solutions to provide the best experience to learners, gamification is a significant focus to use social learning techniques. When employees interact via social features, administrators can easily track their performance.

Choosing Project Development Techstack

Choosing the appropriate tech stack for the project development is the most important step. In order to develop a LMS, you will need the following:

  • A reliable web server
  • A strong database
  • An exceptional web development framework, etc.

For each one of these, you have a number of choices available today in the market.

We have expertise on various technologie such as Laravel, Python, Ruby, MongoDB, PHP, MySQL, AngularJS, HTML, CSS, and ReactJS. Our experts can assist you to develop the LMS from scratch with your preferred technology stack.

In case you are confused about the tech stack that will be most suitable for your project, then just let us know about your requirements and we will be happy to suggest the best possible solution within your budget and timeline constraints to make the development process easier as well as faster.

Closure

So are you also planning to build a new-age LMS? Don’t worry, we have got your back. With many years of experience and downright technical expertise, our team delivers market-best solutions to build smart LMS. Just connect with us over email and rest assured that our team will reach out to you very soon.

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