Moving is never easy. Between packing, moving, unpacking, and trying to find important items which should have been in one box but are not, it can be quite daunting.
Moving elearning courses around can present its own challenges too. As a supervisor, the challenge is to make the experience easy and seamless for the employees who rely on the courses to become better trained, perform better, and be more efficient at their jobs. So what exactly can move when it comes to elearning courses?
Moving To A Different LMS
A Learning Management System (LMS) is the delivery mechanism for elearning courses. At its basic, it offers the ability to manage users and to keep track of user activity related to the elearning course like time spent and test scores.
However different Learning Management Systems may have additional features that could be beneficial to your organization or there could be a major update to your existing LMS.
In that case, how to get your courses from one LMS to another? The advantage of most elearning courses is that they mostly follow an existing standard called SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model). SCORM is what allows an elearning course to communicate with the LMS.
What this means to a supervisor and a manager is that you can still use your existing courses on a new LMS as long as that learning management system is SCORM-compatible.
Once it has been uploaded to the new LMS, employees will still need to access the courses in a similar manner as before.
There is one caveat when it comes to switching from one LMS to another. Sometimes the data like employee logins and historical scores may not be able to be transferred over because of differences in the database.
Additionally, user accounts may not transfer over as well. If the LMS is configured for Single Sign-On this could alleviate any headaches related to user accounts. However, not all Learning Management Systems are, and so you are left with learners re-creating accounts or consulting with a database expert in order to find a way to transfer the data.
Moving To A Different Device
Elearning can move in other ways as well. It can move from one type of device to another. For instance, in years past, elearning was typically restricted to being delivered on either a desktop or laptop computer. This was because at the time, elearning courses were Flash-only and also because mobile devices like smartphones weren’t powerful enough or in the case of tablets they simply weren’t invented yet.
A lot has changed in the last seven years. Most people have a smartphone, tablet, or both and bring them to work. Often people are spending more time on their mobile devices than they are on a desktop or laptop computer.
Elearning courses have had to adjust to address this reality. They’ve done this in a number of different ways. One, they’ve had to be created in a manner that is compatible with mobile devices because they cannot display Flash-based courses. This is accomplished by exporting the courses in HTML5 format.
For a manager this is fantastic because now all your employees can access anytime/anywhere the training that they need to. However, there are still some things to look out for. First, any courses that have not been exported to HTML5 format will need to be re-exported and uploaded to the LMS.
More importantly is that not all courses will look as good as they do on a larger screen. Furthermore, complex animations and interactions might not run as smoothly on mobile devices as they do for the same course when it is viewed on a desktop or laptop.
Thankfully as course authoring tools like Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate improve in their ability to export to HTML5, these problems will be eliminated.
Elearning is on the move. Whether it be from one Learning Management System to another or from one type of device to another, it helps to be informed of what works and what doesn’t work so that employees can still access the courses they need to when and where they need to.