Must-have Features of a ‘Next Gen’ LCMS

Today’s learning ecosystem is evolving at an increasingly rapid pace, and learning organizations are now expected to effectively support: 
  • Multiple ways for learners to access content in and out of an LMS, 
  • Multiple output types (courses, job aids, coaching guides, discussion guides), 
  • Content personalization across multiple audiences and languages 

Companies who have already adopted a Learning Content Management System (LCMS) have an easier time addressing these challenges. Their LCMS allows them to create a library of reusable learning objects that can be quickly assembled into microlearning, performance support, or courses (ILT and eLearning).   

A traditional LCMS allows you to: 

  • Manage versions and updates, 
  • Add metadata to drive intelligent search, 
  • Create content derivatives by linking (not copying) tensure consistencacross all iterations avoid a maintenance nightmare,
  • Manage language translations 
Source: Reimagining L&D Capabilities to Drive Continuous Learning,
Bersin by Deloitte / Dani Johnson, March 2015 - Select to enlarge
Although a traditional LCMS solves many of the problems that other authoring tools cannot, LCMSs must evolve to effectively meet new expectationsA next gen LCMS provides the additional power needed to meet today’s complex business intelligence demands. 

4 Must-Have Features of a Next Gen LCMS

  • Flexible Authoring & Outputs

    Integrate multiple authoring tools – We no longer live in a one-tool-fits-all world. The number of off-the-shelf authoring tools continues to grow. From gamification to building sophisticated simulations, a next gen LCMS must allow you to author and manage content in a single location, while also supporting the incorporation of content created in external authoring tools. Integrating with rapid authoring tools such as Storyline, Captivate, and other HTML5 outputs gives you the freedom to utilize the right tool for the right task. Only a next gen LCMS can treat these third-party interactions as any other reusable learning object, making it easy for authors to create a wide variety of courses that keep learners engaged. 

    Create modern outputs – Today’s learners expect modern outputs that look and act more like web pages. Gone are the days of traditional PowerPoint-type courses turned into eLearning formats (next, next, next). The Next Gen LCMS accommodates this shift by incorporating flexible output options to provide a wide variety of learning content and experiences.

  • Centralized Storage & Distribution

    Store published content and access using robust distribution APIs – Traditional LCMSs store learning content, but fall short once the content is published. By using a robust set of APIs, a next gen LCMS provides a robust central warehouse that allows you to distribute content to your LMS(s), LXP, internal learning portal, SharePoint, and more. Creating a modern learning ecosystem means seamlessly integrating content into many platforms. 

    Keep content in sync – A learning organization’s job isn’t done once the content is created and published — you must also keep the content accurate. In today’s fast-paced business environment, the shelf life of your content is shrinking. A next gen LCMS expands the same single-source content reuse philosophy to distribution. When your content is updated, the latest version is available no matter where it resides. This allows your content to stay in sync, without creating a significant maintenance burden for you or your team. 

    Put content in the path of the learner – Busy learners want to take courses in the airport, use job-aids in the field, access content from within applications or scan a QR code and have context-sensitive content pop up. “Anytime, anywhere” has gone way beyond mobile; It means having flexible content (stored in XML) that has intelligent tagging (to support relevant searches) that can be put anywhere (through powerful APIs).

  • Comprehensive Tracking & Measurement

    Content Usage – If you’re going to put content in the path of the learner and distribute it outside the LMS, you need a way to know how your content is performing, regardless of where it resides. Who is accessing the content and where? Are there trends across roles, regions, or departments? That’s why next gen LCMSs must include a Learning Record Store (LRS) that goes beyond reporting course completion, to providing in-depth insight into learner behavior. 

    Learner Engagement – How are learners engaging with our content? Learning organizations need richer feedback to improve content design. Question-level analytics, page views, time on page, and video viewing time all provide feedback on how your content is performing. 

    Content Impact – Did we impact performance? The ability to merge content engagement (LRS) data with other business data is where the power resides. The next gen LCMS can export data to your business intelligence tools so that it can be merged with other business data to provide the comprehensive ROI insights you need. 

  • Long-Term Vendor Commitment

    Commitment to Product – If you have an LCMS, you have made a big commitment in time and money, and you should expect your LCMS vendor to be just as committed. It is important that this isn’t just one of many products the vendor supports, that it’s their bread and butter and they are with you for the long-haul. This “future proofs” your investment and reduces your long-term risk. 

    Commitment to a User Community – Organizations that buy an LCMS are innovators who want to learn what their peers are doing. Next gen LCMSs understand this. The user community is vital, and the vendor should facilitate networking between customers through customer events, community forums, and sharing of best practices. A vibrant user community can make your investment pay dividends. 

    Commitment to You – The level of commitment you’ve made to your LCMS should be equally supported by the vendor’s commitment to your success. A next gen LCMS vendor understands that your evolving strategy demands a deep relationship. You need to be supported by professionals who know what your priorities are, and how to get the most out of your content. You should be able to pick up the phone and talk to experts (without being charged by the minute). 

Want to learn more? Contact Xyleme today — developer of the only next gen LCMS!

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