What makes a great Learning Management System? The UK’s best LMS in 2017
23rd May 2017
Choosing a Learning Management System can be a difficult process. There are such a wide variety of providers on offer, each with their own benefits and features. What might seem a good option at first can quickly turn sour once you look beyond the flashy marketing website and dig down into the features your team will actually be using day in, day out.
At Marshall E-Learning, our clients often come to us looking for our expertise on which LMS is right for them. Our experience of working across a wide range of LMS providers and systems means we can offer insight and make recommendations that a company won’ t have themselves.
What should you look for when choosing an LMS?
We find there are 4 key things to look for in an LMS:
- Navigation and administrator ease of use
- Delegation and user roles
- Customer support
Let’s take a look at each of these in turn.
Navigation and administrator ease of use
Whether you’re a first time user of an LMS or have a wealth of experience (both good or bad), the navigation and ease of use is a key priority. With a great LMS, your admin burden will be greatly lessened, so you can get on with the actual job of getting your workforce trained up through the system.
The kind of features you’re looking for here include: consistent admin navigation, a content library, the ability to clone or copy courses, filters for different courses and enrollments, and a unique client portal for your organisation.
While each of these aren’t essential to working with your LMS, we’ve found these these main elements make life much easier for the admins.
Delegation and user roles
Having different user roles in your LMS helps you to give different people different levels of access to the LMS, depending on what they need to do their job. It’ s no longer just learner and manager roles you can now get much more granular.
For example, if you work for a large organisation, you might well run your own training internally. If you’ re a team leader, rather than checking in with the training manager every time, you can be assigned a manager role so you can check in on your team’ s progress, without having access to the full range of management activities.
Different managers can have different levels of access too, so they can access just their team’ s reports without seeing the whole organisation.
Automation in an LMS system means setting up systems that make our work easier for us by letting the LMS handle certain activities automatically. Automation is great for saving time so you can focus on other projects.
A simple example is scheduled reports, where you can run a report of everyone who has completed a training module, and schedule to run on a weekly basis. With automation, you don’ t have to login and run the report every time, it gets automatically emailed to you every week. You can even schedule the report to be emailed to other managers so you’re all up to date with your team’s activity.
Another example are email reminders, which can be automatically triggered if a learner does or doesn’t take certain actions on the platform. For example, if a learner has to complete a training module by a certain date, but hasn’t completed the course yet, the LMS can automatically email them a reminder a few days before the deadline to make sure they take the course.
Setting up an report once and having that automatically to you whenever you want, or sending email reminders to people that need to take a training module, are both examples of automation that are great time savers and really important features of any LMS you’re considering.
To us, customer support is the most important thing when looking for an LMS. Traditionally, customer support for LMS systems hasn’t been that great, but industry has seen a vast improvement and there are now no excuses for poor support.
Ideally, the customer support you receive as part of your LMS should be always available, fast and thorough, and friendly and personal. This can be achieved through a mixture of phone and email support, web chats, video tutorials, knowledge bases and resources, or a ticketing system.
Ultimately, you want the customer support team dedicated to ensuring your LMS is a success for your organisations and go out of their way to make sure that they are helping you overcome any challenges you face.
Which do we think is the best Learning Management System?
As well as creating exceptional e-learning courses, Marshall E-Learning also provide a full LMS solution (Learning Management System) ourselves. We’ve sifted through the vast range of providers and found a system that takes those four key areas we outlined above and puts them into one system.
Why do we believe our system is the best? Our clients tell us that the Marshall LMS is the most intuitive in the marketplace, and its simplicity means they are quickly adding more and more content, expanding the training resources available to their staff.
When you commission our LMS, you open up a world of training possibilities. You’ll have the ability to mix and match modules, utilising courses built by Marshall E-Learning, as well as third party resources and even content created internally by your own team.
What are the main benefits of Marshall’ s Learning Management System?
Once an LMS has covered ease of use, delegation and user roles, automation and customer support, you can look for other features that make your LMS stand out.
These are the main things that our clients consistently ask for:
- One Learning Management System for all of their courses
- Stop the frustration of different logins for different courses
- Help administrators with one system for reporting
- Offer single sign on
The Marshall Learning Management System does all of the above and more, but we’ve summarised a handful of standout features below:
Full HR integration and Single Sign On
The system has two popular mechanisms which can be used to achieve Single Sign On, meaning learners are signed in automatically, taking away the burden or remembering yet another password. You can also make use of the API, which will allow integration with your own internal HR systems.
Create your own content
Whether you have video clips or PDF policies, these can be uploaded to the LMS and treated in the same way as the rest of your courses. The content is used to make a course within the system, and this can be tracked and reported on, just as with any other courses.
Rapid and supported launch
We can have your staff up and running on a fully branded and customised portal within a very short space of time. All work can be carried out by the Marshall E-Learning team, and as a result, you don’ t have to rely on internal resources to carry out time consuming tasks.
Portals are unique
Each of our clients is provided with a unique portal with its own URL. This can help to integrate it further with your website. Having your own portal means that you can adapt the colour schemes, layout and branding to your needs.
Even if you’ re not from an IT background, you will be setting up batches of users and running reports instantly. The LMS is laid out in such a way that you really can’ t get lost.
Learners want to be rewarded for their learning. Being able to customise your own certificate will increase engagement with the learners. These can be automatically triggered when a learner completes or passes a module.
What other features does the Marshall LMS have?
The Marshall Learning Management System provides you with a system to suit your learners’needs.
Here are a few further features that outline why we think Marshall Learning Management System has the edge over more complex systems, such as Moodle or Blackboard.
- Thousands of concurrent learners: Marshall Learning Management System can support up to 15,000 concurrent learners, with absolutely no impact on your content accessibility.
- Progress reports: Check your learners’ progress and course rollout through our menu of standard and customisable reports.
- Modern look and feel: We’ve modelled Marshall Learning Management System around popular software so using our system should feel like second nature. Learners will be presented with familiar content and receive friendly signposts to less familiar areas.
- DIY courses: Our portal supports simple course creation and is the perfect location for uploading key documents.
- E-commerce: Marshall Learning Management System introduces e-commerce to your e-learning. You can set up an online store and start selling your courses in a matter of minutes.
- Mobile learning: Mobile device usage is on the up, so you need an agile system that adapts to platforms your learners are familiar and comfortable with. Marshall Learning Management System is compatible with iPhones, iPads and Android devices.
- Multilingual: Marshall LMS is available in English, Spanish, French and German. Your default language can be set for your portal and learners can choose their preferred language ( available for administrative side of the LMS, not for the actual courses)
Who else thinks this is the best Learning Management System?
Here are some examples of full LMS rollouts that Marshall E-Learning have helped with, so you can see the types of organisations that are using the LMS.
Volkswagen have rolled out the LMS to the key brand names within the group Audi, Skoda, Seat, VW. They have a mixture of Marshall courses, third party resources and courses that they’ve built in house with their own expertise.
The system allows Volkswagen to bring all records into one central area, and then publish extensive reports that are passed to the various groups and heads of departments.
They now have over 20 different resources and over 1,000 active users, with high engagement rates.
Gloucestershire Deaf Association
Gloucestershire Deaf Association (GDA) commissioned the full LMS in order to take advantage of its e-commerce capabilities.
GDA had a library of videos resources which they wanted to make available to its clients. Each video can be purchased separately, or bought as a bundle. The LMS allows them to package the various different resources and offer them to clients as an attractive proposition.
GDA said they were impressed by how easy it was to set up the resources, and also how easy it was for clients to go through the purchasing process’ .
They also praised Marshall E-Learning’ s prompt and efficient support.
Anglia Ruskin University
As well as purchasing Marshalls’ off the shelf and bespoke courses, Anglia Ruskin wanted to bring some of their own content to life.
They had various pieces of video relating to different topics, but wanted these to be treated as full courses. The LMS allowed them to import their own video clips and build up content around them.
They now have over 20 new courses, which each contain video, alongside further content and assessments which were built using the LMS authorware tool.
Having initially purchased Marshall E-Learning courses and hosted them on the LMS, Reading University decided that Single Sign On and integration with their own HR systems was key.
This has now been achieved successfully through the Learning Management System, resulting in less administration for those in charge of the system.
User accounts, as well as enrollments, are created automatically, and admins no longer have to login to the system in order to transfer records.
DMW Group decided to take a package of five Marshall e-learning courses, along with a full license of the LMS. Single Sign On was again key, and our team were able to set this up alongside their IT department within about 2 hours.
They felt this package of resources alongside an award winning LMS was a solid way to address compliance requirements within a small but growing organisation.’
What do clients say about the Learning Management System?
But it’ s no good us telling you that we’ve found the best Learning Management System in the UK, if our clients didn’t tell you that too.
Here’ s just a few testimonials of many from a diverse range of organisations who love using the Marshall LMS:
‘The learning felt fresh and accessible, and proved a highly cost-effective way of ensuring that we maximised the return on investment from training our internal support team.’
Simon Gosney, National Head of Learning & Development & Colleague Support Project Manager, NHS Direct
‘It was a pleasure working with Marshall ACM, they secured us a very efficient LMS, which has meant that in two years over 10,000 professionals have accessed our training modules.’
Martha Evans, National Coordinator, Anti-Bullying Alliance
“The technology is easy to understand and implement, their knowledge of legislative requirements and best practice is superb and their customer service up there with the best.’
Dee Denholm, Head of Human Resources, Queen Margaret University
Get a free demo of the UK’ s best Learning Management System
For a complimentary consultation on the use of our learning management systems, please make contact with James Sellers, General Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07787 401 113.
We would be happy to arrange a webinar, conference call or in-person demo to show you how impressive the Marshall Learning Management system really is.