Online learning tech has evolved to the point where many industries and associations are taking advantage of it. For associations specifically, the best part of using learning tech is the fact that it can successfully engage busy members and keep them motivated to stay up-to-date on developments in their fields.
Offering continuing education as an association is important, but it can only be effective if your members participate. That’s why a learning management system, or LMS, is an excellent resource to incorporate into your continuing education strategy.
What is an association LMS?
An association LMS is a type of software that allows associations to host courses, certifications, accreditations, and transcripts of credits for their members.
Today, learners are seeking personalized and engaging learning opportunities, and leveraging the right data within your LMS can help you provide this for them.
There are many ways an LMS can engage your association’s members, including:
- Promoting Community
- Offering Personalization
- Developing Engaging Content
- Providing Certifications
Web Courseworks offers a list of top software for associations, and an LMS should be at the top of your list. With an LMS, you’ll be able to offer your members the continuing education they need in an environment they enjoy.
Let’s take a closer look at the ways you can engage your members using an LMS below.
1. It promotes community.
When your members need to take continuing education courses, learning tech is an excellent platform to use for several reasons, one being that it promotes a sense of community. When your members engage with their surrounding community, they tend to retain more information and stay more involved with the association.
For example, learning tech can incorporate:
- Social learning. Provide a space for members to share their knowledge and discuss materials. This can include forums, discussion boards, or live chats. Peer-to-peer feedback should also be encouraged and will contribute to a more collaborative community.
- Peer benchmarking. A little friendly competition goes a long way when your members can compare their performance against their peers. Gamification tools in your LMS, like scoreboards, are an effective way to overcome some of the biggest learning challenges because they keep your members motivated and on track.
- A variety of learning channels. If you host a learning event in a brick and mortar location, you can upload the corresponding materials online to your LMS so that those who were unable to attend can still access them.
Community is an important asset of your LMS. When you have the tools available to encourage your members to communicate with each other and keep one another motivated to continue their courses, their level of engagement will increase.
2. It offers personalization.
Personalization goes a long way when it comes to engagement. With regard to learning tech in particular, personalization offers an experience tailored to your members’ needs and interests.
For example, your LMS can:
- Recommend courses. Based on your members’ history with the LMS, their interests, and past purchases. This data can be used to recommend other available courses to members.
- Boost performance. By taking personalized assessments and quizzes, members’ performance can be easily tracked throughout the course and they’ll be able to focus on their skills that need developing.
- Notify members of new courses. Automatically notify members when there’s a new course available, which will remind them to login and can boost engagement as a result.
- Get detailed corrections. When learners answer a question incorrectly, your LMS can provide detailed information to help them further understand the material.
By making your members’ experience more personalized, they’ll be able to focus on the skills they need to build and keep them involved in the learning process. Taking advantage of these resources will not only help your members learn, but also help them develop new skills that are much-needed in their fields.
3. You can develop more engaging content.
Learning tech offers other opportunities to improve your courses. There are many right and wrong ways to engage your members, so it’s important to create courses that are educational in addition to fun and engaging.
Learning tech offers a variety of learning strategies and formats to keep your members engaged during their time online. These include:
- Social learning opportunities
- Peer benchmarking
- Branching scenarios
Learning through videos and more dynamic and interactive strategies, for example, can help your members retain the information they learn and keep them interested in the activities. For that reason, videos are trending in online learning. Add video interactions easily and build and play games directly in the LMS. Vary how you relay important information to your members to heighten their level of engagement.
As an added bonus, your learning tech can allow you to easily create and duplicate courses. This way, you can reuse and update courses that were successful and spend less time setting them up.
4. You can offer certifications.
The largest reason continuing education exists is so your members can further their careers and keep up with new developments in their industries. A huge incentive to participate in continuing education courses is that they can receive certifications or maintain their current credentials.
For example, in the healthcare industry, maintaining your credentials is essential to keeping your job. The amount of continuing education credits they need varies depending on the state medical board that issues licenses, and they must remain up-to-date on best practices. If you’d like to learn more about the ways learning tech can help track and enhance continuing medical education (CME) check out Web Courseworks’ continuing medical education LMS.
The same concept applies to other associations. Your LMS can offer professionals the ability to take courses and maintain a transcript of all their credits, which will encourage them to continue taking part in more programs. Even more, they can display their certifications on their profile in your integrated AMS.
And if they attend conferences or other in-person educational experiences outside of your association, your LMS will allow them to manually enter any earned credits into your system so they are accounted for.
Being able to track their credits and certifications will yield a higher engagement level with your members, especially if your LMS does the following:
- Tracks external credits so members can take part in learning experiences outside of the LMS.
- Tracks credits and transcripts, so your members are aware of their status and accreditation.
- Offers portfolio professional learning, so that your members can keep track of the credits and courses they completed from previous jobs.
By offering certification opportunities and ways to track those certifications, you’ll achieve a higher level of engagement with your members and keep them using your LMS.
Learning tech offers a number of ways to engage your association’s members. From promoting a sense of community to allowing more engaging content, your members will be able to track their certifications and stay up-to-date with the latest developments in their field.
If you’re not using an LMS today, it’s time to start. Check out a list of the best LMS software providers here.
Amber Bovenmyer is the Director of Sales & Marketing at Web Courseworks. She’s committed to helping association executives realize the potential of their education programs and turn them into high performing revenue generators. Amber was named one of Madison, Wisconsin’s 40 under 40 and the number 1 LMS salesperson by Talented Learning.