Due to the global pandemic, the use of LMS platforms has strongly increased. It is necessary to consider that the radical changes we are witnessing will continue in the years to come. Here are some reflections regarding the opportunities connected to the world of distance learning doesn’t have to be missed.
LMS platforms: what are them?
The learning management system platforms, or LMS platforms, are an integrated system of interactive services to support and manage online learning or training. These are software, usually distributed in SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) mode, which deal with the interactive use of content, user management and analysis of statistics.
The LMS platforms provide a complete learning experience where learners can enrol, attend courses, verify the knowledge acquired and receive a certificate of participation.
Benefits of e-learning
The word “e-learning” was coined by Elliott Maisie in 1999. In recent years e-learning has made great strides mainly thanks to 4 factors:
Today, e-learning is not a niche tool, rather an opportunity for organisations, companies and consortia to increase the level of knowledge of their members or collaborators. The 4 aspects that make it advantageous compared to traditional learning are:
How to choose a good LMS platform
The market offers a plethora of companies and e-learning solutions to choose from, but in some cases a high-sounding brand does not correspond to a quality service.
A good LMS platform must:
Synchronous and asynchronous training
The technical characteristics of the LMS platforms must meet the needs of the learners. Although the ultimate goal remains learning, there are significant differences, for example, between learning a programming language and attending a professional refresher course.
Synchronous training virtually reproduces a class of learners led by a teacher. Since this is a virtual classroom, obviously, it is not necessary for everyone to be in the same place and this allows to manage large numbers of learners at the same time. This type of training is reflected above all in the field of school and university teaching. Teachers have the possibility to share slides, PowerPoint presentations, PDFs, videos. In this circumstance, a good LMS platform should include the possibility of creating customised courses, quickly loading new activities, allowing the use of comments, etc.
SCORM is an acronym for Shareable Content Object Reference Model and it is a standard for sharing e-learning content introduced in the early 2000s.
In e-learning, courses are structured using basic units called learning objects, each of them must have specific characteristics to be compatible with the SCORM standard.
These requirements are fundamental because in this way it is possible to exchange information between the learning object and the platform using specific APIs. Teachers can trace the learner’s educational path and know who passed the tests and how learning is proceeding.
This information is also essential to certify the attendance of courses by learners and to issue them with the certificate of participation. For this reason, LMS platforms that support this standard should be chosen.
The importance of in-company training
In-company training is a real investment that increases not only the skills of the individual, but also of the entire work group. Parallel to the development of further professional skills in human resources is accompanied by a growth of the company as a whole.
Companies that focus on training are increasing because, in an increasingly competitive and complex world, knowledge and constant updating, the improvement of soft skills and transversal skills make the difference and increase the quality of work.
Training therefore does not only concern the more technical aspects, but also allows for the improvement of relations between colleagues, reduces the attention-seeking behaviour of individuals and builds a more peaceful and respectful workplace for everyone’s needs.
E-learning, which offers both synchronous and asynchronous training, is the most preferred learning approach by companies because it reduces costs and allows optimal management of staff time.
e-Learning and digital divide
Italy has an infrastructure deficit with regard to the spread of broadband compared to many other European countries. This topic is certainly not new and we know that one of the brakes on companies’ technological innovation is also due to this problem.
With the need to use distance learning in schools, the digital divide has also become a topical issue for families. The lack of access to the network excludes not only from the digital society, but involves a much deeper exclusion.
It is good to remember that the digital divide is not only infrastructural, but is also due to poor digital literacy. Digital skills today are not just technical skills to be acquired, but are increasingly the prerequisite for full participation in political, social and economic life.
The development of e-learning could give that decisive push, not only to implement important structural interventions, but also to spread and increase the level of digital literacy.
How education changes after the pandemic
The pandemic has turned patchy trials into a structural necessity. This issue should not be underestimated: LMS platforms have made it possible to continue school teaching and training in the business world.
Today the priority is to return to “normality”, but the experiences gained in the field of e-learning are not lost. The school and education of the future will increasingly use hybrid forms of learning to create personalised and flexible training paths.