5 Effective Ways to Track Training Data in Your LMS
It doesn’t matter just how slick, snazzy, or content-rich your Learning Management System (LMS) is – if you can’t determine whether it is effective in helping deliver on your learning goals, you might as well not have it. Without understanding the impact of both your formal and informal learning initiatives, it can be challenging to articulate the value of your L&D program and how your training programs are impacting outcomes. That is why it’s imperative that any LMS should be supported by methods of tracking and evaluating data that can establish whether learning and development targets are being met. How do we do this, you ask? With data, lots and lots of data, that can be obtained in multiple ways depending on what outcomes you’re looking to be able to report on. Here are 5 ways you can track data to leverage the most important information related to your learners and learning programs in your LMS.
1. Internal Reporting
Any LMS worth its salt should come with at least some basic reporting tools that provide an initial understanding of the actions being taken in your LMS. Out-of-the-box Moodle™ and Totara, for example, quickly and easily show reports on when your LMS is being logged into and what programs are being used. This can be at the site level, right down to the course and even the activity level. Activity reports should be the bread and butter of the reports available to instructors within the LMS. These simple reports can help achieve greater participation and lead to conversations about resolving common issues like access to the course and time to complete any assigned tasks.
2. Custom Reports
The reports mentioned above provide feedback on very general training information, such as whether the user logged in or whether they completed activity x or y. But what about information like how much time was spent completing a quiz in order to assess the user’s understanding of the learning materials? Or what order was a set of activities performed in? Again, Moodle™ and Totara include basic reporting for these types of things; however, a hosting partner like Open LMS could also offer custom reports that filter this information by department, job role or any other metric you can think of to further categorize your learners. Both Moodle™ and Totara allow you to expand the default reporting tools with custom reports.
3. Course Evaluations
One area that often comes into conversation when talking about analytics is the drive for it to identify areas for improvement. This is where the data provided by the LMS can be very powerful. Looking at how individuals answered questions in a quiz or a SCORM package can help shape a development plan and automatically trigger new learning pathways for learners depending on their results. This data is also instantly available to instructors to ensure that the initial materials and resources used are fulfilling the requirement of the course specification.
4. Scheduled Reports
Having access to all these reports is great, but what about having them triggered at certain times? And sent to the right people? The answer to that is scheduled reports. Totara, for example, provides easy-to-use scheduling options for pretty much any report you build within it. This allows decision makers to see specific information without even needing to log into the LMS platform. There are also several plugins that can be used to help streamline reporting within Moodle™, such as one that sends reporting data to an SFTP server for consumption. After the initial set up and process verification, this could allow for an automated process that means the file never has to be touched. It is produced and saved to the server where it is consumed by the vendor program.
5. Third-Party Reporting Tools
All of the areas discussed so far are either features that are already included in either Moodle™ or Totara – or can be expanded upon using plugins. To take your LMS data reporting that step further and beyond, eThink has a long list of Partners that we can introduce you to that will help meet your needs when it comes to reporting, analytics, and other solutions to effectively track training within your LMS. One great example of that would be Intelliboard. With this product, you will be immersed in a world of real time reports, dashboards, graphs and KPIs – all driven by the data obtained through your LMS. Effectively tracking and making data-driven decisions from the training data in your LMS is essential to delivering engaging and future-proof learning programs for your organization. To learn more about leveraging data to improve your eLearning efforts, check out how to Future-Proof Your Training Program with Open Source, or contact us for an individual demonstration.