Show of hands – who has a dedicated team to manage your learning management system (LMS)? Chances are, you’re among the 88 percent of surveyed organizations that don’t. That’s why our partner, Tagoras, and Community Brands very own VP of Professional Services and Account Management, Michele Windsor, dedicated an hour of their time to guide listeners on how to fix that through our sponsored webinar, “Building Capacity: How to Staff (or Contract) for Online Learning Success.”
Founders of Tagoras, Celisa Steele and Jeff Cobb, went into great detail about the different LMS management roles, their responsibilities, titles, hiring hints, and the pros and cons of outsourcing these roles. Community Brands Michele Windsor highlighted the five keys to course content creation, considerations when outsourcing content development, and the hows and whys to leveraging new technology. Here are some of the highlights of what they had to say:
The Roles and Responsibilities of Your LMS Management Staff
So, who should be a part of your LMS Management Team? According to Celisa and Jeff, you need a dedicated team member(s) for four different areas: Platform, Content, Project Management, and Business Development.
Platform – Your LMS Administrator should be responsible for administrative tasks including, but not limited to, monitoring chats/Q&A, technical setups, looking out for new learning technology trends, and providing recommendations for innovation.
Hiring Hints: Don’t prioritize experience with a particular platform. Look for broad web application experience.
Content – Your Instructional Designer should be responsible for curriculum design and content, and your Course Developer should be responsible for the layout and user interface (UI).
Hiring Hints: Don’t prioritize experience with a particular tool or overvalue a degree. Some of the most qualified candidates can learn trades in the field. Also, invest time and money for a small test project from candidates to judge their performance.
Project Management – Your Project Manager should be responsible for oversight of the whole process from start to finish. He or she will also maintain the team and course schedules, budget, and communication between the teams.
Hiring Hints: A PMP Certification requirement may not be as useful as previous experience with online learning.
Business Development – Your Business Development Director should be responsible for selling your learning content to other organizations and maintaining those business relationships.
Hiring Hints: Value culture fit over domain expertise and look for a track record of hitting revenue targets.
In-House or Outsource?
Like every other aspect of your business, there are pros and cons to outsourcing your LMS management roles. Celisa and Jeff highlight that some of the benefits include a reduction in hiring, a larger range of skills options, the ability to scale the team across your organization, and a quicker speed of completion. The disadvantages include the energy required for relationship maintenance, the high cost of contractors, and the loss of industry experience within your organization. It’s up to your organization whether it makes sense to outsource your LMS management or not. Keep in mind – outsourcing doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing. If it makes sense to keep some roles in-house and others outsourced, that’s okay, too.
Leverage New Technology and Look Beyond Traditional Learning
New technology is everywhere. Your LMS Administrator will be able to tell you that. Michele advises while human functions are essential, take advantage of new artificial intelligence to enhance your learners’ experience. Offer personalization, based on previous learning history, and push specific content to help move them along their learning paths. Promote interaction and gamification. These innovations and trends will be a part of your LMS provider’s roadmap. Turn to them as a partner and not just a vendor.
About the Author
Jennifer Rathgaber is a Marketing Manager for Careers and Education Solutions at Community Brands.