The past few months brought sweeping changes to every business, in every sector of the economy. With thousands of employees working from home or under severe workplace safety restrictions, normal operations are being disrupted and many priorities have to be reset. However, corporate training is not something that can be cut or postponed without dire consequences, especially for enterprises that rely on these programs to facilitate and scale onboarding.

In this article, I will identify a set of mission-critical capabilities that your corporate LMS should support to serve as an effective training tool during and after the global pandemic.

Live communication

Face-to-face communication with colleagues is an essential part of many professions. Likewise, the ability to ask questions and get assistance from a tutor in person increases the efficiency of training—this is one of the reasons why blended training is still so popular.

Working from home limits our interactions and has an adverse effect on motivation and interpersonal skills of employees. To counteract this trend, it’s more important than ever to include live communication, and in particular communication via video, into corporate learning programs.

Learning management systems equipped with rich video conferencing functionality have an advantage over solutions that only provide live texting. Besides allowing course participants to resolve emerging issues faster by speaking directly to the presenter, live video classes strengthen team spirit during group assignments and improve course accessibility for participants who might be inconvenienced by typing out text at a quick pace.

Personalization and deep data analysis

At the dawn of online training programs, learning management systems held a very limited amount of data about the courses and their use, with few opportunities to customize the learning experience. As the sophistication of the software and the volume of data increased over the years, the door has opened for deep data analysis and personalization.

Artificial intelligence is an incredibly powerful data processing tool that can be applied to a wide range of tasks within a typical LMS cycle, including smart course personalization, course content localization for global audiences, and granular success evaluation for tutors and learners.

AI also allows automating and scaling complex workflows such as online exam proctoring, which gains a new importance in a situation where it’s unsafe for learners to be physically present during a test. AI-based proctoring solutions use computer vision and deep learning to monitor hundreds of exam takers at once and flag suspicious activities faster and more accurately than human proctors. With a tool like this, companies can perform employee certification remotely and get the results they can trust.

Engaging media content

Enriching a course with media materials is not a new concept, but what differentiates a cookie-cutter training solution from a truly engaging one is how media tools are used to support the learning process and how convenient they are.

What kind of functionality are we talking about here? First of all, extensive on-demand libraries with multimedia content such as workshops, audiobooks, how-to’s, 3-D-models, and gamified VR experiences, equipped with an advanced filtering tool. Second, live-to-VoD functionality enabling tutors to record live classes and put them on the platform with a few clicks.

Implementing desktop sharing and co-browsing in an LMS gives tutors more control over the material during a presentation. Another option of boosting learner engagement is to provide second-screen functionality to support multi-device learning patterns.

Cross-platform access

Mobile devices are playing an increasingly important role in online learning. A mobile-optimized corporate LMS gives learners more freedom to decide when and where to study their course materials and incentivizes participation. With everyone’s routines upset by the unpredictable effects of the pandemic, this kind of flexibility and accessibility are most welcome.

Smartphones, tablets, and smart watches unlock new opportunities to integrate learning into daily life. LMS developers can leverage unique capabilities of various device types to create novel user paths with smaller cognitive load delivered more frequently, resulting in higher retention and engagement rates (microlearning).

Uncompromising scalability

The situation changes every day and for employers operating across several locations, it gets even more complicated, with restrictions eased or tightened unevenly by each government. Companies find themselves having to rapidly expand online training programs and support an ever-increasing learner base.

A cloud-based LMS—be it private, public, or hybrid cloud—is well-equipped to handle such scaling and enables unlimited data storage. Companies can either develop a custom LMS with a highly scalable cloud infrastructure or migrate an existing LMS to the cloud.

Last thoughts

A comprehensive corporate LMS that has become an integral part of your strategy is a great benefit in the times of social distancing. But not all LMS solutions are created equal. Thanks to technology know-hows, some are much better suited to address the challenges that learners and tutors are facing due to the pandemic. Modern features give such learning management systems help companies that use them achieve better results with less time and resources invested.