All posts by Tom Coltrain

Examples of LMS Use Case Scenarios

Last week we took a look and writing a Meaningful LMS Use Case Scenario.  This week we will try to outline some of the most basic scenarios to help you in brainstorming for your own organization.  Keep in mind that use cases need to fit your organization needs for an LMS.  For example, it wouldn’t be useful for you to use our use case on eLearning, if your organization has no intention of using eLearning for training.

We will take a look at some of the use cases by role.  These should give you a good idea of the items to be demonstrated during an LMS demo.  Use cases can also be organized by workflow.  Feel free to use the use cases below in your own demonstrations.  It’s important to note that any of the use cases provided can be combined or edited to fit the needs of your organization.

Student Role

  • Demonstrate the student’s ability to launch eLearning courses.  Show how they would be able to stop the course and resume at a later time.  Show how the student can track their progress through the course.
  • Demonstrate the student’s ability to find a class that is required of them and self-enroll.  Show how the student could cancel their enrollment if they needed to.
  • Show how a student would take an assessment in the LMS.  If the student were to pass the assessment, show how they can print a report of their score.  If the student were to fail the assessment, show how they could review their answers.
  • Explain how certifications can be used in your LMS.  Demonstrate how students would interact with certifications.
  • Display a student’s training transcript.  Show what options the student has for exporting the transcript.
  • Demonstrate how students can review upcoming training needs.  Show where students will see expiration dates on recurrent training or due dates on new training.
  • Show how students will be able to review their current enrollments.  Show any waitlist, hold, favorite, wish list, or other enrollment options for the student user.
  • Demonstrate how students will be able to upload documents to complement their training endeavors. 
  • Demonstrate how students can enter their own training records from conferences or external training attended outside the organization.

 

Manager Role

  • Demonstrate how managers can review their subordinates in the LMS.  Show what employee information they will have access to.
  • Demonstrate how a manager would enroll students in training.  Show how the manager would be able to see what each of his/her subordinates are currently enrolled in.
  • Display which reports can be run by managers.
  • Show how a manager would give an assessment to a subordinate.  Show how a manager would review subordinate assessment scores.
  • Demonstrate how a manager can review training requirements of subordinates.  Show how the manager would review expiration dates on recurrent training and due dates on upcoming training.
  • Demonstrate the approval process for managers.  Include in your demonstration:

     

    • Approving student’s self-reported training
    • Approving enrollment in a class
    • Approving certification enrollment
    • Approving enrollment in eLearning

 

Instructor / Trainer

  • Demonstrate how instructors can manage an instructor led training classroom.  Include scheduling classes, cancelling classes, changing class statuses, and completing classes.
  • Show how instructors will enroll employees into classes.  Show how instructors can review class enrollment statuses and limits.  Show how instructors will cancel student enrollment in classes if they need to.
  • Display which reports can be run by instructors.  Show how these reports can be exported and printed.  Show a sign-in sheet or class roster.
  • Demonstrate how instructors can add & edit locations, instructors, and other resources.  Show any resource management capabilities.  Show how instructors can change location of an instructor led training.  Demonstrate how to resolve resource allocation conflicts.
  • Show how instructors will track attendance in classes.
  • Demonstrate which types of evaluations are available for training.  Show how instructors can assign evaluations.
  • Demonstrate how to schedule webinars and mark attendance.
  • Show how an instructor can print certificates of completion for courses.
  • Show how an instructor would give an assessment to a student.  Show how a instructor would review the student’s assessment scores.

 

Training Administrator

  • Demonstrate how to create ILT courses and assign resources. 
  • Demonstrate the process to upload eLearning and assign requirements to students.  Demonstrate any conformance testing within the solution.
  • Show how a web page url can be turned into training content in the solution.
  • Show how a document can be uploaded and turned into training content in the solution.
  • Demonstrate adding an employee to the system.  Show all steps that must be performed to optimally setup a student for taking training.  Show all steps that must be performed to optimally setup a manager to manage subordinates in the training atmosphere. 
    Note:  Many systems will require more setup than just adding an employee to start taking training.  For example, GyrusAim allows you to assign training requirements by Job/Organization/Direct.  However, in order for all of these items to work, you must first setup the jobs and the organizations as well.  Make sure you understand everything required in the setup.  This step is often missed.
  • Demonstrate the level of control that training administrators have over the user interface of the solution.  Show what they can customize to fit the culture of their organization.
  • Show how training administrators can assign training requirements.
  • Demonstrate how certifications are defined and how they can be assigned.
  • Demonstrate how training administrators will be able to track training within the system.

     

    • Show current enrollment – Show any drilldown possibilities
    • Show annual reports on training hours – Show any drilldown possibilities
    • Show training ratings and feedback
    • Show needs analysis
  • Display reports that are available to the training administrator.

 

The Solution Itself

  • Demonstrate how the solution would notify a student that they were enrolled in a class.
  • Demonstrate how the solution would notify a student of a change in location or a class cancellation.
  • Demonstrate how the solution would notify a student of upcoming expiration dates on recurrent training.
  • Demonstrate how the solution would notify a student of training that is due.
  • Demonstrate the solutions error messages and system notification capabilities.
  • Demonstrate how supervisors of notified of pending approvals.
  • Demonstrate how the solution sends out system wide notifications.

Meaningful LMS Use Case Scenarios

For those who are unfamiliar with use case scenarios, they are simply the scenarios that users of your system would perform.  Put another way: This is a way for you to make a case for the usage scenarios of your potential LMS users.  It is pretty difficult to decide on an LMS provider if you haven't first decided how your employees will be using the LMS.  Use cases force the vendor to show how to perform certain tasks within their solution.  It is easy to check the ‘yes’ box on a feature requirement, but when they show you how to use the feature, you can decide if it satisfies your need or not.  According to Brandon Hall Group, “Good use case statements are specific about how the system will be used, and are not just a list of features, as illustrated in [the] example [below]” [1].

Brandon Hall Example of Good and Bad Use Case

It can get pretty hectic when you start to think about all the different possible scenarios that are available.  For example, let’s say that one of your scenarios is the ability for students to launch eLearning from the solution.  Do you want managers to be able to track progress? What types of information do you want the LMS to report on the eLearning?  Should the eLearning show up in the course catalog, or as s required training for the user?  Is the eLearning allowed for all employees, or do some employees require approval to launch the course?  Does the eLearning have a built in assessment, or is the solution responsible for assessing the employee’s knowledge?  The list of questions could go on and on with no discernible rhyme or reason. 

In order to organize your list of scenarios it helps to ask the question “Who will do What?”, and organize your answers into a table with the same headers.

 

Who

What

 

 

 

It’s up to you which section you start with, but I find it easier when working with clients to start on the Who side.  Now, GyrusAim has role based security, so this is the obvious place to start for our LMS.  Roles based security simply means that you create your own roles with our existing 250+ permissions, and you can create as many roles as you would like.  Therefore, think of the role name as the Who and the permissions as the What.  Below, I have added some typical responses for who uses an LMS.  I have added one more Who that is often missed in use case scenarios:  the solution itself (these are system automated actions).  Keep reading to find out more about these use cases.

Who

What

  • Student
  • Manager
  • Instructor
  • Training Administrator
  • The Solution Itself

 

 

Next, we need to start thinking about some of the things that we will do in an LMS.  This is a much longer list, and will be very specific to the needs of your organization.  We have provided an extensive list to get you started, but have by no means encompassed everything in an LMS.  When you start to get stuck in the What section, remember to ask yourself, “Who will do What?”.

Who

What

  • Student
  • Manager
  • Instructor
  • Training Administrator
  • The Solution Itself
  • Enroll In Class
  • Launch eLearning
  • Take Assessment
  • Enroll in Certification
  • Track Transcripts
  • Print Transcripts
  • Track Training Requirements
  • Expirations and Due Dates
  • View Enrollments
  • Self-Report Training
  • Apply for Certifications
  • Approve Training
  • Enroll Students in Training
  • Send Emails
  • Run Reports
  • Give Assessments
  • Schedule Classes
  • Manage Classes
  • Enroll Students in classes
  • Complete Classes
  • Modify Resources
  • Schedule Webinars
  • Run Reports
  • Create Courses
  • Upload eLearning
  • Create Content From a Web Link
  • Create Content by Uploading a Document
  • Create Webinar
  • Add Students
  • Manage Organization Structure
  • Manage Jobs
  • Define Certifications
  • Assign Training Requirements
  • Develop Learning Plans

 

After you have developed your columns, you are ready to start assembling some use cases.  These can be assembled in several different ways.  Two examples include: by role and by workflow.

Use Case by Role Examples

#1. Student’s Ability to view and track training.

Demonstrate how [The Student]WHO will be able [to view their historical training records and print these records in CSV format from their personal computer]WHAT.

Feel free to add in the specifics of what you need.  This will also allow you to see how easy the process is for your users.

#2. Administrator’s Content Management Features

Demonstrate the administrator’s control over content creation.  Show each of the following:

  • Create Instructor Led Training
  • Upload an eLearning
  • Create content from a document upload.

Show how an administrator can run reports on available content listing in the system.

 

Use Case by Workflow Example

#1 Instructor Led Training – Demonstrate how each of the following actions can be performed by their respective position.

  1. The administrator creates a course in the LMS.
  2. An instructor schedules a class for next month.  The class will be located at our corporate headquarters.
  3. Students will enroll in the class from the course catalog.  The class will require approval from a manager.
  4. Managers will be able to approve enrollments.  Managers should be able to review all of their direct report’s enrollments.
  5. The solution will send an automated email to the student when they are enrolled.

Notice that we have used each of the roles defined in the Who section above to complete one full workflow.  This should help you get an idea of the process involved in creating, scheduling, enrolling, and managing a class.

 

This week is about the basic components of use case writing.  You should be able to take the table for “Who will do What” above and come up with your own extensive collection of cases.  For any questions on LMS use case writing feel free to Contact Us and submit a general inquiry.

Next week we will provide a longer list of role and workflow based examples you could potentially use in your own demonstration request.

 

 


[1] "The Poor Overlooked LMS Use Case – Brandon Hall Group." 2013. 26 Jan. 2016 <http://www.brandonhall.com/blogs/the-poor-overlooked-lms-use-case/>

 

Transforming Learning Through Mobile: Managers On-The-Go

As a manager it is hard to stay tied to your desktop computer to check on the progress and status of your employees participating in eLearning.  The lack of accessibility is not the only complaint about traditional eLearning.  A quick internet search shows that both users and managers dislike the boredom and inability to focus when stuck at a computer for a long training session. Mobile Learning, or mLearning, is the solution.

Mobile-Manager-Training

Mobile LMS for Managers

Gyrus Systems’ MobileAim is not just for employees on-the-go, it is also designed to provide managers with more flexible schedules by allowing them to manage employees while in or out of the office.  MobileAim has several tools designed specifically with the manager in mind: “My Enrollments,” “My Assessments,” and “Manage My People” are key features that make life easier for a manager.

While your staff is in the field or on-call you can easily track their training progress via “Manage My People.”   “My Enrollments" allows you to check on your students’ enrollment status and learning status, as well as all eLearning events.  When it is time to give an assessment, the instructor can manage it from the “My Assessments” feature.  Once an employee completes an assessment, the manager receives results in real time.

Benefits of Taking Your LMS Mobile

mLearning allows your employees to stay connected to their training through their mobile device, accessing it on their own time.  Employees no longer need to attend long training sessions, which reduces company training costs and travel expenses.  This flexibility also creates a more efficient workplace by minimizing employee's schedule interruptions to attend classes.  According to a study conducted by Dell “more than two thirds of businesses have seen increases in employee productivity and customer support by allowing employees to use their mobile devices at work.”  (crn.com)

Employees have a higher training completion rate when performed on their own time.  Gyrus Systems’ MobileAim streamlines the process of providing tasks and information to your employees while giving you easy to use tools to monitor their development. The end result is a more efficient and competent workplace.

 

Gyrus Systems ATD 2015 Prize Winner!

Gyrus Systems ATD Prize Winner

Congratulations to Melinda Johnson for being selected as our ATD 2015 first prize winner for the iPad mini!  Recently Melinda visited us in Richmond, VA to pick up her prize and meet the Gyrus team.  We enjoyed seeing her again and know she'll enjoy the iPad mini.

From all of us at Gyrus Systems we'd like to thank everyone who participated in the prize drawing and for stopping by our booth to discuss your training needs.  We met many training professionals that are passionate about training and development like us.  We hope our passion shined through in our product demonstrations and conversations.  Keep in touch with us through our blog!

Gyrus Systems ATD Booth

Many attendees expressed an interest in GyrusAim, and we will be contacting them in the near future to schedule a live demo of our LMS.  If you were unable to stop by the Gyrus Systems ATD 2015 booth, we'll be back next year!  We'd still be happy to give you a demo.  Click the request demo button below to sign up.

image

 

Gyrus Systems Launches New LMS Website

Richmond, VA · March 31, 2015. Gyrus Systems, a leader in the Learning Management (LMS) industry, launched its new LMS website www.gyrus.com today to commemorate its 27th anniversary.  Over the years, Gyrus has designed and implemented high quality, flexible learning management products for hundreds of satisfied customers.  The new website focuses on our latest product GyrusAim Suite, our new enterprise LMS.  GyrusAim leverages the latest technology innovation and delivers a fully functional, ready to deploy enterprise LMS.

 

“It’s our relationships with our customers that have made us successful. So, this year, we celebrate more than just a 27th anniversary; we celebrate our partnership with our clients,” says Mr. Kapadia, President and CEO of Gyrus Systems. “The goal of this new website is to provide valuable education and knowledge to present and future clients to help them make better decisions when choosing an LMS.”

 

More than a celebration, gyrus.com highlights the following features:

  • The unique Knowledge Center taps into Gyrus’ many years of industry experience and provides a wealth of free information including whitepapers, blogs, and case studies.
  • The services and support of Gyrus are now more accessible on the website, offering live chat, social media connections, support on demand, and collaboration tools.
  • Gyrus has made it a high priority to focus on the specific industries that we service. Visitors can get industry specific materials which highlight business challenges and experience with learning management.

 

 “Over the years, we have collaborated with clients across a wide range of industries to find practical and innovative solutions for their Enterprise Learning Management challenges.  We’ve been honored to develop deep and lasting relationships with many of our clients and are pleased to share the benefits of that experience with all visitors to our new website” says Mr. Kapadia.

 

About Gyrus

Gyrus Systems is the one-stop solution for the efficient management of any size training program.  Since 1987, 430+ companies worldwide have used Gyrus Systems’ products to improve training effectiveness, organization efficiency, and to attain greater success within their respective industries. The company is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia.  For more information, please visit http://www.gyrus.com/.

Buy-in for an LMS Implementation

LMS Buy In

In the introduction to the Change Management Strategies Series I mention three major factors effecting change.  These include an organized implementation plan, communication, and management buy-in.  This blog will focus on management buy-in.  A direct report's level of engagement can be effected by information or business practices received by their manager.  If a manager is resistant to change, often times the direct report will inherit the same attitude.  Understanding that manager's need the same reassurances as direct reports all the way up the line will go a long way in solving this problem.  Increasing manager buy-in can be done by developing test groups during the implementation process.

 
Ideas for test groups:
  • Create a game/raffle out of it. Let managers enter into a raffle to be put on a test team with their direct-reports.  (This method will probably require some type of reward as well for the 'extra' work)
  • Assign one test team per channel or industry that you support.
  • Create real world scenarios for testers that will promote the value add of a new LMS.
  • Never forget to explain the purpose of the test group and show employees how they are directly improving the business by giving their feedback.
  • Add a message to the communication strategy that highlights the achievements of each of the test groups.
  • Hold weekly or bi-weekly meetings where managers can give their feedback and the feedback of their direct reports
  • Encourage test groups to find bugs and errors in the system (this will help you in your overall roll out)

Each of the ideas above is geared toward including managers and allowing them to include their direct reports.  Once managers start to use the LMS they will become promoters of the system (if you can successfully highlight all of the benefits).  Using testing groups for manager buy in can increase adoption rates, reduce launch day glitches, create a positive stir in the organization about the LMS, and accomplish a lot of testing that the training department would have to do on their own.

 

Communications for an LMS Implementation

In the introduction to the Change Management Strategies Series I mention three major factors effecting change.  These include an organized implementation plan, communication, and management buy-in.  This blog will focus on strategic communications.  Learning Management System (LMS) roll outs that catch employees unaware can have a potentially devastating impact.  The project team may believe that because implementing a new LMS is the best thing for the organization, that employees will automatically see the benefit as well.  This is likely not the case, because employees may not have all the information.  Specific information that might not be available to employees includes:

  • Who the LMS will directly impact?  Who is responsible for steering the implementation?
  • What is an LMS?  What exactly will this mean for internal customers?
  • When will it be released?  When will internal customers see a change?
  • How will the LMS impact the organization?  How will this change the way work is done?
  • Why is this impact needed within the organization?  Why now?
These bullet points make for the perfect first topic of a minimum three that should be released during an LMS implementation.  We recommend three communication releases at minimum to cover the inception of the project, the midway point, and the blackout / go-live phase.  Feel free to add in communication points to your project plan as you see fit – especially if you are planning on a longer implementation.  One I like to add in is the Launch Day communication.  

 

Potential topics for communications:
  • Inception of the Project

    • Use the "5 Ws" above.
    • Let employees know they will be receiving a Midway Point communication as the project progresses.
  • The Midway Point

    • Discuss data migration.  Make employees feel comfortable that they will maintain their training records (if you have decided to make training records available to employees).
    • Reapply some of the earlier "5 W" bullet points.
    • Include an endorsement from a key stakeholder.  Try to use someone that has been active in the implementation and knows the power of the new solution.
    • Talk about successes in the project.
    • Let employees know they will be receiving a Go-Live communication (try to give an approximate time range).
  • Blackout / Go-Live Phase

    • Let employees know that during the blackout time frame they will not be able to access the system.  Even if a blackout period is over the weekend, you may have weekend workers that would be interested in knowing their LMS is down for maintenance.
    • Include an endorsement from a key management personnel.  This endorsement should focus on the benefit to the internal customer with limited emphasis on the organization as a whole.
    • Give the employee a specific time frame for the blackout and a specific date for the LMS Go-Live.
  • Launch Day

    • Provide information on how employees can now access the system.
    • Thank employees for their patience throughout the process.
    • Offer training on the new system (this would need to be developed during implementation).
 
 

White Board for an Organized LMS Implementation

In the introduction to the Change Management Strategies Series I mention three major factors effecting change.  These include an organized implementation plan, communication, and management buy-in.  This blog will focus on an organized implementation.  Whether you are in the market for new Learning Management Solution (LMS) or have recently purchased new LMS, the implementation should be at the forefront of your mind.

An LMS implementation includes the application installation (if not hosted), data migration (historical and automated), configuration, training, testing, and launch.  Simply put, it is the time from which the software is purchased to the time the software is operational.  Implementations can span a wide variety of times depending on factors such as: amount of users and administrators, resources available, integrity of the data being migrated, and etc.  Here at Gyrus Systems we have worked on implementations spanning 3 weeks to over 12 months.

One of the keys to a successful implementation is keeping organized.  A great way to keep track of events during an implementation is to utilize a basic white board.  We keep a white board wall in the office with a template of the general implementation plan.  I'm not saying you need an entire wall, however a simple white board could increase the organization of your LMS implementation team.

Benefits of using a white board include:
  • Keep everyone updated on the progress of the implementation
  • Encourages input from all resources involved in the project
  • Gives visibility of processes within the implementation
  • Allows for reorganizing and re-prioritizing events and milestones in the plan
  • Having the plan visible throughout the project may prevent potential conflicts during the course of the implementation.

If you have already purchased the software, hopefully you were provided an implementation plan (might be referred to as your project plan).  If you were not provided a plan, or have not yet purchased an LMS, I would recommend asking for a standard implementation plan.  Companies may be hesitant to provide a detailed plan until they have spoken with you about requirements, however they should be able to supply a general plan that they work from.  Once you have the plan you are ready to start filling in your white board!

How you can use a white board to aid in your implementation:

  • Draw a rough outline of your project time line on the board
  • Have a meeting to discuss key points in the time line, and the resources needed at each phase of the project
  • Keep the board in a highly trafficked or visible area
  • Encourage your team to provide input and suggest changes if they think the project could be managed better
  • Don't worry if the board gets messy – this means people contributing
  • Reevaluate the board and your progress weekly to stay organized.

 

See Also:
Change Management Strategies for LMS Implementation
Communications for an LMS Implementation
Buy-in for an LMS Implementation

 

Questions to Keep in Mind When Purchasing eLearning Content for an LMS

Many guides on buying eLearning content talk about the quality of the content, the experience of the developer, the number of courses the developer has available for purchase, references, and etc.  These are all very important topics that cannot afford avoidance, however there are some other questions that are important to keep in mind when purchasing content.  Reviewing these questions could help to save you from making a costly mistake.

  1. Pricing

    • Are you purchasing on a per user basis?
    • Are you purchasing unlimited use?
    • Are you purchasing attempts?  This probably does not occur very often, however it is important to confirm that each attempt from the same user does not count against your user licensing.
    • Are their options available for bundling course topics and reducing cost?
    • Does the price of content use in an LMS differ from the price of use in the provider’s delivery system?  Confirm you are purchasing content to reside within your LMS, it may be more expensive, but you have the added benefit of all training records in one location.
  2. Demo

    • Does the provider give a demo on the content you are requesting?
    • Does the provider give access to demo content to test functionality in your LMS?
    • Will there be a dedicated support person to troubleshoot potential issues in your LMS?
    • Ask for the option to view an eLearning course start to finish so you may judge the quality.
  3. Completion / Assessments

    • Is there a final assessment on the eLearning?
    • Are their ‘check-point’ assessments within the eLearning?
    • Can percent completion be factored into the pass/fail decision? This means that a viewer has to watch a percentage of the total content in order to pass the eLearning – they will not be able to skip ahead and take all the assessments.
    • Is there an ability to customize completion / assessment pass/fail scores?
  4. Extras

    • Does the content come with job aids?
    • Does the content allow for submitting feedback?
    • How and where does the content utilize bookmarks? Example: If the content is closed in the middle of a video, when reopened, will it start at the beginning of the video or where you left off?  Does the user have to physically click the save button to bookmark?
    • Are their help texts provided within the content?
    • Does it come in multiple languages?
    • Ask how often the content is refreshed (if you are purchasing content that requires refresher courses)?
    • Are there any accessibility options?
    • Ask about SCORM (1.2 or 2004), AICC, and xAPI (if applicable) conformance.
    • Does the content provider offer personalized certificates at completion?

Change Management Strategies for LMS Implementation

     Three factors that are important to change management when implementing a Learning Management System (LMS) are management buy-in, communication, and organization.  All three come down to making the employee feel safe about the change that is occurring.  If management resists the transition into your new LMS then employees will not feel as though it is a priority.  If the change is not well communicated, they will feel as though they were not considered when the change was planned and implemented.  Lastly, if the project is not well organized, this will be apparent to your employee audience and they will lose faith in its legitimacy.

     When change management is not taken into consideration we are left with employees who feel the change is a low priority, ignored their consideration, and lacks organization.  Each of these factors will lead to lower adoption rates among employees.  If training is a requirement of the organization, employees may even begin to resent the change that has been forced on them.  Again, this all comes down to employee’s feeling safe and comfortable.

Three best practices to meet these challenges include:

  • Encourage manager involvement and feedback in the implementation process, and student involvement in testing groups.
  • In the project plan set milestones for company-wide communications to go out at the inception of the project, midway through, and before the blackout/go live period.
  • Regularly review and modify the project to fit the business needs of your organization.  Get your implementation leader to provide progress reports to keep everyone on track and organized during the implementation.

 

See Also:
White Board for an Organized LMS Implementation
Communications for an LMS Implementation
Buy-in for an LMS Implementation