Best practices

3 Things to Look for in Your LMS Reports

Thanks to budget cuts and massive teacher shortages, U.S. educators are more overburdened with paperwork and large class sizes than ever before. Learning management systems (LMS) have become an essential part of an effective classroom — helping teachers bridge the gap by automating processes and collecting data that helps them differentiate learning.

LMSs are effective in the education sector because they provide teachers with data-based insights that help them

  • Identify students who may be at risk of failure
  • Incorporate blended learning into the classroom
  • See areas of strength and weakness for every student.

In the same ways a learning management system helps teachers be more effective with their students, LMS reports can help businesses be more effective with employee development — which can, of course, impact retention and productivity.

According to Gallup, employee engagement across the country is incredibly low. Some of the factors that determine engagement are whether or not an employee feels they have “had opportunities to learn and grow” and whether there is “someone at work who encourages your development”. While every good manager presumably wants to provide their employees with these opportunities, competing priorities can make them difficult to execute, especially for enterprises where managers are responsible for large teams.

LMSs not only automate and digitize employee training and development. They can also produce LMS reports, that are invaluable tools to benchmark progress and performance. This reporting allows managers and business leaders to have greater access and insight into employee development, no matter how large their organization is.

Just keep in mind, reporting tools are only as effective as the people using them. Managers must know what to look for in their LMS reports in order to take proper action. When managers know what to look for and how to use the data, they will see that strengths-based development has a statistically positive effect on everything from employee turnover to company profit.

If you’re not sure what to look for in your LMS reports, here are three places to get started.

1. Assessment Data

Course completion rates are helpful, certainly. But most of us can probably relate to “completing” a required training (with one screen running the training while we multitask elsewhere) without getting much out of it.

Many corporate learning programs include assessments as part of their required training, but they often ignore what the assessment data reveals. Are employees getting the most important takeaways, or are they speeding through modules and guessing answers?

The purpose of assessment data isn’t just to “catch” employees who are falling behind; it’s also an opportunity for learning departments to improve. If employees are testing low on a particular training, it may be a sign that the training is too difficult to understand or too dry. Perhaps it’s time to revisit the content or attempt a new approach, like gamification. Once those changes are implemented, you can use the same LMS reports to see which tactics have the greatest effect on employee learning.

2. Individual Engagement

LMSs are great for tracking required training, but they are also helpful for identifying employees who are going above and beyond in their quest for personal growth. Using course engagement data, managers can determine which employees are the most highly engaged with optional professional development content. What courses are they taking? Do they have an increased interest in a particular area? Are they developing a skillset outside their normal job requirements?

Using this data, managers can determine which employees may have the skills or ambitions to be pushed into new roles or responsibilities. Another factor Gallup uses to measure employee engagement is “I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.” It can be hard for some employees to verbalize their desire for more growth or changes to their job description.

3. Course and Facilitator Feedback

LMS data isn’t just a reflection of employee development; it’s also a reflection of managerial and trainer effectiveness. It’s crucial that you include course surveys and opportunities for feedback as part of all your training — even more crucial that you listen to that feedback. LMS reports make this easier by analyzing the data and providing actionable takeaways.

You can use course feedback to determine opportunities for improvements in existing courses, as well as opportunities for new training to be added. When employees are particularly satisfied with a certain course designer or facilitator, it could be worthwhile to recreate low-rated courses using that person. And if employees are particularly engaged with a certain topic, that may help you understand where to prioritize future training efforts, rather than just guessing what would benefit employees most.

When employees are growing as individuals, they are also growing your business. But it’s not enough to implement an LMS into your company’s software toolkit. To get the most out of eLearning, your employees need to adopt and engage with the system. The right LMS reports help managers ensure that growth is underway and that the right topics, trainers, and stretch opportunities are being presented to each team member. After all, it’s not just your employees that your LMS can train — it’s you.

About the author: Taylor Burke is a contributor for She’s a marketer, storyteller, and techie who loves to learn about and cover e-learning, employee engagement, and other industry topics. When she’s not in front of her screen, you can find Taylor reading, cooking, running, or hanging with her dog—but rarely all four at once. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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