While you may be lost in thoughts of the holiday season, trying to wrap up your year end to-do's, you'll want to think about cleaning up your Learning Management System (LMS). You are probably thinking to yourself, ‘Hey, I paid to have all that cloud space - why do I need to clean it?!’. We will say to you, good point. However - trust us. You can save yourself from having a few major headaches down the road. Maintaining your LMS is very important. It is like your personal hygiene. You may think you smell great, but people will start to notice if you skip a few showers.
Here are 6 things you should do yearly to maintain your LMS.
First, take inventory of all the content you have squirreled away. Also, take a look at any ‘course shells’ that you may have created but realized you don’t really need anymore. If it’s something you want to keep for historical purposes, then archive it somewhere else. If it is just noise or clutter, click that delete button. Now!
Doing this will help any future users navigate your system with more efficiency.
Next on our list, let’s get rid of nonexistent users. You have two options here, you can delete or deactivate (our recommendation). If you know 100% that this user is NEVER coming back, or you will NEVER need to access their information ever again - then by all means go ahead and delete them (test accounts, come to mind for this one). The better option would be to deactivate them. This gets them temporarily out of the way but will give you the option to bring them back if you need access to their information or if they return to the system. This is a safer option, in our humble opinion.
Plan for Downtime (or upgrade your LMS)
If your LMS doesn’t have seamless upgrades and requires downtime, now is the time to plan for that – side note: leading LMS vendors all have true SaaS solutions at this point (no downtime, seamless upgrades), so this might be a gut check as to the general quality of your LMS. Get with your provider and find a time that will have the least amount of impact on your users. Get those system upgrade dates on your calendar now, so you aren’t scrambling at the last second and freaking out at the possibility that everyone will be losing access during the upgrade window.
Audit Your Courses, Update If Needed
Clean out your courses. This is just good practice. Checking on your courses, especially your most used courses, should be done annually. Ask yourself, “Is the content still relevant, or has something changed?”. This is especially important when it comes to compliance courses or courses that teach specific procedures. You want to be sure everyone is receiving the most accurate and up to date information. Things to consider when cleaning out courses include: accuracy of content, last time content was updated, any industry or company changes that would cause the course to need to be refreshed, process changes, and new corporate direction or branding guidelines.
Did you get some harsh feedback on quizzes or perhaps comments that quizzes were confusing? Now is the time to make those changes, update with clearer instructions or check the course objectives to make sure that the knowledge checks and quizzes align with the content being presented. Things to check when reviewing quizzes include: clearly written questions, correct answer responses selected, correct/incorrect feedback updated to provide guidance, etc...
Consider creating a course review calendar where every course in your catalog is reviewed at least once every 2-3 years to make sure the content is fresh and accurate, and learners are getting an updated experience. Things that can easily be updated for a fresh look include: graphics, fonts, or colors.
While you are cleaning out the course, also make sure any 3rd party integrations still make sense. Do you really need that vendor hanging out? Evaluate anything ‘extra’ and see if it still makes sense for you and your company. It’s the time of year when contracts start to expire and renew, so make sure you are spending your money on integrations that have value, and get rid of the ones that don’t. You can also think about any additional that may make your life easier.
That’s it! All of this doesn’t seem too scary, right? Set aside a day or two and knock these 6 things off your list. What do the kids say these days, “New Year New You”? It’s time for a fresh start, and there really is no better way to start the New Year than with a clean and organized LMS! Ok, there are a lot of ways to start the New Year better than that. Like, infinity ways. But you’ll be happy you did it!