It is highly likely that at some point your organisation will adopt a new Learning Management System (LMS) to improve its elearning courses. Or, at the very least in your career, you will probably be involved in an LMS migration. This migration can often be a stressful time for those who work in online learning. But at Oppida, we don’t think it needs to be. In addition to exceptional project management (which will be discussed in another blog) we have compiled our top 3 considerations that will help your elearning product maintain its quality and allow it the opportunity to even improve through the migration process.
LMS’s are all very different; a factor that is no doubt playing a large part of the reason you are moving to a new one. The way that content is structured in one won’t necessarily translate directly to the other’s learning environments. Therefore, having someone on the migration team who knows both systems and can provide best practice guidance on transferring and enhancing elearning content from one learning management system to another can prove vital.
Questions to ask when considering migrating your training programs and learning tools include:
For example: If moving from Moodle to Canvas, it is important to consider learner navigation as Canvas is set up to be quite linear. Depending on how your learners normally access content, you may need to build in additional navigational elements into pages and modules to ease the path of the students’ learning journeys. One of Oppida’s biggest beliefs lies in enhancing the learners’ experiences with elearning, and so the learning design of an online course should always reflect this in every aspect.
Almost everyone in an organisation is affected by a new LMS, from your internal team through to the external learner. Therefore, everyone’s challenges need to be acknowledged and, in as many ways as possible, planned for.
Questions to ask about the external implications of your LMS migration on the online course users:
Internally, your learning designers, subject matter experts, tech team, and administrators will be directly affected by the change too.
Questions to ask about the internal implications on your online education stakeholders:
For example: In Canvas, institutions have the opportunity to choose how a learner logs in. Typically, this can be either by a student number or the student’s email address. If your online learners are used to entering their emails then maybe think twice about changing this process. Your LMS administrators may cop a barrage of ‘I can’t log in’ complaints if you do!
At Oppida, we cannot stress enough the importance of creating clear and scalable business rules around how online learning content will be displayed. Not only does it make life easier for your learning designers, but it also can exponentially improve the learners’ experiences. These clear and scalable business rules can be implemented in the form of a style guide, migration guide or page/module layouts.
Consider for example:
For example: In most LMS’s, if you upload videos to the system and insert them into the content, it will often slow the page loading time significantly. It is always recommended to use a third-party cloud-based system to store videos and then embed the asset into the page that way. At Oppida, we love Wistia, Vimeo, and, if you are a large organisation, Panopto.
This article suggests a process which is just the starting point. An LMS migration can be quite complex, and so it is always recommended that it is a team decision and a team effort. Work together, keep the learner at the centre of all your decisions, and always look at ways to establish a best practice process to save time in the future. You will thank your past self for it later!
Keen to learn more about Oppida? Discover the motivation behind our company’s inception, our founder’s values, and how we can help you in our previous blog post here.
At Oppida, we believe in creating dynamic learning environments through learning management systems which engage with your learners on a deeper level. Whether you’re at project inception or you’re struggling knee-deep to manage content deliverables, Oppida will tailor learning design support for you. Setup a quick consultation with our founder Bianca Raby and discover how we can help you project manage, design, develop and enhance your online courses from any stage in the course’s lifecycle. Also, sign up for our FREE Designing Digital Learning Course to better understand how to design for digital.
Bianca is an experienced educator in K-12 and higher education. With a passion for learning design and online learning—she founded Oppida in 2019.