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Dive deep

At Ziiva, we offer more than a comprehensive, tailor-fit Learning Management System. We are always seeking ways to enrich your company culture and improve the online learning experience that you offer to your students, employees, customers, or users.

LMS — The paradox of choice

Posted by susan reuter on Fri, Aug 04, 2017

An image showing a hand tapping several options superimposed over a blurred person using a computer

So you are considering a Learning Management System (LMS). Whether you are a first-time LMS user, or looking to upgrade, you know it will help you keep organized and minimize administrative overload, ultimately helping your company meet its defined goals and realize its return on investment. 

But with 500+ platforms on the market today, which one should you pick?

Sometimes the process of choosing an LMS can overwhelm you before you even begin. Do you need one that manages and tracks online courses or one that administers pre-employment tests? Do you need it to simplify the onboarding process or report on training initiatives?

This problem is not unique to the training industry. People in every market struggle to make decisions when they’re overwhelmed with choices. TVs come in a variety of displays, ports, sizes and price ranges. Smartphones are offered by multiple providers and come in a variety of colors, display options, storage sizes and qualities. While it’s good to have options, studies have shown that too many choices can prevent you from making a decision altogether. 

Overwhelming choices

One of the most famous experiments in consumer psychology, called the Jam Study proved this point in 2000. It found that consumers were 10 times more likely to purchase a jar of jam on display when the number of flavors was reduced from 24 to 6. College psychologist Barry Schwartz calls this the Paradox of Choice. He argues that paralysis is a consequence of having too many choices.

When people feel overwhelmed by a decision, they simply won’t make one at all. Schwartz further explains, “The second effect is that even if we manage to overcome the paralysis and make a choice, we end up less satisfied with the result of the choice than we would be if we had fewer options to choose from.”

The best way to avoid this problem is to narrow your choices from the start (see our LMS checklist).

Envisioning your dream LMS

That’s easy to say and often hard to do — especially when you’re not sure what you need an LMS to do.

Start by envisioning your dream system.

Does it offload administrative tasks and automate messaging to users? Does it ensure customers can easily understand your offerings and access a support team? Does it automate alerts for compliance needs and track continuing certifications? These tasks fall into three general LMS functions: 

  • Liberate your time
  • Lift the burden of tracking and compliance monitoring
  • Achieve hassle-free results

Identifying your needs and dreaming up your ideal tool are the first steps toward pinpointing your unique LMS system requirements.

Determining your unique requirements

Once you’ve narrowed down your LMS selection choices by dreaming up the perfect system, it’s time to think about your specific needs. Do you lack the administrative skill level to implement, manage and integrate an LMS? Is it important to have the system be installed on your own network? Answering these questions will help you determine which is best: an out-of-the-box product that gets you up and running quickly, or a customized version that gives you exactly what you need. Here are some key differentiators:

SaaS (Software as a Service) LMS
  • Cost effective
  • External hosting
  • Maintenance and updates
  • Fast implementation
Custom LMS
  • Consistent branding
  • Additional capabilities
  • Seamless integration

While SaaS platforms have become increasingly popular, they aren’t the best fit for every organization, says Knowledge Anywhere’s Sara Johnson. Deciding which LMS solution is right for your needs comes down to budget, time frame, and IT capabilities. 

Ready to integrate

Choosing your LMS is half the battle.  People are overwhelmed by the number of options in the $2.5 billion industry, and often take up to six months to decide to place an order.

Narrowing down the number of options is key to choosing the right LMS and avoiding the paradox of choice. If you can envision your dream system and identify your unique needs, you’ll be one step closer to implementation.

Let us help you get started with our checklist: What to know before you commit to an LMS.

Topics: lms tips, lms learning

Corporate Training: Well-trained workers save time and money

Posted by susan reuter on Wed, Sep 01, 2010

Why train employees?

If you’re using Ziiva’s Prosperity Learning Management System as part of your corporate training efforts, your answer will likely be to roll your eyes and ask, “Duh? Why NOT train employees?”

Sadly, online learning isn’t a no-brainer for everyone. Here are four ways that a lack of proper employee training can hold your business back:

It will cost you time: California’s inspector general recommended that a contracting company which received nearly $3 million inemployee training, education, learning management, employee development federal stimulus money to weatherize homes stop work because it did not train its employees, the Associated Press reported. The inspector general also said state officials should verify that the 38 other companies receiving stimulus money to weatherize homes are using properly trained workers.

Now, even if these other companies have a trained workforce, they could lose business while they gather the documentation necessary to prove it. In a case like this, using an LMS that tracks individual employee development and provides instant documentation can resolve the situation quickly.

It will cost you money: Last month, an untrained employee dumped 100 gallons of sour milk down a storm drain outside a grocery store in Santa Rosa, Calif. The milk could have harmed wildlife if local officials hadn’t cleaned it up before it reached a nearby creek. “This was just an untrained employee who didn’t know the difference between a sanitary sewer and a storm drain,” police told the Press Democrat newspaper. Nonetheless, the store may end up on the hook for the cost of cleaning up the spill, as well as a possible fine.

It will corporate training, online learning, cost savings, employee developmentcost you customers: There are numerous sites where consumers can register their displeasure with you for any reason, including having to deal with untrained employees. It’s important to monitor these sites and respond to legitimate complaints, but it’s even more important to train your workers so that you can avoid the sort of issues that lead to complaints in the first place.

It will cost you your reputation: The examples above came up in a simple Google search. If your would-be customers do even the most rudimentary due diligence, they’ll find any potential problems with your organization this way, as well.

The bottom line: Corporate learning isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity.

Topics: lms learning, employee training, corporate learning, learning management system, employee development, online training

eLearning and Learning Management Systems news & July Notes

Posted by susan reuter on Fri, Aug 06, 2010

Here is this month’s installment of recent e-learning-related blog posts and articles that are worth a second look:

Brain dump

If the words “cognitive load theory” make your brain hurt, check out Jane Bozarth’s article in Learning Solutions Magazine, which put this esoteric-sounding concept into plain English and explains what it means for eLearning designers and instructors. Reading it will not harm your brain. Honest.

Eyes on the prize

The eLearning coach offers a dozen ideas to help online training designers and developers improve their focus while working on a big project. These are good, common-sense tips that apply for any sort of project work, not just eLearning. We can’t want to try them in our own workday.

Drinking in knowledge

OK. We admit it. We may have overlooked Tom Kuhlman’s outstanding post on the fact that there’s no one-size-fits-all way to approach creating eLearning courses were it not for this headline: “Want to Build Better E-Learning Courses? Think Beer.” But there’s a lot more to this thought-provoking post than a gimmicky headline.

Instant blog roll

In a recent post on her Experiencing E-Learning blog, Christy Tucker shares her collection of blogs by instructional designers, e-learning developers and workplace learning specialists.  Whether you’re just jumping into the world of LMS learning or looking to expand your horizons, this list is a fine place to start (behind us, that is).

Everyone loves a list

Want to add your two cents on The Emerging List of Top 100 Tools for Learning 2010? Well you’ve got about two more months to chime in. As of Aug. 10, there were 358 entries (and counting). As of this writing, a little bird (tweet, tweet) is flying on top of this list.

The big picture

Finally, it’s easy to get caught up in the minutiae of eLearning, or of corporate learning in general. If you feel you’re trapped in the forest, check out the treetop view from Jon Lloyd on the VelocityMG blog. Here’s a link to the first post of a five-part series on managing learning teams.

The buzz on employee training and elearning tools only gets bigger, so if you don’t have time to track down all the relevant news yourself, stop on by and we’ll pass along what we found. Your suggestions are always welcome, of course, so please post a comment if there’s anything you want to share.

Topics: lms learning, employee training, e learning tools, corporate learning, learning management system, online training