A Learning Management System (LMS) is a software application that creates a base for the training provider to develop, manage and implement training while documenting evaluations. Selecting an LMS can be challenging, as there are many different ones to choose from, including many different features.
Just as all RTOs are different and require different assessing processes, the proper LMS is needed to accommodate your specific needs, and this is essential in the decision-making process when choosing the right LMS for you. What are the benefits of an LMS? We will explore these in detail below.
In an ideal situation, your LMS will include one space to store all your content and files, allowing students and trainers access to all the information. These files and all the content should be the most current versions that are up-to-date and authorized by the RTO. An LMS presents a location for keeping and obtaining this information while controlling versions.
An essential feature in an LMS is the ability to view older versions of content called rollback and see how it has changed while at the same time having the ability to lock down content so that trainers or students can not alter the information without the proper process of approval being implemented.
One of the most critical points of assessment is flexibility. An LMS requires flexibility in the forms of assessment that can be administered. Many LMS use restricted forms of assessment, such as automated assessments or quizzes, not providing a very flexible platform for assessment.
Some systems will enable learners to upload files to be assessed, which is an excellent feature as many VET programs incorporate documented evidence like portfolios and projects. This upload feature gives greater flexibility to manage several assessment formats.
Formats allowing Multiple Submissions
Another essential feature is the facility to provide the learner with feedback and utilize checklists for marking and tools for decision-making. Not all LMS offer such features; this is one area where the difference between the SAAS platforms is set apart from their cheaper counterparts.
When looking at your LMS for compliant assessments, you want it to offer a variety of assessment formats like:
Quiz style assessments
File upload - allowing multiple files to be uploaded
Video assessments or the ability to upload large-format video files
Non submit assessments such as observations would need to be combined with an observation checklist
The ability for specific feedback to be provided, either written via video or audio, to learners
Flexible assessment parameters to accommodate recognition of prior learning or credits for some units.
Assessment Validation and your LMS Gathering the evidence to be reviewed for assessment validation should be a simple and clear-cut practice, and your LMS should assist with this process. When dealing with a system based on paper, it is expected that an RTO manager could wait on trainers to update their evidence until all scanning or filing is complete.
This can, unfortunately, lead to problems such as evidence being uploaded to the wrong student file. Information can be missed if not adequately scanned, resulting in incomplete files, or even worse; large sections can be overlooked entirely if not scanned at all.
Overall, the scanning process is time-consuming and costly. An LMS subscription is probably more economical time-wise and price-wise.
So how should you prepare for validation? An RTO manager or validator should be able to sign into the system, check for the student's name, find their profiles and evidence, and validate those files. Suppose submissions are created straight to the system, and subsequent decisions are documented on the system. In that case, the result is no downtime from integrating the assessment and compiling evidence.
Records must be kept indefinitely, and paper-based systems require ample physical space. When implementing an LMS, neither space nor scanning time is required; records can be saved forever and instantly accessible.
If you require more direct assistance selecting an LMS for your RTO, get in touch. RTO Intelligence is an RTO consultant company based in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane. For over two decades, we have assisted RTOs with assessment validation, internal RTO audits, course accreditation, acquisition and setup, and business intelligence reporting.
For all LMS-related questions, call us on 1300 833 424 or connect with us via our online contact form.