Member education has become a necessary offering for many associations, with reportedly 87% of associations offering eLearning solutions.
However, despite such a clear emphasis being placed on providing additional learning opportunities for members, only about 30% of associations report using data to inform decisions regarding their educational offerings. More than likely, these associations are using data to inform just about every other business decision they’re making. Why not do this for member education as well?
There are a variety of analytics you can gather from your association’s course offerings, including member interests, progress, success rate, and abandonment rate, to name a few. You’ll explore how to use these data points to better engage your members through the following methods:
- Understanding association learning management system basics.
- Tracking your members’ education progress.
- Adapting your course offerings.
- Keeping members motivated to reach their goals.
- Facilitating the creation of an online portfolio.
Read on for a look at association learning management systems (LMS), the data you can track using such systems, and how that information can help you better engage your members.
1. Understand association learning management system basics.
An association LMS is a platform through which you can provide educational programs to your association’s members.
With so many fields requiring continuing education for members, the higher learning process has expanded to digital means for a more efficient, adaptable experience. An LMS provides you with all the tools you need to author original courses, track members’ progress, and encourage engagement with your organization.
There are a few key features you’ll want to look for in an association LMS:
- Integration capabilities with your association management system (AMS), analytics tools, and other third-party platforms
- Built-in course and assessment authoring capabilities
- Social learning opportunities
- Dynamic learning capabilities
- Comprehensive data tracking and reporting
By choosing an LMS with the above features, you’ll be able to craft the exact courses your members need to thrive, examine the effectiveness of these programs, and improve the education methods offered as your organization evolves.
Check out Web Courseworks’ primer on software for associations for more information on the various software solutions that can aid in educating your members.
2. Track your members’ education progress.
First and foremost, your LMS’s tracking capabilities will allow you to stay in the loop regarding your members’ progression through your course offerings.
You can gather data on how members are utilizing your courses and certifications, including the time they require to complete a program, their assessment scores during the program and after completion, and even general enjoyment regarding the way in which material is presented.
By keeping informed of the way in which members experience your course offerings, you can then use that information to determine a path of future educational initiatives—just as you might for any other association initiatives, such as implementing a data analytics strategy.
In addition to making sure you’re offering programs that best suit where your members are right now, you should also plan courses that address where they would like to end up in the future. You can use your LMS to keep members engaged in these decisions by:
- Using assessments and quizzes to identify places of improvement to target.
- Providing detailed corrections to guide members through fixing any errors.
- Recommend next-step courses to pursue upon course completion.
- Notify members of new courses of interest as programs are created.
By tracking your members’ education progress, you can tailor their experience within your LMS for optimum learning opportunities. For more information on how you can integrate your software offerings and then use your AMS to keep members informed of all of the educational opportunities your association provides, read more here.
3. Adapt your course offerings.
Just as you want to help members utilize your LMS at the prime level, you should make sure their experiences with specific courses are optimum as well.
As members interact with the course offerings within your LMS, tracking systems will provide you with information on their experience. This information will allow you to see what is working within your courses and what isn’t, which you can then edit using your LMS’s authoring functions.
You can examine a learner’s past history in the LMS. By looking at factors like past purchases, interests, and assessment scores, you can personalize a course offering for maximum benefit. There are a few different formats to consider offering in your next course:
- Video learning
- Dynamic assessments
The authoring process within your LMS makes creating new content even easier with easy duplication tools, allowing you to duplicate courses with proven success and edit that model for new subjects.
4. Keep members motivated to reach their goals.
While tracking tools are helpful for you to stay informed about your members, at the end of the day, your members are coming to you to maintain their industry knowledge. Therefore, its most important function revolves around motivating your members to reach their goals.
While you stay up-to-date with members’ progress, they will be able to as well.
Many fields require extensive certifications and maintenance of certification with required continuing education (CE), and this is likely not the first time your members have taken online continuing education. For example, in healthcare, various certifications are often required outside of formal schooling. In this field, a comprehensive continuing medical education LMS can be crucial in tracking CME credit information.
Familiarity with a member’s accomplishments is important in keeping them motivated. When you’re aware of what courses a member has completed, you can ensure they continue to be challenged in their education and don’t complete repetitive courses. Your LMS will be able to track a variety of offerings:
- External credits completed outside of your LMS. While these programs may not be offered through your association, it’s important to be aware of them in order to keep a full record of a member’s education.
- Internal credits completed with the help of your association. By tracking both in-progress and completed courses, your members can remain aware of what they’ve completed and what they have yet to fully earn.
By keeping a full transcript of the courses and certifications members have completed, you’ll ensure continued progress through using your educational programs.
You can motivate members even more, however, with your LMS’s gamification features.
Community building is a crucial resource in engaging “unicorn” members, or those who are particularly resistant to association participation. After tracking members’ progress on a particular course, features such as peer scoreboard allow for friendly competition of members against one another.
This both encourages community and goal completion, and it’s made possible by your data tracking capabilities.
5. Facilitate the creation of an online portfolio.
Finally, data tracking through your association’s LMS can engage members by allowing them to build a comprehensive online portfolio of their accomplishments.
Hopefully by now you’re well aware that the learning solution you use to fulfill your association’s education needs can gather a plethora of insights on your members’ progress. Your LMS will be gathering information on internal and external programs completed by your members, as well as their in-progress efforts.
Ideally, you’ve chosen an LMS that offers integration capabilities with your group’s AMS. The integration of these two systems offers obvious benefits, as you’re now able to track all o