What Your LMS Reports Are Truly “Telling” You
In a 2020 survey, L&D professionals reported learning analytics as the most important topic in workplace learning. That’s right, all the metrics collected in your LMS reports ranked #1 in what you should be focusing on.
Whether you use an LMS or keep your own spreadsheets, you’re surrounded by data. But, to make the most of it—and your training—you need to know which metrics to track and how to leverage them to make your training as strong as it can be.
Align Your Strategy With Training KPIs
An effective learning program takes more than rolling out training and hoping for the best. You need to put data at the center of your strategy to ensure it’s lined up with your business objectives and that you’re getting results. You can do this with a few steps:
- Start by identifying organizational goals.
What is it you want to achieve? For example, higher revenue? Improved productivity? Fewer missed deadlines?
- Next, determine what type of training will help you reach those goals.
Sales training? Safety compliance courses? Soft skills training on how to talk about and resolve interpersonal issues?
- Finally, create training KPIs to track your success.
Once your training strategy is in place, set key performance indicators (KPIs) to tell you whether the training is generating results.
The most obvious signs of success can be measured outside of training, like sales quotas or improvements in productivity. But, you can also gather a lot of useful information from metrics reported by your LMS. Looking at the right metrics can help you see how your training is performing and whether it’s supporting your objectives. It can even give you direction on how to make it more effective.
So what data should you be looking at?
Key Training Metrics To Pull From Your LMS Reports
A good LMS can generate automatic and custom reports to help you get the info you need. Here are some of the most important metrics you can track from your LMS and what they tell you about your training.
- Completion rates
Look at these numbers to see who is finishing their training. This metric is especially important when it comes to compliance. If certain parts of training are mandatory, you need to know that everyone is getting through those sections.
- Attendance rates
This metric tracks how often people are logging in and how long they’re spending in each session. With self-paced learning, this metric can help you track whether people consider training a priority. Are people engaging regularly and spending enough time to complete an activity or a lesson? Spacing sessions further and further apart or spending less time with the content could indicate learners aren’t seeing value in their training.
- Employee feedback
Get a sense of what learners think of their training by including surveys throughout or after a course. Ask whether they found the content valuable. Was it boring? Did they understand or find it confusing? Are there elements they loved? Others they would change? This type of feedback will help you know if there are parts of your training that just aren’t working or that people find off-putting.
- Pass/fail statistics
Performance metrics will tell you whether people are learning. Are they passing tests and quizzes? Are there areas where they’re scoring lower across the board? If so, do you see any patterns in those areas? Tests and quizzes show you how well learners understand the content. They can also reveal gaps in the training content.
- Follow-up assessments
Set up your LMS to administer assessments at appropriate intervals after a course to track knowledge retention. If people don’t remember what they learned, they’re not likely to use the skills back at work. And that means training won’t have the impact on your objectives you’d hoped. You can also check skills transfer by surveying managers and coworkers about behavior they’re seeing back on the job.
How To Use LMS Reports To Deliver Better Training
Once you’ve got reports of the important metrics, it’s time to dig into them. The numbers alone won’t tell the whole story. You’ve got to understand how to interpret them and then act.
Use your data analysis to understand whether your training is successful and how to boost training effectiveness. LMS reports can give you insight into what’s working and what’s not, and show you how and where to make improvements. For example, consider the following three indicators.
1. Learner Engagement
Use LMS reports to understand how learners are engaging with the content—after all, if people aren’t engaging, training won’t have an impact.
- Look at completion rates
If you notice employees falling behind or not completing courses, set up automatic reminders to get them back on track. Check the metrics to identify where you’re losing people’s attention. Where people are dropping out? Where are they spending less time than average? Are you seeing lower numbers because the course is too difficult? Not engaging? Not valuable or off-putting? Pinpoint those areas for review.
- Review employee feedback
Check your post-training surveys. Are there places that learners feel are a waste of time? Revisit those sections. If these are skills learners need, find ways to make them more engaging. If they aren’t necessary, consider cutting them. Make the lessons more dynamic or interactive. Include role-playing exercises where learners practice the skills through real-life scenarios. Change up the media to include videos and instructive graphics.
2. Learner Performance
Completion rates on their own aren’t enough to understand performance. If you have a high completion rate, are the skills actually transferring to the job? Or is it just an easy box to tick?
Looking deeper at numbers that stand out can help you determine what’s working and where you can improve things.
- Use your pass/fail rate metrics
Note where learners aren’t scoring well in tests and focus on these areas for improvement. Do you need to include more information on topics that are consistently scoring poorly? Can you offer more information? Are people scoring lower in areas they’re spending less time with? How can you help bolster the content there to give them a more complete understanding?
- Analyze follow-up assessments
Use these scores to gauge how well people remember new knowledge. Compare their scores with the testing they did during training. If scores are dropping between training and follow-up, consider adding reinforcement sessions. Include review lessons to be completed after training. Or, have learners revisit the content with refresher courses.
3. Alignment With Business Objectives
Understanding whether and how people are progressing through your courses is the first step toward ensuring your training efforts align with your business objectives. You strategically chose courses that supported the goals you set. So, you need to make sure training is doing what it’s supposed to do.
- Look at manager and coworker follow-up surveys
Gather feedback on how and where they’re seeing learners apply their knowledge back on the job. If you’re not seeing changes in behavior that affect your objectives, revisit the courses. What skills aren’t transferring? Can you add lessons to cover those in more detail? Can you provide more interactive practices that help people get comfortable with using the skills?
- Revisit pass/fail metrics around skill competence
Look closely at employee performance around learning activities that require them to use the newly-taught skills. These are things like branching scenarios and task simulations. If they’re falling short on scores, they aren’t adopting the skills and behaviors that will drive your objectives. Revisit the lessons around these skills and consider adding supplemental training that fills out their understanding.
- Review attendance rates
These numbers can tell you which courses or lessons are most popular. They’ll show you what content learners are seeking out and you can learn what questions they want answered or skills they’re looking to improve. Knowing what learners want will allow you to plan your training strategy to align with what’s helping them achieve their goals.
Training metrics are an invaluable resource for aligning your training with your business objectives. Automated LMS reports make the process easier for L&D professionals.
A platform with the right features can compile critical metrics so they’re ready to use immediately. This valuable step saves you time and allows you to focus your energy on what matters most: analyzing the data to build better training programs.