Your LMS Needs to be Micro-Content Ready

I have said it before and I will say it again: micro-content is quickly becoming the next big thing in e-learning. Knowing this, is your learning management system prepared for it?

You may not think it’s a necessity at present but it will be in the next one to two years as learner expectations evolve. There are some simple things you can do now to make your content more in-line to this approach (regardless of your current LMS). I would encourage you to start the updating process sooner rather than later.

It’s also worth noting that this might not need to be done for every course you offer. Some courses are more conducive to micro-content delivery than others.

But back to your LMS… is it (or will it) be ready?

A “Micro-Content Ready” LMS

What does it mean to be ready for micro-content from the LMS standpoint?

Device compatibility is certainly one component, but realistically this shouldn’t be an issue anymore for any LMS worth their price. If you are on an LMS that can’t be effectively used on a smartphone or tablet then it’s time you jump ship. That’s just not acceptable.

Beyond device compatibility there are some other structural things your LMS can do – the most important of which is to give you the ability to leverage a Content Library.

Yes, it isn’t uncommon for an LMS to store your courses, lessons, and quizzes. But that’s only half of the equation. How easily can you use (and re-use) your content? Do you have to create clones & copies of the same course or lessons or are you able to easily pick and choose your lessons to use across multiple courses whenever you want to spin up a quick micro-courses? Clearly, the latter is conducive for micro-course creation.

But quickly creating new courses is just one reason why a Content Library is important. The other is because as you assess your current courses you will need a quick and easy way to restructure them – removing or adding content, or perhaps splicing out lessons to smaller chunks. And this doesn’t mean shifting things one lesson at a time, but moving and altering entire branches of content.

Many of today’s LMS options aren’t quite at this level yet, but changes are certain underway. The Content Library method of managing courses and course content is about to be in LearnDash. This represents a fundamental shift in not just the WordPress LMS industry, but for any LMS.

Even if you are happy with your LMS you should be asking their support about the coming direction for their platform. Inquire about their plans for accommodating micro-content. If they don’t have any then that is a clear sign they are a bit out of touch with the direction that e-learning is heading today. That’s not to say they won’t eventually add functionality, but they will be behind and so will your courses and learners.

Author

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses.

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5 Responses

  1. Truly happy to hear that LearnDash is headed in this direction, because right now its back end is the poster child for what not to do in terms of ease of use and reusability.

      1. LearnDash already has the best front end experience for students, which is why I chose it. It will be nice for me and the course creators when the back end is just as well implemented.

  2. I was about to ask whether I could re-use content in other courses. So now I know the answer: not yet, but it will be possible the (near?) future. How far in the future? What’s the ETA?

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