Get the absolute best in elearning management tips made specifically for training providers in this free ebook!

You will:

  • See the top challenges training providers face and how to avoid and conquer them.
  • Get the best practices for building and managing online training courses.
  • See the best practices for updating training content to avoid headaches.

  • Learn how to maintain control of content even if it’s being used in your client’s LMS.
  • Take a close look at the reports that help training providers grow their businesses.
  • Get familiar with why training providers use multi-tenant LMSs to make scaling their businesses easier and more!

Excerpt

Are you looking for learning management system (LMS) tips for training providers? This ebook will take you on an easy journey to better LMS management. Being a training provider with multiple clients can be challenging, but with the right knowledge and tools, you can build an efficient business.

Find out why training providers use a multi-tenant LMS system versus single-tenant systems and how that will benefit your training business. Learn about building and managing your online training courses and the easiest ways to update and test your e-learning content. We also review common challenges that you may face as an online training provider and how to overcome these problems with ease. You’ll learn how to use a multi-tenant system to promote growth while creating value for your clients and their users. Then, we go over reporting, learning how to use it to show off the success of your programs and keep learners on track. Finally, you’ll learn about data security and the easiest ways to secure your and your client’s information. 

We hope that this ebook can help you take advantage of the best learning management tips!

Why Training Providers Use Multi-tenant LMS

What is a multi-tenant LMS?

While many LMS are meant for handling single-user audiences, such as K-12 education and corporate training, a multi-tenant LMS is meant for providers that sell their training to multiple different clients or partners. As a training provider, you have specific needs. Rather than serving a single audience, you need to meet the needs of many different audiences at once. A multi-tenant LMS enables each of your clients, or tenants, to have their own rules, branding, content, and user population while you enjoy the ease of managing all your customers through a single login.

Benefits of using a multi-tenant LMS

If you choose an LMS made specifically for training providers, you can create a training platform that seamlessly integrates with your client’s brand. You can provide a full white-label solution, and your clients can give their users a consistent brand experience. So, when you use a multi-tenant LMS, you can serve multiple audiences and keep your stress to a minimum! Each site and the courses that you provide can be customized for each client. You can manage users from a single interface while maintaining control of your content and getting reports for each specific client.

Easy to set up and distribute content

Are you looking to build and grow? A multi-tenant system will enable you to bring on more clients easily, without building more courses or sites from scratch, which saves you time and money. All your course materials are loaded into your master admin LMS interface. When you acquire new clients, simply create a new site, and grant them course access with a few clicks. You can give users access to your entire course library, a single course, or load a customized module into their client site.

Additionally, keeping content up to date is simple. Updating a whole course or a single course module on your administrative site will also automatically update the client’s content.

Data and security

Every client’s information, content, and data are kept separate and secure from each other’s. From your administrator interface, you can grant instant access to courses and choose how much content access to give each client. You can even set or restrict specific administrative privileges. 

Best Practices for Building and Managing Online Training Courses

Chunk your content and enable customizable courses

Building your course with content broken up into easily digestible chunks or modules is one of the simplest best practices to follow and has great benefits. First, shorter pieces of content are easier for your audience to follow and digest. Second, it will make updating content much smoother for you. Instead of having to update an entire course, you can select smaller modules to replace.

Content chunking also enables you to quickly create custom courses for your clients. Mix and match modules to meet the exact needs of your customers without having to build a complete course from scratch.

Organize for optimal learner experience

Put together a system for organizing content, both for yourself and for the learners’ benefit. For yourself, use folders with clearly identifiable names so you can swiftly find what you need. For example, a folder could contain multiple modules and assessments for that material.

On the user’s end, provide course and module descriptions to give direction to learners. Other ways to keep the learning path optimized are to determine ahead of time what prerequisites must be finished before a learner gains access to certain courses and to decide how many attempts a learner will get—limited or unlimited? This will vary greatly depending on the industry and type of course.

Additionally, choose whether certain course elements will be required, and upload documents or guides that a user can download and access at any time.

Best Practices for Updating Training Content

Use a multi-tenant LMS for easier content updates for clients

Keeping content fresh and relevant for your audience is a snap using a multi-tenant LMS. You can easily update specific course content for all clients with just a few clicks. Don’t worry about updating each client site either—a single update in your master admin LMS interface on one module will update it for all courses and clients that contain that module. If you want to create client-specific versions of one of your standard courses, you can quickly add or replace content.

Avoid major updates on active courses

Perhaps you’ve been running the same standard courses for a while, and they need a massive overhaul. Don’t rush to replace a large portion of content! Your best course of action would be to phase out your old content, letting current users finish, and then add new users to the new content. 

If you choose to do a major update, here are a few potential problems:

  • In some cases, major content changes can cause issues with SCORM, suspending data for active users. Some users may try to relaunch an updated course and will be unable to restart where they left off. 
  • Users may end up on a frozen slide. 
  • Users who are currently logged in may get kicked out and lose their place in the module.

Basic updates, such as replacing images or text, should be fine, but if you need to make significant content changesupdate content whenwhere users are active, run demo tests before updating your live content.

When should you update content?

The main thing to pay attention to is a change in your specific industry. If the latest advances require new tactics or processes that employees need to learn, you must stay up to date. This is especially important for safety compliance training, when updates must be made quickly to keep up with industry standards.

Your users’ needs may also necessitate changes or updates. Ensure that you are consistently analyzing user data. What does their course usage look like? Are people spending more time in modules than is expected? Do quizzes or assessments seem too easy or too hard? Use this data to help determine how your content needs to evolve.

Common Challenges That Training Providers Face

Users get stuck while going through courses

Users getting stuck in a course can happen for several reasons. The most obvious place to look is at your design. Is it responsive to device type? If the navigation controls within your content are not obvious or are not sized correctly for phone/tablet/computer, they may be easily overlooked by users.

Another common issue is confusing course activities. For example, perhaps there is a page in the course that contains an exercise where a user should click all the tiles, and the programming disables navigation until this exercise is complete. The directions must be perfectly clear so the user understands what they need to do to move on.

Lastly, perhaps users are passing courses but have strange scores. This issue is usually due to the way that you build and set up your courses. To avoid this problem, you can hardcode passing scores into content using an authoring tool. However, you can also use a passing score set in the LMS for a module to evaluate pass/fail status.

You are not collecting data to accurately measure the success of the training programs

You can easily avoid this challenge by testing your content and then running reports before you even launch your product. Check that the data that you need is there before granting course access to users. This is especially vital for quiz data. Clients often require reports on learner scores and responses.

It may be necessary to determine what your authoring tool is capable of, as some have quiz options that don’t report question-and-answer data. Your clients will often want some sort of report on learner scores and responses, so you’ll want to make sure you have this before you launch your course. For example, Knowledge Check quizzes in Storyline are not scored or tracked by an LMS. However, you shouldn’t stress yourself trying to figure it out. When in doubt, communicate with your LMS partner to determine the best metrics and reports.

Course uptake isn’t what is expected

New client expectations can sometimes be much different than their reality. A client may think that they will easily have thousands of users taking their courses, and it ends up being far fewer. This is often due to difficulties with employee compliance. As a training provider, it is imperative that you communicate with the client that simply making the training available to their employees will not necessarily get them to jump into e-learning with gusto. Clients may need assistance with clear communication and a launch plan for training courses. This plan should be laid out and communicated to their employees well ahead of time, and clients should not put their users under pressure to finish the course too quickly. Consider building a communication plan or template that can be sent to every client.

Your client should have a definitive plan that includes:

  • Notice to employees of when/why the course is being given
  • Course launch dates and due dates
  • Learning goals and expectations
  • Course access directions

It’s also crucial for clients to communicate the importance of training initiatives to managers and supervisors so they can pass that along to their teams. Furthermore, clients can use LMS-generated emails to remind users of new assignments, due dates, and course completions.

Using a Multi-tenant LMS to Grow Your Training Business

Easily grant content to all clients

Growth with a multi-tenant LMS has many perks. Instead of having separate sites where you have to reload courses for each client, you can simply grant access to your content with a few clicks. You can also determine the length of time that each client has access to your content. Clients can access courses immediately, with no load-time or waiting! This also applies to updates, making it quick and easy for both you and the client to maintain effective, up-to-date material. So, no matter how many clients you have, the simplicity stays the same!

Easily create customized, client-specific content

You can use your admin LMS interface to store all your content. Host the entirety of your course collection there, and then pick and choose the best content for each client’s needs. While you can always grant access to your entire course library, it sometimes makes more sense to offer unique groupings of your courses. You can easily build a custom course directly in the LMS made from your pre-loaded modules, removing any unnecessary parts. You also have the option of building a few specialized modules in an authoring tool and adding them to other standard courses for certain clients.

Set up specific integrations for your clients

Every client has different needs. A multi-tenant LMS should offer a fair number of integrations so you can meet those needs accordingly. The most important ones are e-commerce, single sign-on (SSO), and external LMS integration.

  • External LMS: This enables your clients to launch your training content from their LMS, while you maintain control in your own LMS.
  • SSO: A client’s users can access the LMS with the same set of credentials that they use for everything else. Access to content is smooth and seamless, saving time and reducing the chances of support issues.
  • Ecommerce: Connect your LMS with an ecommerce platform such as Shopify and sell your courses automatically.

Control client/user access and define admin privileges

One of the major benefits of a multi-tenant system is the amount of control that you maintain over all your client sites from a single interface. So, you or your client can decide how hands-on they want to be. You have the ability to delegate privileges to specific clients, depending on how they are managing their platform. Some clients may want more privileges and to manage the admin of their own sites, while others may want you to handle some of that work.

Report for each client

Reporting on each client is readily available in a multi-tenant LMS. You can choose to send weekly or monthly reports to update clients on the progress of their learners. Each client might need different reporting, which is no trouble at all using your master admin interface.

Test Things Before Launch

As a training provider, you must present professional, quality content to your clients. In order to do this, you should test your online training before it is passed on to the customer. It’s also important to monitor all the learners as they progress through the training program, so you can spot issues before they become liabilities. Testing before launch will save you a substantial amount in support time and costs. Essential things to test are devices and browsers, LMS settings, content and navigation, and quizzes and assessments.

Devices and browsers

When testing devices and browsers, investigate tools like BrowserStack that can assist you. Many browsers frequently update, so be sure to check several options and test periodically. In addition, ensure that you check how the training works on desktop, mobile, and tablet because you never know how and where people will access your training. Lastly, if your content contains videos, be sure that it plays well no matter what device or browser may be used.

LMS settings

Set yourself up for success by double-checking all your settings before you launch your product. For example, if a client needs certificates to be auto-generated after course completion, ensure that it’s already set up that way. You will also want to check that LMS emails are enabled for things like new course-assigned notifications and reminders on due dates. Finally, keep track of learners as they complete the course, ensuring that they are receiving the correct completion status or score on assessments.

Content and navigation

Ensuring that content and navigation work properly is a basic but essential piece of testing. Check how exit, submit, or back buttons function and that they are clearly accessible on each page. Check these again on multiple devices and that text and button sizes aren’t too small when viewed on a tablet or mobile device. You may also want to ascertain if there are any loops or triggers within your content that could cause a user to get stuck on a slide or video without a way to progress through the rest of the course.

Quizzes and assessments

You may be using a built-in quiz tool from your LMS or a third-party authoring tool. If so, test the results using reports to ensure that you capture whatever data is required. Also, check that quiz scores and responses are being recorded properly.

Leverage Your Reports

The importance of reports

Without reports, you’ll never understand the success of your programs. Reporting can be used to communicate the ROI of your training program to clients. It can also be a great data collection tool so you can constantly work to improve your courses. There should be reports on activity, assessments, logins, and orders, among others. Additionally, you should get detailed view charts on starts, scores, and completions. This way, you can get more information on specific users or courses and filter results based on dates, location, department, etc. to meet your and the client’s needs. The top three reports that you should take advantage of are starts and completions, participant status summary, and interaction data.

How to use reports for multiple clients

Use reports to easily show clients how successful your programs are. From your admin LMS interface, you can run reports on any and all clients. You also have the ability to give reporting access to your clients directly if necessary. With the available reports, you can get a high-level view of all user data or choose to dive deeper into specific clients, courses, or users. Furthermore, you can export all data as a CSV file to organize as you would like.

Secure the Data of Your Clients and Their Learners

Ensure data privacy, hosting, and security

Be up front with clients about technical privacy aspects, such as what data you will collect and how it will be used. You should also be knowledgeable about what information is collected by your LMS and ensure that your and your client’s personal information will be secure. Additionally, your LMS must be GDPR compliant if you have customers and learners in the EU. Lastly, determine the ownership of any data collected.

Control client/user access and define admin privileges

To better protect your user’s privacy, you can delegate certain privileges to clients, depending on how they manage their learning platform. For example, you may give a manager access to users only in their location, while restricting access to those from other offices or locations. You can also set reporting restrictions based on administrative privilege level. Some data may be sensitive, and it may be necessary to restrict reporting access for certain clients and admins or for specific data points.

Control access

Another important aspect of privacy is controlling course access. If the client decides that they want to use multi-factor authentication, they can configure this with an identity provider. Then, multi-factor authentication gets used for all applications configured to use SSO. Specify password complexity and password length to users, and manage these requirements, along with password changes, in the administrative interface.

Verify the LMS vendor’s data security center

Most importantly, ascertain the level of security that your LMS offers before you begin. Find an LMS that is GDPR compliant and that offers more advanced security measures, such as determining the way that it physically stores data and what back-ups it has to protect against damage and loss.

Conclusion

LMS management doesn’t have to be complicated. Use this guide of LMS management tips for training providers to easily handle your LMS. Let’s go over a few of the most important points again:

  • Use a multi-tenant LMS, which will enable you to better manage multiple clients, keeping their information separate while you can access all of them from a single interface. 
  • Chunk your content for easy learning and updating, and mix and match course building. 
  • Organize all your e-learning materials, both on your end and for end-users.
  • Avoid large updates on courses that are currently active. Either phase the course out or update modules a few at a time. 
  • Avoid challenges for training providers by preemptively working through common problems with demos and testing.
  • Communicate effectively with clients and help them build a launch plan for the training program.
  • Easily grow your online training business by using a multi-tenant system to handle many clients at once and by using ecommerce.
  • Test your training program on multiple devices and browsers, check your LMS settings, test content and navigation, and go through and run reports on all quizzes and assessments before product launch.
  • Use reports to show your clients the value that they get from your training program.
  • Choose a multi-tenant system that meets and exceeds your data protection standards and is GDPR compliant.
  • Ensure that you verify your LMS vendor’s data security policies and standards for data collection and storage.

Following these tips will get you well on your way to better LMS management and help you to build and grow a successful training business.

Here at Firmwater, we don’t just sell an LMS for training providers. We partner with our clients, giving them the tools and insights they need to implement the best practices in e-learning course development, growth, and delivery. We care too much about our customers’ businesses to have them wade through forums and chatbots for help.Ready to use an LMS that’s designed for the way YOU work, with a team dedicated to YOUR needs? Book a no-obligation consultation directly with our team today!