We are currently in the Information Age and have had computer technology at our finger tips for nearly five decades. By now, most organizations have at least experimented with online learning in one way or another. Online education used to be limited to “Members-Only” webinars. In recent years, online education (also known as eLearning, distance learning, and computer-based training) has grown to include self-paced courses, certifications, and even game-based simulations. But no matter the form, associations are seeing an increased demand for online member education and many are finding it to be a great source of non-dues revenue. Still it can be difficult to assess when it’s time to make the investment in an online learning management system (LMS) for creating, delivering, and marketing online education as well as testing and reporting on learner activity. How do you know it is time for your association to invest in an LMS?
Here are 6 signs your association needs an LMS:
1) Your staff is still physically printing off and mailing out certificates to members. Or your members must mail in their final assessment or other course materials to be graded, before earning their print certificate.
2) Your industry requires training or continuing education but you have no way of tracking webinar attendance or seat time for your members and are at risk of being audited or fined for noncompliance.
3) Members must report to a testing center to participate in a proctored exam. (High-stakes testing and proctored exams can now be done completely online! Ask us how.)
4) Your staff registers members in online and live events by hand; there is no automated system for course registration.
5) You have dozens of recorded webinars, conference sessions, PowerPoint presentations and other educational materials that are just collecting dust and no way of converting them to enduring materials members can access on-demand.
6) You offer a variety of education and training including live events, credentialing or certification programs, and webinars, but lack a way to centralize your offerings and ensure members receive credit for all their on- and offline professional development and continuing education.
Do any of these sound familiar? If you suspect it’s time to invest in an online learning management system at your association, be sure to download our free whitepaper, 8 Steps to Selecting Your Association LMS for a complete look at what’s involved in making the investment.
A relative newbie to the eLearning scene, Sarah is no stranger to the association and non-profit world. Before joining the “dark side,” Sarah served as a marketing and communications specialist at various organizations including the American Lung Association and the Association of Corporate Contribution Professionals. Today, Sarah serves as Digitec’s Digital Marketing Coordinator or “SM Queen” for short. In her new role, Sarah enjoys blogging, tweeting and sharing membership engagement tips for association professionals. Sarah earned certificates in non-profit and volunteer management as well as a B.A. in media and communications from Rollins College in Winter Park, FL.
Spirit animal: Lion
Comfort object: Sunglasses
Personal vice: #longhashtags ;)
Useless talent: Can fall asleep in seconds
Unreasonable paranoia: Tsunamis
Wishes more people cared about: Recycling and the environment