LMSs (learning management systems) are great at distributing different types of learning content to learners, but they’re not so great at storing learning content and making sense of it for you. That’s what an LRS (learning record store) does—it stores, records, tracks, and makes sense of the learning content your LMS distributes. Modern LMSs are typically linked to LRSs via an xAPI (user-experience application interface), so that they can send important data and files back and forth to each other.
So, how do you know if your LMS needs an LRS? You’ll know you need an LRS if your organization wants to do one or more of the following:
Store Learning Content Files
If you have a lot of course content you want stored, you’ll want an LRS. An LRS can store all types of media and content files, and allow you to quickly retrieve them when you need them. Archived content files can be ideal for getting ideas for new courses, and for revamping old content so that it’s relevant, and so you never have to start from scratch.
Track Your Employees’ Learning Progress
An LRS allows you to collect and track information regarding how your employees are accessing learning content, regardless of the devices they’re using, or what type of learning content they’re accessing. With the proper xAPI in place, an LRS can track a wide variety of learning experiences, including real world activities, interactions with mobile apps, and even activities related to job performance. You will be able to track what an employee is learning and how he or she goes about learning it, as well as how he or she is doing at comprehending the learning material via assessments and on-the-job application.
Track the Effectiveness of Your Programs
As your LRS collects data about how your employees are performing on the job and how they interact with learning content you distribute, you’ll be able to determine which programs are effective and which ones aren’t. You’ll be able to see which courses a lot of employees struggle with, and which programs don’t affect real job performance. Then you can revamp your programs as needed, based on this data and information.
Increase Your Learners’ Engagement
Some LRSs will store and use data and information from learner profiles, so that you can better personalize their learning tracks. For instance, if a learner expresses interest in leadership and takes a course on leadership outside of your LMS, the LRS can recommend a specific learning and development track for that learner, and sometimes automatically share learning content that is relevant to that learner based on his or her expressed interest and scores achieved on various assessments. And when learners are provided with more personalized and appropriate learning content that’s relevant to them, they’ll engage with it more.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to have the proper integrations and know how to set up your LRS the way you want it. But after that’s done, there are many things (listed above) that an LRS can help you do.