The permanent tossing around of the words “personalization” and “customization” in the EdTech circles should not make you disregard the fact that these are critical practices. The process of creating and fine-tuning technologies that have a measurable impact on engagement, performance, and other learning analytics is a direct reflection of your experience and maturity as an institution or brand. Courtesy of our friends at Paradiso, we invite you to consider the following six courses of action in the LMS development pipeline, in which your organization should have a say that reflects your mission and ideal practice. As long as you make the call in these cases, you can leave the smaller details to your expert LMS designer or agency.
Leave out features you do not want
You should feel free to “cherry pick” your LMS. More is not always better. If your users have too many ways to interact, the learning experience risks losing focus and becoming overwhelming. Think carefully about the places where you want students to get involved, as well as those where you do not. Think twice every time you want to add a new function and consider how it would play with the ones already available.
Don’t just brand it, tailor it
Your LMS should be neatly wrapped around your brand, which means it would do well by going beyond just a logo and a color palette. Consider the term Sprezzatura, an Italian word often applied in art and fashion that refers to the idea of making the final product look effortless and unforced. A suggested translation is “studied carelessness.”
Just like with purposefully leaving out features you do not want in your LMS, you should exercise the same stringency with visual elements. Don’t be afraid to leave out visual elements that you do not feel they are in harmony with the whole. This is also helpful in terms of identity, as it is easier for users to relate to a few elements than to many. Of course, make sure the LMS still allows easy navigation, no matter the screen size your students use.
Embed external services seamlessly
This one is exactly as it sounds. External services are a large contributor to the “effortless” look of your robust LMS. Make sure repetitive tasks are kept to a minimum, and that features and information appear standardized. This should hold true for your students, but also for your management and analytics dashboards, no matter if they are provided by several different partners.
Don’t make shopping an afterthought
Even if you are not looking to get money out of your students, it’s always worthwhile to study the ways in which you can keep students within the site. Literally or figuratively, think about how you can get them to “buy in” to what you have to offer. If you do have a store connected to your LMS, make sure the “integration” you offer is, in fact, deserving of the name.
Make it home at any scale
Several cues across the LMS can give students an idea of how much they matter as customers or people. It’s always good to make them feel at home, whether you have 100 students or 10,000. If you service students from several different organizations, you might want to take a look at solutions that enable multi-tenancy in your LMS.
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