With the sweeping COVID-19 pandemic, millions of students of all ages are attending school from home with the use of a Learning Management System (LMS). While helpful, these systems are not free from annoying —or, let’s face it, disappointing— issues sometimes. Even for the tech savvy ones out there, they can be a real hassle to deal with. However, learning how to handle LMS platforms as well as any crashes you encounter can help to make the definite transition to virtual and distance learning as smooth as possible.
The following tips aim to cover as much ground as possible. Patience, and often the expert support of a knowledgeable ally, can make all the difference in your experience.
№1. What’s your LMS by the way? Figure out the basics
LMS products are varied, in form, function, purpose, architecture and so on. Furthermore, the same brand of LMS can look completely different in 2 installations, provided it’s flexible enough. And then there are the custom-made and in-house varieties. It’s alright. Keep your sanity by figuring out the basics:
- Name of the LMS: Adobe Captivate Prime, Docebo, LearnUpon LMS, Mindflash, SAP Litmos, etc.
- Name, number or release date of your version.
- Required software and hardware specifications. (Here’s an example for reference.)
- Third-party software used, either independently or integrated.
- And so on.
This information should be readily available your school, be it an administrator or IT department. In an increasing number of cases, the school or organization might have hired a provider of LMS solution who might be able to offer some level of help or support directly to students or parents, at least in the form of documentation or FAQ pages. And of course, if your kid’s school is unable to provide you basic help or guidance for the virtual learning journey you are expected to embark for the time being, wouldn’t that suggest it’s time to see what other schools are doing?
Once you have identified the LMS, start familiarizing with the basic controls, navigation menus, main pages and so on.
№2. Follow the manual
Download and read official guides or manuals available from the LMS provider or developer. Figure out potential hangups and crashes. If you are already experiencing some of them, keep the troubleshooting information close. The quality and readability of the help guide speaks very loudly about their quality, professionalism and care. Making the most out of your experience with an LMS is only possible once you are familiar with the platform that you are actually learning on itself.
№3. Video it out
Even if you do find the official guide or manual for your designated LMS, watching amateur or freelance video walk-throughs and tutorials are always highly recommended. Visual guides can be more effective and save time when figuring out the kinks of a new software, and can be advantageous for younger children as well as adults who are not tech-savvy or as familiar with computer software. Use video tutorials to help remedy crashes or other bugs you are experiencing within your chosen LMS based on the specific issue you are encountering.
№4. Compatibility checkup time
So you have made all checks and you’re running an up-to-date, state-of-the-art platform. Yet the LMS is still crashing! This happens only to you or a few number of people. What gives?
Issues for which there is no readily available solution, or whose behavior differ from your experience, could be due to the compatibility of the LMS with the devices that you are using. Look out for compatibility requirements from the official source. In most cases, forums are your friends. On either the official ones, or the popular, advocate run forum or Facebook group —not unusually the more helpful— you might run into a friendly expert eager to see the fruits of your patience.
№5. Could it still be me?
If the issue is still a mystery, it might not have to do with your computer’s specs, but what is disputing its resources. Eliminating additional background programs and applications can help to reduce memory waste while also improving the overall speed and navigation of your LMS. When you reduce the number of programs and applications you have running simultaneously on a computer or smartphone, you minimize the risk of experiencing a crash, especially when in the middle of completing work or submitting an unsaved assignment you are working to complete.
Pro tip: If you usually access your LMS from a web browser, like Firefox, Safari or Chrome, ask if there is a desktop version or mobile app instead. These tend to be more stable and lightweight, easier on your computer or mobile device.
Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them.