Four Features Every Knowledge Management System Should Have

Written By

Mark McGuire

November 17, 2015

The internet has grown in many socially-empowering ways over the past decade—from email to Facebook to Netflix. Each of these innovations increasingly empowers us as people to collaborate in novel ways, attempt to solve problems, or be more competitive. As our access to new research increases, and the ability to author persuasive and stunning content becomes easier, it should be clear to organizations that the best knowledge transfer and knowledge retention systems are not only digital but online and collaborative. Choosing an effective knowledge management system is not an easy task. There are countless knowledge management systems, each with their own features. However, there should be a small set of key features that ideal knowledge and learning management systems possess.

Knowledge transfer can be both satisfying and necessary in a competitive environment. eLearning-facilitated compliance training should not be overlooked or underestimated, but thought of as an opportunity for companies to train and refresh their employees with useful skills that can save the day in an emergency. eLearning systems are a fraction of the cost of traditional training or educational venues, but offer the same level of professionalism expected from real world institutions. Authors of eLearning systems are building their own personal brand based on the unique personal successes which they are able to attain from successful interactions with their students. In other words, the success of your training has never been as important as it is to the eLearning instructors and authors who are relying on your success to establish their brand.

The question must then be asked—what are the core features on which we can evaluate eLearning and knowledge management systems? With social media services such as Goodreads to evaluate books and eReaders, LinkedIn to evaluate skill matches to a job posting, and Facebook to match personal interests, it only makes sense that there should be a way to evaluate eLearning systems. There are four key indicators that organizations can use to assess eLearning management systems: (1) accessibility, (2) collaboration, (3) customization, and (4) recognition.

Accessibility

You get your news on your tablet. You can check your social media on your phone, and work on your laptop. More people in the world today have a smart phone than possess a computer. Even in a place where everyone has both, and possibly a tablet as well, it is preferable to have a system that provides a similar experience on your phone, tablet, or computer so that you can decide which device makes you most comfortable. The People Matter Institute put it best when they said that eLearning should be available anytime, anywhere.

Customization

The content you are delivering should be customizable and adaptable. If your employees are making great videos that could help others learn more effectively, upload them to your eLearning courses. A benefit with eLearning is that it does not need to be at the same pace, style, or place as traditional learning. Course authors can adopt new technologies to create stunning graphics, or write in a more coherent manner to attract their audiences. Learners can also choose how and where they interact with courses in terms of accessibility, and through the multimodality of the media with the course. Research from Cisco demonstrates that learning through multimodal approaches is more effective than traditional learning. The instructor could even read the content to the user through pre-recorded audio files, or record an entire course with video and share it in segments with their audience throughout the course.

Collaboration

Learning is an instinctively social trait. There not only needs to be a process for your employees to demonstrate and apply what they are learning, there also needs to be a process to evaluate and cater towards improving the training. Training with an eLearning management system also provides opportunity for people to collaborate at work. This can improve how they interact with the material and solve problems. Even LinkedIn integration or Twitter can help trainees network, collaborate, and increase adoption of the eLearning service.

Recognition

Recognition is important. Not only do some people want to receive a certificate showcasing their success, but certification is a great way to prove that individuals have completed training. In some instances, certification can be a legal measure to demonstrate that an employee’s training complies with the law. A great eLearning platform should have an ability to not only show who is enrolled in courses, but who has fully completed a course, and which people are out of compliance.

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