Building a learning management system on SharePoint can help create a collaborative knowledge-sharing environment for employees to learn, apply, and grow.
SharePoint has emerged as one of Microsoft’s fastest-growing products and for good reason, given the pace of digital transformation across the enterprise ecosystem. SharePoint is a powerful platform that provides centralized and secure storage for business insights and documents while decentralizing access to important data for your teams to ensure uninterrupted workflows. At the same time, it enables the creation of custom learning and development (L&D) platforms for employees with a SharePoint foundation.
With a learning management system (LMS) built on SharePoint, employees can collaborate and interact with each other to share knowledge and resources. Here, learning and development initiatives can include short to mid-term skill enhancement courses, specialized training programs, etc. that help them learn and access growth opportunities.
But before getting started with using SharePoint for your LMS, it is important to understand key points and benefits to ensure maximum impact of SharePoint on your L&D efforts.
Benefits of building an LMS on SharePoint
Traditional learning management systems or third-party portals often have a siloed or isolated learning process. On the other hand, SharePoint enables you to build a highly customized learning platform with greater engagement and interactivity for employees. The platform’s customization capabilities further enable administrators and instructors to track an individual’s learning progress more closely and measure success through several predefined metrics.
To understand SharePoint’s value as an LMS, let’s look at some of its key features and benefits:
1. Rapidly create and deploy learning management systems
The core benefit of using SharePoint to build an LMS is eliminating extra effort in incorporating, learning, and deploying new enterprise software. SharePoint achieves this by maximizing the use of existing software to gain maximum results. SharePoint ensures increased utilization of existing resources to customize the LMS system customizable for your business.
SharePoint easily integrates with various internal data and content sources, including Microsoft Active Directory, allowing you to migrate data to the LMS. This way, incorporating SharePoint in your LMS initiative also creates a single source of knowledge for better content access and customization while reducing effort in creating learning content.
With seamless integrations offered by SharePoint, you can maximize the value from your existing Microsoft 365 deployment for a comprehensive LMS. As employees would already be familiar with the user interface and experience of the Microsoft 365 suite, implementing a new LMS becomes much faster and can take place with fewer hiccups.
2. Create an engaging user experience
The most crucial metric for a successful learning management system is the engagement of users, the quality of the learning experience, and incorporating the training into actual responsibilities and business scenarios. That’s why creating a customizable learning experience for individual employees as well as groups of employees is better than force-fitting a certain group into randomized learning hierarchies.
This is where SharePoint can be the game-changer for your LMS. With an in-depth understanding of your corporate hierarchy and learning needs at every stage, SharePoint can create a learning program for every level of management.
SharePoint enables you to assign individual employees to customized training programs, evaluate individual employee performance, and choose whether to promote certain employees as per their progress in the learning module. For instance, training modules for salespeople working in the field will differ vastly from the financial management employees. This way, learning programs can be tailored for employees, starting from the entry-level to mid-level and senior-level employees based on the skills needed for their specific roles.
Furthermore, being a centralized data management system, SharePoint can extract data of every employee from internal, connected storage platforms to create the most comprehensive training modules for your organizational needs. And it doesn’t stop here. You can gamify the entire training module with interactive challenges, quizzes, case studies, and leaderboards to ensure a healthy competitive environment within the organization.
3. Manage the entire learning experience on a single platform
SharePoint is essentially an enterprise application for creating a comprehensive, collaborative, digital work environment. However, its various functions can optimize and customize training modules as per the company’s requirements.
From an L&D perspective, SharePoint allows for such functions as:
- Enterprise content management
- Task-oriented, in-context collaboration
- Personalized aggregation points for your user’s experience
- Enterprise database search
- Business intelligence
Here’s a general explanation of how these features work –
Using SharePoint as an LMS, trainers can upload content directly to SharePoint. Using version control and workflow creation features, trainers and admins can ensure the quality of all learning content and ensure that it is current. They do not need to transfer documents from one system to another. In fact, trainers can simply set permissions from Active Directory regarding who can access the training and set tasks that link to the learner’s Microsoft Outlook or Teams. The learner and trainer can also discuss any of the training topics on a team site either one-on-one or in a group setting through chats.
SharePoint’s multi-device access also helps employees to access the training module on their smartphones or their tablets, hence enabling learning on the go.
4. Efficiently build and manage LMS content
As mentioned before, SharePoint creates a central data access storage and management system for your business. It also includes the LMS system where you can store individual employee performance and previous LMS content for efficient management and integration with your SharePoint-based LMS in the future. Incorporating Microsoft Active Directory can further enhance the process by avoiding data duplication and additional efforts in creating employee profiles for every new training module.
5. Fast and accurate reporting
Reporting is essential to know if learning objectives are being met and to know if they’re positively impacting team productivity and business outcomes. And the key to getting this information is the ability to convert data on learning outcomes into easily understandable reports.
SharePoint reduces the friction of reporting that is common with other systems. Your SharePoint LMS can be easily integrated with Power BI to cross-share data and build automated dashboards using Power Automate, that ultimately, help key stakeholders view detailed reports and insights.
Build a powerful LMS by integrating SharePoint with Power BI and Power Automate
With everything we have talked about above, it’s rather obvious that SharePoint provides maximum efficiency and limitless customization to enterprise learning and development modules. However, what if we tell you it can be even better?
Building an integrated L&D management system for your organization with Power BI and Power Automate can make the entire process even more customizable, scalable, and further simplify how employees’ learning progress is measured and used. Power BI is business analytics and visualization tool that helps businesses to present and view data and make better decisions on talent and leadership development as well as business aspects. This includes synchronizing files, enabling data flow among various applications, setting custom triggers, receiving customized notifications, and more.
Integrating Power Automate with SharePoint makes the process of building learning modules using specific data on the cloud much simpler by allowing trainers to connect them to SharePoint without having to use any code. This way, they can build more accessible, customizable, and scalable learning programs of varying duration and complexity for thousands of employees at minimum cost and time.
As an enterprise data visualization tool, Power BI delivers a whole new level of sophistication and customization in building dashboards for both employees and the leadership team to measure the progress of the training module along with each participant in it.
This further enhances the value of a training module with real-time progression mapping. Through these insights, management can decide which employee is best suited for a particular job role or is fit to take on leadership roles based on a combination of data showcasing their performance and learning history.
Don’t just think about building an LMS – do it
As companies evolve and employees transition from one role to another, capturing new knowledge, keeping the existing one, and sharing the acquired knowledge with their peers in a collaborative workspace is crucial for sustainably growing organizations.
A strong organizational culture of learning and skilling, backed by a powerful learning management system, can ensure that your organization grows with new knowledge and skilled talent. Additionally, employees feel they are adding value to their jobs while they grow professionally.
At VBeyond Digital, we can help you get started with learning and development initiatives you have wanted to implement in your organization, but were skeptical about the costs and technological resources associated with them.
For more information and answers, feel free to contact us.