Features to Look For in K-12 LMS | LearnPanda Blog

A Learning Management System for K-12 can be a huge asset, but only if you choose the right one for your school!

A good learning management system helps you to make learning engaging and adaptive, assess learners and monitor their progress; especially in the present scenario where education is increasingly becoming digitized and the attention span is going down.

As the world plunges into uncertain times with the Covid-19 virus continuing to pose a threat to everyone, a comprehensive shift to remote learning calls for a comprehensive solution.

Prepared teachers, connected students, informed parents and a strong Learning Management System for K-12 educators is the key to a seamless learning experience.

What is a Learning Management System?

Often called an LMS in short, a learning management system is a software application designed for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting, automation, creation and delivery of educational curriculum-based content.

A learning management system (LMS) handles every aspect of the learning process. It is a powerhouse of tools for your school to facilitate learning. The pieces that make up a great LMS are its own features.

Different learning management system comes with different functionality. Here, we have listed top features that will help you make the most of your K-12 learning management systems.

1. Both Blended and Hybrid Learning Capability

We love options! First and foremost, any LMS that you consider investing in for your school must ensure that nothing unprecedented interrupts the course of education. An LMS that is inclusive of both blended and hybrid learning capability reinforces traditional learning with more modern material.

The blended learning approach of an LMS combines online and offline access. However, the hybrid learning approach is multi-dimensional as it combines traditional classroom experiences, experiential learning objectives and digital course delivery. Your ideal learning management system must emphasize using the best option for each learning objective, from its ability to balance the face-to-face and online aspects of a classroom to its ability to vary widely according to subject matter taught and the needs of a specific group of learners.

2. Assessment Management System

Students’ assessment is equally important. Another must-have LMS function is an assessment management system. Assessment management tools with in-built annotations and correction are essential to keep learners on track while ensuring they meet the performance milestone. 

3. Advanced Reporting

Reporting is of the utmost importance to any learning management system. After all, if you don’t know how your students are performing, how will you identify the opportunities to improve your learners’ experience and fill the learning gaps. Reporting capabilities should be on the top of your LMS must-have list. 

In addition, your ideal LMS must have a specialized performance dashboard to help you monitor your students’ progress, understand their strengths and their learning gaps, making it easier for you to step in and act upon them accordingly.

4. Video Conferencing Integrations for Virtual Classrooms

Your LMS must help you to automate the teaching process and take any time-consuming activities off your plate. An LMS that integrates video conferencing platforms that you are already using, like ZOOM or Google Meet, without spending a penny for an outside subscription can be your ideal solution.

Integrated video conferencing is essential for you to conduct regular classes and provide one-on-one attention to students who require it.

5. Collaborative Tools like Discussion Forums, Chats, Feeds & Blogs

Collaborative tools are extremely beneficial to increase productivity. Being able to share and access resources easily and at the point of need is essential to improve collaboration. While investing in a learning management system for your K-12 school, you must ensure that the LMS is inclusive of collaborative learning tools such as discussion forums, chats, blogs, news feeds and more. These tools are beneficial to stay up-to-date with your school community. At the same time, an LMS should also support collaborative plug-ins or add-ons.

6. Gamification

Games make the world go ‘round’. However, it does give you the power to motivate and inspire your students. Learning for learning’s sake is a great idea in theory, but in the real world, you’ll probably want to incentivize the process. A top-notch LMS should feature built-in gamification tools. For example, badges, points, leaderboards, contests and rewards that appeal to learners’ competitive nature. Gamification helps to set clear goals, milestones and recognizes achievements that motivate your learners. 

The concept of taking the essence of games and applying it to learning objectives makes curriculum-aligned learning more enjoyable. This yields a broad range of benefits as it increases engagement, involves learners in healthy competition and speeds up the learning process.

7. Intuitive User Interface 

All these LMS features may be rendered useless if you don’t know how to use the LMS. An intuitive user interface means the LMS is easy to use for teachers and learners. This results in spending less time learning how to use the LMS and more time teaching & learning.

To be worth your while, the learning management system should have an intuitive user interface that’s easy to use, meshes well and is customizable to the needs of your school. This is one of the key LMS features to consider when you’re testing out the LMS during a free trial or demo.  Your overall experience of using an LMS must be comprehensive, i.e., it must facilitate a cohesive flow between dashboards and an overview of in-class learning activities.

8. Personalized Learning Paths

Managing numerous students in an LMS can feel like heavy lifting, especially if you want to provide a more tailored experience (and trust us, you definitely do). No one size fits all and no two students learn the same way. A personalized learning path makes the journey easier for the learners and teachers. An LMS that involves a variety of instructional approaches allows you to tailor learning activities and personalize modules based on competency and to suit different learning styles.

An ideal learning management system helps you to allot assessments based on students’ performance gaps and create study material in a manner that subjects students to exercises in which they either express interests or show the need for extra attention.

If you have any questions about these features of a learning management system or anything that you feel must be featured in this post, please let us know in the comments below.

If you are looking for an LMS to help your school tide over the second wave of Covid,  LearnPanda’s LMS brings together a hybrid learning management system with all the above essential features to create a supportive and secure environment for continued learning anytime, anywhere.

Priyanka Megotia
Author

Priyanka is a Senior Content Writer at LearnPanda. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and loves working on content pieces that combine in-depth research and creativity. When she’s not writing, she can be found travelling, reading or journaling at a coffee shop.

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