Dive into the top 20+ LMS features that elevate learning experiences, streamline administration, and drive impactful training outcomes.
An LMS is no longer a ‘nice to have’ part of professional learning and development. Remote work, shifting regulatory requirements, and jam-packed schedules make effective and efficient training so important. But without a powerful central platform, training is difficult to manage, even at a small scale.
LMS options vary, but they all offer central organization for your training materials, along with a constellation of different features to consider and leverage to improve your training strategy. If you’re exploring different learning management systems, you’ll need to weigh your priorities and goals to choose the best fit for your industry, organizational structure, and training needs.
Here’s a full run-down of the top LMS features you’ll find from platforms like Continu and other leading LMS and LxP providers.
1. User Interface (UI)
Can everyone in your organization confidently navigate the LMS? The user interface is the first thing learners will notice about the platform, and a fine-tuned UI is a simple way to increase engagement and prevent frustration or apathy.
Don’t forget about the administrator experience! A great LMS will save them time and make it simple to navigate through menus, create and assign content, and track learners’ progress.
2. Content management
Say goodbye to photocopies of training materials. An LMS provides the organization and cloud storage to keep your training materials available, accessible to all, and easy to update. Look for one that supports a wide range of file formats and offers storage for all your content.
Don’t forget powerful search capabilities and the ability to tag or categorize content for an easier search process.
3. Customization options
Do you want to create a look & feel that’s totally yours? Some LMS platforms offer a fully-white labeled option, while others allow you to switch up colors, logo, and other elements to match your branding. Either way, it makes for a more beautiful learning experience that reinforces your brand identity!
4. User permissions
This is an important feature whether your team is 50 or 5,000 learners. Your LMS should allow you to categorize users and customize their access level and permissions. If you will use your LMS to train external users and internal teams, then these permissions are even more important, since you’ll want to segment content based on whether they’re an employee, partner, or customer.
Can the LMS grow with your business and support new users easily? Look for an LMS that can accommodate a growing content library, host virtual learning, and handle new users as you scale.
Find an LMS that plays well with the tools your organization already uses. You want learning and development to fit in well with daily workflows so it becomes second nature for your teams. Many LMS platforms offer integrations with Slack, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Salesforce, Oracle, or Salesforce. These integrations make it easy to search for content, send workshop invitations, and incorporate sales or CRM data to improve the learning experience for every user.
7. Reporting tools
If you want to get data-driven in your training, you need an LMS with powerful reporting and tracking capabilities. After putting so much effort into developing your training courses and content, you need visibility into how well they are working. You should be able to take attendance for virtual workshops and check in on completion rates easily.
Continu allows you to track learner progress across departments, regions, job role, and more, which gives you detailed insight into where they may be struggling to engage, failing an assessment, or need a nudge to complete required training. Continu also generates an ROI dashboard to clearly track the value of your learning initiatives across the organization.
8. Assessments and quizzes
Assessments are every teacher’s tool to gauge comprehension and mastery, so look for one that offers a variety of assessment types, including quizzes with multiple choice, long-form responses, and even video responses – which are particularly useful for sales team coaching. Look for automatic grading functionality and simple ways to give feedback or offer coaching to learners.
9. Learning paths
Look for an LMS that offers ‘learning paths’, especially if you’re using it for onboarding, certification courses, or compliance training. Learning paths are a sequence of training content and related learning modules, activities, and assessments that guide learners through a structured and intentional training process. In Continu, we call these Journeys.
Journeys or learning paths will give your employees, network partners, or customers a greater sense of ownership and a context for their training. In Continu, learners can see the outline of the entire Journey so they know what is coming up next and can track their own progress through the material. The automated sequences save time for administrators as well; they can assign new learners to a Journey and the LMS will guide them through the material.
10. Supports remote learning
Workplace training is happening on the go, on the factory floor, on-site, and in home offices and coffee shops all over the world. Make sure your LMS can support blended learning and asynchronous learning. Of course, some training will still need to happen live and in-person, but an LMS is the ideal way to pair self-paced learning with scheduled virtual or in-person workshop sessions.
Workshops are a great way to manage remote learning within Continu. Administrators can invite learners, track attendance, and share resources, and learners will enjoy the seamless experience and group atmosphere which makes training sessions more engaging.
11. Social Learning
Remote learning runs the risk of being a lonely process, but social features within an LMS will make a big difference. For example, some LMS platforms offer leaderboards or badges for completing a learning track and to celebrate progress and achievements. Many have incorporated features including likes, comments, discussion boards to add a fun and interactive element to employee or customer training.
12. Mobile access
Most of us can relate to spending hours every week on a smartphone or tablet. Workplace training often happens through mobile apps and on mobile devices, so choose an LMS that is responsive and delivers a great training experience no matter what device learners are using to complete their training.
13. Personalized content
Modern learning management systems should offer personalized suggestions to your learners based on criteria like their job role, region, or other content they’ve recently accessed.
For example, Continu’s Smart Segmentation allows administrators to share specific training content with niche groups of learners according to a range of criteria. Learners are looking for highly relevant training content, and are more likely to stay engaged when they can trace their training directly to real-life scenarios in daily work.
14. Language localization
As businesses grow internationally and channel partner sales have become a common model, language localization may be an important feature for your learners. Continu can be localized in 90+ languages, so you can get your training content in the primary language of as many users as possible.
15. Security first
Training content often includes proprietary or sensitive business data, so look for an LMS with strong security credentials on top of customizable user access and permissions. Protect your training materials and any sensitive information using a SOC II-compliant enterprise-standard LMS. Choose an LMS with a strong track record in your industry, especially if compliance is high-priority like in healthcare and financial services.
16. Integrated content libraries
Some LMS platforms come with a standard content library to help you get started building your learning tracks. Most also allow you to import from content partners like LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, and Go1 to create a content library that suits your learners and your training needs. If you need to import any of your LMS data to a third-party system, look for one like Continu that makes it simple with open APIs.
17. E-commerce capabilities
Do you plan to sell access to any of your e-learning courses or workshops? If so, pick an LMS with e-commerce capabilities to securely process payments and user subscriptions. Once learners have paid for the course, other LMS features like automated reminders and progress tracking will help keep them motivated to enroll in further courses and generate revenue for your business.
18. Top-rated customer support
A smooth onboarding process and data migration are critical to your success with a new LMS. Evaluate reviews of their customer support and their own training resources – how well do the LMS experts train their own customers? Check in with reviews to see how current customers feel about the level of customer support the LMS vendor provides.
Democratize your training content by choosing an LMS that’s accessible for all learners regardless of disability, with accommodations for those with visual or auditory impairment.
20. Content authoring tools
If you plan to develop your own training materials, simplify the process with LMS content authoring tools. These allow you to upload, embed, link, and record content in different media formats directly into the LMS to build engaging courses for your learners. The more efficient the authoring capabilities, the sooner you can get great training content into learners’ hands.
21. Virtual Instructor-Led Training Workshops
Virtual instructor-led training (VILT) has become a staple of online learning and corporate training. VILT provides a synchronous learning environment with an instructor who teaches and interacts with learners who attend the sessions virtually. LMS platforms offer a streamlined way to create, invite, and host VILT sessions, plus track attendance, send follow-up assessments, and connect with attendees afterward. If your organization plans to include VILT workshops in your training or marketing strategy, look for an LMS with this feature. se
22. Flexible pricing
Does the LMS fit with your budget? More than that, is it making the best use of every penny spent? Look for a platform that is transparent about licensing fees, maintenance or support costs, and how pricing will change as you grow.
What’s On Your LMS Wishlist?
LMS platforms are powerful! Match up your priorities and top training goals with the wide range of LMS features that are available. Your organization may not need all of them, but the right combination definitely exists for you.
Continu is the leading LMS in G2 user ratings, offering nearly every feature on this list. Want to see it in action and share your specific training goals? Book your personalized demo to experience Continu today.