Use A Learning Management Platform To Offer More Perks To Your Association Members
The main objective of any association is to bring together a group of individuals who share the same goals, aspirations, and interests. To keep up with the ever-evolving policies, standards, and skills required for professional growth, your association must always look for new ways to obtain and retain members.
Maintaining an LMS for your association members is a great way to ensure your members stay current on what skills they need to remain competitive in their field. It also helps to generate non-dues revenue and contributes selling points to your association's marketing strategy.
Let’s look at what an association learning management system is, the benefits for your association, and what features you need to look for to ensure you choose the best association LMA for your organization.
What is an Association Learning Management System?
An association learning management system, or association LMS, is a software solution that gives associations the framework to offer continuing learning opportunities to their association members. It allows you to manage all aspects of your educational program, from organizing courses to administering certifications.
Offering an LMS to your association members is a great way to help them further their careers and offer value that makes their membership dues worthwhile. Let’s look at some benefits of providing an association learning management system to your members.
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Benefits of a Continued Learning Platform
Your association members are always looking for ways to enhance their careers and move toward their professional goals. If you want to ensure your member retention rate stays high, you must offer them the opportunity to learn new skills through your professional association.
eLearning is more popular than ever. It’s an excellent way for your members to access educational content anywhere and find value in their association memberships. Associations can offer online courses, webinars, and other virtual content that allows members to earn continuing education credits or professional development points from the comfort of their homes.
Let’s look at why incorporating an LMS platform into your existing online education program is a great way to benefit your association.
The fundamental purpose of your association is to unite people with similar skills, careers, or interests and allow them to share information to enhance their learning experience.
It’s an excellent way for members to obtain social learning opportunities they may not otherwise have access to. Being able to connect with peers, discuss issues, and collaborate on a forum improves their engagement with your association and industry.
Offering an association LMS allows you to take these unique opportunities a step further by connecting association members from various parts of the country or world. This allows for more expansive collaboration, which will have them engaging more deeply with your program.
A learning management system also allows members and non-members to meet and collaborate if you open registration to non-members.
Increase Non-Dues Revenue Stream
Any LMS for associations worth its fee should have eCommerce capability. This means you’ll be able to add another revenue stream to your association’s financial plan.
You can offer online courses exclusive to your members for an additional fee or just charge non-members to join your LMS. You can also add built-in shopping carts and integrate payment methods to allow both members and non-members to pursue professional development or certifications. Consider building in member vs. nonmember pricing tiers to add value to your offerings.
By having flexible e-commerce functionality, your association can simplify the user experience for its members. This will translate to an increase in non-dues revenue.
Manage Credits and Certifications
Many associations are responsible for providing certifications for their members to help further their careers. However, to achieve these certifications, members have to complete a variety of continuing education or CE requirements, often spread out over various locations.
Offering an LMS to your association members will help them track their CE credits or record certificates for professional development or training courses. This will help you simplify the management aspect of the entire certification process, from registration to assessment and completion.
Advanced reporting that allows you to track and report on learner progress is an essential tool for associations. Not only will this help you know if your participants have met their learning objectives, but it also allows you to adjust your course based on learner progress to ensure it continues to bring critical benefits to your association.
Advanced reporting features help you demonstrate to board members that your online learning plan is working to provide association members with essential educational experiences. They also help you generate configurable reports which will allow you to offer meaningful insights to your organization.
Essential Features of an Association LMS
To offer the best experience for your association members, you need to choose a learning management system with interactive features and learning technology that will drive member engagement.
This means looking for a learning management system that can host both your eLearning content and live webinars for the most engaging educational experience.
Let’s look at some vital features you need to be searching for as you look for the best LMS for professional associations.
Storage & Security
The best LMS systems will give you a place to store large amounts of eLearning content in an accessible content library. It should allow you to configure your storage in various ways to construct online courses or arrange content by topic seamlessly.
This essential feature will also allow you to organize your content to make it easy for association members to access it. This adds value for your members because they will be able to access your learning materials on demand.
Choose an LMA that allows seamless data integration with your existing association management software (AMS) and your customer relationship management software (CRM).
LMS integration means you’ll have easy access to all of your members’ information to make real-time changes to your website and allow you to transfer data to and from your member database seamlessly.
Single sign-on access is another great data integration feature to keep an eye out for. This means users can log in one time on the association website and won’t need to remember multiple passwords and usernames.
Single sign-on ensures participants don’t forget their password and grow frustrated when trying to access your educational content. It will link their association website login with the LMS, making for a seamless transition between platforms and an enhanced user experience.
LMS solutions must offer testing tools that help you and your members assess competency and learning outcomes during and after participating in your learning modules.
This also means you’ll know exactly where your members are performing and can differentiate learning materials to help meet their needs so they can reach their unique learning objectives.
These assessments can also give you critical insights into whether or not your online courses are working the way you want them to. You can use the results to shape your course to meet the needs of your participants.
A Responsive And Engaging Website
When choosing learning solutions for your trade association, you must ensure the LMS is responsive on any device, including:
Phones and tablets for people who are trying to consume your content while on the move.
Laptops for people who are sitting down away from their desk, typically on smaller screens.
Desktop computers for people who are watching your content at a desk and situated in a single location.
They should be user-friendly and branded to ensure users know that your association offers the online course. This feature will allow you to create a unique aesthetic across your organization to connect your main website to your online learning platform.
Additionally, look for exciting features that will keep your members interested in your online courses. Gamification, live polling, and breakout rooms are great ways to offer collaboration opportunities to engage your audience and offer a user-friendly experience.
Since an LMS acts as a hub for online learning, it should provide members with an easy way to pay for courses through their platform.
Your association members need customizable payment types and packages to generate flexible payment options. This will ensure your members can pay in whatever way is best for them, creating trust and loyalty between them and your association.
When members pass all assessments and complete all course requirements, your LMS should be able to grant them the certification document they need to prove they completed the course.
These should be downloadable and printable so that members can submit them to their employers or store them in their personal records for future reference.
Having the ability to take-away a certification allows your members to bring proof of their new skills to job interviews, add to their resumes, or post on their LinkedIn accounts.
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Choosing The Right LMS Can Revolutionize Your Professional Association
Your association members deserve a top-of-the-line virtual learning experience. From automating the learning process to offering essential educational credits to your members, your association LMS must provide a valuable, comprehensive learning experience.
Additionally, when your association learning management system integrates with your existing software, you can create a seamless online learning experience that your members will rave about. This means you need a high-quality learning platform to ensure your association members stay engaged with what your brand offers.
BeaconLive offers a continuing education platform that reduces hours spent on administrative tasks and allows you to focus on creating online courses that will provide optimal value to your audience. Our LMS is fully customizable and integrates with our live event platform to allow you to connect with association members from around the world.
Contact us today to learn more about how our LMS can take your association to the next level.