Many training organisations use a learning management system (LMS) that is separate from their student management system (SMS). These platforms support training organisations to provide blended and online learning, including online content creation. While integrating your SMS with these LMSs can work well, having a one system solution can work even better for your RTO. A one system solution essentially means the system is both an SMS and an LMS, providing the full range of features of both systems all in one. Here’s why this approach can be an amazing fresh start for your RTO.
Using one system that encompasses everything you need for training management benefits all parties involved, as students, administrators and trainers are all able to work in one place. This means they won’t need to have multiple different applications open, or learn how to learn within user interfaces that can be very inconsistent with each other.
Think of it this way: a one system solution is like a Ferrari. Spreading your learning operations across multiple systems is like adding on parts of other cars to the Ferrari – it seems like the multiple GPSs and two steering wheels have made it a super advanced car at first, but when you try to drive it everyday it's much harder to use. A one system SMS/LMS solution allows you to stay on track with ease without any other bells and whistles – after all, it’s been built for the purpose of being the only system you need.
Managing data across several platforms for reporting can be a big hassle for administrators, and there’s also the challenge of maintaining relationships with different system providers. With multiple systems, things can get complicated quickly. A complicated process can cause slowness and unclear communication, which may lead students to feel they’re getting a disjointed learning experience. Trainers will likely also feel this misalignment, with managing online learning having an extra layer of unnecessary complexity added on. A one system approach means everything is in one place, and student progression and engagement can be more easily viewed, analysed and reported on.
Multiple systems doesn’t necessarily mean more flexibility. If you choose the right system, it should have a wide variety of features that provide flexibility. For example, the aXcelerate LMS has a brand new feature called Learning Plans. Learning Plans are amazing (if we do say so ourselves) as they allow beautiful lessons and assessment to be created in a way that controls the flow of a student’s learning journey. When a Learning Plan is created, students can move through the learning in their Student Portal through both self-driven learning and schedule-based progression. Trainers can also use lessons created as a Learning Plan in live classes. This could be through sharing the computer screen of the Learning Plan page via Zoom or on a projector, or individually viewing the Learning Plan on students’ own devices and working through content together. Trainers and assessors will have complete oversight of the class to ensure the learning experience is going smoothly for everyone.
We all know compliance is one of the biggest (if not the biggest) headaches for RTOs. Reporting data from multiple systems doesn’t help this headache go away. One example of an important compliance feature a one system SMS/LMS can provide is assessment mapping. Assessment mapping starts with creating online assessments in your LMS. Your SMS can then download qualification training components directly from training.gov.au, including units, elements, performance criteria, foundation skills, performance evidence, knowledge evidence and assessment conditions. Assessment questions and items can then be mapped to related training components, or vice versa, to create mapping relationships. You should be able to get direct visual feedback about mapping relationships, including the number of components mapped to each assessment criterion/question. Then, this mapping data can be exported at both the Unit and Qualification levels. This is great for demonstrating the validity of your assessment tools, which is a requirement of ASQA.
It’s a no-brainer that paying for multiple systems is more expensive than paying for one. Why pay for an extra steering wheel when you already have one that works perfectly on its own?
And with that final cheesy car metaphor, we’ll leave you to think about all the benefits a one system solution could give you.
aXcelerate is Australia’s number 1 cloud-based Student Management System. We started as an RTO, so we know what’s best for RTOs.
Through many changes over the last 30 years in the VET sector, we’ve helped almost 1000 training organisations thrive with aXcelerate’s One System SMS/LMS solution.
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