Features of Association LMS that your Association should have

Features of Association LMS that your Association should have

LMS Features that Association Needs

One of the difficulties that associations face when selecting an association learning management system (LMS) feature is determining what is required to serve their members’ educational needs best. With over 125 LMS systems today, this cannot be very clear. Some cater to specific niches, while others have numerous bells and whistles.

There are several ways to pick the wrong LMS for your company. With so many options, it’s easy to lose sight of the overall goal that the association set out to achieve and end up with an association LMS feature that doesn’t do the job. So, what features does your Association LMS require?

Before answering that, you need to know the prime differences between a regular corporate LMS and an association LMS. Let’s get on with it.

How does an association LMS stand out from a regular employee based LMS?

Providing educational opportunities to members is a valuable service for members and is also a significant source of revenue for associations. However, this is where a traditional employee LMS differs from one that focuses more on compliance. So, let’s look at how an association LMS meets the association’s specific business requirements.

  • With an association LMS, members can browse the association’s education and professional development offerings using an easy-to-use course catalogue.
  • A good association LMS will enable the association to sell both online and offline content and offer attractive special pricing for discounts and bundled content offers.
  • Members and non-members can efficiently complete purchases thanks to built-in shopping carts and integrated payment gateways.
  • Many LMS let you track CE credits or keep track of certificates earned, but only a few let you manage complex continuing education requirements and credential maintenance in one place.
  • Association LMS allows you to quickly design programs to assess your learners’ relevant knowledge, skills, and competencies.
  • Association LMS features provide data transfer bridges between the LMS and the association’s member database (such as Personify, iMIS and others).

“The must-have features for your LMS that make member management and tracking easy.”


Must have Association LMS features that you can’t neglect

By 2025, the global LMS market is expected to have grown by more than 50%. The ideal LMS has many features that allow professional growth and meaningful membership experiences. We’ll look at some of the distinguishing characteristics of a stellar association LMS today.

  • 1. E-Commerce

    Profit is the ultimate goal of any business. However, associations are not the same. Your membership is the most important thing to you.

    Even so, associations do not operate for free. Dues alone will not be enough to keep them afloat. According to ASAE, they contribute only 45 % of an association’s annual revenue.

    A fantastic partnership with non-dues revenue can also be generated through the LMS. For example, consider a platform that offers full e-commerce capabilities, so you can monetize events, courseware, and other materials however you like.

  • 2. Integration of Events

    When it comes to non-dues revenue, events are crucial. Combining virtual and hybrid events with your education opens up revenue possibilities you may not have considered before.

    When you run events through your LMS, they become a perpetual revenue opportunity instead of a one-time event. Long after the event has ended, you can monetize the recording, and it will provide your members with an invaluable educational experience.

    It’s time to look at your events and educational initiatives from the same perspective. They are now treated as two sides of the same coin by technology.

  • 3. Singular Login aka SSO

    To provide an exceptional experience to members, associations rely on various software. As a result, you may have more passwords than you can recall. This is aggravating for both you and your members.

    SSO connects your LMS to your existing software ecosystem. As a result, your members will be able to access your online learning platform with ease, resulting in a more consistent user experience. SSO is beneficial to any association. It is, however, a requirement for associations.

  • 4. Integration with AMS

    Let’s not forget the importance of integrating with association management systems before we get too far away from seamless integrations.

    Your AMS is responsible for a wide range of membership functions, including payments, contact information, and areas of interest. All of this information is important for your e-learning initiatives. It’s all shared with the AMS-LMS integration.

    It’s not a suitable LMS for you if it doesn’t integrate with your association management system.

  • 5. Online Social Networks

    When people learn together, they know better. COVID-19 reaffirmed our belief in learning as a social act. But, in an increasingly virtual world, is social learning possible?

    Your learners will benefit from a great LMS for associations that do more than just host traditional, self-guided courseware. It will be a focal point for engagement and interaction throughout the year.

    Look for a learning management system that includes forums and other ways for your community to communicate and interact. A suitable LMS can help associations connect their members, one of their main goals.

  • 6. Solid User Management and Tracking

    Members and learners need to know where they stand in terms of their training progress, whether through a course, certification program, learning program, or other required training.

    Therefore, an LMS that provides this level of user management will be highly beneficial to its users and encourage them to return to the system to review and manage their training regularly.

  • 7. All Types of Content Can Be Delivered, Managed, and Tracked

    For your training to be engaging and relevant, it must support a variety of delivery methods and content types. For example, your LMS should be able to track and manage a virtual classroom, online webinar, on-the-job, testing, external training, blended learning, and other types of training.

    To support these training formats, the system must also support a variety of content types, including audio, video, text, webinars, HTML, recorded web sessions, and so on. Keeping these types of training modes and content while adhering to educational content standards ensures that your members and learners receive engaging training.

  • 8. Certifications

    An LMS serves many purposes for associations. Providing continuing education to your membership is one of the most important.

    This is just one of the differences between an LMS designed for associations and one intended for businesses. Of course, learning and development are critical in the workplace. However, every dollar you spend on learning and development is ultimately an investment in your company.

    In the association space, things appear to be different. Yes, you do benefit from the CEU distribution. But, in the end, it isn’t about you. It’s all about your customers.

    Learning has its rewards and recognition. However, it’s even more satisfying when it directly benefits their professional development. That’s why having a certification-distribution LMS is so essential for associations.

  • 9. Member Learner Collaboration and Communication

    Social media tools are increasingly becoming a requirement for member collaboration. This necessitates the formation of discussion groups, forums, and interest communities.

    By enabling these tools in your LMS, your association members will be able to form relationships with other members who are in the same class, belong to a specific type of group, share similar interests, and communicate for a variety of different reasons that are all related to learning from within the LMS.

    In addition, this feature will give your members yet another reason to return to your LMS, as it will serve as a form of informal learning support, especially for members who are dispersed across a large geographic area.

Wrapping Up

Faced with uncertainty and the absence of a critical medium, associations are rewriting their short and long-term content playbooks and embarking on the transformation necessary to reclaim their leadership position. At every level of the learning systems life cycle, the realities of 2020 have accelerated their transformation.

This includes the business case, requirement definition, RFP, contracting, deployment, content development, and improvement. Some associations are better prepared to make this transition than others. Not only to go entirely online quickly but also to outperform for-profit continuing education providers. An excellent place to start is with a foundational association LMS.

Choosing the association LMS with the right features helps focus resources in the appropriate training stages, which accelerates and improvises member training in the long run. If you would like to know more about association LMS and the features that your association LMS should have, contact us today.

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