Understanding LMS Reports: 12 Things to Look at in Your eLearning Statistics

16 minutes

Admit it, showing colorful diagrams and charts from an LMS dashboard to your boss makes you look cool. However, just looking at reports is of little use. What do all these numbers mean for your company? In this article, we’ll guide you through the most important metrics and teach you to translate vague statistics into a language of benefits for learning and business.

The purpose of LMS reports is to show you what’s going on, what it means, and what you can do to improve results. In other words, reports tell you whether your efforts are actually translating into results. We found 12 key metrics of successful corporate eLearning. Keeping an eye on them, you’ll know how to enhance the quality of your content, and evaluate your learners engagement and effort.

So, first things first.

The table of contents:

Metrics That Help You Boost Learning Effectiveness

You’ll hardly convince stakeholders that a learning project is effective and show progress if you don’t have any concrete numbers in your hands. These numbers come from statistics. Logging and tracking learner activity plays a key role in eLearning, even if the training in your company is not obligatory.

1. Progress & Completion Rates

User progress and completion rates are the metrics you need to start with, because they show how often and how successfully learners study your content.

Why measure: You’ll notice right away if user engagement is low and take action.

Report on user progress in iSpring Learn

If the course started long ago, but users are still stalling at the start — we’ve got a problem.

If engagement is low, forget about the rest of the metrics and try to fix this basic thing. It’s important to determine the actual cause of the problem. What it might be:

  • The employees don’t know you’ve launched an online training program and you want them to study e-courses (sounds weird, but it’s a pretty common thing).

  • The employees lack motivation to take part in learning.

While the first issue is relatively easily solved by running an internal PR campaign, the second demands further investigation. Why aren’t employees invested? Perhaps they don’t see any real-world benefits of the learning or don’t know how to apply what they learn in their day-to-day work. Maybe they don’t like the content: find it boring, overloaded with complicated texts, or not professional enough. Anyway, whatever the reason is, you won’t know until you ask.

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2. Course Status

This metric directly depends on the previous one. It shows the current situation with the course: whether the user got started or completed it.

Why measure: Knowing the course status, there’s a better chance to have employees trained by a certain deadline.

Report on a course status in iSpring Learn

Martina Emerald still hasn’t started the course, and the deadline is close.

If you notice that some users are falling behind, or simply forgot about the courses, send them an email or ping them in a corporate messenger.

3. Score

Since learner score is usually a cornerstone of any learning, this metric is one of the most important.

Why measure: Learners’ achievements give an outline of learning project effectiveness.

Report on score results in iSpring Learn

100% of learners passed the test. S for success.

At first glance, this one’s easy: the higher the score, the better the result. Let’s say a user got 60 points out of 100. The result seems like a C. But, that’s not always true. If you’d conducted a pretest, and the user had earned only 30 points, then 60 points would have indicated good progress.

Pretesting is always worth doing when it’s possible. It allows you to objectively assess employees’ entry level, see their knowledge gaps, and track their progress. Plus, knowing which questions cause difficulties, you can improve learning content by elaborating on these topics in the course.

A situation where a large number of users have low scores for a test should be a matter of concern. One of the reasons may be that the test is too complicated; then, it makes sense to rework it. On the other hand, if users get the maximum score at the pre-test stage, you might have accidentally created a course for beginners when the audience is already advanced.

For your convenience, we collected expert tips on making high quality tests and drawn an action plan for cases when users’ scores are abnormally high or low.

A cheat sheet for cases when a score is abnormally high or low

Don’t forget to ask users themselves.

A small bonus of this report: the “before and after” comparisons look great and perfectly demonstrate the results of training to all stakeholders.

Metrics That Help You Make Better Courses

The longer we work on the content, the less perceptive we become and the higher the risk of going too far into the details. Fortunately for eLearning developers, there is a whole set of LMS reports that will help to see the quality of the learning content.

4. Attempts & Answer Breakdown

This report includes information on the average score and users’ response distribution for each question.

Why measure: You’ll be able to analyze the accuracy of the assessment and understand what you are dealing with: widespread mistakes from students, or a problem with the content.

The analysis of answers in iSpring Learn

The question about question types seems to be rather tricky.

For instance, you can find out that high number of users are stubbing their toe on the same question or group of questions. Let’s say, if you work for a pizza restaurant, your staff copes with questions about dough and fillers, but almost everyone fails baking.

The first thing you have to do in such a situation is to make sure that the task is clear, its definition doesn’t contain any ambiguities, and the answer to the question is actually present in the course. In the case with the pizza restaurant, it turned out that students were taught baking on other models of oven, and therefore they often made mistakes while answering this group of questions.

If everything is OK with the test, double-check the content — perhaps the topic was poorly covered in the course. The easier and quicker way to fix that is to insert links to additional explanations and materials on the topic or assign some extra homework. Otherwise, if you still have resources, it might be worth it to thoroughly rework the course, focusing on the problem areas.

A cheat sheet for the case when users are all failing the same question

Even if there are some common user mistakes, it doesn’t always require you to do something.

5. Content Traffic

The best way to find out what content is resonating with learners is to check the number of views. What can you do when you know the most popular type of content? Well, you can further investigate the reasons for such popularity.

Why measure: Knowing for sure why the demand for certain courses is high, you’ll be able to offer users relevant content.

Report on popular content in iSpring Learn

Learners are demonstrating interest in courses on blockchain, bitcoin, and cryptocurrency.

Learners are demonstrating interest in courses on blockchain, bitcoin, and cryptocurrency.

Perhaps there are some hot topics that are important for your learners, so you may need to create more content to fully cover them. Perhaps a popular course has a super attractive title and description; in that case, why don’t you use the same key principles for promoting other courses in the future?

6. Average View Time

This report contains information about the time that a user spent on certain course slides. It is believed that the longer learners study the material, the better. Usually, that’s true.

Why measure: You’ll be able to measure users’ engagement in the learning content.

Report on slide views in iSpring Learn

It’s worth finding out what is so special about the sixth slide.

If your content is interesting, people will read it. And reading takes time, right? If the average time spent on the course is low, perhaps your content isn’t all that great. Find the slides or pages that have the longest average view time, define what’s special about them, and use this information to improve the rest of the content, or when creating new courses.

At the same time, be careful not to take this advice too literally, as it would be unfair to compare a slide with a ton of plain text and a slide with just a picture. Still, you’ll be able to determine some common principles of creating attractive content, which makes this type of LMS report very useful.

7. User Feedback

Learning management systems are convenient to use not only for testing, but also for user surveys.

Why measure: You’ll get feedback from users about the courses they’ve taken, and thus you’ll be able to improve them.

Users’ feedback on learning content

An example of a learner survey.

Hypotheses based on statistics are fine. However, don’t forget about communication with real people. When you’ve collected all the data and understood which courses aroused interest and which ones didn’t, the next step is to interview employees who have already completed the training.

What did they like about the training? Why did a certain slide draw their attention? What can be improved? What were the difficulties? The answers to these questions will help you find courses with a low rating, find out the reasons, and eliminate them. Sometimes it even makes sense to replace unpopular content with something more interesting.

You can collect feedback right within your LMS using polls, or use special web services for surveys.

Metrics That Help You Find Learning Champions

Corporate training isn’t conducted for the training’s sake. It is driven by various business needs, and you need employees to achieve the appropriate qualification level to meet them. The metrics below will indicate which employees are the most loyal to your company’s values.

8. User Rating

This is a super-useful metric when you’re interested not only in formal training, but would also like to work with a talent pipeline.

Why measure: You’ll determine who in your team is committed to mastering skills and professional growth.

Report on user ratings in iSpring Learn

Rewarding the most active learners can be a good corporate tradition.

Many employees often hesitate to say directly that they’re ready for greater responsibility, new roles, and more complicated tasks. At the same time, information that someone is studying courses beyond those related to his or her normal job requirements can be useful when deciding on a possible promotion.

9. User or Group Activity

This report contains detailed information about the actions of selected users or groups of users within any period time you are interested in.

Why measure: You’ll gain valuable insight into your users’ behavior and make sure that the training is started on time.

Report on users’ activity in iSpring Learn

No wonder the user failed the test: he studied the course for only 10 minutes.

If you wish, you can become a Big Brother, who monitors the training process of any employee in real time. But, far more importantly, this report calculates the average pace of training, so you can establish more realistic time frames for learning future courses.

10. Attendance

Attendance is an important metric that tells you if the suggested training is relevant for employees.

Why measure: You’ll be able to monitor webinars and in-class training as well as the study of eLearning courses.

Attendance list

If a lot of learners missed an event, it’s time to define the reasons.

However, the reason why you need to track attendance is far from merely punishing truants. This metric will show you other equally exciting facts. For example, you will find out which classes are the most interesting for learners, and which teachers they like.

Plus, attendance is directly related to the concept of “lifelong learning.” Desire and willingness to learn is an indicator of an employee’s focus on self-development. This helps him to more effectively manage his daily work, which surely benefits the employer.

Still, you might find employees who refuse to study. If the reason is not that they already stay late at work, this is a disturbing sign. Perhaps they are not interested in what they are doing, or they consider their current professional level sufficient. In such cases, it is necessary to understand the true reasons and decide if everything is OK with the employer.

Metrics That Make Your Work Easier

Some metrics simply allow LMS administrators to quickly pull out the data they need and better deal with routine tasks.

11. Learning Path

More and more often, we can see how large complex courses are turned into a series of short lessons for the learners’ convenience.

Why measure: If you’ve combined several courses into a program, you don’t have to manually track the data for each course. You’ll see statistics for the entire program.

Report on a learning path in iSpring Learn

The learners will likely pass this course on time.

The principle behind this report is similar to the User Progress report. The only difference is that it shows not the number of viewed pages, but the number of learned lessons.

12. E-Commerce

With an LMS, courses can be sold. If this is your case, pay attention to the e-commerce metrics.

Why measure: You’ll get the latest information about course sales and the income for the selected period of time.

Reports on e-commerce in iSpring Learn

A course on copywriting brought you $70,000.

Sales statistics and total amount of earned money are the performance indicators for your training marketing strategy. These metrics act like a siren light. If the indicators are far from ideal, it is necessary to conduct a thorough analysis of the target audience and its needs, to think about how to improve the presentation of courses, or to find new channels for user acquisition.

The LMS That Helps You Track & Analyze Statistics

We often think that it is very difficult to measure the effectiveness of training. We take test results and attendance as the foundation, and guesstimate all the rest, relying on our own experience and intuition. Fortunately, with the help of a modern LMS, you can back up almost any assumptions with hard data.

iSpring Learn is an easy-to-use LMS that collects all the necessary statistics for you to measure the effectiveness of learning and packs it into professional reports. Explore all the features of iSpring Learn for free

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