skilled administrator is valuable to any business. An admin facilitates communication between the various divisions of an organization and acts as a conduit for data.
The same holds true for LMSs. Failure to properly manage the LMS is a potential pitfall in any LMS integration. Consequently, implementing learning software requires solid administrative skills. But how to find a good administrator when you don't know where to start? 🧐
In this post, EducateMe will discuss the topic in great detail, from the definition of LMS administration to the benefits of having an LMS Administrator and their primary roles and responsibilities. Let’s go!🚀
What is LMS?
Learning management system, frequently called LMS, refers to the web-based technology schools and organizations use for the overall management of their educational and training content. Since the introduction of the first LMS in 1990 🗓, there has been an explosion of innovative educational technologies.
But the best LMSs are specifically designed for the planning, creation, storage, delivery, assessment, and reporting of online courses.
LMS also supports the regular face-to-face learning, distance learning programs, and the hybrid educational model. It gives students and instructors a platform to learn and transfer knowledge at any time and from anywhere conveniently.
An LMS has two major components: a server that executes the system’s core functions and the user interface students, instructors, and administrators interact with.
Government agencies, businesses of various sizes, online schools, and traditional educational institutions have found LMS helpful in accomplishing their objectives.
A learning management system improves traditional instructional procedures and saves organizations money and time. It makes the life of course developers and trainers much easier.
The use of LMS experienced a huge surge across all regions of the world during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Statista projected that between 2016 and 2020, LMS usage increased in North American L&D departments.
During the 2020 survey, 70% of the respondents stated that they used a learning management system.
As preference for tech-powered learning platforms keeps increasing, the demand for LMS will only go higher. Consequently, the global LMS market size is projected to grow over 40 billion US dollars by 2029 from its value of 14.43 billion US dollars in 2021.
What is LMS administration?
LMS administration refers to all the activities performed to ensure an LMS functions smoothly, including the implementation process, management, maintenance, and monitoring. The efficient running of an LMS is dependent on an effective LMS administration.
What does an LMS Administrator do?
A learning management system administrator is the individual in charge of the entire LMS administrative activities. They oversee backend and frontend functionalities with LMS.
LMS Administrators work with instructional designers, subject matter experts, and other key stakeholders to create courses that meet educational or business objectives.
The duties of LMS Administrators typically fall into three distinct categories: collaborative tasks, technical tasks, and training tasks.
Collaborative tasks of an LMS Administrator include:
- Engage in information sharing with instructors or other LMS Administrators.
- Foster a positive working relationship and good communication with project managers.
- Consult concerned teams to ensure instructional best practices are integrated into instructional materials.
Technical tasks of an LMS Administrator include:
- Ensure the performance of the LMS software is always in top shape.
- Give learners personalized feedback.
- Determine user roles.
- Create different forms of certification.
- Perform maintenance procedures to guarantee the system's integrity and security.
- Partner with LMS providers to ensure system specifications are always up to date.
- Identify and report opportunities for system improvements or upgrades.
Training tasks of an LMS Administrator include:
- Create educational materials.
- Keep track of the current courses, resources, and seminars the organization or school offers.
- Monitor students' progress to ascertain if they are in line with course requirements.
- ·Understand and resolve LMS design, architecture, and configuration issues quickly.
- Make sure the LMS runs as efficiently as possible.
- Provide assistance on diverse issues with learners.
Why you need an LMS Administrator
Considering whether you need the services of an LMS Administrator? 🤔
The information below will help you make the big decision to either hire a learning management system administrator or not.
The LMS Admin role is critical to ensuring LMS functions optimally as required without hitches. Because the working efficiency of an LMS is such a crucial factor, gifted LMS Administrators are uniquely positioned to provide multifaceted contributions to learning programs.
They have a better understanding of LMS and how they work than the course designers or developers. As a result, LMS Administrators can give useful insights to improve users’ learning experience.
The solid technical background that an LMS Administrator typically has ensures they work comfortably with various software applications to make e-learning programs operative.
Apart from the regular responsibilities of managing an e-learning system, an LMS system administrator can provide more value to their organization by functioning as a Learning Experience Consultant.
This is because they have a deeper knowledge of the daily interaction of learners with the LMS. Their depth of knowledge makes them easily identify areas of the course that require improvements that may have been missed by course developers.
For instance, LMS Admins can provide valuable solutions on how users can find courses more conveniently. They also give insights that improve the flow of learning content from a user’s perspective.
By functioning in the capacity of a Learning Experience Consultant, LMS Admins serve as valuable team members for enhancing every aspect of users’ learning experience.
LMS Administrator Role: Manager, teacher and learner
In your Learning management system, assigning roles for users is a necessary part of operations. Role assignment ensures each user has an appropriate level of access and privileges corresponding to their needs.
This enables you to delegate efficiently and ensures each user gets a streamlined interface that is easy to use. Users don’t get to feel overwhelmed by numerous needless options on their dashboard.
It helps them to focus on the task at hand and increases productivity. Let’s discuss the four major LMS roles and how they function respectively.
The LMS Administrator role
An administrator (admin) in LMS is the user role that has more rights and privileges than every other user. This is the role of someone that is typically at the heart of the learning program and processes.
The role allows admins to change the portal’s configuration, manage every user, and create content.
Tasks like user creation/deletion, application integrations, sub-portal creation, payment management, creation of course workflows, and many others can be performed by the admin. As you may know now, the admin role is one with enormous powers in an LMS.
That is why it is usually given to a limited group of well-trained people who can handle the role responsibly.
The manager role
Unlike the admin role, a manager’s role within a Learning management system is of limited capabilities. The role confers a number of varying privileges to a user within a particular group.
For instance, a manager can oversee all the course content related to the horticulture subject group. Another manager can oversee the course content over the literature group and another over the basic science group.
Depending on the system configuration, the manager’s role is usually able to access functions like enrollment of learners for required courses and processing progress reports. As a manager, you are able to manage several student groups or courses.
The teacher role (instructor)
The ‘teacher’ role within a Learning management system is concerned with teaching tasks. In the teacher role, you are able to create content for courses, manage courses, and receive students’ assignments online. You can also schedule a class session for an instructor.
Other possible tasks for this role include monitoring courses, answering student questions, managing reviews, carrying out enrollments, and giving relevant reports. You are also able to mark coursework as ‘completed’ for the students who complete them.
The learner role
This role usually has more users than the other roles within an LMS. The number of learners available for a particular e-learning program determines the number of learner roles to be created for that period.
The learner role has a dashboard that shows access to all the courses a user enrolls for. It also displays your learning progress for the classes you are taking. For the purpose of good user experience, learners’ dashboard should be designed to aid easy use and keep them coming back to the platform.
As a learner, your focus on the platform should be on completing your courses by following the learning paths.
Besides the admin, manager, teacher, and learner roles discussed above, additional roles or categories with slight variations can be created to carry out specified responsibilities within your LMS.
Responsibilities of an LMS Administrator
LMS Administrators perform quite a number of duties. They have a hand in almost every part of the implementation process of your LMS. Here are some of the most important responsibilities they carry out regularly to keep your LMS running effectively.
Delegate team tasks and clarify responsibilities
An LMS Administrator essentially functions as a team leader in many respects. They create the LMS implementation timeline and assign individual tasks to other team members.
Creating an implementation timeline and assigning tasks is not enough; they must go a step further to clarify responsibilities.
All team members get to understand what they are expected to deliver and how they fit into the entire program schedule after getting clarification. Monitoring regular team performance is also an important LMS admin duty within this scope.
Develop eLearning courses
LMS admins may not necessarily create content, but they help to develop eLearning courses and ensure their upkeep. They put resources together and facilitate communication with individuals and teams to accomplish the course development objectives. They basically drive the process of course development and ensure it is properly completed as required.
Assign roles to corporate learners
Defining user roles is one of the core duties of LMS admins. For corporate training, they determine the corporate learners who should have access to a particular training module. They also determine the prerequisites learners need to complete before new modules are unlocked to progress with the training.
Maintain accurate records
Evaluating the LMS metrics and interpreting the data is another key aspect of an LMS Admin’s job. Tasks like maintaining correct LMS records and performing data analysis to measure effectiveness are critical to the optimal functioning of any learning management system. LMS Admins are responsible for such tasks.
Provide technical support
Technical support falls under two categories for this LMS Admins duty; User support and software functionality. User support includes helping users to experience a hitch-free use of the platform, access learning materials conveniently, and with things like forgotten passwords.
On the other aspect, if there is any glitch with the LMS software, LMS Admins must partner with the tech team to fix it. They delegate the troubleshooting exercise and provide all the necessary resources the IT specialists need to get the software working fine again.
Review and revise eLearning content
After the eLearning content is created and edited by content creators, it is passed to the LMS admin for deployment to course participants. The LMS admin has to perform a final review of the content to check for and correct errors that may have slipped through.
This final review and revision done by the LMS admin is a vital quality assurance procedure for an eLearning course. For example, irrelevant images that may be impeding the general flow of the course or cluttering the course design can be removed.
Essential skills of an LMS Administrator
Want to know the top LMS Administrator skills you need to succeed in the role?
As with every other profession, there are skills required to administer the activities of a learning management system efficiently. Below are the 5 top LMS Administrator skills you need to deliver great value on the job and optimize the effectiveness of eLearning courses.
- Data entry and software skills - LMS admins must be proficient with data migration, uploading training content to the platform, and using the LMS software features for learners' benefit. They also need to be experienced in the enrolment process to add learners to the LMS and assign them roles. Additionally, they must be conversant with the user dashboard for easy navigation and how to perform integration of new software into the LMS.
- Project management - LMS Admins function as Project Managers in many respects. Therefore, teamwork, delegation, and good communication skills are must-haves. They must be adept at assigning tasks, handling multiple clients' requests, and tracking progress. A project manager's role has to do with handling different tasks and responsibilities for diverse projects. The LMS Admins should be able to multitask effectively and set priorities appropriately.
- Tech troubleshooting - Tech troubleshooting is another vital LMS admin skill. Being able to resolve software issues as quickly as possible ensures the LMS platform doesn’t experience avoidable hitches and online training programs progress as planned. Problem-solving skill allows LMS Admins to overcome challenges and nip system glitches in the bud before they become worse.
- Interpersonal skills - It is not the easiest of tasks working with a group of people from diverse backgrounds. Different approaches from different people can lead to conflicts in your work environment. This is why LMS Admins must be objective people who can quickly resolve disputes and are not easily swayed by emotions. They must have the ability to work closely with each team member and maximize their individual abilities to deliver top-notch results.
- Analytical skills - An LMS Admin must be able to apply critical thinking and creativity to determine the best possible action to take regularly. They should have the insight to look at a situation from different angles and employ all available resources to accomplish organizational objectives. Appropriately allocating human resources makes success easily achievable. LMS admins must be on top of their game to consistently assign the team members to handle tasks that best suit their skills or experience.
LMS Administrator salary for junior, mid, and senior managers
The average annual LMS Administrator salary in the US is $81,699, according to an September 2023 report by Ziprecruiter. That translates to approximately $39 per hour. The annual salary for the role ranges from as low as $32,000 up to $119,000.
According to this report, salary survey data from anonymous employees and employers puts the average annual LMS admin salary in Germany at €71,851 or approximately €35 per hour.
The ruminating party's qualifications (in terms of age, education, expertise, and location) may also play a role in the process. We found that the average annual salaries of entry-level, mid-level, and top-level LMS managers were as follows.
- Junior: $55,000
- Mid: $69,000
- Senior: $90,000