How To Implement a Learning Management System in Office 365

Constellation Research recently put out a blog post evaluating AvePoint’s LMS and the Microsoft education ecosystem. View the video.

Learn how to create a future-proof learning platform for your school using the collaboration tools your teachers and students are already using with these 11 steps.

For schools and universities today, learning management systems (LMS) are essential educational technology for enabling collaboration, communication and learning outside the classroom among students, teachers, administrators and parents.  

Without an LMS system, education institutions are reliant on inefficient, paper-based processes that add overhead and result in the loss of valuable teaching resources and institutional knowledge. 

Other schools have struggled with user adoption with custom-developed, open-source or off-the-shelf learning management systems for students that cause problems and inevitably become obsolete. 

The best LMS system for schools is one that provides the tools your teachers, administrators and students are already using. For most in the education industry, these are the collaboration and educational learning tools in Microsoft Office 365 like SharePoint, Skype and OneNote.  

Benefits of a Learning Management System 

Before delving into the how, its important to take a step back and look at the why. In this case, why spend the time and resources to develop a LMS system at all and why should you consider Office 365 when choosing a learning management system? 

I’ve worked with educational intuitions, such as the Republic Polytechnic in Singapore, that have achieved great success by replacing their old system with a new LMS built on Office 365. In fact, Microsoft recently wrote a blog post on how Republic Polytechnic was able to streamline teaching and learning with cloud-based solutions, which has enabled them to: 

  • Centralize all education-related data including video streaming and storage 
  • Simplify system maintenance as well as processes for enrollment and reporting 
  • Get a better picture of overall student learning and progress 
  • Provide mobile-friendly educational tools that facilitate e-learning 
  • Improve teacher-student collaboration 
  • Forge closer relationships with industry partners offering internship positions to students 
  • Reduce the time for administrators to manage institutional data while improving their delivery of data analysis and trend reports to leaderships 

You can learn how to do the same by booking a free, virtual consultation session on how to make Office 365 your LMS that AvePoint offers to educational institutions across the world and continuing to read below for learning management system best practices in Office 365. 

The 11 Steps To Successfully Implementing a Learning Management System in Office 365 

  1. Form a core team that is made up of key players in the organization who are empowered to make decisions and lead the project. This is the team that is fully responsible for all aspects of the implementation journey. The size of the team will depend on the organization; however, the following roles should be included in the core team. 
  • A. Team Leader. 
  • B. Project Manager. 
  • C. Technology Specialist. 
  • D. eLearning Technology Specialist. 
  • E. Training Supervisor/Trainer. 
  • F. IT Architect. 
  • G. User Adoption Management (aka Change Management). 

2. Ensure there are resources available to work on the implementation.  

3. Create a robust plan that contains all the key steps of the implementation process that anticipates unexpected issues and challenges.  

4. Ensure that the focus and objectives of implementing the LMS is aligned with the organizations’ strategy. 

5. Gain top executive support.  This can help bring people from different departments together and clear decision bottlenecks.

6. Define clear objectives, for example: required features and functions, specific configurations, etc…  This will avoid vague requirements and poorly defined success metrics. This will ensure a proper configured LMS.  

7. Understanding the organization needs and nuances; user needs and user experience; work functions and roles; and required competencies and training needs.  

8. Develop a training strategy which may include appropriate training materials and approaches for different groups of users in the organization to utilize the LMS to its fullest potential. This will maximize the value of time spent on training and informal practice.  

9. Create an User Adoption Management (change management) plan to prepare the organization for change.  Many technical implementation can be unsuccessful due to organizations unable to prepare their users for change. Keep communication channels open to ease the deployment process.

This includes conducting  awareness sessions with key stakeholders, key users, and departments.  This can help address and solve important issues, problems, and objectives.   

10. To build and sustain the buzz around the LMS before and throughout the implementation until completion.  

11. Ensure help-desk support and user guides (online and offline) are in place for the post-Implementation plan. 

Want to learn more about how to successfully create a learning management system in Microsoft Office 365 for your school or university? Book a virtual, free consultative session with an AvePoint expert today to get an understanding of the type of architecture that will suit your schools information security, storage policy and specific requirements along with a demo of Office 365 LMS.  


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here