How to Create Learning Paths for Employees Using an LMS4 min readReading Time: 3 minutes
Encouraging employees to take paths that lead them to move up in the company has become a trend in the corporate world. It has been proven that leading your students/trainers to a learning path designed explicitly for them brings more effectivity and detail out of them. It allows one to control all aspects of their training program, including the performance statistics, quiz scores, and where more work needs to get done.
What is a Learning Path?
A Learning Path is a selection of courses which are joined together in a way that makes it easy for learners to progress through their training by mastering a particular subject or program. For trainers, it provides the benefit of allowing you to enroll multiple users in multiple courses with one click. It is a practical and time-saving feature that every LMS should utilize.
In Kiwi LMS, we call it a Learning Plan.
Benefits of using Learning Paths?
Learning Paths are convenient for the company AND the learner. Here are some of their benefits:
1. Helps create a more structured training program
Generally, Learning Paths are used to make training programs more structured. When rolling out training to your learners, they give you the ability to control both the order in which courses get assigned and the timeframe in which the courses become available.
2. Saves time
From your point of view, as an admin, it’s normal for Learning Paths to be set up well in advance of learners being enrolled to condense administration time. Then, once you set the learner off on the path, they’re largely self-sufficient.
Your learner finishes one course, and they’re automatically added to the next – no work needed from you.
3. Drives learners to a goal
From the learner’s perspective, a Learning Path ensures that they are working towards an overall goal. It keeps them on track and engaged with your course content. If the course is sequenced they can focus on the goal that they are currently working on without being overwhelmed (the course they’re currently completing is the one on their dashboard).
How does it work?
Onboarding new hires usually takes weeks, if not months. Typically, they have to take multiple courses in an LMS before they have completed their employee training.
Traditionally, you would have to enroll your learners in each of the courses individually. But with Learning Paths you can skip this tedious step. As courses are grouped together, you only have to enroll your learners once. Then they are automatically enrolled in all the courses, drop-fed each course, one after another, until they cross the finish line, completing their onboarding goal.
5 Steps of creating a learning plan
The process of creating a training roadmap should —like the roadmap itself— be broken into phases:
1. Define your objectives
As with any training initiative, the first step is to identify what you want out of it. Make a list of everything you want your trainees to be able to do at the end of their learning path.
2. Turn your objectives into training topics
Connect the goals to specific training topics and create a list of important points to cover for each topic. Detailing all the knowledge and skills you want your audience to gain from each topic will help you create content later.
3. Sequence the topics
Once you have a finalized list of training topics, determine a sequence that will have maximum impact. This is one of the most important steps in creating a roadmap because the order in which we receive information has a significant effect on how we digest it.
Don Clark, an instructional designer and training writer, observes that there are a range of effective ways  to sequence learning content. Trainers can organize topics based on their order of importance, the familiarity trainees have with said topics, cause-and-effect relationships or countless other models.
Probably the most basic factor in sequencing, however, is prerequisites. If you have to learn topic ABC before you can learn topic XYZ, then ABC should obviously come first.
Remember that no two people learn the same way. If you’re able to gather information on your audience’s knowledge, backgrounds and training preferences, you can create segmented training roadmaps for different groups within your audience.
4. Develop, implement, and show the reward
At this point, you can start creating your online courses and placing them into a custom learning path on your Learning Management System. It helps to provide some incentive at the end of the roadmap, such as consideration for a promotion or a special discount for customers, but it doesn’t have to be that substantial.
Simply providing trainees with a badge or certificate to show off their expertise is often enough validation, and many learning management systems award these designations automatically upon completion of learning milestones.
5. Release your training
At last, you’re ready to send your trainees down the path you’ve created. As participants begin working through the roadmap, remember to track results and solicit feedback so you can continually improve your process and make better roadmaps in the future.
There you go! This is all you need to know about learning paths.