LMS/LCMS Reports: Generate or Perish

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Let’s get right to the chase. You have a LCMS/LMS.  You generate reports about your employees or customers or both on information that you need to validate impact of learning or return on investment or because department xyz wants the information to ensure that Bobby is actually completing the course.  Oh, yeah, if you have compliance training in there – data reports are necessary as well, for obvious reasons.

Bottom Line

You need the reports, just as you need data. They are your best friends, but sometimes your best friend – Robbie Report – does not extract the information you need. Why? Because your LMS/LCMS does not offer it. Rats! Or perhaps another word, which since this is a rated G blog, can not be repeated.

Report Reality: Facts

Here are the basic reports your system should be generating and the information you should want. I will just identify the basics and not the combination capabilities, such as attends the course, time in the course, sections or areas in the course they went (whatever the correct verbiage is), etc.

  1. How often did the student go into the course? i.e, how many times or visits
  2. How long  (time wise) were they in the course?
  3. What sections or modules or areas or pages did they visit (again, whatever the verbiage is) and how long (time wise)? Not all LMS/LCMS offer this, but really if they do, it is a great feature, and frankly they should! BTW, this is what I require for a customization report. It only is beneficial, if your courses offer those capabilities.
  4. What courses did all the students for that curriculum go into?  How long were they in there?  How often?  (This is a report, some departments like to have, rather than the detailed one).  If you want to know for the entire catalog, then you generate the report identifying “What courses did the students go into or have accessed?”
  5. Who accessed or entered the LMS/LCMS? How often? (you can identify it by day, multiple days, week, etc.)
  6. You want the ability to generate the reports on a daily, weekly or monthly or whenever basis, i.e. how many times did student y go into course a, course e and course g during week z.  OR  Who accessed the courses on Tuesday?
  7. Run reports by department or division or curriculum or whatever area you set it up as.
  8. Reports of people who have completed the courses and reports of people who have completed the curriculum or learning track. If you have a certification program, then you want to generate a whole additional set of reports, but for this article, I will hold off, since the majority of people do not have certification programs, but of course, you would want who completed the certification, who hasn’t, a total list of students who have, who haven’t, where are they in the program, etc.


If you use or implemented in a course or courses an assessment requirement, then you will want the following reports.

  • Score results – final score, percentage correct/number correct, number missed/percentage missed
  • Questions – Questions missed, what questions specifically were missed
  • Student/Group – list by students/group i.e how did department x do versus department z or sales division a versus sales division b;  Individual student report, total students report
  • By course, list by curriculum or learning track or certification specs

The Report Curse of some LMS/LCMS Vendors

What you do NOT want to do, is extract (i.e. pull out) the data and put it into a database (say Access) and then generate reports so that department x gets what they need, you get what  you need, blah blah.  Let’s face it, do you really have unlimited hours to do this? More importantly, every time you do this, your company is losing money. Why?

Because your time is being spent having to do additional steps, which impacts your  productivity (since you could be working on something else) and really should not be necessary, if you have the right LMS/LCMS.  So, the next time your company wants to stay with the LMS/LCMS and you want to change, use this spin. It’s reality.

Next Week: Mobile Learning:  One device that will impact us all and why vendors must adapt (and they haven’t)! (And no, it isn’t the Ipad).

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