Choosing an LMS: How to Get it Right the First Time

how to choose the right lmsWondering what  to consider when choosing an LMS?  If so, you’re in good company. Many companies realize that an LMS can help their training program, but they have no solid ideas of what to look for, how to evaluate the LMS itself, or how to evaluate the LMS provider.

Adopting an LMS is a big decision, and not one to rush into. Even with time and caution, it’s a tough process to choose the right one. And choosing a poor one can really set you back, wasting time, money, and momentum.

To make the process easier, we’ve created a guide to lead you through the LMS decision process. Here’s an overview of topics we’ll cover:

  1. Identify and consult with stakeholders
  2. Determine business needs
  3. Where to get your LMS: Open source, build-your-own, or buy?
  4. Evaluate the LMS
  5. General functionality
  6. Important features

Check out the learning management systems from Convergence Training–we have several, each designed for businesses in specific industries or of different sizes. Or just contact us to set up a demo.

And while you’re here, why not download one of the free guides:



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Online Electrical Safety Training (Wiring): Online Courses, Free Online Word Game, FAQs & More

online electrical safety training (wiring) image

Every year, OSHA puts out a lot of the 10 standards that are most frequently cited. Here’s a list of OSHA’s Top Ten in 2016.Electrical—Wiring Methods, Components, and Equipment for General Use is on that 2016 list, and so we’ve got some online electrical wiring safety training resources for you here–plus more.

Many of the same standards appear on the list again and again, year after year. As a result, we’ve pulled together a series of blogs to help you train your workers about each of the ten most cited standards. In this one, as we said, we’ve got lots of information about electrical wiring, and lots of online electrical wiring training materials for you.

Let us know if you’ve got some other resources you’d suggest. The comments field awaits your input.

Before you dig into the information about electrical wiring training below, feel free to check out our short sample video that demonstrates a few highlights of our online safety and health courses.


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Closing the Skills Gap with Structured On-The-Job Training (OJT)

closing-the-skills-gapI spend a lot of time working with new customers in the manufacturing sector who are just beginning to use our Convergence learning management system (LMS) at their workplace as they try to close a skill gap at work.

At many of these businesses, a large part of the workforce is older and nearing retirement. These older workers are very experienced and have a lot of knowledge about the processes, procedures, and machines in their workplace. Unfortunately, that information is typically just “in their heads” — it’s rarely written down, documented, or recorded in any way.

As these more experienced workers retire, the manufacturing companies are scrambling to hire newer, younger workers to take their place. These workers are ambitious and work hard, but they know only a fraction of the stuff they need to know to operate as effectively as the more experienced workers they’ll need to replace soon.

Naturally, our customers want to facilitate the transfer of critical knowledge and skills to these new workers. Ideally, they can get the new hires up to speed quickly, and they can capture that critical knowledge before the more experienced workers retire.


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New MSHA Coal Mining Dust Rule Takes Effect August 1, 2014


In the early 1900s, when my grandfather was just a little boy, he left his home in Lithuania to come to America. He settled and grew up in Pennsylvania, where he worked in coal mines for many years when he was young. When he got older, he moved to Detroit, where he worked at Ford’s Willow Run plant. There, he helped to make the B-24 bombers that played a role in helping the United States come out on the right side of WWII. (My grandmother also worked on the line at Willow Run, by the way.)

But those years in the Pennsylvania coal mines caught up my with grandfather, and he passed away of black lung disease when I was just a kid. I have only a few memories of him, and my grandmother lived twenty more years as a widow.

It’s a sad story for me and my family, but it’s newsworthy because it’s common–many American miners died of black lung disease back then. But tragically, that’s not just part of the distant past. According to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), black lung has played a role in the death of at least 76,000 miners since 1968. In addition, more than $45 billion in federal compensation benefits has been paid to miners disabled by black lung and to their survivors. And even today, miners continue to be diagnosed with black lung–in fact, black lung rates have increased in recent years.

And that’s why MSHA published a new rule in April to lower the rates of respirable coal mine dust–the stuff that causes black lung. And that rule is set to go into effect soon–August 1, 2014.

What all that said, let’s take a closer look at this new MSHA Coal Mining Dust rule.

Need help training your miners? Check out our Learning Management System (LMS) for mine operators and our mining safety courses.


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New Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution Rule Published by OSHA

New electric power generation, transmission, and distribution rule

In case you missed it, OSHA just published a new electric power generation, transmission, and distribution rule.

To be exact, the announcement was made April 14, 2014, and the rule goes into effect on July 10, 2014 (that “go live” date is now coming up soon). But, OSHA DID delay compliance and enforcement guidelines for some of the requirements. See below for more on that.

According to OSHA, the changes:

  • Update the Electric Power Transmission and Distribution for Construction standard, issued in 1972
  • Update the Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution for General Industry (Operation and Maintenance) standard, issued in 1994
  • Harmonize the two standards (general industry and construction) so the same rules apply generally to the same kinds of work
  • Update the standards so they’re based on the latest consensus standards and improvements in electrical safety technology

OSHA’s provided lots of information here. In addition, we’ve gathered that information up and presented it below (relying heavily on their handy Fact Sheet and FAQ, parts of which we’ve directly copied and pasted below so you get the words from the horse’s mouth).


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Forklift Safety Information: Free Checklists, Word Game, FAQs, and More

Online Forklift Training Course Image

We’ve got some online forklift training materials for you in this article. Really, it applies to all sorts of powered industrial trucks (PITs). Let us set the scene first.

OSHA puts out a list of the top 10 most cited violations every year. Here’s the list from 2016. The powered industrial truck standard is on that list every year. Violations of the OSHA Powered Industrial Trucks (PIT) standard (1910.178) were #6 on OSHA’s Top Ten List of 2016. And as you know, PITs include things like forklifts and clamp trucks.

Almost every year, the OSHA Top Ten list includes the exact same standards. Maybe there’s a little re-ordering, but that tends to be the big difference. So we’re pulling together a series of articles to help you train your workers about each of the top ten OSHA standards, and this article on forklifts and PITs is part of that bigger effort.

In this article, we’ve got a bunch of resources about forklifts and other powered industrial trucks for you.

And in addition to this article, we’ve got the following forklift-related articles for you too:

Read on to learn about forklift safety and online forklift training.


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eLearning or DVD – What’s Better for Workforce Training?


Still using DVDs to deliver video-based training? You’re not alone; we get a lot of requests DVDs. For some people, it really is the most appropriate way for them to deliver training to their employees. But other people choose DVDs because it’s what they know and because they don’t yet understand the advantages of e-learning courses delivered online through a learning management system (LMS).

Both DVDs and e-learning courses are essentially “video-based” training, but after that there are many significant differences. We’re often asked if it’s better to use eLearning or DVDs in a training program. At times, people who currently use DVDs ask us “why should I invest in eLearning at all?”

There are a number of reasons, really. We’ll try and address a few of them and help you decide if e-learning courses are right for your training program.

Convergence Training is a training solutions provider. We make workforce training courses in both DVD and e-learning formats, and also make learning management systems (LMSs) and custom training solutions. Contact us to learn more.

While you’re here, download our free Guide to Effective Manufacturing Training, free Guide to Effective EHS Training, free Guide to Online MSHA Training, and/or free Guide to Writing Learning Objectives.


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Hooks, Slings, and Wire Ropes: Talking Rigging Safety With Howard Kaplan


Each year in the United States about 50 people are killed in crane accidents and hundreds more are injured. These incidents are frequently attributed to poorly inspected rigging equipment and improper or unsafe rigging techniques performed by inadequately trained riggers.

During the development of our own Wire Rope Safety training videos, we were fortunate to receive some expert feedback from Howard Kaplan, trainer and owner of Liberty Crane & Rigging Consultants in Phoenix, Arizona. We recently caught up with Howard again for a brief Q&A about wire ropes, rigging safety, and the importance of proper training.


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Free PSM Checklist for Process Safety Management Compliance

Here’s a free PSM checklist you can download–nice!

The PSM checklist is based on a PSM Compliance Checklist available on OSHA’s website. We took the information in their checklist and made some minor changes to make it more user friendly.

It’s in the handy .PDF format.

Hope you like it. We’ve got more free downloadable checklists on other topics here.


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New OSHA Rules Published or Coming In Next Few Months

The good folks at OSHA have been busy. They’ve got one new rule coming soon and four updated rules coming right after that. Makes me feel lazy in comparison. Let’s see what they’ve been up to.

Need help with your safety training? Check out our Learning Management Systems (LMSs) and our safety training courses.

The New OSHA Rule:

Confined Spaces in Construction. Check our Confined Spaces in Construction post for more information about this one, which OSHA says they’ll publish in August. This standard has been in the works for a looooong time. It will be interesting to see if this really goes into effect and, if it does, how smooth or bumpy the process is for those in the field. We’d love to hear your thoughts and comments about this!

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Better Training Through Better Visuals: Using “Special Views”


We have been writing a series of posts over at the OpenSesame blog about how to design visuals within training materials to help your learners learn more effectively. The series has included posts on the following graphic techniques:


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Use Visuals to Add a Spark of Interest to Your Training Materials

It’s an exciting world full of bling-bling, right? There’s a lot of stuff that catches our attention, grabs our focus, and compels us to stay engaged.

Sadly, that’s often not the case with workplace training. Even now, training materials often lean on text-heavy PowerPoint presentations. But you can change that by adding well-designed visuals to your training materials.

Want to know more? Check out the post we just wrote at OpenSesame’s blog. It focuses on different techniques for adding a “spark” of interest to your training–using emotions, using visuals to help tell stories, using visual metaphors, and using unexpected and/or humorous visual elements.

Not only that, the post includes some cool examples from the Convergence Training retail training course libraries. Go check it out now!

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