Why a next-generation LMS is essential for an outstanding learner experience


Today’s learners spend a lot of their time online. They’re used to slick, seamless digital experiences, whether they’re shopping, chatting, gaming – or learning.

A core part of what makes those online experiences so attractive is personalisation. Users are constantly served adverts or recommendations based on content they’ve previously interacted with, which helps to keep engagement high.

As a training provider, it’s crucial to ensure that you’re keeping pace with other organisations and delivering against learners’ expectations. How successful you are will likely depend on your Learning Management System (LMS).

The next stage of digital transformation

Embarking on digital transformation is a positive first step in not only improving learner experiences but driving efficiency in your organisation. However, it doesn’t automatically mean that it’s going to effectively deliver against learners’ high expectations.

Simon Rouse specialises in connecting investment companies and training providers, and believes many providers need to take a second look at their systems.

“The pandemic forced providers to confront the need to go digital, and a lot of them moved quickly. But in my observations, many of the systems they’ve moved to aren’t fit for purpose – there’s now a real need to move onto the next stage of digital transformation,” he said.

Hear more from Simon: What are investors looking for in training providers?

A legacy LMS will support learners with the basic requirements of online learning, like the ability to register, log into an account and view content. These features would have provided an exceptional experience when the platforms first launched – but now learners expect much more.

Digital capabilities have advanced rapidly in the last five years, and the best platforms have evolved to deliver against new expectations and offer better learning outcomes.

Five key elements of a next-generation LMS


Delivering a personalised digital experience is important to keep learners engaged from enrolment to end-point assessment. Learners should be able to see where they are on programme instantly, view recent feedback or upcoming deadlines, and check their overall progress so far.

AI coaching

We’re only just beginning to explore the enormous potential of artificial intelligence in education, but a next-generation LMS should be keeping pace with new advances.

AI can underpin your personalisation efforts, serving up useful recommendations for learners based on how they’re performing in certain areas. This can help with stretch and challenge, ensuring learners are getting the chance to build on knowledge and maximise their potential when they’re most engaged. 

Your LMS should also be testing and rolling out AI-powered coaching tools in the near future. AI coaches can support learners during assignments, providing instant guidance or help with problem solving when the learner needs it most. Any coaching tools need to be set up specifically for the education space, where safeguarding is prioritised and they’re trained to not simply tell learners the answers.

Mobile-first design

Mobile-first design ensures your platform is responsive and accessible if learners are viewing it on a smaller screen. One of the biggest challenges with legacy LMS platforms is that mobile design tends to be an afterthought, meaning that it can be clunky and sluggish to access on other devices.

Using an LMS that’s designed for multiple devices takes this frustration away. Learners can easily log into the platform and view curriculum content on any device, at any time of day, leading to better engagement levels.

Seamless integration with other platforms

An ideal LMS should complement other digital tools or apps that learners and providers already use on a daily basis. For example, the ability to integrate with Microsoft Teams to speed up communication or Microsoft Power BI to improve business intelligence.

Improved UX and UI

One of the biggest differences between a legacy platform and a next-generation LMS is the standard of the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). A great UI should be concise and logical; a great UX should make the learning feel enjoyable and valuable.

As Stuart Janicki, Head of UX at Bud, explained:

“If a user can get lost on a platform, they’re going to struggle. There’s also information overload in some interfaces, which is where you present the page with so much information that learners can’t determine what they need to do.

“People want to be able to use the platform seamlessly – a good user experience should feel invisible. The platform should sit in the background as an enabler, and not hinder learning.”

How Bud meets the needs of modern learners

Bud is a next-generation LMS that is designed for accessibility, so it’s simple and intuitive to use. Our features include:

  • A smooth digital enrolment process, ensuring learners have an outstanding experience from the very first interaction and reducing the administrative workload for trainers
  • Full visibility and control of learning, so your learners can track progress easily, access activities whenever they wish, and submit work at their preferred pace
  • The ability for learners and trainers to easily message within the platform, so all communications, events and feedback are captured

We also recently launched the Bud Assist pilot programme, where training providers can test AI tools that are designed specifically for the education space. Stay up to date with the pilot and Bud’s AI features by following us on social media.

Bud is the perfect platform to help us facilitate high-quality online delivery with an intuitive LMS. Our comprehensive due diligence process meant we reviewed all the alternative platforms. Bud was by far the best; it is so intuitive, and it is exactly what we had envisaged.

Tom Bartlett, Chief Operating Officer at Crosby Management Training

Deliver an outstanding learner experience with Bud

Bud is a next-generation LMS that empowers learners to take an active role in their education from the start. Our intuitive platform can be accessed from any device, meaning Bud seamlessly fits into the learner’s day wherever or whenever they need it.

For a more detailed understanding of what Bud can do, get in touch with our team or book a discovery call.