LMS Training History and Content Migration

LMS Training History and Content Migration

29 January 2018

LMS Training History and Content Migration. 

In deploying your LMS (Learning Management System) there are four important elements to project success.


  1.    You first of all need a business case.  Detailing the business problems the LMS will fix and understanding the ROI. This allows the optimal resourcing for system management that will ensure the business benefits are delivered. Your ROI enabler.  Learn how to build your LMS business case here.
  2.    You then need a best in class, easy to use/manage LMS platform with the support level you desire in order to deliver on the business case and the ROI.
  3.    A content and training history migration plan/strategy - The purpose of this blog. (Some times not needed but should always be considered.)
  4.    A well deployed LMS should become a powerful, strategic weapon for leaders and managers. Enabling them to communicate rapidly and track content consumption and change. Interestingly, few see an LMS this way. Our mission is to  help you obtain these benefits and forms part of our set-up routine.
    However, if you just need an LMS platform for distributing and recording training content and events that's fine too :-)

A lot of clients move to us from other LMS platforms. A key consideration and reason for holding back or delaying the purchase/upgrade is: "How on EARTH will I move our content and history?" - A very valid concern.
Well don’t worry, data migration does not have to be a nightmare! Create LMS are here to help and often own the complete task, almost acting as an extension to your team.

After years of doing this for many clients we want to share with you our recommendations on the LMS content migration steps needed to make this run smoothly.

Step one - Identify Your Data Migration Needs and Sources

  • Your data migration needs will include your course content (library/training catalogue),
  • lists of users and historical records (who completed what courses and when).

This data may already be in your current LMS or it may consist of individually organised content, electronic or paper records and possibly may be stored in different physical locations.  A good LMS is superb for tracking training and development adherence and compliance.

Most organisations have their training/development history data in many places;

  • Paper files/records
  • XLS sheets
  • HRIS systems data 
  • Old LMS platforms
  • Ultimately we want to get this into a CSV format so we can run mass data cleansing and validation routines. (Is your company audited from a quality perspective? If yes training records management and control is one of the first areas auditors look and 99% of the time there are findings. A good LMS automates your training records management, adherence and compliance.)

We can help migrate all data if needed, even sending staff to your sites to gather up the disparate sources and pull it all together.

Your business case/plan for a new LMS you will have clearly defined the business challenges you want to address and problems to solve. If you operate in a regulated environment it might be that many years of data from disparate sources need to be migrated to make future audits easier. In this situation it's worth going back a number of years.

Moving forward the CreateLMS will make training adherence/compliance reporting effortless.


Step two - What training history records will we import?

At this stage you need to decide if your organisation needs all the legacy data. For some in regulated industries this is critical, others less important. Once complete, you will have a good picture of training non-compliance and can take steps to manage these and become highly confident ahead of your audit.

By attending to the task of reviewing the existing training records (sources/completeness) you are performing a critical due diligence task for the business. You will also learn a lot  and will be able to bring these insights into your wider LMS strategy. Your business will be stronger as a result.

Where appropriate, we recommend you do not transfer outdated data (e.g. of ex employees) but prepare an explanatory report of your investigations and the findings.
This will demonstrate that records management was bought under control and that the legacy records and management of these was considered. You might title the report. Training Records Management - Historical findings before X date and the implementation of Y LMS.  Auditors will love this especially if you included an XLS table of everything you had.  Then back up the files. Share this widely with the senior team and your Quality leads.

Deciding the data you wish to migrate:
At a minimum the user data should consist of first name, last name and email.
You may want to consider what other user fields you wish to store in the LMS.
We provide a ready made form to assist you in matching the old fields to the Create LMS fields.

Identify which of your courses you wish to migrate. Create a current Course Catalog of the relevant course titles and list the types of content these courses are made up of. E.g. videos, presentations, scorm files etc.

This helps us confirm the compatibility of all content and whether we need to convert any older outdated formats ready for HTML5 output. We provide a ready made form to assist you.

The historical records you migrate will be defined by your decisions above. Historical records are migrated in two ways.
1. Courses that exist today in the LMS are migrated as live current courses.
2. Courses that do not exist today or were an exceptional on-off. These are stored to the learners Continuous Professional Development (CPD) record and appear in both the learner and admin reports panels.

We have a readymade template to simplify this and help you identify the fields needed. (Adding new fields in CreateLMS is easy.)

Gather Your Data:
If your data is in your current LMS then explore what options you have for exporting this. The user data and historical data is often exportable through an admin panel in a comma separated text file or a spreadsheet. Course content sometimes is available to download as zip files but check that this includes all the content from the course including any quizzes.

If your data is not fully in your current LMS or only partially exportable but you can view the user and historical data electronically e.g. in a web browser then we have spreadsheet templates to help you gather the essential information from your sources via copy and paste.

If your course content is not extractable from the old LMS then you will have to revert to your original course files which may be dispersed between different departments and or staff members. We recommend you create a Master Folder for your LMS content and in this create a folder for each course. Put this on a shared network or cloud drive and invite your instructors/ course creation team to copy and paste the course content they have responsibility for into this central location. If your original courses have multiple chapters/ content it is helpful to take a screen print of each course to record this structure.

Step three - Importing your training history data:
Before we import we run a number of automatic screeners across the data to find anomalies. It never fails to amaze us how many incorrect emails we find. At this point we work with you to cleanse the data.

Once you have gathered your data the team at Create LMS will take on the migration via three CSV file imports;

  1. User data import
  2. History data import
  3. Course details import - This creates the shell information for each course. The course content is then imported into these using the Create LMS Course builder to replicate the original courses (aided by the course screen prints if required)

Testing & Validation:
At Create LMS we pride ourselves on the quality of our work so all migration processes are tested to match the functionality of the original before we sign them off as validated. If it doesn't pass the test we fix it!

LMS training content and history migration

Once completed. The classes and histories will appear for each user type

We would be delighted to share the tools we use and show you the process in a quick video web meeting with our team. 


About the author: Nigel Cooper is our Senior Project Manager and lead, responsible for Content, Data Migration, Quality and Security.
Nigel is a qualified teacher, a keen outdoors man and an exceptional paraglider pilot.   Nigel@CreateLMS.com 

Nigel Cooper Create LMS.png    Check out his passions and amazing videos.  

We also support the following common LMS standards which can also help streamline  and would be pleased to share our wisdom with you on these.

  • SCORM1.2 and SCORM 2004
  • xAPI
  • LRS
  • Common cartridge
  • Our own API "training content and history hoover"

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