SkillBuilder® LMS: Facilitating Your Practical Skill Training and Evaluation

Sarah Flesher

What does a Learning Management System (LMS) have to offer for practical skill training and evaluation? LMSs are known for their value in managing, organizing and delivering online learning, but, as we've discussed, purely online learning isn't the right choice for some skills. Physical or practical skills must be practiced and demonstrated physically. Today, we'll look at what an LMS like SkillBuilder LMS can contribute to the practical skill training and evaluation process.

SkillBuilder LMS will help you present cognitive training, track and manage practical skills training and organize the whole process. It continues to deliver after your training's done by documenting compliance and providing the data and analytics you need to review and improve your training program.

1. Cognitive elements of practical skills

Practical skills usually involve cognitive elements. Common prerequisites for practical skill training include:

  • Health and safety information and policies
  • Emergency procedures
  • Background information
  • An introduction to the practical skill procedure
  • Review of necessary equipment and controls

SkillBuilder LMS can play an integral role in delivering, organizing and tracking cognitive learning. It offers may options to help your learners learn what they need to know and to ensure they've met the requirements to progress to skill demonstration and practice.

Learning Items

  • Online Lessons: do you want to deliver the cognitive elements of your program through eLearning? SkillBuilder® LMS supports the latest international standards for online courses, including SCORM and Tin Can (xApi).
  • Downloads: procedures, job aids and other reference materials can be offered as downloads.
  • URLs: need to include something hosted elsewhere on the internet? URLs can link your learners to videos, games or any other online content you want to include.
  • Seminars: if you prefer instructor-led training to eLearning for some or all of your course elements, SkillBuilder® LMS will manage your registration and attendance.
  • Webinars: seminars can occur online too. This learning item allows you to upload pre-recorded sessions, or schedule upcoming webinars and upload a recording for review after they occur.
  • Practice Exam: let your learners check their exam readiness and build their confidence with practice exams.

Evaluation Items

  • Assignments: learners can upload documents, videos or other files for evaluation.
  • Online Exams: SkillBuilder® LMSs robust, enterprise level online exam environment allows you to structure online exams using a full blueprint with multiple categories and characteristics for each test item. Test items can be multiple choice, downloadable file or short answer.

2. Physical or psychomotor skills

 Once learners have completed the cognitive elements of their training, they're ready to start work on the skill itself. Don't make the mistake of skipping this step; knowing a procedure is not the same thing as being able to perform it.

The best technique for skill training in most cases is to follow a three-step process:

  1. Demonstrate the skill: A supervisor or other skilled demonstrator performs the skill while explaining what they are doing.
  2. Allow for skill practice with supervision and coaching: Learners have the opportunity to practice performing the skill with the assistance of an experienced coach. The coach's involvement should gradually decrease as the learner develops competency.
  3. Evaluate the skill: Assess the learner's ability to perform the skill to established standards. This should be a task-based test, where "employees actually perform a real job task in a real work environment or a realistic simulation of it."

Most skill training occurs on-the-job, not online, but that doesn't mean a good LMS doesn't play a key role. The chart below lists some of the ways your LMS should contribute to practical skill training and evaluation.

Learning Items

  • Downloads: procedures, job aids and other reference materials can be offered as downloads.
  • URLs: link to a simulation or a video demonstrating the skill.
  • Seminars: document the skill demonstration as a seminar. If multiple attendees will be at the demonstration, use the LMS to manage registration and attendance.
  • Webinars: record the skill demonstration and host it online for learners to review.

Evaluation Items

  • Assignments: want to document skill practice? Have learners complete a sign-off sheet for their practice sessions and upload it to the LMS.
  • External Qualifications: does another organization offer the best training for a skill you need? External qualifications can be documented and managed along with the rest of your training in SkillBuilder® LMS.|
  • Practical Evaluations: when your learners have shown they can perform a skill to the required standard, have the evaluator sign off on a skill check or other documentation and upload it to the LMS.

3. Tie it all together in a learning path

Training for a given skill can involve a range of activities. Don't present your learner with a learning item salad; SkillBuilder LMS lets you bring your activities together in a learning path, an individualized sequence of learning activities that allow the learner to master skills and critical tasks and functions in small steps.

Learning and evaluation items are presented to the learner in a recommended or required order. Paths can include optional items for those who need more background or want more detail, allowing learners to take control of their learning.

4. Reporting and analysis

According to eLearning Industry, inadequate tracking is a common error when creating skill-based certifications. Integrating your training in an LMS like SkillBuilder will help you avoid this and many other problems. SkillBuilder LMS's analytic and reporting capabilities will help you:

  • Keep track of learner progress - who's completed what and who's still working on it
  • Track down issues with your training program - are there points where you're losing learners? Evaluations that a significant proportion of learners are struggling with?
  • Verify and document regulatory compliance - generate lists of employees who have completed required training and their completion dates, of employees who still need to be certified, or of employees whose certification is nearing expiry


SkillBuilder LMS will help you organize, present and manage practical skills training through the learning process and beyond. Cognitive and practical elements of training are combined into learning paths as learner progress is tracked and recorded.

Find out what else an LMS can do for you at SkillBuilder LMS's customer success stories.

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Sarah Flesher

Sarah, our President, graduated from Concordia University in Montreal with a BA and an MA in Public Policy and Public Administration and completed her doctorate in Educational Technology. Sarah brings over 15 years of operational and management experience to her role as President at Base Corp. She works collaboratively with organizations to develop strategic learning plans, determine training requirements. When she doesn't have her nose in a book you can find her at the gym, on the ice, on the ski hill, drinking wine or in a coffee shop … with her nose in a book.