Canada Association of Tourism Employees

The Why And How Of Giving Learners Management

Learner autonomy

Do you remember how we all learned as children? Most of the time we picked up on things informally or learned through our own leadership, especially in our formative years. Children develop cognitive skills such as language, basic reading and writing skills, humor etc. mostly in a very informal setting. Why not take a similar approach when it comes to creating learning and development modules for on-the-job learning? Why not provide learners with autonomy and control that can enhance their learning experience and encourage engagement?

Why is learner autonomy important?

Learner autonomy plays a groundbreaking role in improving learning strategies and is a motor for learner engagement. By offering an autonomous approach to learning for learners, L&D can empower them to perform better both professionally and personally. Autonomy is more about allowing learners to take control of their own learning needs, styles and goals. There is an abundance of knowledge resources already available to learners, but it is necessary to organize them and ensure that learners can easily access this material when needed.

How can an LMS promote learner autonomy?

For millennials and Gen Z learners who are digital natives, technology is the backbone of much of their professional and personal lives. Studies have shown that almost all Generation Z (95%) and Millennials (93%) employees are willing to automate parts of their work. They are already proficient in using technology with ease and, once they skip the constraints of constant guidance from the trainer, can freely use the available tools and technologies to their maximum benefit.

Platforms like Learning Management Systems (LMS) play a key role in enabling L&D teams to provide autonomy for learners in an organization. L&D teams can use an LMS to create personalized learning paths for learners and monitor their learning progress as they evaluate their performance. Since an LMS is location-independent, learners can easily access learning content that is specially tailored to them, regardless of their geographical location.

Here are some ways L&D teams can use an LMS to develop autonomy:

Make learning possible anytime, anywhere

In the age of remote working, where expectations of the employee experience have changed, there is an increasing need for constant learning accessible from any device, anytime, anywhere. This type of learning is the cornerstone of an LMS. It is important that learning resources are available to learners in such a way that they can access them anytime, anywhere, or when they need them on their preferred device.

Create engaging learning

While it may not be possible to make all of the learning materials fun or engaging, it is important to provide content that engages the learner. Elements like video play a key role in enhancing student motivation and stimulation. Another important way to inspire learners is to use LMS functions such as gamification, which promote knowledge retention by making the learning process more fun and positively influencing learning behavior.

Promotion of user generated content

Your LMS can encourage your employees to put what they have learned into practice by creating user-generated content. L&D teams can create new communities, add search tags, and send notifications to attendees to initiate conversations based on trending topics, users, etc. An LMS also helps to capture the ubiquitous knowledge in a company and goes beyond the conventional view of course materials, tasks and assessments.

Curate relevant content

At a time when a huge amount of content is available, content relevance is a crucial part of any L&D strategy as it helps learners save time, adopt learning faster, increase engagement and productivity, and a Develop a feeling for continuous learning. Your LMS platform needs to be set up to deliver the right courses and content to the right audience based on their learning needs, roles, and aspirations.

Enable self-determined learning

An effective way to promote learner autonomy is to put the reins of learning in the hands of learners, giving them the much-needed focus on their own learning. Learners learn better when they are flexible in the learning experience and can choose their own learning pace along with time and method. L&D teams can encourage learners to take the time necessary to study while respecting the busy work days they have.

Choose an easy-to-use LMS

Although an LMS has a variety of features that allow learner autonomy, it is unlikely to be of much benefit to learners if it is not easy to use. It’s best to choose an LMS that is easy to use and puts the learner at the center of their learning journey. If learners cannot easily navigate the platform, it is possible that they will not show any desire to search beyond what is mandatory for learning content.


In a rapidly changing workplace landscape, the autonomy of the learner is more imperative than a nice accessory. Promoting autonomy gives learners the confidence to take control of their own learning and make a positive contribution to organizational development. It is an integral part of progress and companies must embrace it to keep up with change.


UpsideLMS is an AI-powered LMS that leverages cloud, mobile app, offline learning, and social learning to enable easy and effective management of L&D programs. UpsideLMS is supported by over 50 industry awards and valued by over 2.5 million users worldwide.

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