Learning management systems, or LMSes, are strategic investments.
They require time and money to set up, and provide returns by way of skilled up talent and an improved bottom line. That is, if you choose the right one.
There are hundreds of learning management systems in the market today. With so many choices, how do you select the right LMS for you? Most buyers balance price, reputation, and features. However, there is more to an LMS than that, and you could still purchase a platform you are not entirely satisfied.
A system that is too complex can alienate admins and learners that aren’t digital natives. Conversely, a system that is too simplified will hinder course creators and learning admins from living up to their full potential.
Aside from the features, there are a number of other factors you will need to consider when making your decision. In this blog, we will go through 5 tips you can take to make an informed decision.
1. Consider Your Needs
The first thing to do is consider the needs of your business. A clear idea of your learning goals will make it easier to find an LMS that can contribute most efficiently to your needs. After figuring out your learning objectives and course logistics, the next step is to consider your audience. A good understanding of who will be receiving your training, how many users you will have, and what kind of content will be most effective is the best way to make sure the content delivery matches your learners’ needs.
Here are some of the pricing plans you will encounter:
- Pay-per-learner: ideal if you have a stable number of learners and if training is mandatory
- Pay-per-active-user: ideal if you have one-time training (e.g. on boarding) or if you will like to train batches of learners over the year
- License fee: ideal for large enterprises
Another important factor is the skill level of your learners. Is everyone starting at level one, or are some learners more advanced? If you are training people with different skill sets, you should look into a system that lets you segment your audience, create learning paths, or use placement tests. If your objective is compliance training, you will not have to worry about placement functionality. However, you will need a solution with a robust tracking system.
2. Set Feature Priorities
The LMS market is growing, and technology is changing every day. With a myriad of services and features available, it is important to know which ones to prioritize.
Some examples of features you might want to keep in mind include: discussion boards or forums, test/assessment capabilities, enhanced security measures, grading/scoring capabilities to track progress, data tracking, and automated user functions (such as notifications).
Prioritize those that most directly benefit your business. Which features will be most useful in meeting the objectives you have set for your learners?
3. Plan For The Future
Implementing a new Learning Management System is a major financial decision. For the best strategic choice, consider the scope of your training, and any potential future needs. Is there future business or expansion you need to account for? Will the LMS you are considering now be able to serve your objectives for the next several years? If the features or technology you have your eye on will be obsolete before you can use them to their full potential, they are not worth the investment. Think strategically, and consider how your business and training needs may grow.
With these tips in mind, you can break down the daunting task of sorting through LMS vendors in a way that prioritizes your needs first.
The right LMS or learning portal will open up all kinds of doors to create your ideal eLearning experience.
Keeping all of these helpful tips in mind will allow you to avoid a costly trial-and-error process.
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