5 Factors to Consider Choosing your LMS

Friday, February 15, 2019, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

Learning Management System, or LMS, is a topic that has been growing more and more over the past years, but searching for the right one can still be confusing.

There are some things you need to keep in mind before making your purchase. First, you need to understand what an LMS is.

Also, what features do you need? Which ones can you leave behind? Can you trust the LMS you are using? Am I paying for just the things I need, or am I going to have some surprise charges I did not know about?

Here are the 5 most important things you need to know about Learning Management Systems so that you can choose the one fitting your needs.

5 Factors to Consider Choosing your LMS 2

  1. What is an LMS?

    According to Ellis, Ryann K., on Field Guide to Learning Management (2009), the definition of LMS is as follows:

    A learning management system (LMS) is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting and delivery of educational courses, training programs, or learning and development programs.”

    What that means is that LMS will allow you to manage and care for the whole process of learning from your organization or educational institution.

    That being said, there are many options for different Learning Management Systems, with advanced and personalized features adapting different needs, which can confuse many people looking for the right one.

    There are a few things you will want to pay attention when choosing your LMS.

  2. What Do I Need?

    It’s important to know your needs and the needs of the user so you can choose the features you will want in your LMS.

    Is your company running a simple training, but with many people around the world? You will probably not need to include personal interaction features but will require registration, course progress, certification giving, maybe a timer, navigation through the lessons, and the such.

    In a different situation, if you are running a 3D-Modeling course, you will need plenty of personal interaction features, like leaving comments, sharing and uploading documents, maybe a chat for the teacher and students, and so on.

    It is also important to keep in mind if the user has access to the internet the whole time. If not, you will need download and offline access to the material.

  3. What Don’t I Need?

    You will want your LMS to be as clean and straightforward as possible, with only the functionalities you need available.

    If you have too many unused features, it will be confusing for the user. It can distract him from the learning process, and you will most likely be paying for something not only you are not using but is getting in the way of the user’s success.

    It is always best to opt for user-friendly systems, where the users will not have problems understanding what they need to do and where they need to go, and with no distractions keeping them from the right path.

    If users spend more time learning how to use the LMS instead of the actual course they are taking, something is wrong.

  4. Is it Reliable? Is it Safe?

    You will want to assure that everyone’s sensitive information is safe and in good hands.

    Make sure of protecting the user’s personal data as well as content confidentiality. You have the right to know what encryption and security protocols are implemented in your LMS. Firewalls and SSL are both essential in keeping your software secure.

    As for Reliability, you need to make sure your LMS doesn’t crash in the middle of an important task and makes your users lose all their progress. You will need to understand your LMS disaster management and contingency plans, as well as its downtime.

    If the system often goes down, the users will lose their patience and interest. And if they keep missing crucial work because of technical issues, they are going to get irritated and lose trust.

    Always search for reviews from the company selling your LMS. Look for reviews from current and past clients and compare to your current needs.

  5. What is the Final Price? Is Everything There?

    There are many different ways a company can charge you for your LMS. Some companies apply feature-based prices, some put limits in their functionalities according to the price you pay, while others require that you pay at the time of registration.

    You need always to pay attention if there are no hidden prices while searching for your LMS. Look for extra charges on exceeding limits as well as the cancellation policies, so there are no surprises for you in the future regarding ‘surprise’ charges you were unaware of.

Making Your Decision

With these things in mind, you can start looking for the best LMS to suit your needs. Paying attention to features you might need or not, safety and prices, you will be sure to find the right one for you.

Author Bio

Ehsan Memari is a blogger for SkyPrep, a provider of leading online training software for organizations to train employees partners and customers. Ehsan is a regular contributor to blog posts related to knowledge sharing, L&D and eLearning. Follow him on Twitter @ehsanmemari.

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