If you are shopping for an LMS, there are several options available in the market today. In fact, the multitude of options that are available is bound to confuse decision makers. There are LMSs which you can purchase off-the-shelf and get it customized as per your needs. On the other hand, if you have the requisite resources, you could also build an LMS on your own as per the requirements of your organization. However, deciding on what the best option is, can be primarily based on five factors. They are Customizability, Time involved, Cost involves, Scalability and Maintenance.
Customizability: Before you commence your search for an LMS, it is important to assess the requirements of your organization. Off-the-shelf LMS usually need certain customizations to suit the individual needs of the organization. Having knowledge of your requirements, will help you assess the extent to which the LMSs that are available in the market, can cater to your specific requirements. You need to compare the features and customizations that are possible before zeroing in on the best option.
Cost involved: When you build your own LMS, you invest in a team of professionals who do it for you and you become an owner of the solution. However, when you purchase an off-the-shelf LMS, you are paying for the license to use their solution. LMS vendors typically have different subscription plans and you need to consider total costs that are involved taking into the consideration the administration, maintenance and support that are required for the purpose you need to distinguish between the functions that can be managed internally and those the need to be administered though the vendor. This will give you clarity in terms of the costs involved. In additional you also need to factor the costs of future upgrades.
Time involved: Off-the-shelf courses help you be up and running with the system faster than a custom-built solution. It usually takes a long time for an organization to build a learning management system internally. If it is not possible for you to invest that amount of time, finding a suitable off-the shelf solution would be the best option. However, if you have highly skilled and trained manpower who are capable of customizing open source LMSs, you could also consider it as another option.
Adaptability & scalability: You also need to consider the scalability of the LMS to meet future changes in the organization. You might expand your business to newer geographical locations or you might acquire other businesses. Can the LMS be scalable to meet the future changes? Would it be viable in terms of the costs? You will need to evaluate how adaptable the system would be to future changes or requirements.
Maintenance & support: A learning management system is not a product that once purchased is good for life. You need to carefully consider the support that is provided by the vendor who supplies the LMS and make sure that there are no hidden costs involved. You need to consider whether you want to have the LMS hosted or installed based on the infrastructure at your organization and the availability of internal technical support.
Decision makers will need to evaluate specific requirements of their organizations to come to a conclusion about the best solution. If they choose to purchase an LMS they also need to weigh the pros and cons and long term implications of such investments. Open source LMS are growing in popularity for their ease and flexibility as installations, customizations are fairly easy once a team of professionals get a hang of their functionalities. Organizations can consider such options if their requirements needs a lot of customization which may not be met by off-the-shelf LMSs. In such situations, it is best to hire a team of professionals to build or customize an LMS and support your needs at all times on a continuous basis.
Subscribe to Our Blogs
Get CommLab's latest eLearning articles straight to your inbox. Enter your email address below:
Why is it that some online learning initiatives succeed, while others do not? Is there some secret formula to develop successful online training?
We work with individuals, training managers, organizations and companies to create online training programs. Based on our experiences with our customers, we understand the difficulties of traditional learning to put new e-learning ideas into practice. Here are some simple ways to improve your e-learning and online training very effectively.
Innovations in IT over the last 15 years have dramatically altered the banking landscape. Banking organizations need to adapt itself to the rapid changing world of technologies. Every single day, they have to think of ways of how to serve customers in a better way. Banks need to improve its products portfolio but having great products on its kitty will not do. It is also important to observe whether the frontline managers are capable enough to sell these products to the customers. Thus, here we need to think of innovative solutions for these banking professionals.
Assessments play a vital role in tracking the learner performance and measure if learning objectives are achieved. As this is a continuous process, assessments need to be created very effectively as they help retain the information longer. They evaluate the learners’ comprehension of a specific course. Assessments can be given to the learners to check their level of understand in both formative and summative manner. Formative assessment is given after each topic and summative is given at the end of the course.
CommLab India – an organization of 120+ dedicated e-learning professionals committed to the delivery of high quality online training solutions. Founded on this day, 15 years ago, by L&D professionals, Mr. RK Prasad and Dr. Ayesha Habeeb Omer, the firm has come a long way to become the leading e-learning company, serving more than 100 customers, including several Fortune 500 companies such as Alcoa, Mettler-Toledo and Pepco Holding Inc, in 30+ countries.
We spend a lot of time, effort, and money in developing an e-learning course. But if the learner, who is taking the course, is bored and simply waits for the course to get completed or keeps clicking the Next button in order to skip the slides, then all our efforts are in vain, and this is quite disappointing for us as well. So, how can we make our e-learning courses interesting? How can we help the learners to stay interested in the course from the start till the end?
Reusable Learning Objects (RLOs) – the hottest trend in the e-learning world. The use of RLOs has grown considerably in the last few years because they enable companies to reuse and repurpose learning content.
Scenario based learning is learning from a specific scenario. In this case the learners are given a particular scenario that mirror real time experiences and examples. Scenarios urge learners to make careful decisions in a given situation and as a result, they are prepared for similar situations when on job.
In this blog, I will take you through how the Agile way of e-learning Project Management helped us in streamlining our projects.
In the past years, we have been following the ADDIE model in planning and developing e-learning projects. The success rate of the projects was below 60%.This was an indication of the fact that the remaining 40% of projects were still not closing on time, had higher defects leading to extensive rework, and recorded low customer satisfaction with less ROI to our organization. We found that the main reason for this situation was that customers’ requirements were not properly understood at the initial stage of the project.
Recently, we were working on a course related to crisis management; how to report and whom to report when a crisis (incident) occurs in an organization.
Earlier employees would simply send an email about the incident and be done with it. The objective of this course is to tell learners to use the tool to file incidents and how it should be done.
Do you know who won the first prize in Asia’s got Talent last year? It was a group from Philippines who call themselves El Gamma Penumbra. They are an all-male, shadow play group. Well, I had never heard of them until someone forwarded a video of their performance through WhatsApp. Wow, what a performance! I will share the video in a while and you must see it to believe it! There is a lot we can learn from them as we develop e-learning or online courses.