Investing in an LMS is a big decision that an organization needs to take. Typically organizations look for solutions that address their learning and training requirements. There are many questions that come up in the initial discussions – should we go for proprietary LMSs or should we try open-source? What features should we be looking at, what are the costs involved, will they meet our specifications and so on. However, it is not so much about what a Blackboard, Saba, Sumtotal or Moodle CAN DO or NOT DO but how they can best be customized to cater to our requirements that is more significant. In this context, here are some do’s and don’ts that we can keep in mind while selecting an LMS.
Analyze your training requirement: Before choosing an LMS provider it is important to understand your training need and learning strategy that you wish to adopt to fulfill the need. What are the functions that you want the LMS to do – Integrate classroom training, provide certification for mandatory training programs, deliver eLearning programs, provide a collaborative learning environment by incorporating informal learning?
Include L&D department along with IT department: LMS may be installed and managed by IT department but it is the L&D department which is its end user. An LMSs may have many complex features and options which may not really be required in this context. Therefore, it is important to consult and involve L&D department in all discussions. Document the questions and expectations of key stakeholders so that it can be handy when comparing solutions provided by various vendors. It will also ensure that the focus remains on the immediate and basic requirements of the organization, instead of being carried away with frills and extras that are not immediately needed.
Document all your requirements before meeting vendors: You know your needs and what works for you better than any of the vendors. Therefore, it is a good practice to document your primary requirements in consultation with your training/ L&D department. It also serves as a good reference manual for potential vendors who will better understand your essential requirement and provide customized solutions. When introducing LMS for the first time, it is better to go for something that is simple and easy to navigate so that it is not intimidating to a newbie.
Consider future expansion possibilities: Though you start of on a simple and small scale, you may want to expand the use of the LMS in future. You may intend to scale up and choose to extend the online training facility to your employees in other locations. Therefore, choose an LMS that allows you to grow slowly along with your needs and provides the option to scale up as and when required.
Try it before purchasing to figure out hidden costs: A one-time demonstration may not be adequate to understand the suitability of an LMS to your specific requirements. Ideally, it would be a good idea to try out the LMS and its feature to ensure how it fits into your overall organizational set up. A pilot test or trial involving all key stakeholders such as the administrators, a few users and managers is a good idea to assess their comfort level and ease of usability with the interface. Some LMSs may be rigid and may not provide enough room for customization. Even if they do, there may be a lot of vendor administration costs involved. You may also want to compare the offer with open source LMSs such as Moodle, which could be customized easily without recurring costs.
Don’t just look at immediate requirement, think long term: Though you may currently be having a limited number of courses administered to a few hundred employees, it may not be the case in future. You will need to ensure the scalability of an LMS when you grow and expand. What is the maximum seat capacity of the LMS?
Don’t rush into LMS purchase without understanding the entire training scenario in your organization. How many classroom training are offered? Are there any online courses currently offered. If not, you may first want get some eLearning courses developed, upload them on to the organization’s online portal and observe employee reactions to the online courses. Would classroom trainings also be managed by the LMS? Is there a reliable internal team to manage and administer the courses?
Don’t be hasty in recruiting manpower to manager LMS internally: Analyze the internal team members and see if a few can be assigned administrative rights while the rest of the enforcement can be outsourced to an external vendor. Understand the scale and volume of the work involved. Do you really need to hire internally or would it be easier to outsource the LMS maintenance and administration to an external vendor?
This list may not be all-inclusive but is merely suggestive. There certainly are other factors one need to keep in mind while selecting an LMS. However, what one essentially needs to keep in mind is that LMS needs to be tailored to cater to the organizational needs and not the other way round. Do share your thoughts on the same.
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LMS, an acronym for Learning Management System, is a software application designed to plan, implement and track learning content. It helps integrate all training administration activities under one roof. A Learning Management System is sometimes also known as Course Management System (CMS), Learning Content Management System (LCMS), Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), Virtual Learning System (VLS), learning portal, or eLearning platform. Though a Learning Management System (LMS) is defined differently by different vendors, its functions remain the same.
A Learning Management System (LMS) is a software application that helps deliver online training programs. An LMS can also be used to track, document and report learners’ process.
Performing learning management activities using an LMS, in an organization with a few employees, is easy. But, performing these activities in a company with several staff members, in a short time period, can be quite hectic. Usually, these “bulk”, time-bound activities need to be performed when you setup a new LMS and want to do lot of activities in the initial stages to set all the pre-training settings. Also, you need to perform these activities if you assign a selected set of courses to a group of specific users.
It is common knowledge that companies need to manage their training programs effectively to enhance productivity make the most of their training dollar. So, how can you make sure that you get the highest ROI on training? What does it take to equip your staff members with the needed knowledge and skills in a very efficient and cost-effective manner? Well, you need to use a Learning Management System (LMS).
It is common knowledge that technology is developing rapidly and many training programs are delivered online. Many learners have easy access to the Internet. So, they can take all required courses on the go. Learners need to be certified after completing the course. Are you a course provider using Moodle as an online platform for the course delivery and want to award certificates to your learners? Then, let us see how to add certificates for your courses using Moodle.
Many organizations are adopting eLearning to train their employees and this is where they need a Learning Management System (LMS) – to track and monitor learning activities. An LMS is a web-based application and can be used to plan, implement and track the learning content. It acts as a centralized system to deliver online training programs.
Moodle is the most preferred online learning platform. As it is open source software it’s very popular. It can be easily customized according to our requirements.
Moodle is a very powerful LMS, used by several organizations to manage their training programs. This incredible software is ranked as the #1 LMS product by the E-learning Guild, in terms of market share. A majority of learning management needs can be met in a cost-effective manner, using this open-source software.
Moodle – a very powerful, yet highly affordable Learning Management System (LMS). This incredible software has been rated as the most popular LMS in the world, by Capterra. The high degree of flexibility and versatility of Moodle makes it a boon to training managers.
Are you a training manager? Do you want to initiate eLearning in your company? Or, are you a trainer who wants to host the courses online to reach global audiences? If you have a very limited budget and a few eLearning modules to host as a pilot to see if it works for you or not. Later, you may scale it up if it is successful. It may be difficult to go with a proprietary or commercial Learning Management System (LMS), just to host a couple of modules. It is ideal use a scalable and cost-effective LMS that can be set up quickly.