Choosing the right Learning Management System (LMS) for your business is a complicated process. An LMS should provide a central location to store, search, and deliver learning content at its most basic level. Beyond this, an LMS should provide collaboration, tracking, and reporting tools. The last thing to consider is whether or not the system will meet the specific needs of your business and your learners. This article will review some of the most significant features to look for when choosing an LMS for your company.
What Is An LMS?
Learning management platforms are a type of software that helps educators and students to manage their courses. These platforms also provide tools for tracking progress, communicating with other learners, and managing assessments. Although most commonly associated with students and teachers, companies can also use an online learning platform for employee training programs. Nevertheless, while an LMS is a versatile tool, they are not all created equally. The platform your business requires will vary depending on what you wish to achieve and the number of students/ employees you have in addition to your budget. So bearing this in mind, here are some things to look for when choosing an LMS platform to match your circumstances.
Determine Your Objectives
Before investing in any type of software, it is crucial to determine your objectives. This will help you make the decision of whether or not the software is worth investing in. You should know what you hope to accomplish when you use a learning management system before you start exploring your options. This will enable you to choose the LMS that will meet your needs regarding learning and development and, more importantly, also meet those of your audience.
Examine How User-Friendly The Platform Is And How Much Staff Training Is Needed
Before investing in a learning management system, it is important to check its usability and user-friendliness by running multiple tests with users from different backgrounds. This will help determine if the learning management system will be able to meet the needs of your organization. Most businesses or educational institutions employ people who are specialists in their fields but may not be very tech-savvy. Moreover, you can’t expect all of your users to understand the nuances of Software as a Service solutions. Therefore, it would be beneficial if you spent some time examining the features and usability of the software, both front-end, and back-end. But how can you do this before you have even bought the software?
See If They Provide A Demo Or Free Trial
Most respected software providers are more than happy to provide their potential clients with a demo or a free trial. Although the latter is preferable, a demonstration can often yield the same outcome if you take the time. The benefits of a free trial are that you can test the software without any commitment. You can see if it’s a good fit for your needs and get a sense of how much time you will spend using it. A trial also allows you to try out different features, such as the ability to create custom templates and personalize them with your own branding.
Consult Your Team About Their Needs
It is essential to consult your staff before investing in anything they will use regularly. Often, the team that works for you is the one who is at the forefront of the organization’s operations and, as such, may know more about them than you do. Therefore, it is wise to consult with them and get their feedback about what features will improve efficiency and productivity. Aside from helping you end up with the perfect LMS for your enterprise, you will help to foster a great team ethos and ensure that all employees feel like part of the team.
Assess Its Compatibility With Existing Systems
If your preferred LMS does not want to integrate with your existing systems, you will have two choices:
- Change your existing systems
- Change your LMS provider
While this looks like a straightforward choice at first, you have to consider a few factors before deciding. If your existing systems are outdated and need an update, it could be prudent to do everything simultaneously to avoid downtime. However, if you are happy with your systems or it is too complicated to change, you will have to look elsewhere for a compatible LMS.
Check Online Reviews
Online reviews have become commonplace with all but the most esoteric SaaS solutions. Fortunately, LMSs are pretty standard, so you should be able to find plenty of online reviews that will help you make your decision. The best way to do this is by using a search engine and typing in the name of an LMS brand and see what comes up. You should try to use trusted review sites that go through the different features, along with genuine customer reviews. This can provide you with a great overview of the company and the product.
See What Kind Of Support They Offer
If things can go wrong, they usually do. While this is a pretty pessimistic outlook on the world, those who run any kind of entity with staff and customers understand how true it is. It is vital to have reliable customer support that can handle any issue that may arise and provide quick solutions to it. Moreover, they should have several communication channels available, including live chat, email, and a dedicated knowledge base.
Check The Background Of The Company
If you will be spending a lot of money and have lots of people who depend on your service, it is imperative that you select an LMS provider who remains in it for the long haul. You should do a basic background check of the developer and company and see how long it has been in business and what kinds of upgrades it offers. A company that does not seem to be able to sustain itself can put your business at risk and out of pocket.
Finding the perfect LMS for your organization can mean the difference between smooth sailing and rough seas. Hopefully, by using the tips in this post, you should find a platform that meets the needs of your team and those using it.
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