Confused about what you should be looking for when choosing a Learning Management System? Let us help you out by running through some must have features, so you are prepared as you head into the market.
You’ve heard people talking about Learning Management Systems (LMSs) for a while now, but you’re still not sure if or why you’d need one or what it can do for you. Don’t worry, when it comes to choosing a Learning Management System you’re not alone.
If you google “LMS” you will be slapped in the face with pages and pages of search results that will probably leave you much more confused than when you started, and it doesn’t need to be that hard.
A Learning Management System, or LMS as they are more commonly known, is a platform that allows you to store courses or content to train or educate your team, employees, or customers. There are currently hundreds if not thousands of Learning Management Systems on the market at the moment, but choosing the right Learning Management System for you could be the difference in saving a lot of time and money or causing you some extreme headaches.
Not all Learning Management System systems have the same offerings, so it’s important to do your research to ensure that the product that you are signing up for can fulfill all of your needs. We are going to look at some of the features that you should look out for when making a decision about choosing a Learning Management System in this article to give you an idea of what a good system should be able to do for you.
You should be able to store all of your course content within your Learning Management System for no extra charge. This includes all video and audio content, meaning that you can have all of your learning materials in one place as opposed to being hosted on a range of websites you then need to keep track of.
Mobile learning is the way of the future and if you can’t access your content through a mobile device or tablet you are drastically limiting the way that your users can learn. Bite size learning, or learning via short modules that make up a course is becoming more popular with time and being able to learn anywhere anytime means that if you have a 15mins you can learn something new.
Unlike traditional classroom based learning, with a Learning Management System users can learn at their own pace to ensure that they understand material before jumping to the next module. This isn’t to say that we are allowing learners to take months to complete a course, you can still set deadlines for courses to keep users moving along their learning pathway, but they won’t be rushed through the process because they only have a few hours in a training room to digest weeks’ worth of information.
Signing up with a Learning Management System shouldn’t mean throwing out all of your current training material because it’s too hard to recreate in your Learning Management System. Creating new courses and making use of old training material should be a simple process. Some Learning Management Systems have developed course creation tools that let you build modules in a visual way similar to that of web development tools like Squarespace. Having that visual editing tool lets the content creator see exactly what the user will see as they move through the course, and its intuitive design means that minimal backed knowledge of the system is required.
Learning pathways are the easiest way to implement a professional development plan. A learning pathway consists of a series of courses specific to the learner to ensure that any content that they are spending time learning is actually relevant to them or their department. Learning pathways are simple to create a much higher level on engagement with learners by clearly establishing a direction rather assigning courses at will.
Depending on which Learning Management System you decide to use, you may be able to access courses for free. This can play a major part in the decision making process though. If you are looking to take advantage of an extensive course marketplace stacked with courses from accredited providers, make sure that your Learning Management System has the right partnerships to provide the content that you need. If you are running with the best system for your needs, almost every course that you will ever need should be found in the one place and be available with the click of a button.
Why should you have to have a completely separate system just for your learning materials that has someone else’s logo plastered all over it? You shouldn’t. You should be able to easily include your company logos, match color schemes and design, and even embed your training platform into your current website.
Every Learning Management System tells you that they have great reporting functionality, but can you find the information that you want? Rather than only providing a basic set of standard reports for administrators to access, you should be able to choose which information you’d like to see, along with the format that you’d like to see it. Reporting is one of the most important areas for any training manager, so make sure that the system you choose can provide all of the information you require without leading you to a nervous breakdown once a month.
You shouldn’t need to spend crazy amounts of money to get your Learning Management System set up. For as low as $1 per user per month you should be able to provide the best online training for your team. Compared to onsite training, if you have an organization of more than 100 people, switching to a Learning Management System to streamline your processes can save you up to $500,000 every year!