According to data released by research and advisory firm Bersin & Associates, companies in the United States spent around $1.8 billion on learning management systems (LMS) in 2013-2014.
These systems are designed to assist school/ college kids as well as corporate trainees in learning. Choosing and implementing LMS might prove to be tricky. Here are some points that can help you to choose the best.
Format for delivering the content to learners
Do you wish to deliver content as video, audio files, as podcast, or in form of games? Do you plan to send PDFs, spreadsheets or power point presentations? It is advisable to sit with your company/ institute’s technical experts and decide about the content format. This will help you to choose the best LMS option to suit your needs. Opt for system that is SCORM, AICC, Tin Can, or Experience API compliant.
Features that you are looking for
Once your company decides to buy and implement LMS, the first step you should take is point out all the features that you are looking for.
Do you wish to allow learners to access study materials from their smart phones, tablet PCs? How many learners are expected to use the system every hour, and from which geographical location? What is the security level that you are looking for? You should come up with maximum realistic questions, than try to find the interface that offers solutions for all your questions.
Understand what your learners are looking for?
Some learning systems are specifically designed for schools and colleges, while some of them are specially designed to help trainees, and clients in companies. Software designers also offer tailor made solutions. So, ask your learners about features and functions that they expect from their ideal LMS, and try to get those features added in your company’s software.
Simplicity is the need of the hour
There are many learning systems available in the market these days, but every system might not prove to be easy to use as well as to administrator. Choose the LMS that offers user friendly interface, and also allows administrators to easily upload course material, or files in the server. Plus, you should also check information about weekly / monthly reports that you can generate using the system.
Before signing the dotted line, you should check the kind of admin support offered by the learning system designer/ provider to assist you.
Price tag and time required for implementation
After receiving quotes for LMS from various service providers, you should think about your company’s budget. Don’t forget to consider about monthly, yearly upgradation, license fees for LMS that you may have to pay.
In most cases, timeframe required for learning system’s implementation completely depends on your organization’s size, locations, and data that you wish to share.
To avoid unexpected charges, you should make sure that your IT infrastructure is capable enough to handle new LMS. Make sure that your learners have all the necessary devices to access LMS.
Installing and maintaining your own LMS might prove to be expensive, as it also requires servers, and other resources. If you wish to save money and resources, you can also consider about outsourcing LMS’s hosting part.
You can also combine your company’s existing LMS tools with new system. But make sure that the new LMS supports system integration with company’s existing tools.
Researchers have already proved the benefits of learning in controlled environment. So, whatever your spend on LMS will prove to be beneficial for your organization in some way or the other.