When searching for the best learning management system, there are a number of factors to consider before signing up. For example, why do you need a learning management system? Perhaps you should take a look at your needs and system requirements before getting started. In addition, what are the key features you are looking for? We’ve created a great start-up list of must-have features.
Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all LMS solution, so before selecting your LMS do the necessary research. We’ve developed a list of 10 key questions to help you select the best learning management system for your needs.
What type of content will you be delivering to your learners?
Will you be delivering PDFs, PowerPoint presentations, video/audio presentations, and/or flash files? Many times you will be delivering all of the above and more. Although most LMSs are capable of managing any format, always double-check that the LMS of your choice has these capabilities.
What are your top desired features?
Make a list of your top features that are necessary for your LMS to have. This one is a great starting point. Do you need mobile support, single sign-on, API or reporting? Take your time creating this list and keep it realistic.
Do you need mobile-friendly access?
Many staff members and clients are on-the-go. If necessary, your users (and administrators) should be able to access training anywhere, anytime.
What standards does your LMS need to meet?
Does your LMS need to be AICC, SCORM or Tin Can compliant? There are many LMSs that do not yet support one or all of these standards.
Who is your audience?
Are you training staff and employees, or selling courses to customers? If you are selling courses, your LMS must have built-in ecommerce features. If you are training staff and employees, you may need mass user registration features.
What types of tracking and reporting features do you need?
It is common for organizations to need some sort of tracking and reporting features, such as status reports or transcripts. Take note of how often you need to pull these reports and what format you need them in.
Will you need to integrate your LMS with other systems?
Many businesses today do not rely on only one solution to meet all online needs. If you are also using a CRM, back-office system, talent management system, or another tool – be sure your LMS can integrate seamlessly.
What is the skill level of your course administrators?
It is important to establish the skill level of your course administrators at the beginning of your research. This will help determine how easy you need your system to be. It is always best to have at least one dedicated, knowledgeable person that can learn the system extremely well. Keep in mind, many LMSs provide some sort of additional administration support as well.
What type of collaborative features do you need, if any?
Many businesses are spread across the country and even worldwide, therefore it is critical to have technologies that connect your team. Some LMSs have features such as web conferencing, instant messaging, and commenting built-in.
What is your budget?
Last but not least, do not overlook your budget requirements. Instead of wasting time researching LMSs that are out of your price range, establish your budget right away. This includes the overall cost, not just the monthly/annual and start-up fees.
There are plenty of resources on the web to help find the best learning management system for your needs. Although it may seem a little overwhelming at times, our list of key questions can make your search a little bit easier.