There is enough data to support the fact that most companies are less than satisfied with their Learning Management Systems (LMS). For example, the LMS satisfactions survey conducted by Brandon Hall Group shows that 38% of companies surveyed were considering a change in their LMS since it had not helped them meet their organizational goals.
Organizations generally prefer to outsource their LMS requirements to vendors or service providers, mainly because it saves them time and money and also because they do not have an in-house IT team to design, build and maintain a custom solution. This being said, how to choose the right LMS vendors for your organizational goals?
To answer this question, it is important to first identify your organizational needs in terms of what you wish to do with an LMS and then scout for LMS vendors. To understand how you can benefit from an LMS, know what are the benefits that it provides.
These benefits will also help you shortlist the right vendor from your LMS vendors list:
Some of the benefits of a LMS (Learning Management System) are:
1. Centralized Repository for Your Content:
With a cloud-based LMS, you can store all your content in one place. This will reduce or eliminate risk of losing your data; simplify organizing and at the same time provide ease of access to authorized employees and other personnel across all geographies.
2. Ease of Access Across All Devises:
In the era of smartphones, all data and content should be available and easily readable on all devices including laptops, desktops and mobile devices. In fact, this feature is seen to be amongst the most important reasons why organizations opt for an LMS, especially as learners now access content while on the move.
3. Easy to Track Progress of Learners:
An LMS includes tools that allow you to track the progress of users undertaking learning and training, measure their interaction with the content, administer tests and see if the content provided meets their needs or there is need to add more videos, text, audio etc., to improve learning outcomes.
4. Reduce Costs of Education and Training:
Costs are always an important factor in all business decisions. An LMS reduces costs in terms of mobility required to attend lectures and trainings held in physical classrooms. Besides, it can also bring down all costs related to the use of paper in learning and training since all resources can be digitalized. That said, the role of a teacher/instructor cannot be completely by-passed and so the LMS has all the necessary tools and features to promote blended learning, that is, a mix of physical and virtual classrooms.
5. Add Flexibility to Learning:
It could be that some employees are already familiar with some concepts, which means that they can save time by not undertaking courses they know. An LMS allows them to access lessons/courses that they wish to learn. A system of tests and assessments can allow the end-learners to take an assessment to confirm that they can be exempted from some units, sections or parts of a module.
6. Easy to Update:
In the age of technological advances, course content is ever-evolving. An LMS allows you to easily add, delete or update online content, which is not easy or cheap when you talk in terms of paper courses and programs.
7. Ease of Integrating Social Media:
An LMS allows you to integrate social media learning experience in your eLearning journey. You can include links to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, other online forums and educational websites to attract new learners.
8. Selecting the Right LMS:
Once you are aware of the various benefits an LMS can provide, you should also know the different types of LMS available to make an informed decision about choosing the right LMS vendors. While there are many types of LMS available, the most popular is the Moodle-based LMS, an open source, free to download, flexible, user-friendly eLearning platform, supported by a global community and with over 68 million users worldwide from all types of organizations. It supports all latest eLearning standards such as SCORM and Tin Can/xAPI, and has a user-friendly interface and responsive design, which means that the content can adjust to different screen sizes, be it a mobile device or tablet.
Also, with more and more people using their smartphones to access content while on the move, an LMS supports mobile learning, since the content is designed to be interactive and deliverable in short segments. Besides, Moodle-based LMS has all the necessary features that enable communication through discussion boards and social media. By providing online features, this LMS is able to support offline learning and includes features for tracking, recording and assessing offline events along with online ones. In a nutshell, a Moodle-based LMS is able to meet all the benefits associated with an LMS.
9. Match Business Goals with An LMS:
It is important to keep in mind that there is no one size LMS that fits all requirements. This is because different organizations have different priorities. While these vary from one organization to another, while selecting the right LMS vendor for your needs, you can decide based on whether you are a start-up, corporate or an educational institution. As a thumb rule, start-ups that wish to sell custom content often need branding or white-labeling. The LMS they choose should include extensive and innovative features such as gamification and augmented reality. To cut down on initial installation and deployment investment, they can choose an LMS that is hosted on a cloud.
Enterprises prefer an LMS that can help them to improve staff skills, increase productivity, and reduce training costs. They also use an LMS for internal training and skill certification, compliance and onboarding, training or selling courses to others. For them, the best LMS is one that allows users to personalize their learning to learn at their own pace and define their own learning paths.
Educational institutions require a learner-centered collaborative learning environment and so for them, the best LMS solution is one that offers highly agile, interoperable systems and is mobile-friendly, personalized, customizable, intuitive, and with integrated systems designed to enhance learning.
The above discussion would help you define your organizational goals and accordingly choose an LMS vendor for your eLearning requirements. If you are looking for an LMS which meet the above criteria and more, you can consider Hurix Learning Management System that is a cloud-hosted, Moodle-based LMS, which comes with customizable features and support services, and has found favour with start-ups, corporates and educational institutions.