Learning & Development

8 Questions to Ask When Selecting a New LMS (Part 1)

Selecting a new Learning Management System (LMS) for your organization can take a lot of time and consideration. Not only are there quite a few LMS options currently on the market, they don’t all own the same features and functionality.

To ensure you select the LMS that’s ideal for your specific organization, here are eight questions you’ll want to ask as you research your options.

1. Does the LMS Have Good Ratings?

Look at current customer and user reviews online to see if the LMS you’re considering has good ratings. Do a lot of current customers complain that they can’t get the support they need when they need it? Are a lot of system outages reported on a frequent basis? You’ll likely have to contact your LMS provider at some point. You’ll want to be sure they’ll be there for you when you need them, and that their platform will be reliable to use on a consistent basis.

2. What Skill Level Will Your Designated LMS Administrator Require?

Will the new LMS you’re considering require your current staff and designated LMS administrator to have a lot more technical know-how than they currently have? Determine whether the LMS provider will offer the technical support you’ll need if your LMS administrator won’t be able to address technical issues as they arise. Additionally, ask about the technical requirements for exporting data from an old LMS into the new one if you’re transferring files from a different LMS provider.

3. Does the LMS Offer a Blended or On-Demand Learning Format?

If you’re able to host blended learning options in your new LMS, then you’ll be able to manage and integrate your in-person training content (e.g. live webinars or class instruction) with your online training content (e.g. quizzes, videos, e-books). With on-demand learning, however, participants can access videos, quizzes, and other materials on their own time and there isn’t usually a set sequence in which they’re required to review the material. On-demand training might be ideal for remote workers in different time zones, while blended options are great for participants in a central location.

4. Is the LMS Open Source or Commercial?

An open-source LMS can be ideal for organizations of all sizes. They’re free and typically very customizable since the open source code is available to the public for users to modify as they see fit. They’re typically more complicated than commercial products, however, and will require a reliable support team that knows how to make changes to the source code. A commercial LMS typically has robust tech support options available and is much easier to set up and use, but it will cost a lot more money.
Look for questions 5 through 8 in tomorrow’s Advisor.

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