Scalable, Perfect-Fit Learning Management System Options to Suit Your Company Needs


Scalable, Perfect-Fit Learning Management System Options to Suit Your Company Needs

Coggno Inc. | Feb, 25 2010

When shopping around for a learning management system that perfectly fits the needs of your organization, you might consider seeking the help of an LMS consultant. Consultants can help you sort out all the nitty gritty in your decision-making process, bringing years of experience in the LMS industry to your aid.

They are able to determine your company’s requirements for the system and review proposals and demonstrations of each vendor. Consultants can cut down on the amount of effort you’ll need to spend and can show you how each vendor meets or doesn’t meet your LMS requirements. They are able to highlight concerns and issues that might otherwise go unidentified.

Of course, whether or not you choose to hire a learning management system consultant, your first step to securing the perfect LMS is to decide on your organization’s needs. Consider a few different issues. First, determine the scale. How many students and other users will you be catering to? Consider the number of learners, courses, trainers, sessions, and administrators involved.

Second, what do you need your LMS to do? What do you need to track? These might be courses, grades, attendance and so on. Find out whether or not you need your LMS to be standards compliant (SCORM, IMS, etc.).

Third, consider your distribution plan. Will you be using your LMS only internally, or will you want it to have e-commerve capabilities? Will you need automatic billing?

Get straight on all the details before choosing an LMS. Learning management systems come in all sizes and meet a variety of requirements, so ensure that you have one in mind that covers all the bases you see fit.

A fourth consideration: should your LMS be connected to other systems within your company? Should it be able to export data to other systems?

The fifth issue is a critical one. What kind of support will you need? Does your organization have a strong IT department which will be able to meet any tech-related issues that may arise while using the LMS? And finally, does LMS you are considering provide reliable and 24-hour support to users?

Sixth, take into account your organizational needs in respect to organizing the training. LMSs have evolved to provide not only online education and training, but also to meet organizations’ planning and procedural needs. Ensure that these functions will be sustainable throughout the development of your organization.

Oftentimes, choosing an LMS forces companies to take a hard look at their approach to corporate training courses. For example, you may discover that you need to redefine some of your business processes, or even redesign your course delivery methods.

A learning management system should be both flexible and scalable. Too often organizations implement a LMS that works for a while, but as the organization grows, the LMS no longer meets its needs. LMSs should help you grow, so be sure to select an LMS that will grow with you.

Having a handle on what each LMS offers is a clear first step in deciding on which one you would like to employ. A consultant can help you answer the questions, “Does this LMS provide all the features we need?” Different LMSs offer a wide variety of functions including video, text, audio, assessment and quiz, gaming, podcast, and other tools to make your online training effective and interactive.

However, beyond making sure that your chosen LMS has everything you need, you should also consider any function the system provides that you actually won’t need. In many cases, you’re paying for all those extra features in addition to the actually useful ones. Of course, neat extra features might seem cool to have, but do you really need them? In order to prevent paying more for your LMS than you need to, it’s wise not to choose on an LMS with lots of bells and whistles that you will never actually employ.

But do check out the unique tools and functionalities offered by each Learning Management System, and contact a few vendors to ask them to demo their LMS. Be sure that the learning management system has everything you need, and that the demo is able to illustrate your company’s requirements.

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