If you want to create eLearning content, you’ll inevitably need to select a learning management system (LMS). An LMS is a software program that provides hosting, delivering, tracking, and administrative capabilities for your training. This is where your training lives, making it perhaps the most important piece in your eLearning machine. So, what LMS should you use? Let’s look at what to consider when shopping for an LMS.
Know your needs
This is the most important aspect to consider when deciding on an LMS. The platform you choose should pertain to your specific needs. For example, you might need a platform to handle simple texts and quizzes for now, but you plan to create more complex and interactive courses down the line. You’re now faced with a decision: Do you purchase a basic LMS for now and only make the upgrade when you need it? It depends. However, unless you’re on a strict budget, that solution might not be the best. Migrating to a new LMS risks the possibility of losing data. The process is likely to be tedious as well, putting you back in square one when you need a better LMS.
Knowing your needs will also help you focus on specific features. As we describe some of them below, try to make note of which ones you’re likely to use for your training.
Prioritize key features
SCORM Compliance is one of the most critical features your LMS should have. This enables you to host any content on your platform that’s packaged in a SCORM file. The SCORM standard tells an LMS how to communicate with the content being uploaded. This matters because flexibility is vital in eLearning. With a SCORM compliant LMS, you’ll feel secure knowing that you can host most types of content and that you can easily transfer that content over if you switch your LMS in the future.
User tracking is necessary in the eLearning space. You wouldn’t quiz students in a classroom without reviewing their performances. So, why would you use an LMS that doesn’t allow you to track your learners in a similar way? At the very least, your LMS should allow you to assess user performance on graded questions. However, a more advanced LMS will even let you analyze performance across the board, showing you where most learners struggle or excel. This sort of data opens up several avenues through which to customize your training.
Learning Paths guide the direction your training takes. This can be strict or customizable depending on the learner. For instance, let’s say you want to onboard some new sales reps for your company. In this case, you can create a learning path titled “Sales Onboarding.” A strict learning path would be one where each learner takes the exact same training, regardless of their prior experience or performance. A customizable one, however, would use some of the data we discussed earlier and guide the learner to learn the material they most need.
Gamification is the process of applying gaming elements into non-game contexts. It continues to develop as one of the biggest trends in the eLearning industry. A big reason for this is because it helps keep learners engaged. Gamification can be as complex as a simulation game, or as simple as a leaderboard that ranks learner performance. Credits, badges, and points all play a role in this process as well. Having an LMS that allows you to add these gamified features is key to capturing the best that eLearning has to offer.
Shopping for an LMS can be a stressful task if you don’t know what you’re looking for. By taking the time to prioritize the features you need for your training, you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches in the future. However, it’s important to think long term. It might make sense for you to acquire an advanced LMS, even if your current need doesn’t call for all the bells and whistles just yet.
If you would like guidance on the next best step in your journey, then contact us to schedule an appointment. We have the expertise to help. Additionally, find out about our 30-day trial offer for our award winning LMS, Knowledge Direct, which can perform all the tasks mentioned here, among many others.
Regardless of your needs, we’d love to hear from you!
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