Considerations When Investing in a Learning Management System (LMS)

Learning Management Systems (LMS) have come a long way in the last decade and are helping facilitate the growing trend of online education.  The pandemic catapulted the popularity of online education due to its convenience, affordability, and near limitless topics that an individual can study. An LMS acts as the vehicle to host and engage with content that is created by an instructional designer.

However, it wasn’t long ago that the best LMS was still considered a simple document repository for static content in the form of PDFs, powerpoint presentations, and webinar style videos.  Engagement was limited to chat threads and video posts that were difficult to monitor and cumbersome to manage.  Today’s LMSs are far superior and include interactive modules that incorporate gamification, videos, audio, branched navigation, knowledge checks, assessments, microlearning, etc.  Systems can now communicate with one another and share data on a learner’s progress so they have a seamless and connected learning experience.

For organizations looking to provide online learning for their employees, members, and students, investing in an LMS can be a great way to streamline and enhance your organization’s training and development programs. Here are some important considerations to keep in mind when choosing an LMS:

User Experience: One of the most important aspects of an LMS is its user experience. Look for an LMS that is intuitive and user-friendly for both administrators and learners. The system should be easy to navigate, with clear instructions and prompts.

Content Management: A good LMS should allow you to easily upload, organize, and manage content such as course materials, quizzes, and assessments.  While most LMSs rely on the user to navigate content management – which can be time consuming, there are some systems like PlaidLMS where a dedicated professional is responsible for managing content and technical support.  Look for features such as version control, content approval workflows, and the ability to import content from external sources, rather than having to build the content within the LMS.  While creating content using the LMS software can be convenient, you’re often limited in transferring your educational content if you decide to switch LMS platforms.

Reporting and Analytics: It’s important to be able to track and measure the effectiveness of your training programs. Look for an LMS that provides detailed reports and analytics on learner progress, course completion rates, and assessment scores.

Integrations: Consider whether the LMS can integrate with other systems your organization uses, such as HR systems, CRM systems, or video conferencing tools.

Mobile Accessibility: With the rise of remote work and mobile learning, it’s important to choose an LMS that is accessible on a variety of devices, including smartphones and tablets.

Security and Compliance: Look for an LMS that meets industry standards for security and compliance, especially if you’re dealing with sensitive data such as personal information or financial data.

Branding: Education can be a large part of an organization’s brand.  An LMS that allows you to customize the aesthetics of the platform to meet your branding specifications ensures your learners are transferring value back to your organization.

Cost: LMS costs can vary widely, depending on the features and level of support you need. Be sure to consider the total cost of ownership, including any ongoing maintenance and support fees.

By keeping these considerations in mind, you can choose an LMS that meets your organization’s needs and provides a great user experience for both administrators and learners. Through our partnerships, PlaidLMS has hosted over 120,000 learners and has launched over a million courses to help individuals access educational resources to help themselves be better.  Click Here to learn more about how PlaidLMS can support your online education needs.

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