Learning management systems are being used extensively by companies for the purpose of training their employees. However, the industry buzz is that most of the companies are dissatisfied with the LMS they have and are looking for alternatives. This scenario can be avoided if companies make a thorough evaluation and have a clear understanding of what kind of LMS software they need. This will help them to choose an LMS that is good fit for their needs.
Here are some effective tips to choose the ideal e-learning system:
1. Establish your Learning Objectives at the Outset
Determine what your core training and learning objectives are and what knowledge or skills you want your employees to inculcate after doing the online course or training module/event. It is very important to have this very clear idea in your mind, as it will help you select an LMS that will fit the requirements of not only the company but also your audience – your employees. The goals should be definite, quantifiable and achievable, and not vague; something similar to these:
- Increasing sales by 30% in 6 months
- Learning to create training courses in 2 minutes
- Speeding up the time for professional certification to 2 weeks
For the first goal, you can break it up into smaller tasks and plan training modules accordingly. For example, for the first objective, you can create training modules to educate your staff on the qualities and aspects of the products you are selling, as well as on effective selling techniques.
2. Know your Audience
This point is often repeated, but seldom followed, unfortunately. However, it is important to do so. You have to know where your employees stand with regard to different skills. You also need to be aware of their demographics, their level of technical know-how, how many employees you need to train, where they will study – at work or home, and so on. This information is critical and will go a long way in helping you choose an ideal LMS.
3. Note Down Your L&D Team skills
You need to be aware of the specific skills and proficiencies your learning and development team has. This will let you select LMS software with the desired functionality and creative control without compromising on its user friendliness. Having an LMS that is merely intuitive but does not facilitate the use of team member experience and knowledge, you are likely to miss out on the human perspective.
4. Take Stock of Your Existing L&D Strategy
Take a look at your present learning and development goals and strategy, and identify areas for improvement, and what is functioning effectively. This will help you to choose software that builds on successful materials with you presently, and fine tune that what does not fulfill your purpose. You also need to evaluate student performance as well as knowledge acquisition.
5. Get Feedback from Trainers
They are the best people to tell you what is good or lacking about your existing LMS and learning strategy, and what features are desired in the new software. The instructors are the people who will help your learners to get the maximum out of your new software, so it is essential that you take their opinions into consideration. When you equip them with tools that will make their jobs easier, you are essentially ensuring that your employees learn better.
6. Assess Technical Aspects
You need to check how the new LMS will integrate with your existing software, and how your trainees will access the learning modules. If you want to make it mobile accessible, you need to make sure that the new LMS you choose will be mobile friendly.
7. Check the Functionality and Features against your List
The market is flooded with LMS software with a plethora of features. Short-listing the features that are absolutely essential for your organization can be a pretty daunting task. But if you have done your research properly, you will have a clear picture of the functionality and features you want your new LMS software to have in order to get the most benefit from it. Some of the features you may want to think about are mobile friendliness, reusability, gamification, social learning, micro learning, and so on. One of the features you may want to have is data tracking capabilities. This will help you to create a better learning experience for your trainees as it will track their performance and help them see where they stand.
8. Conduct a thorough Review of the LMS Vendor
Do a little research about the company selling the LMs software – the skills and qualifications their team has, their background, whether they offer continuous support, reviews left by their customers, and so on. This will give you a clear picture whether they are transparent, and how effective their software is as well; you will also be able to determine whether they will perform troubleshooting when you encounter problems in the future.
9. Find out about the Ease of Maintenance
It is possible that an e-learning solution contains all the features you desire but you still need to think how it will pan out in the long run. Is it scalable, and capable of handling your future needs? Does it need to be updated regularly? Is it easy to maintain? You need to consider whether it will still meet the needs of your organization a couple of years down the line after spending a good amount in acquiring it.
10. Get a Free Trial or Live Demo
Buying a software is a big investment; you should be able to see how it actually works. Only then you will be able to decide if it has the features and functions that your organization needs, if it is user friendly, scalable, and so on.
Keeping these points in mind will help you make the right choice in your e-learning solution. A little bit of research, forethought and introspection will surely help you in purchasing the LMS software that will give you the maximum return on your investment.