Choosing an LMS software can be a bit overwhelming, as there is a wealth of different solutions out there. How can you know which tool is the right one for you and your staff? How can you know what platform will help you engage your employees and deliver practical corporate training, while also ensuring you achieve your goals and generate a high ROI?
To make the right choice, make sure you ask your desired vendor all the following questions.
If your organization wants to be in full control of the chosen LMS software (including its maintenance, updates, upgrades, and security), you need to find a self-hosted (on-premise) LMS. It would run on your organization’s servers and your IT department would be responsible for the setup and maintenance.
If you’d like the vendor to take care of all that, you need to choose a cloud-based LMS. Your vendor would host it on their remote servers, and handle all the maintenance for a monthly or annual fee.
2. Is Software User-Friendly?
The system you choose should have a slick user interface so that both you and your users can benefit from it. Apart from being easy to install, it should offer great ease of navigation.
You and your trainees shouldn’t jump through hoops to find your way through the tool. It should be genuinely enjoyable for all users and help you simplify all of your training. Look for something with clean architecture and seamless functionality, so that your users will quickly adopt it.
3. What Content Does It Support?
Content support is one of the most vital factors to consider. You need to be able to incorporate various types of content into your courses, including images, audio, video, spreadsheets, quizzes, interactive elements for active engagement, and perhaps even VR simulations.
Check what content support your desired vendor offers before committing to their LMS software.
4. What Type of Learning Does It Support?
Can the platform support blended learning? Can it support live instructor-led training? What about self-paced learning and gamification?
Depending on the training courses you want to develop, you need to choose an LMS software solution that will perfectly support them.
Whether you’ll use it for employee onboarding, compliance training, OSHA training, educating your employees on workplace safety, or ongoing skill-building, the tool you select must have the right features for achieving your training goals and objectives.
5. Does It Have Collaboration Features?
If your users can communicate with one another in real-time during the training, they’ll have a much better learning experience. Real-time instructor-learner communication within the software is also crucial.
Collaboration features increase engagement and participation and improve the overall effectiveness of training courses. Therefore, make sure the solution you choose comes with live chat, discussion boards, and other features that support social learning.
6. Is Mobile Support Available?
Mobile has become an integral part of our lives, which is why mobile learning is essential for all training needs. You need to make sure your employees are able to access their training materials and courses anytime they want, anywhere they are. It will significantly improve their learning experience and the overall outcome of all their training.
This is why you should seriously consider a cloud-based LMS. If your LMS software is cloud-based, your users will be able to access and participate in your courses 24/7, and from any location.
7. What Kind of Tracking and Reporting Features Are There?
Your LMS should enable you to track the progress of your employees in real-time. That way, you can have an insight into their strengths and weaknesses, and see who may need additional help in particular areas.
You should be able to generate various performance reports to see how your users are interacting with your courses. Knowing how they performed on each task and how much time they spent on each module will help you be of better assistance to them. Reporting and analytics will also help you improve your future training courses.
8. Can I Integrate the LMS with Other Tools?
To improve user experiences and get the most out of your LMS, you should be able to integrate it with other tools you’re already using or plan to use.
For instance, you may want to coordinate it with your HR system, email client, social media, and any other tool that will keep your trainees connected and engaged. Find an LMS software solution that can seamlessly integrate with all those tools, without sacrificing any of their functionalities.
9. What Level of Technical Support Can I Expect?
As an HR professional, you may not think about technical support. You’re focused on the learning aspect of employee training, and leave the technical stuff to the IT department. And if you want to use a cloud-based LMS, you know that your chosen vendor will handle all the technical stuff.
But what if you or your users encounter some problems with the LMS? What if you face some technical glitches that put the brakes on your training? Would your LMS vendor be there to help?
You need to make sure they’ll be available to you for any kind of technical assistance.
Check for all this with all your shortlisted LMS vendors to find one who can provide you with expert help exactly when you need it the most.
10. Is the LMS Scalable?
If you need an LMS for ongoing employee training, you might want to find a scalable solution. As your organization grows, so should your LMS software.
Find a cloud-based LMS that enables you to provide an uninterrupted learning experience to your growing learner base. It should ensure a completely hassle-free scaling, no matter how many users are on its platform simultaneously.
Scalability is possible with an on-premise LMS as well. However, you would need more storage space, and more traffic on your servers would call for more bandwidth and infrastructure overhaul. With a cloud-based LMS, your vendor will take care of such issues.
Whether you plan on utilizing LMS software for the first time, or you’re looking to switch, picking the right solution can make or break all your training. Asking yourself and your LMS vendor, all these questions will help you make the right choice that will lead to better employee engagement, improved operational efficiency, and a higher ROI.
Kamy Anderson is an ed-tech enthusiast with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of corporate training and education. He is an expert in learning management system & eLearning authoring tools – currently associated with ProProfs Training Maker.
Connect with him on LinkedIn.