11 Questions to Help You Choose the Best LMS

eLearning concept portrayed through graphic

If you’ve decided to take the leap to delivering and tracking your training online, then congratulations! You are following in the footsteps of the world’s most innovative and productive companies. Before you are mid-flight and caught up in costly contracts with service or software providers, take some time to find the best learning management system (LMS) for you and your business. In this blog, we’ll take you step-by-step through the most important questions to ask to help you choose the best LMS for your business

When you are looking for the best LMS for your business, there are three distinct groups you need to consider:

  1. Your business and LMS administrators​ 
  2. Your learners 
  3. Potential LMS providers

Identifying and considering these three groups can provide you with valuable insights into what you need to look for when you’re choosing the best LMS for your business. 

Your business and course creators

1. What are your reasons for launching online training? Your goal might be to train your staff efficiently and effectively by delivering and tracking training online. But your business’ goals might focus on cost savings. Finding an LMS that helps align both your goals and your business’ goals should be your aim.

2. Have you got a launch plan? One of the first questions you’ll be asked by any potential LMS provider is whether you have a timeframe for your project launch. Knowing this and having a solid, but manoeuvrable, plan will allow you to plan your project properly and help you figure out if a particular LMS will work for you. Some LMSs take weeks to setup – they require you to set up servers and other hardware – whereas cloud-based solutions can be set up in minutes. Always keep your launch plan and timeframes in mind during the selection process.

3. Do you want to create your own courses? If you do, you’ll need to choose an LMS with a built-in course authoring tool or desktop course authoring solution that allows you to upload courses to your LMS of choice. There are some really helpful case studies here to help you pick the best course authoring tool to suit you. 

4. What features do you need? The needs of your business and your learners will be what drives your answers to this question. Be realistic and take time to figure this out. As a starting point, some common features you might look for in an LMS might be:

  • Mobile compatibility – do you want your learners to access courses on-the-go?
  • Reporting and assessment tools – are these important to the success of your project?
  • In-built course authoring – do you want an all-in-one LMS and course authoring tool, or would you prefer them to be separate?
  • Easy customisation – do you want your LMS to fit in with the rest of your website and branding?

5. How tech-savvy are you and your LMS administrators? This is extremely important. You might be highly computer literate, but are your colleagues? If not, you may need to consider undertaking training or selecting a more intuitive LMS. Signing up for a free trial of an LMS – and giving your colleagues a chance to trial it too – is a great way to figure out the best LMS to suit your business.

6. What are your current needs vs future needs? Have you thought about how this project may grow and considered if you have the budget to facilitate this? You need to take your future needs for features and your business’ potential growth into consideration. Will your learner base grow? Will you need different features in five years’ time? And most importantly, will the LMS allow you to grow as your needs change?   The best LMS for you will allow you to scale as and when you need, so make sure you choose an LMS provider with a range of plans that you can up- and downgrade when it suits you.

Happy learners awaiting instruction

Your learners

7. Who are your learners and how can you help them? Your learners are likely to span a range of roles, ages and technical skill levels. The best LMS will allow you to tailor training to suit your learners’ needs – whether you are on-boarding new employees or up-skilling current staff. The good news is there are lots of benefits to training your employees online, so you are already helping them by taking this step.

8. What are your learners’ goals? Your learners are the judge of how successful your eLearning project is. Ask them what their goals are and make sure you can facilitate them through the eLearning platform you choose.

9. How tech-savvy are your learners? Most LMSs are pretty easy to use – but it’s still a question you should ask. You can use the free trial period to run a course with a pilot group and ask them what they think. They’ll benefit from an easy-to-use engaging platform with multi-media options and mobile compatibility.

Your LMS provider

10. How much support do they provide? Different companies deliver varying degrees of support. The first step is figuring out the level of support you actually need – instructional design support, tech support or just someone to do a professional review of your course – and then matching this to what each LMS provider actually offers.  Another important question to ask is where their support team is based – is it local or overseas? And does this matter to you?

11. What sort of reporting features do they have? As with every new project, reporting its success helps ensure you continue to get the budget to help it grow. Your new LMS should let you track learner progress and course completion rates at a minimum if you want to be able to do meaningful analysis on the success of your project.   You may also want to be able to add assessments to courses and track the results of these to make sure your staff are retaining the knowledge you need them to.

Ready to start your eLearning journey? Sign up for a free trial of CourseGenius – the all-in-one LMS and course authoring tool.

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