A Learning Management System (LMS) can be a smart investment for your organisation’s training programs and keeping employees’ skills up to speed. Here we’ve compiled some tips on how to choose a LMS which perfectly suits the requirements of your small or medium-size business.
First of all, be clear about the kind of training you want to deliver
Define your learning goals
Think about what you need from your LMS. What learning goals should it achieve for you? For example, will you be providing training which will be certified or subject to competency tests or is your primary aim the delivery of fun, interactive and engaging learning content? Some LMS’s are better adapted to provide certification, while other more dynamic systems can support the delivery of more varied content, such as video or graphics.
Plan how content will be developed
It is likely that any learning materials which you’re using in current training programmes, whether online or classroom-based, can be easily transferred to an LMS. However, you may also wish to take this opportunity to create more content, perhaps engaging the services of a specialist eLearning content developer. If a specialist will be involved in setting up your LMS, you might want to select a more complex system to get the more out of the features on offer. If instead you plan to carry out all the development of content in-house, you might want to select a system which is simpler to use overall.
Consider how you want that content to be delivered
Do you want to provide the same, standardised courses for all learners, or are you looking to offer a more personalised learning experience? An LMS which allows learners to choose from a menu of activities is essential in the creation of a personalised learning environment, so this is an important point to consider if personalised learning is a priority or is likely to become one.
Next, decide what essential features your LMS should have
Consider your answers to the questions above, on learning goals and on content development and delivery. Have these highlighted any features which are important for you? Ask employees for their input and recommendations at this stage. You might find that they want content to be accessible via mobile devices, in and out of the office. This will impact on your decision whether to use a cloud-based or locally-hosted LMS. List the essential features which your LMS must have.
Of course, you will also need to set your budget
When choosing LMS for small businesses, budgets may be tight. However, calculate your current learning budget to see how much you are already spending, and remember that because an LMS is easily updated, future training costs may be kept down overall.
Now you’re ready to compare your list of essential features with the features of the available LMS for medium size businesses and small businesses, which fall within your budget. Once you’ve found a match, make use of free trials or demos before taking the plunge.