If your organization is already making plans to implement a learning management system (LMS) the next step is to put together a business case for change. One of the best approaches involves researching the cost differences between the new LMS system and your current methods of learning.
Costs of face to face learning
When transitioning from face-to-face learning it is important to consider:
- Do you have to pay for accommodation and travel for learners?
- What is the cost of each course?
- How many people are trained each year?
- What is the cost of the LMS that will fit your requirements?
What kind of LMS do you need?
Every LMS has its own specialized features and unique focus points. Some are tailored to compliance while others specialise in media platforms. Make sure you consider the functionality and flexibility of the system along with the requirements you need in an LMS.
Working out LMS cost estimates depends on the type of system in place. The average cost of a hosted LMS based on Totara Learn or Moodle LMS is around £15,000 to £22,000 though due to LMS pricing models the cost of the platform does not include course development or purchase. A course can cost anything between $10,000 to $100,000. You’ll be able to choose between self-hosted and cloud-hosted options. Every option will have its own advantages and the LMS pricing will largely depend on the configuration you choose.
Content creation for LMS
Regularly adding updated content to your LMS is an important part of maintaining an efficient system. Many LMS applications have built in content creation tools or include the ability to build quizzes and surveys. You can also buy off-the-shelf courses as a quick way to add developed content to your LMS.
You may also want to brand your online courses, in which case it is important to find an interface that can be customized. Some LMS’s will give you full control of colours and the ability to upload brand logos whereas others only provide limited options.
Analyzing LMS data
Before settling on an LMS, consider whether you need to report on the results from the courses. You may need to invest in additional reporting solutions. If the built-in reporting function of the LMS is not enough, other vendors will be able to provide reporting solutions with enhanced capabilities.
Many LMS’s will require user training which will be an additional cost for the organization. The cost of ongoing application support will also need to be taken into account as most vendors that offer support provide it on a cost-per-hour basis.