Instructional Design

Which LMS Should You Choose? 3 Questions to Ask First

Your learning management system is your ally in L&D applications. It’s a jack of all trades that, if chosen properly, can do everything from aiding your course development to reporting on how your learners are doing. The only caveat? There are literally hundreds of learning management systems to choose from when you take SAAS, custom development, and Web-based programs into consideration.

How do you know which LMS is right for your organization? It depends on what exactly you need your LMS to do for both you and your learners. Various features stand out depending on how you’ll use your LMS, so always ask yourself these three questions before you decide.

  1. What Kind of Reporting do I Need?

Reporting is an integral part of eLearning and development, but the type of reporting you need varies depending on the type of training. Some industries (think healthcare) only need learners to finish the course for compliance purposes, and don’t need more information than that. Their reporting needs would be much less than an organization focusing on mastery and technique. Some systems, like Edmodo, allow real-time reporting, so instructors can offer feedback for topics and courses that require learners to demonstrate knowledgeability or technique before passing the course.

  1. What’s the Level of the Typical Learner’s Existing Knowledge Base?

Most learners come to the table with an existing bank of knowledge, which should be respected when choosing an LMS. Think of how you’d react if you had mandatory, one-size-fits-all training that didn’t adapt to what you already knew. Pretty boring and frustrating, right?

Choosing an LMS that allows you to toggle course material and delivery based on learner knowledge base and personal preference means happier learners. Systems like Grovo (which allows microlearning) and Absorb (which is highly customizable) allow you to develop training that caters to individual learners. That can result in more engaged, more motivated employees.

  1. How Will Users Complete the Course?

Depending on the type of course and learning, learners might need to pass a chapter to move on. For some topics, a simple completion will do. Others may require a certain grade to demonstrate mastery. An administrator needs to decide how learners will move on, and it’s not always the same for every topic—even in the same organization.

If your topics vary and require different methods of advancement, you’ll need to choose an LMS that allows excellent tracking abilities so you can see all of your learners’ progress. An LMS like Halogen is highly scalable and can give you feedback to assess your learners and plan for their advancement accordingly.

Choosing an LMS is a big deal, but don’t let the choices overwhelm you. By dialing into what your learners want and need, the choice becomes clearer. Whether you opt for a Web service or choose LMS software, the learner always comes first.