Selecting a new (or your first) learning management system is a big undertaking. Some organizations hire consultants to help them with the tasks. Some send out large RFPs. Every organization has different needs and specific requirements, but there are some main things to look out for when evaluating LMS prospects.
This means your learners’ experience as well as your own. If a platform is clunky, difficult to navigate, or just has a poor look and feel, your learners will be less likely to want to come back again and again. If the end user experience feels good – an updated look and feel that can match your organization’s branding that also makes it easy to find what they are looking for, then it’s time to make sure the administrator’s side does the same. Inline editing can make a huge difference when it comes to efficiently creating courses as well as updating branding and imagery. Being able to easily access data and reports once things get going will also be an important piece to the LMS puzzle.
Of course, the first thing to consider when it comes to revenue is how easy is it for your learners to make a purchase? We’ve heard nightmares about platforms where it took a user seven clicks to buy! So, we recommend making sure that is not the case with the platforms you’re considering. Aside from the ease of purchasing, what other opportunities are there to be creative with selling your content? Can you have different pricing for different groups of people? What about bundling products together? You should have the ability to set up discounts and provide coupon codes as well. Are there opportunities for sponsorship on your LMS? Advertising? And, if you prefer, can all of the purchasing happen on your AMS or CRM instead of in your LMS? Lots to consider when it comes to making money!
You might stumble upon an LMS that looks and feels the part. But if it doesn’t play well with others it becomes a platform on its own island versus a tech tool within your organization’s digital ecosystem. Being able to integrate with other platforms, especially an AMS or CRM, that typically sits at the center of an organization’s universe, should be a top consideration.
All LMSs have some sort of reporting and analytics, but you have to make sure what they have can work for you. Are you able to export the report and manipulate the data? Are you able to view data points by different time periods, groups, and any other segments that are necessary for you to analyze what’s happening within your LMS? As data and analytics continue to become more and more important when it comes to sharing results and making decisions you’ll want to ensure your LMS can help you do that.
The LMS looks bright and shiny and is ticking all of your boxes. But are they continuing to develop new features and functionality? Do they take client feedback into account? You’ll want to make sure that the LMS you’re selecting today will continue to grow and innovate as technology does, as well as your organization’s needs do! You’ll also want to make sure they take into account feedback and suggestions from clients rather than just charging ahead with new features that they deem important, but that aren’t actually benefiting their clients.
While this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to your LMS needs and requirements, we feel that these five items are some of the most important to focus on before diving into the details of each platform you’re evaluating. Interested in learning more about how Path LMS and Blue Sky eLearn measure up? Contact us today!