There are quite a few people out there who don’t know what a Learning Management System (LMS) is, what it does or why they need one. My aim for this blog is to give you a better understanding of what an LMS is and why you need one within your company.
If you are delivering training online (eLearning) you will more than likely require some form of tracking results. Some of our clients have come to us with no knowledge or understanding of what an LMS is and have been confused as to why they need one. Something that doesn’t always come to mind is that if they require information on learner’s results from courses, then they require an LMS.
What are you looking for?
We find that companies tend to require most, if not all, of the features below from an LMS:
- A simple complete/incomplete result with a percentage
- In depth reporting such as responses to certain questions within a quiz
- A blended learning approach from eLearning and face-to-face training
There are a lot of LMS’s out there that claim to be all singing all dancing, which can sometimes turn people away because they don’t know what they need from an LMS. I would always say before you look at any LMS, you should think about your needs, think about the information you want to gather from the LMS and search for one that ticks the boxes.
It’s always difficult to start something new, especially if it means parting with money at some point in the process. One thing that you need to remember is not to be put off by pricing. Depending on your experience with eLearning you may already know what you require from an LMS but you’re not sure of how to put that into practice.
There are two types of LMS’s out there:
If you require something simple and basic, an off-the-shelf LMS such as Articulate Online is a great place to start. The main benefit of this type of LMS is that you don’t have to wait for the system to be created or set up, all you need to do is purchase it ‘Off-the-shelf’, sign up and create your own admin details then you’re up and running.
A lot of our clients tend to start with an off-the-shelf LMS because of the simplicity and because they require a Learning Management System which allows them to enrol learners onto the system, upload courses directly from Articulate for learners to complete and gather results from the reports.
There are instances though where you may require more features and functions from an LMS that an off-the-shelf LMS can’t fulfil. If you’re looking for an LMS that can allow for a blended learning approach, an enterprise LMS such as Absorb can fit a lot better than an off-the-shelf one.
Do you sell courses externally?
If you are a training provider and are selling your courses externally to clients you will probably require a shopping cart from the LMS; even though some off-the-shelf LMS’s can provide this they can sometimes require a lot of work to make that happen. Whereas, an enterprise LMS can often have that built in, like Absorb does.
Do you want your learners to feel at home?
One way to do this is to have a specific company branded User Interface (UI) which makes learners feel as though they are part of the company and in the right place for their training. An Enterprise LMS gives you the ability to brand your UI and this is the best way to wow internal staff and external clients, to show them what you’re made of.