The right learning management system (LMS) can save your company or academic institution a substantial amount of time and money. On the other hand, the wrong one can do the exact opposite. Selecting and implementing a learning management system is often harder than expected, especially if you’re not familiar with today’s wide selection of eLearning software options. This guide will get you started so you can make informed decisions to choosing the right LMS for your needs.
How to Implement Learning Management System Successfully
1). Required Features for Your Project
E-Learning is now an essential tool for any company or educational institution. In fact, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, over 5 million students—25% of all college students—take remote online courses. When choosing a learning management system, consider the growth of LMS users in addition to other factors that may apply to your company’s needs.
Just because your organization only offers one class or training session doesn’t mean that it won’t have multiple programs available in the future. If you have any concerns about expanding your eLearning program, make sure you implement a scalable LMS with a limitless user capacity.
Multimedia compatibility is another big factor to consider. Although you may not be using videos, PDFs, PowerPoint presentations, and other multimedia formats at this point in time, you should keep that option open if you want to keep ahead of industry standards. You should also confirm that your system can run responsively across all types of devices, due to the popularity of smart phones, tablets, and other mobile platforms.
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2). Consider Your UsersYou might be surprised by how complicated some of today’s most commonly used learning management systems can be. In fact, even technically proficient users often get lost in a winding maze of menus buttons. In most cases, it’s in your best interest to utilize a free learning management system with an intuitive, simple, and familiar interface. Today’s computer users have grown accustomed to sites and software that are instinctive and straightforward, so invest in an LMS that fits into your administrators’ and learners’ expected realm of comfort.
3). Setting for Your LMS
Where you’re planning to implement your LMS is an important factor to consider. If you’re only planning on using your learning management system for internal training in a corporate setting, you may not need the same features as a college adding online courses to their curriculum. If your learners will be purchasing courses, you’re probably going to require some sort of e-commerce feature. You may also want to look into customization options, especially if you want to create an interface that showcases your brand’s logo, your organization’s colors, and other personalized features.
4). Budget and Time
Implementing a new LMS is rarely an overnight project. Try to allow a reasonable time frame to gather your requirements, research your vendors, and meet with vendors. In order to learn everything you can about the learning management systems available, it’s also a good idea to take advantage of any demos or free trials.
As you consider your budget, it’s important to think about all the costs, not just the standard software fees. For example, if you plan on implementing your LMS on-site, you may need to invest in space, hardware, servers, and instructors. You should also look into the vendor’s payment system. Some charge per user, while others charge based on the maximum amount of learners who are able to access the system. If you want to keep overhead costs down, look into a free learning management system first.
5). Make the Right Choice the First Time
Properly implemented, a learning management system can be an incredibly lucrative long-term investment, but you shouldn’t bypass the early research phase. The software that you use directly affects the success of your project, so make sure you never have to second guess your decision. Start looking into your LMS options today.
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