While today LMSs are becoming more and more widespread, the question that keeps coming up is:
How to choose your LMS platform?
Introduction to the LMS, its stakes, the usefulness of the LMS
An LMS (or Learning Management System) is a training management software.
It therefore allows you to manage and centralize the training of your learners.
In addition, an LMS platform allows easy access to learning resources through e-learning training from the Web or mobile.
Thanks to its authoring tool, the Rise Up LMS gives you the possibility to create your own training courses according to your pedagogical objectives.
It also allows you to produce collective e-learning thanks to virtual classes or the community space.
Now that you are aware of the usefulness of an LMS learning platform, let's move on to the choice. Among the different choices to be made is the decision of the type of platform.
The different types of LMS platforms
SaaS (software as a service) is also called on demand or cloud. It is a type of software that is not hosted by you but by the provider of the Learning Management System. This means in the cloud.
Cloud platforms therefore require neither hosting nor installation. Only your platform needs to be configured and personalised.
2. LMS on premise, hosting on your servers
Unlike cloud LMSs, LMSs on premise host the data on your servers. This requires equipment for hosting and a technical team for maintenance.
You can choose for example to store your data internally to prioritize security. Be aware that some cloud platforms have a very high level of security. For example, they host the LMS platforms of insurance companies and banks.
3. What about a proprietary and open-source LMS?
A proprietary LMS, also known as an editor, is opposed to the Open-Source LMS.
In general, proprietary LMSs are Saas/Cloud while Open-Source LMSs are on premise.
Proprietary LMS platforms are not free. They offer a solution with rapid deployment. You just have to send your requests to the LMS provider.
When you get started you will just have to set up and customize the platform.
Proprietary LMSs are subject to regular updates. At Rise Up, we also offer our customers a support service to help them learn how to use the new features.
The majority of Open-Source LMSs are 100% free or with some paid options. They still require an IT department to make them functional.
If it is important for you to get a training management platform quickly, a proprietary LMS seems more adapted to your request.
The costs of a proprietary platform are easier to anticipate.
They are generally based on the number of users/licenses or per use/number of registrations.
Important criteria for choosing your LMS
1. Does the LMS meet your needs?
The first question to ask is: What do I need?
What features do you need to train your learners and employees?
Asking the right questions helps you make the right choices. Then, based on your objectives, design a specification. A survey can help you understand the needs of your company or training organization.
2. Need a tool-author to create new courses?
At Rise Up, both of these tools can be interconnected with your LMS.
You can thus benefit from the advanced features these software tools offer. Your virtual classes can therefore be accessed directly from your LMS.
Do you already have courses for your learners or do you need to create them?
First of all make sure that the LMS is compatible with the formats (SCORM, Tin Can xAPI) of your available courses. Indeed, it is preferable that your LMS can retrieve your previous courses.
You may also want to create your own courses. Thanks to Rise Up's authoring tool, you can create your own training courses. A training course will be divided into training modules, which will be segmented in stages.
You will be able to arrange a training course by alternating different pedagogical formats: documents, quizzes, videos, podcasts, images, webinars, evaluations.
You can shape your training entirely in e-learning, entirely in face-to-face modules or in blended learning.
Need interconnections? You may have specific needs that require interconnections with other existing IT systems.
For example, you may already be using an HRIS (Human Resources Management Information System). A good LMS can interconnect with it.
You may be used to or willing to use virtual classroom tools such as Zoom or GoToMeeting.
3. COST OF an LMS
As seen previously, the cost differs according to your needs: proprietary LMS or Open Source. Open Source LMSs are often free. However they are often expensive and long to set up.
The pricing of proprietary LMS is declined:
- either according to the number of users, each license is paid for.
- or depending on the use, each registration to a training course or training requires a token
It is a choice to be made according to your needs and pedagogical objectives.
4.What about integrating the LMS with other platforms?
You may have an enterprise platform. For a simplified access, you want to integrate your LMS on this platform. Check when selecting the LMS that this is indeed possible.
For simplicity, while maintaining a high level of security, your learners will not need to enter their Rise Up passwords and login details through SSO. With SSO, Rise Up credentials are connected to company credentials.
Your LMS is also customizable. Some are called "white label", you can customize it with your logo and colors.
5. Is the LMS compatible with mobile devices?
An LMS can be mobile responsive. That is to say that the web form is accessible via the mobile.
It can also be interesting to have a mobile application. It will be more suitable for use on a smartphone or tablet.
It may be that your learners learn on the Web and then revise thanks to the mobile application. At Rise Up, courses are downloadable for offline access.
This allows you to use it without constraints of location or time. For example, for a few minutes' use in transportation.
6. Does your publisher offer coaching?
For learners less accustomed to digital technology and others, support is essential. The coaching service will allow you to quickly get to grips with the platform.
Rise Up offers a support service for each user as well as workshops. You will therefore know how to use the platform.
Through Rise Up Academy, every month you will be trained to use the new features.
In short, you first have to choose between two types of LMS platform. Proprietary LMS's usually cloud/Saas and Open-Source LMS's usually on premise. This choice is relative to your needs in terms of deployment time and technical resources.
For your LMS selection, you need to take into account several criteria, including the presence of an authoring tool to create your training courses.
You will also find interconnections, cost, platform integration and support services.