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LMS: 10 criteria for choosing the right platform

Nov 6, 2020 11:26:14 AM

The LMS (or Learning Management System) is no longer to be presented as it has grown so much in recent years and even in recent months with the health crisis we are going through. Indeed, the containment caused by the Covid-19 virus has forced training actors and professionals to completely rethink the training action.

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The use of e-learning software simply exploded during containment. Since then, many structures continue to turn to e-learning LMSs in order to facilitate and sustain training within their structure.

Today, more than ever, training platforms are doing well because they offer quick and efficient access to training in all circumstances.

But how to choose the right LMS platform for the specific needs of each organization? We will try to answer this question through 10 essential criteria for choosing the right training software.

Comment bien choisir sa plateforme LMS en fonction des besoins propres a chaque organisations ?

1) Assess current and future training needs

It's never a good idea to jump into a new project with your eyes closed and hope it succeeds. Above all, you need to take time to evaluate your problems and needs in order to choose the most suitable e-learning platform.

First of all, make a list of what works and what doesn't work in the current management of your trainings. How can you improve the training action within your company? What are your employees' expectations?

To do this, don't hesitate to find out directly from your employees and colleagues by offering them surveys and polls, for example. They will be in the best position to guide you in choosing the best digital solution for your company.

Let's take an example: your microwave breaks down and you need to buy a new one quickly.

By going to your local appliance store, you probably already have in mind the kind of model and features you want. Do you need a microwave with a grilling or defrosting function? The same goes for choosing an LMS.

2)Compare the features and functionalities of LMS on the market

Now that you have a clear idea of the microwave of your dreams, it turns out that several models match your criteria. So how do you choose? Simply by comparing the different models and, why not, by asking a sales consultant for advice.

On the training market, software such as LMS or LXP are becoming more and more numerous, thus increasing competition. There is a good chance that several platforms will more or less meet your expectations.

Of course, the price can help you decide in favor of one platform or another, but this is also the case for the functionalities.

Do you want an integrated authoring tool to create your training courses or rather a off-the-shelf content editor? Do you prefer an e-learning or blended learning platform to manage your classroom training as well?

These are the types of functionalities that may make you lean towards one platform rather than another.

3)What type of content can be integrated into the LMS?

Instructional content and learning formats are important as they directly influence employee engagement. Indeed, a training course made up of 100% plain text will be really boring for the learner who may not succeed or even complete it.

In order to improve employee commitment and therefore their success, the pedagogical content must be varied, fun and interesting. To do this, it is best to choose an LMS platform with an authoring tool that will allow your trainers and designers to create training courses adapted to your employees.

In addition, there are a number of learning formats that will allow you to vary the training courses (images, videos, podcasts, webinars, quizzes...). Also, it is a question of exploiting all the resources offered by the LMS platform.

We are talking about synchronous learning modalities, when the exchange takes place in real time (virtual classroom) and asynchronous, when the exchange takes place offline (e-learning module, forums, remote group activities...).

4) Assessing the technical limitations of the market's LMS

Of course, when you choose a new microwave, you think first and foremost about the qualities it should have, much less about its limitations and defects, and it is often after the purchase that you become aware of them.

The same applies to LMSs. You concentrate on what you want and that's fine, but you also have to take into account their technical limitations and look at the long term.

For example, how does the training tool integrate with your HRIS? Are there new functionalities to come? And if so, how will trainers and administrators know about them? Will they have access to training on these new features?

5) Flexibility and LMS integration

Chances are that your organization already has several in-house software applications that facilitate human resources management. The advantage of opting for an LMS platform goes beyond the purchase and installation of additional software. It must allow you to collaborate with your other tools to integrate into a practical and flexible management system.

A good LMS is an LMS that interconnects with the software already used by the company. Let's take a company that already uses an HRIS (Human Resources Management Information System) to manage human resources.

It will be in its best interest to see its new LMS platform interconnected with its HRIS. It will thus be able to train its employees in customer relationship management techniques and directly analyse the effectiveness of training on the figures achieved.

Le mobile learning est devenu une fonctionnalité quasi indispensable au LMS

6) Ergonomics and ease of use of the LMS

Digital training can be scary for some people. Indeed, the fear of digital is one of the main obstacles to e-learning and is a cause of disinterest among learners. However, if the company equips itself with a tool that is easy to use and easy to learn, it will help to build employee loyalty and make them want to complete their training.

In this sense, mobile learning has become an almost indispensable feature of the LMS. It allows learners to connect wherever and whenever they want to follow their training without time or space constraints.

Blended Learning also contributes to learner engagement thanks to face-to-face sessions that preserve a social link that is essential for human beings and the acquisition of knowledge. On the LMS, blended learning is also interactions between learners on the platform.

7) Reporting features

If you are looking for the perfect LMS for you, it is important to consider the concept of data analysis and reporting. At Rise Up, we offer the Data Lab to our customers.

This gives them access to custom reports and dashboards on their learners' training "consumption" habits and preferences.

This functionality allows trainers and platform administrators to produce quality learning content and to know the profile of employees and their habits (connection time, connection time, which courses have worked best, scores, number of registrations, feedback).

Thus, thanks to the data, the trainer knows the learners and can take corrective actions towards a more adapted and more relevant content in order to improve the learners' skills.

8) What are the services related to the LMS?

Now you know what you want and what you don't want in terms of LMS. Yet you still can't decide? It's time to think about the services set up by the various software publishers. First of all, support is an indispensable service.

Indeed, digital does not only scare learners, it can also scare administrators and HR managers who are not necessarily used to e-learning.

Rise Up offers a support service adapted to each client and each problem, as well as training workshops on the platform to help them get to grips with the tool.

Better still, support continues throughout the blended learning deployment thanks to Rise Up Academy, a platform dedicated to administrators. As mentioned above, an LMS platform frequently evolves.

With Rise Up Academy, administrators and trainers are trained every month on the new features of the platform. They will also be trained in digital learning in a more general way, with expert content.

9) quality of the support

Companies are sometimes reluctant to use a blended learning training system, which is why most LMSs offer coaching and technical support. 

At Rise Up, a technical team is available 5 days a week from 9am to 6pm to guide you in your navigation on the platform and to resolve any bugs you may encounter. This support is essential for a good user experience on the platform. 

10) How much does the LMS cost?

This is the big question, and often the one that will allow us to decide between almost identical LMS solutions... the price! Well, it all depends on the LMS and the services you choose. There are two types of LMS: Open Source and Cloud. 

Most generally, an LMS solution based on the cloud can be paid:

  • per user: the company pays one license per user over a year
  • per use: the company pays each time the platform is used, on a flat-rate basis. 

The price of this kind of LMS can quickly become substantial depending on the number of employees in the company and the duration of the subscription. However, this cost is justified by many advantages: rapid deployment, maintenance by the platform provider, accessibility, secure data... 

Conversely, Open Source LMSs require little investment (most are 100% free or, alternatively, subscription is free with optional paid features). 

Be careful though, because even if the acquisition is free, an Open Source LMS requires a lot of time and money to become functional. For example, you will have to spend for : 

  • accommodation costs, 
  • maintenance, 
  • the server configuration, 
  • data backup. 

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Subjects: LMS
Manon Consul

Written by Manon Consul