Required learning management system characteristics can vary depending on the organization, but there are still some fundamental items that every LMS should contain in order to provide true value an organization. First, I should note that there is a difference between characteristics and features. Features refer to the functionality that is contained within the LMS itself. For example, the ability to administer points and badges to users based on their interaction within the system would be considered a feature… (and a very good one at that ;)).
On the other hand, characteristics refer to not just the features, but the overall offering of the LMS. When searching for your organization’s LMS, you should first ensure that the following three characteristics are met – if so, then you can move onto your desired feature list. Think of the characteristics as the foundation for the features. You want a solid foundation before moving forward, don’t you?
As you shop for your LMS, you should determine if the following characteristics are present:
1. Industry Relevant Support – The LMS industry is turning into a very big business, and as such, you will see venture capital backed offerings entering the market in the effort to snap-up some market share. The problem here is that the teams supporting the software might be technically inclined to do so, but lack the fundamental learning industry experience and background to fully support their clients. It is kind of like owning a car parts store, but not knowing how to fix a car – or how all the parts work together. In the end, the customer suffers.
2. Customization Flexibility – Gone are the days where you have to call up a support desk in order to change simple text within your LMS, or in a course. Today there is a premium on flexibility and ease-of-use. In the context of your LMS, it must be easy to customize, modify, and learn how to use. Without this, you are going to be dependent on someone else. Open-source programs like WordPress are a good example of scaleable, easy to use software platforms that meet this criteria.
3. Constantly Evolving – The learning industry is constantly evolving as new technologies open the doors to new possibilities. This being the case, it is essential that your LMS provider demonstrates this through regular updates, modifications, and added functionality. This will only benefit your learning programs as you will have access to the latest industry trends.
Sure, there are likely a handful of additional characteristics that every LMS should have, but these three are certainly at the top of that list. If you’re on the hunt for an LMS, then I encourage you to take a look at LearnDash. We have made it our priority to ensure that we satisfy each one of these characteristics so that any features we develop are built upon a solid foundation. Write-us with your specific LMS requirements, and we would be happy to help determine if LearnDash is a viable solution for you.