LMS options are becoming a dime a dozen. Prior to choosing any LMS, you must ensure it does at least these three thing. If not, your organization will face more unnecessary hardships as you will inevitably run into issues. Since there are so many LMS options, you should ensure that your choice has these features (at a minimum) – it will go a long way for your course management and delivery needs.
1. Integration with your current CMS
For all intensive purposes, your organization will be better off if the LMS integrates seamlessly with the CMS. In this case it is all about ease of use and transition. If you have a CMS already in place, then all your data naturally flows into your LMS, eliminating the need for you to do a separate data upload. More importantly, it prevents you from having to manage similar data across two different platforms (i.e. password resets, last name changes, and so on). LMS/CMS integration will go a long way in eliminating this issue.
If all goes well, your organization will grow – and grow big! Your LMS should have the ability to do the same, without you incurring significant (or any) extra costs. It is well known that learning often comes as a second priority in many organizations. There is no sense in hindering the learning effort by choosing a LMS that forces upgrade charges for “XXX” more users, “XXX” more courses, or “XXX” more registrations. Prior to selecting your LMS platform, look and see what kind of charges will be incurred if your organization grows. In the same respect, it is also a good idea to make sure you aren’t locked into a certain price point should you happen to downsize.
This last one is a little hard to put a finger on, since the amount of flexibility depends on what your organization needs a LMS for in the first place. So, to put this another way: your LMS should be able to move at the same speed as your organization. If your organization makes a left, your LMS should be able to adjust quickly to support that strategic decision. Can courses be added/removed easily? Can you implement new features by just a few clicks? Can you communicate easily with users? Can your LMS change look and feel in minutes to match corporate identity change? Ensuring your LMS is flexible will increase its credibility and keep it relevant for your organization, rather than a burden.
There are certainly other factors you should consider when you are comparing LMS options, but the three above should be at the top of your checklist. If you are considering a program that lacks even one of these, run!