Learning management systems are a dime-a-dozen today, each boasting a large list of impressive features. In fact, some may argue that the feature list has become a little overwhelming!
While there is some truth to this, the reality is that these features are included to help make the system applicable to a variety of use-cases. That said, it is very easy to suffer from feature bloat.
So when looking at the features of an LMS, how do you know which ones are most important? This largely comes down to your unique project needs. I would even contend that features aren’t what you should be investigating in the first place – but let’s face it, they’re the most fun!
As you search for an LMS, there are a few features that you should keep an eye out for, whether you intend to use them or not. These features give a good indication that the company behind the LMS is keeping up with the modern learning trends.
1. Can Be Customized – Gone are the days of closed source-code. You should be able to customize your LMS as you see fit, even hire an outside developer to work and maintain the environment.
2. E-Commerce Enabled – Perhaps you aren’t interested in selling courses, but many people are and learning management systems that recognize this make it easy to do. You shouldn’t be locked into just a handful of payment gateways either.
3. Mobile Compatible – There will come a day when this isn’t even mentioned anymore, but sadly there are still systems out there that cannot render properly on tablet and smartphone screens. People use these devices just as much (sometimes more than) a standard computer. Don’t limit learning opportunities by choosing a solution that works on only one type of device.
4. Tin-Can API – If the LMS you are investigating is promoting SCORM only, then it’s probably best to go the other way. Worse, some systems don’t have SCORM or Tin-Can (Experience) API support. If you find this, run!
5. Content Delivery Options – Your LMS should have the ability to schedule content by specific dates, or to deliver it at various intervals. This allows for additional learning strategies that can be helpful depending on the content being delivered.