When selecting a new Learning Management System (LMS) to provide new learning experiences, you are bound to focus on the recent technological advances that have been made in this area.
New features such as gamification, mobile, social and microlearning are undoubtedly effective and impressive but, there are other elements that also play a big part in the choice of any new LMS.
Before you become besotted by the ‘bells and whistles’ of a new LMS, here are five less bewitching – but just as important – points to consider.
1. Think outside the LMS
Put your eLearning programmes into context and think about how your learners could apply their learning in the real world beyond the LMS. Make sure your new LMS enables you to set practical tasks and activities for learners to complete within their workplace.
Top Tip: Think of practical work assignments that can be undertaken outside of the LMS – mentoring sessions, presenting seminars or making videos, for example.
2. Connectivity is key
If you’re going for a standalone LMS to deliver specific new learning experiences, make sure your new LMS is equipped with a modern set of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to integrate with your other LMS, HR (Human Resource) systems, TRM (Talent Relationship Management) and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems.
Top Tip: Some LMS integrations will require technical support, so it’s important to make certain that your new supplier has competent technical teams who can do this for you and/or work with your own IT staff.
3. Backwards compatibility
If you already have an LMS, it’s likely that you will have a library of content that is SCORM compatible. As many of the new LMSs use the latest Experience API capabilities to deliver and track all sorts of extended learner activities, it’s imperative that your existing content is still supported.
Top Tip: Load some examples of your eLearning content onto your prospective new supplier's LMS and test whether it can support them properly.
4. Check the Security
The past decade has seen the online world become increasingly security conscious. Your new system needs to be safe, particularly if it is cloud-based. It is vital that your supplier is ISO 27001 certified (or has equivalent third-party certification) and has a sound track record in secure solutions.
Top Tip: Pay careful attention to the implementation and infrastructure of security controls in the design of an LMS system. Choose a supplier that can protect your content and your data, wherever it is in the world.
5. Scrutinise the Service
Check out the providers' service level agreements and ask all the difficult questions you can think of.
Top Tip: Speak to past and present customers to get a real picture of how reliable and attentive particular providers are. How good are they at communicating? How do they respond when there’s a problem?
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