5 Things to Consider When Choosing an LMS
Curiosity is one of the important attributes that has fueled our evolution. It is this curiosity that has made us hungry to learn, discover, invent and exist. Today, we live in an age of wonder where accessibility couldn’t be any simpler. Technology has redefined our perceptions of learning. The web has now become a school and the globe has become its classroom. The significance of learning in different aspects of our lives from formal schooling and college education to employee onboarding has given rise to Learning Management Systems that help transform learning into a delightful experience. If you are on the lookout for the perfect learning platform for your organization, there are things to consider while figuring out which LMS works best to help you achieve those learning goals.
1. Define Your Goals
A simple Google search is what most of us start with and nobody goes beyond the first page of the search results. But before you go searching for your learning soul mate on a search engine, you will have to define your learning goals. These learning goals will include elements such as how long you are willing to commit to learning, how much money you can invest, the course structure you prefer, and more. This will help you to narrow down your search to specific categories of LMS available on the market.
2. Your Role in Learning
Just as the LMS should be compatible with your learning goals, it should also simplify your role. If you are an independent learner, there are LMSs that support a plethora of courses curated by experts. But if you want to foster learning in an organization, you will have to look for LMSs that help you customize your own learning modules. This is exactly where your LMS should support course creation and shouldn’t just function as a course delivery stage for your learners. Instructors should not just focus on having their responsibilities simplified by an LMS, they should also focus on how the LMS amplifies the learning environment and its easy usability.
3. Offline or Online Learning
It may not surprise you that LMSs offer offline learning as well. While limited access to the internet may be a major reason for many to consider offline learning, there are other factors for which online learning is not the best choice. The market is filled with LMS providers who deliver offline solutions for your learning needs. That doesn’t mean you’ll have to go back to paper notes and brick-and-mortar classrooms. There are some LMSs with options to download the modules to your system, while some LMSs enable you to set the course structure ahead of time in the presence of internet connectivity. While offline learning suits those who choose to learn on the go or are situated in areas with restricted internet connectivity, for others, online learning is the real deal.
4. The Learning Module
Clearly, the rock star element of any LMS is the learning module it offers. While enterprises prefer customizing the modules based on their preference, independent learners can reap the benefits of pre-tailored learning courses that LMSs offer. Prominent experts have participated in the online learning trend by creating courses and making them available for LMS learners. Some LMSs take it a step further and help you take these courses for free. For learning instructors who are inspired to add multimedia elements to a larger module, LMSs facilitate the option to add videos, presentations and additional links from the Web to keep things engaging and interesting for the learners. A cloud-based LMS works best if you want to take this route in the learning process, since most cloud-based LMSs help provide a stronger storage facility.
5. Features, Features and More Features
Let’s face it, while it is our primary goal to make learning easy and effective, we definitely want an LMS that scales beyond its primary function. Today, the attention span of humans has shrunk down from 12 seconds to eight seconds. To make learning stick is the next item in the checklist that follows to provide quality learning. In this chase, platforms have stepped up to the demand where the learning environment includes gamification, built-in chat systems and discussion environments for peers to collaborate and review the stages of learning, options to track and monitor learners and chart the learning phase, and much more. LMSs packed with features help create an interactive experience for both the learning instructors and the learners. But choosing an LMS solely based on the features is not ideal. Instead, chart out if the features that impressed you are actually things that you will need while using the LMS.
Picking out the perfect LMS that will amplify your learning needs and goals is just the first step in the process. Other elements that you should take note of while choosing an LMS are its mobile friendliness, the options to integrate with popular applications, exclusive profiles, security, scalability, support and more. Spending time on research will help you get an LMS that complements your learning and simplifies all the other tasks involved in the process. With all you need to kickstart learning and quench your curiosity, you will realize that learning is not restricted to desks and age group. Learn as you grow and cherish what you learn.
“Get over the idea that only children should spend their time in study. Be a student so long as you still have something to learn, and this will mean all your life.”
~Henry L. Doherty
Srilakshmi Janardanan is a full time writer by profession employed at Full Creative Pvt Ltd. She is currently engaged with projects like Setmore and AdaptiveU.