February 24, 2014

When committing to an LMS, you want it to market, schedule, run and analyze your entire learning strategy —- but, you don’t want to pay for a plethora of bells and whistles that do little to make your job easier.

You want to make the planning, delivery, management and tracking of workplace learning more functional and affordable than ever before. You’re looking for an intuitive learning management experience that combines the familiar look, feel and functionality of traditional desktop applications running across the internet through your web-browser. And, in certain specialized instances, it will be helpful to you to have a robust authoring tool tied directly to the LMS.

When you are choosing an LMS for your media training initiatives, flexibility is the key to making the right choice. Ease of use is just as critical to its design as are power and responsiveness.

Hopefully, the choice you make will have a facility-specific customization feature which will allow you, among other uses, to inventory skills procedures that are unique to some of your workers preparing to retire. You can then have an information inventory of those critical skills that have contributed to your organization for decades — keeping that unique information from being lost.

The choice you make should have a powerful record-keeping system that enables administrators and instructors to install courseware, retrieve test scores, and data, while tracking the trainees’ progress.

It should have a capability to expand in order to meet your on-going needs.

Whatever you do, be certain to check out these feature-comparisons as well as price. The large number of LMS choices in the market today sell for a wide variety of price-points.

It will, therefore, behoove you to be proactive. Make your own list of what you expect from an LMS. Know those answers before meeting with any vendor who will attempt to wow you with both pizazz and “extras” that you really don’t need —- but, will be expected to pay for. You’re going to have plenty of good choices. Pay only for what you deem important. There is no reason to add cost for those nice-to-have features that will have only limited —- and, very expensive —- use.

And, finally, be cautious about any LMS vendor that requires you to hire an additional employee just to manage their proprietary LMS technology. That fact, alone, should convince you to look elsewhere.

More on Wednesday – – – – –

— Bill Walton: Founder, ITC Learning