With many live events on hold or postponed non-profit organizations and associations are evaluating the potential role of the Learning Management System or LMS. If you or your organization is ready to evaluate an LMS here are some important points to fast track your LMS evaluation.
1. Start with Your Audience
First, understand your users and their motivations. We believe the best approach starts with a deep understanding of your audience. User needs should drive the technology choice. With a large marketplace of LMS providers, it is really important to identify your specific audience needs and goals.
- Is the courseware that you’re delivering required to do their job, for example, continuing professional education credit (CPE), supplemental learning?
- Or, if your courseware intended for marketing and/or promotional purposes?
- How will the user obtain the course? For example, will it be available for free, purchased through an e-commerce system, or purchased by a manager and assigned to the course taker?
2. Establish a Vision & Strategy
At Adage, all engagements begin with establishing a vision or organizing idea. Our experience tells us, that all projects no matter the size, benefit from a strong guiding vision. When selecting a learning platform, a vision will help calibrate your requirements and separate nice-to-have from must-have. When evaluating an LMS it is also important to identify your online learning goals.
What is your e-learning strategy?
- Are you driving users to e-learning only or are other learning options available, for example, classroom training or on the job training?
- Do you have dedicated courseware that will be continually updated or are you sourcing from external sources?
- Will you be offering learning paths?
- What is your expected volume?
3. Learning and/or Exams
- Are you delivering learning only or is there also an exam and/or certificate component?
- Think about the triggers for the learning modules and exams. (ie: when is the exam available to take, who has access to the certificate and exam results, etc.)?
4. Business Rules
Do you have specific business rules within the course that need to be enforced? Get started by considering the following:
- Is there a specific time in the course that must be met?
- Will course expiration dates be enforced?
- Are there specific reporting criteria that are required and how will the results be delivered?
- Is progress tracking required?
- Are there any mandated business rules that must be enforced to meet state or local requirements?
5. Mobile Requirements & Formats
- Will the course need to be delivered on a mobile device?
- What is the length of your course, will it have interactive components or multi-lingual capabilities?
- Is the course The Aviation Industry CBT Committee (AICC), SCORM, cmi5, or xAPI compliant?
6. Where are your integration points with the LMS?
Consider the following common integration points to the LMS.
- Content Management System or CMS
- Association Management System or AMS
- Business Intelligence Reporting and Analytics
- Customer Relationship Management system or CRM
- Social Network or Community Platforms
- Publications and Journals Platforms
- Marketing Automation
- Reporting systems of data warehouses
- External APIs
These six factors are important to begin evaluating Learning Management Systems. They consider how the LMS will serve your members, integrate with other systems, and comply with business rules and e-learning standards. Adage is LMS agnostic and happy to lend a perspective from various digital projects that involve LMS integrations. Reach out at your convenience to discuss your organization’s unique needs.
Much of the content in this post was derived from a conversation with Andrea Chang, Adage’s Vice President of Delivery. While at the National Restaurant Association, Andrea helped lead efforts to select an enterprise LMS platform.