Are your learners’ heads in the clouds? If not, maybe they should be. Feature-rich learning management systems (LMS) and cloud-based hosting solutions to deliver eLearning improve the education experience with advanced technologies by enabling organizations to deliver training anywhere, to anyone who needs it, when they need it. It also enables companies to scale their capabilities while making it easy to keep up with the rapidly evolving technology landscape.
Here are the top 5 things to consider when upgrading your LMS:
1. Proprietary vs. Open Source LMS
Proprietary learning management systems can require hundreds to thousands of man hours per year to administer and create and manage courses, and most make it very difficult to get meaningful data and reports from them. Making the move to an open source learning management system can alleviate these pain points once it is set up properly, as they provide a robust and flexible elearning platform.
When choosing a new solution, many companies underestimate the time and expertise it takes for their staff to migrate their old system to a new open source solution or implement a new one. Moodle is a proven platform for educators, trainers and learners. As a highly flexible LMS, Moodle can be used to conduct courses online or to support face-to-face teaching. Totara is an open source distribution of Moodle. Moodle was primarily built to suit the needs of Education where Totara was designed for Corporate Learning and provides more features suited to companies such as providing team management capabilities.
Look for a vendor who can provide complete services such as setting up your site with security provisioning, migrating your old one, branding your LMS site so it is responsive on every device, installing plugins, and migrating your LMS courses and content to the cloud. Invariably, you will want some kind of customization so the vendor should be able to handle that as well. Free up your staff who are not usually experts in learning management systems and would be better working on other initiatives.
Make sure you can enhance your system with plugins. Both Moodle and Totara have a number of built-in plugins for eCommerce, plagiarism (very serious problem for educational institutions), productivity, web conferencing and virtual classrooms, and media integration. Your vendor should be able to easily install plugins to enable you to accomplish anything you need to do with your site.
3. Access to Data
Learning management systems are big on data but don’t provide easy ways to access it, or create meaningful insights or reports from the data. It’s like having a goldmine full of gold but not being able to get any of it out of the ground! LMS systems generate mountains of data. In fact, look at the diagram below to see the exponential number of records that are generated with just 4,000 learners.
Extend your LMS’s reporting capabilities with a best of breed reporting and analytics solutions like Zoola Analytics to get the most insight to all of the data in your LMS, not just subsets of it. Taking a data-driven approach, we created this software to enable managers to prove the impact of their learning programs and use the data to improve course engagement and learning effectiveness.
4. Cloud Hosting
Three questions to ask here: is it reliable? Is it secure? does it meet compliance? With GDPR being enforced by law on May 25, data security is top of mind with CLO’s, even for organizations not in the EU. Choose a solution that partners with other cloud-based vendors, especially on the same cloud infrastructure to reduce latency and comply with data storage regulations. Cloud, SaaS hosting provided by Lambda Solutions is powered by Amazon Web Services to provide a robust, true-cloud infrastructure to replicate the service and maximize the benefits we deliver. Choose a solution that has 24/7/365 monitoring and can prove 99.9% uptime.
5. Expert Help
Burdens on L&D departments to troubleshoot LMS issues can be alleviated by working with a vendor that has a dedicated, expert help desk who work with you as a partner. This means that they are not just there to troubleshoot problems but willingly apply their expert knowledge to help you maximize your LMS’s adoption and ensure its optimal utility. They should be responsive and solve issues rapidly. Get references and call them to ask specific questions about out how the vendors service levels stack up.
Read about how some of our customers have significantly improved their eLearning program offerings by adopting our full service solutions.
- Sandler Training: Learn how Sandler Training replaced their proprietary LMS and delivers superior online training to 37,000+ learners worldwide, engaged users and significantly increased online revenues.
- iMedX: iMedX replaced the basic online learning platform they had built in-house with a robust LMS, eliminating a tremendous amount of hands-on management and continual maintenance.
- HPHA: Disappearing courses and hundreds of hours of work spent trying to make a non-flexible, non-user friendly LMS platform work had been the frustrating norm for staff at the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance. Read what happened after they upgraded.