When selecting a training platform there are multiple aspects to consider: buying new business software is always a serious decision. You need to look at costs (upfront spending as well as maintenance), IT requirements, usability, learning curve for implementation and, most importantly, you must fully understand what your needs are, so you can implement a tailored solution that covers them all.
Did you know that there are hundreds Learning Management Systems (LMS) available globally? Within such a big pool of choices, make sure you find the one that really fits your needs. Also, there are a few misconceptions, and potential pitfalls, when it comes to selecting a training platform. That’s why, in this article, we are sharing tips to help you set a framework to evaluate the best option and help you make the right decision.
What to consider when selecting a Learning Management System?
1. You must ensure the platform you choose is easy to use by both trainers and training audience: usability is key.
2. The user experience must be the same across devices: one must ensure compatibility and a wide range of supported devices (think mobile phones on different operating systems; tablets and laptops). We recommend choosing a web-based platform that is available 24/7.
3. Your training platform should allow customisation: we all know how branding is important. Maintaining your company’s visual identity is yet another way to reinforce the credibility and the strength of your platform and the importance of learning.
4. Make sure you don't complicate something you can simplify. You will probably come across the acronym SCORM when browsing for learning management platforms. SCORM stands for “Sharable Content Object Reference Model” and it is a set of standards and specifications for web-based e-learning content. SCORM defines a specific way of constructing learning management systems and training content so that they work well with other SCORM conformant platforms. Unless you are in an industry that adheres to this standard of content, you don’t need to be SCORM-compliant.
5. Another must-have in a training platform is the ability to accept multiple formats, especially video. There are many reasons why video training is the best available option when it comes to training your key people.
6. You should give your audience what they are looking for: learners enjoy a beautiful and intuitive interface, easy access to the training content, to be able to interact and offer feedback, to get certifications they can be proud of and share... Overall, make sure your audience feels welcome and has an enjoyable experience.
7. Make you’re your training platform has detailed and downloadable reporting. You should be able to analyse your audience’s results through numbers, charts and graphics, create recommendations for further education, and be able to use that data to understand the true impact of the training in your business results.
8. And what about interactive features? When selecting a learning management system, make sure you have features that will allow you to engage your learners, get their feedback and evaluate knowledge retention. These tools, such as quizzes, challenges, surveys, Q&A… also help make education effective.
9. Platform security and reliability should also be taken into consideration when it comes to choosing a training platform. How stable is the software? Is there a customer support team? How responsive are they? How long do bugs take to get fixed?
10. Finally, you should acquire a platform that fits your budget. You can always do the math and see how much you’ll be able to save in the long-run.
11. Make sure you try it out! Most training platforms allow you to sign-up for a free trial. During the trial, make sure you involve all the stakeholders that will be using the platform: trainers, platform / project admins, and a few learners.
12. If the free trial period is not enough for you, ask for pilot for a few months. During the pilot, you can usually get a lower price, and this way you can be sure to make all the tests, get the feedback you need from all stakeholders and see how it could work for everyone involved by being in a real scenario but at a smaller scale.
You will then be ready to make an informed decision that will impact the entirety of your business.
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