Deciding on a right Learning Management System or LMS that will serve constantly evolving learning and training requirements can be a tricky task. What adds on, are the specific institutional requirements and emerging technologies that make this job tougher.
Institutions vie for customized LMS that gives ability to perform specific functions as per the requirements with intuitive administration, hence it must be carefully designed to reduce time and energy involved in doing it all manually. Having a customized solution lets you perform unique functions and has an edge over other options.
Based on our experiences, here are some reasons, why you may feel the need of a custom LMS:
A thoughtfully created LMS design makes it easier for user to navigate from one page to another and find required learning content quickly. Design is tagged as a primary driver for engagement, which compels users to stay on or turn off instantly.
Having a modern unique design is no less than a prerequisite for LMS. An out of the box solution reflects your brand, its credibility and the degree of professionalism that goes in making entire system user friendly.
The design, navigation and ease of access to find learning content are all key elements that just canâ€™t be overlooked.
We at Examinationonline, realise the gravity of a design and consider it to be a key focus area. This is apparently also because end users now are accustomed to great interface designs on various platforms, making them seasoned enough to expect an outstanding deliverable when they reach LMS as well.
Big things often have small beginnings. A start of venture is typically decent and grows over the course of time, we all understand. So is the case with any LMS, which has limited number of takers at the onset but bound to multiply later.
When an institution joins the digital bandwagon opening doors for trainees/ learners/ test takers all online, things go on fine at the start. But say with 10,000+ users if its crashes, it would be altogether a futile choice, making it important to ensure that LMS can adapt the increasing user base.
In the nutshell, the software must:
-Offer access to large number of users at same time.
-Be capable of managing huge database.
Thus, making itâ€™s an absolute must to have a scalable quality, usability with flexibility in the system.
Cost remains one of the defining parameters for buying any product.
Deciding on LMS from a range of options like – custom built (outsourcing it to a tech vendor), off the shelf or in-house (custom built) along with pricing models, features and services offered all makes it far from easy to get down on one.
To answer these concerns, split and handle step by step. As far as pricing is concerned, some of the common pricing models offered are:
-Pay per user
-Pay per use
-Pay per learner
-Limited period usability
Pay per user or per learner is desirable with small or limited set of users, but if number grows, then it becomes pricey to maintain. Similarly, pay per use can be tricky when it comes defining, it in terms of module, online course or test, making it difficult to understand how billing gets done. Defining well in advance the term â€˜Useâ€™ is advisable.
For getting down on one easily, it makes sense, first to thoroughly assess your requirements with an eye on business objectives then adapt preferably a custom built LMS, which gives complete liberty to choose pricing model according to your institutional requirements.
Content Management System
Learning content is the driver of LMS, be it tests, modules, videos or notes. A good content delivery system and its administration remains a prerequisite for any Institution. SCORM compliance and underlying technologies like XML, .NET, J2EE which supports interoperability must be preferred when it comes to deciding on technologies.
It is important to bear in mind that, technology itself cannot pull the LMS, it just showcases and administers the content. It cannot control how good your content is. A good content can make users stay tuned or on other hand make them stay away and look other channels, even if best LMS has been employed.
Afterall, Content is the king!
Tailored to your needs
An LMS must be capable of fulfilling Institutional requirements. An off-the-shelf system which meets at least 80% of the requirements can be considered. But then, the cost of customising the rest of 20% must be calculated and compared with custom built one.
For evaluation, it is advised to list the functionalities required and met via both custom and off the shelf products vis-a-vis cost of customising remaining 20% and add on services. Quite likely, you may realise, that custom one may lead with better features, services and overall performance.
Keeping these tips in mind while assessing your current LMS or while you intend to get a new one, will help you keep away from trial and errors. As Institutions one must ensure making technology decisions backed by investigating strategic, operational and technology drivers. A thorough need analysis with stakeholderâ€™s involvement in line with future goals will serve the purpose.
Willing to explore how custom LMS performs? We invite you to experience our services and see how it all makes a difference.