A learning management system or as many know it, an LMS, is a popular digital tool that corporates and institutions don’t think twice before investing in.
This is one tool that has made lives for educators and managers a lot easier than before. An LMS is a cloud-based learning platform that allows you to create, deploy, and also monitor the performance of users.
It is essential for training providers to select an LMS that aligns well with the organization in order to ensure that their decision of adopting an LMS is cost-effective. This is where the need to carry on with a thorough learning management system evaluation comes into the picture.
The chance of your organization using the selected LMS for years to come is a lot. Thus, it is important that you get your LMS after a complete and in-depth evaluation.
Generally, evaluating a learning management system is a five-step process that begins at analyzing the needs of the user. You can read about these steps in the article below.
Step 1: Analyze needs
Like every other project, the first step to the evaluation and selection of LMS is to analyze the needs of your organization. You can initiate this by interviewing your leadership, focus groups, and stakeholders of your organization. This will give you a fair idea of their vision as well as the budget estimation for the LMS. You can question them about the key problem areas that prevail in the organization operationally and financially.
Also, make sure you take inputs from the IT department of your organization as you would want to invest in an LMS that offers seamless integrations.
In case you are planning to replace an LMS, you can take suggestions and feedback from training groups or people who are already using the tool. They can give you a clear idea of the current situation, the issues they are facing, and what exactly do they want as add-ons.
Step 2: Define requirements
Once you have the needs analyzed, now comes the need to create a checklist of what exactly do you want your learning management system to offer. Make sure that you are precise and clear with your LMS requirements in order to make the evaluation and selection of the tool much easier for yourself. The more complete your requirements are, the better fit you’ll be able to scout for.
Figure out what you want your learners or administrators to be able to do with the learning management system that you adopt. Each requirement that you mention should focus on what is needed and should not act as a solution to a problem.
Step 3: Narrow the choices
Next comes vetting out the products. Users are spoilt with choices when it comes to a learning management system, thanks to the hundreds that are available. Thus, it is crucial that you narrow down your choices and make a shortlist of LMS that you can actually select. This can be easily done when you have a list of requirements.
Rule out all the non-qualifying products initially, before you further start selecting your digital tools. Some of the commonly used vetting criteria include multiple languages, specific accessibility, and specific regulations.
Step 4: Evaluate the product
Now comes the actual evaluation of your learning management system. The evaluation process somewhat resembles a funnel where you start by evaluating those that were left after vetting. Initiate this step by creating a request for information from the vendors that will make them describe how they are planning to meet your requirement.
Then use case demonstrations, ask for trial versions, take customer references, and finally compare the cost of LMS with your budget.
Step 5: Select the product
The final step after the evaluation is selecting the right product for your organization. While selecting, negotiate the best pricing and put your terms for around three to four selected products. All the LMS vendors will be eager to attract your organization.
Share a request for a proposal to each of the selected vendors to get the final pricing quotes that they are ready to offer. Compare the quotes that you receive and do not be afraid to negotiate for a better price with your vendors before making your final decision.
Evaluation and selection of learning management system is a step-by-step process. When followed to the T, it can certainly bring you a great ROI.