Top 5 LMS Mistakes To Avoid When Selecting A New Learning Management System

Top 5 LMS Mistakes To Avoid When Selecting A New Learning Management System
Summary: Your Learning Management System is an investment. Even if you’re using a free open-source LMS solution, you still need to devote time and resources to mastering the tool. Thus, you must choose wisely. In this article, I’ll highlight the top 5 LMS mistakes to avoid when selecting your new LMS platform.

Top 5 LMS Mistakes eLearning Professional Should Avoid When Selecting A New Learning Management System

There are a variety of things to think about when choosing a Learning Management System. Does it offer the reporting features I need? Will it be compatible with my third-party eLearning authoring tools? Can it keep my data safe and secure? Weighing your needs against the available options makes the process increasingly difficult. As such, it’s relatively easy to make some common LMS mistakes. Here are the top 5 LMS mistakes that you should bear in mind before making your final decision.

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1. Forgetting To Test Functionality

Your LMS can have the latest and greatest features, but that's not going to mean very much if you can't use them. This is why it's so essential to test the functionality of the LMS platform BEFORE you make your purchase. Many LMS vendors highlight all of the features on their website and other marketing materials.

However, you have to try it out for yourself through a free trial or demo. Testing the functionality also allows you to take stock of the assets and see if they're worth the investment. You might think that you need a particular multimedia element now, but will you feel the same after you try out the demo?

2. Mismatched Features

Most LMS solutions offer a broad range of features. In fact, this can get a bit complicated when choosing your next LMS platform. You know that you need specific features in order to create an effective eLearning course. Is your favorite Learning Management System going to be able to deliver it? Some of the most popular LMS features are brand integration, gamification, and social learning support.

Reporting, analytics and compatibility with third-party tools are also important functions. But are you looking for those features in your next LMS? Or are there other key traits that you need to deploy and track your eLearning courses? After you've created a list of must-have features, it's time to break them down even further. For example, you know that you require 24/7 support from the LMS vendor. However, you have to be specific about the type of support you're after and how much you're willing to pay. If you need additional help, get an LMS quote tailored to your needs in as little as 3 minutes. This simple 5-step process will help you qualify the 5 top LMS vendors that match your specific needs.

3. Unrealistic LMS Budgets

Many people assume that the LMS purchase price is the ONLY cost involved. However, there are a number of fees associated with Learning Management Systems. For example, setting up the system, monthly or yearly maintenance, upgrades and updates, and customization. All of these expenses can add up over time. As such, you must have a clear idea of how much the LMS platform costs now and in the long run.

You also need to create a realistic budget for how much you can allocate to LMS upkeep. If the costs are ambiguous, contact the LMS vendor and ask for a detailed estimate of their fees. Be sure that they differentiate between mandatory fees and optional add-ons. For instance, they may offer different types of reporting features or support options. Review the list to determine what you need and what you can do without.

4. Choosing A Learning Management System That Won't Evolve With Your Company

Ultimately, you need a LMS that will suit your needs now and in the future. Thus, you should consider the size of your organization currently and its expected growth rate. Your staff size, evolving online training needs, and technological advancements all play a key role in LMS scalability. For example, a LMS that charges per user may be ideal for your small company today. But will it be the best option for your organization a year from now? Or should you opt for a license-based LMS?

Features are another important consideration. You may not need a particular function at the moment. However, it might improve your online training ROI in years to come. For instance, opting for limited reporting capabilities may cut costs now. The downside is that you won't be able to track online learner proficiency later on.

5. Overlooking Analytics And Reporting Features

That brings us to our final LMS mistake, which is underestimating the importance of analytics. Most LMS platforms come with built-in reporting tools. You can monitor employee performance and pinpoint areas for improvement with the click of a button. However, different LMS platforms offer different types of reporting. While some provide in depth charts and graphs that highlight completion rates, others are more limited. This can be problematic for organizations that need to analyze their Big Data and keep up with compliance.

Ideally, the reporting features should align with your learning goals and objectives. They should help you measure key metrics that improve productivity and boost online training ROI. As such, you need to identify which data groups you require and your preferred method of delivery. For instance, do you need a more visual format, such as charts, graphs, etc., or are spreadsheets a viable option? If the LMS vendor is vague about which reports they provide, ask for a detailed break-down of their analytics. This is also something to look into while you're test driving the LMS platform.

Before you select your new LMS platform, consider your company's online training needs and the skills of your team. Also, conduct a thorough analysis of your current online training strategy and its learning objectives. This helps to narrow down your list of must-have features so that you get maximum online training ROI.

One of the best ways to ensure that your LMS scales with you is by choosing a responsive design LMS platform. Read the article 6 Tips For Choosing A Responsive LMS For Multi-Platform Online Courses to discover a few tips that can help you choose the proper Learning Management System for your multiplatform-friendly online training program.