6 Things To Look For During An LMS Free Trial Period
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What To Look For During An LMS Trial

A Learning Management System is an important investment for any company and a sizable one. It plays a pivotal role in Learning and Development. Therefore, you need to invest wisely to ensure the success of your organization. Getting an LMS free trial can seem like a good thing, but it can also be overwhelming. You have a few weeks to explore this massive LMS platform. Then you’re stuck with whatever decision you make, and its potentially unpleasant consequences. Fortunately, your LMS free trial doesn’t have to be a panic-inducing experience. Approach it systematically for useful results. Here are 6 tips to make your LMS free trial as effective as possible, as well as the key criteria to look for.

1. Only Do One LMS Free Trial At A Time

Doing an LMS free trial may seem like a trivial task. Keep in mind, though, that whichever LMS you buy will probably serve your team indefinitely. If it doesn’t work out, it will cost the company time and money. It can also damage your credibility. Check the dates on the free trial terms and be sure they don’t overlap. If the LMS has customizable backgrounds, tweak them to match company branding. It will make the LMS free trial more immersive. This also gives you the opportunity to test out the User Interface and ensure that it aligns with your skills. Most LMS free trials take 30 days, so be sure to leave a few days between trials. You need this period to debrief and reset. It will allow you to objectively review the LMS you’ve just been testing. The downtime will also leave you fresh, objective, and relatively unbiased for the next LMS free trial.

2. Assemble A Trial Team

An LMS often has different user roles, from team admin to lay members. Outside the LMS framework, different collaborators will use it in different ways. For your LMS free trial to be effective, it needs to be more realistic and less abstract. It should mimic real-life usage as much as possible. You’re testing it to see how it will fit into your workday, so simulate ordinary day-to-day functions. Assign someone to each system role, come up with a realistic office scenario, and see how well the LMS performs. Make sure the trial team mirrors your company’s organizational chart. Every relevant job description and user should be covered. For example, simulate onboarding a new intern or practice using the LMS to escalate an HR issue regarding break room resources.

3. Schedule A Meeting With The LMS Vendor And Your eLearning Team

Make some time to talk to the LMS provider. They will probably give you a sales pitch, but they might also tell you about LMS features you haven’t discovered yet. Find out how much technical help they are willing to offer. Gauge how helpful they are, their patience in dealing with a novice, and their time commitment. It will show you how easy they will be to deal with once you buy their product. Check their referrals and get in touch with prior users. They can share their hands-on experiences with the LMS platform. Ask your eLearning team questions too. Discover any pain points they had while using the LMS. Find out what they like about it, and what they don’t.

4. Look Into LMS Analytics

These days, everything online is driven by metrics, so be sure to explore internal data tracking. If the LMS doesn’t have any built-in data trackers, it probably shouldn’t be on your list. But if it has impressed you enough to get to the free trial stage without LMS metrics, explore other options. See if there are any independent trackers that can be integrated into the LMS. These could be plug-ins or compatible free products. Use these metrics to check processing speed, efficiency, and response time. The LMS gets extra points if it generates its own analytics reports since this reduces your administrative work load. If you have a multinational team, check that the LMS is available in different languages. If not, it should have a functional translation facility.

5. Test Out The Support Services

You may not foresee any issues with the LMS platform. However, it’s always good to have access to help resources whenever the need arises. Learn about the LMS vendor’s support services during the LMS free trial. See how long it takes the tech team to respond to your messages. Call their toll-free number to gauge their phone etiquette and quality of service. In addition, you should research their online support options, such as FAQs and community forums.

6. Start With A Shortlist

The best kind of review is comparative, so you shouldn’t test any LMS in isolation. Make a list of all your LMS requirements. Your list should include price, functionality, flexibility, support, number of users allowed, and so on. Look around at the available LMS platforms and make a list of your top five LMS vendors. As you’re looking, you should check out websites and virtual tours whenever possible. Next, make a second list of review criteria. This should include things like ease of use, length of training period, value for money and the like. As you test each LMS, assign it a score. This way, you can do a quick point-by-point overview at the end of the LMS Free Trial period. This is just the starting point. A more thorough review will follow the scoring checklist.

An LMS free trial can help you make your buying decision, but it can also be time-consuming and stressful. Without a strategic approach, it may end up being a complete waste of everyone’s time. Be sure to research all of your LMS options and select your top five. Confirm free LMS trial periods and expiry dates so you’re only doing one LMS free trial at a time. No overlaps. Choose an official trial team and get their feedback throughout the process. With these 6 tips and criteria in mind, it should be much easier to pick the right LMS for your organization.

Need help choosing a Learning Management System for your company? It’s always best to try before you buy! Read the article The Best 20 Learning Management Systems Offering LMS Free Trials to discover top tips to help you make the most out of your LMS free trial.

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