Learning Management Systems

Written By: Dan Noyes

Learning Management Systems are e-systems that seek to advance employee skills in an organization through ongoing training and development. These apparatus are fast evolving as must-have tools in the e-learning scenario. These are preferred as they are fast, convenient, consistent, effective and demonstrate high retention. But these systems are expensive and selecting the right system for an organization can be a challenge.

Several aspects need to be considered before making a choice. These are:

Define the learning strategy: The learning strategy of an organization must be understood before choosing a system. This involves understanding the target audience, their learning preferences, locations and resources. This also involves understanding corporate goals and expectations from the learning management system.

Understand the scope of work: The right system must meet core requirements initially and subsequent requirements in the future. Thus before making a purchase it is crucial to understand the scope of the entire system. Also there is a need to check how well the system integrates with existing systems, corporate intranet, administrative objectives and the security of the platform.

Tracking and reporting: Once the learning strategy and requirements have been prioritized, buyers need to check how progress will be tracked and reported by such systems.

Competition check: Today many providers offer such systems and it is vital to check the competition. Features and business models may differ and what may prove good for a large-scale organization may be a white elephant for a small and medium enterprise. It is thus vital to check the different systems and make a choice based on various factors including cost and benefits.

Seek recommendations: Often people seek recommendations from others who have purchased a system before making their choice. But this is not very advisable –as often what works for one may not necessarily work for another. Thus consider the corporate culture, organizational structure, industry, types of learning programs, number of learning programs and other factors that need to match in order to consider such a recommendation. Buying a system just because the vendor is known may be a bad idea as well.

Get a demo: Once you have chosen the system you like, make sure to have demos of the system before you make the purchase. A review team may be useful in providing good insights about the product. For example, you may not know but some vendors also incorporate evaluation processes for diagnosing the performance of the system through its lifecycle.

An e-learning management system is a lifetime investment; so choose wisely before making your purchase.

About The Author

Copyright 2005, Dan Noyes

I write articles for http://www2.vcampus.com/resources/, which provide e-learning solutions, learning management system, Distance learning programs, CBT online training programs.


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