Learning management systems have undeniably become an integral aspect of learning, especially in today’s generation. Major universities and educational institutions are now using systems that provide an unprecedented level of convenience and flexibility that helps provide quality education. This is why it’s crucial for schools and educational institutions to make the right decision when choosing their LMS provider.
As a school administrator, finding the right platform for online learning that will cater to your requirements and fulfil your students’ needs is very important. In order for your school to have the best use of your future LMS, you should know what features to look for in a good LMS.
Ease of use
Above everything else, a good LMS should be intuitive and user-friendly. It should be easy to use, whoever is using the platform – whether it’s being accessed by students, teachers, or administrators. In a recent study, it was found that 44% of organisations currently using an LMS are searching for a system to replace the system currently being used. The top two factors for this search is attributed to the need for better user experience and administrative experience, respectively.
Do not settle for demonstration videos when looking for your next LMS. Request for demo accounts for each user type in order to properly calibrate its interface.
Adaptability & Flexibility
In today’s mobile-first generation, your LMS should be able to work on all devices – laptops, tablets, and mobile phones included. Gone are the days that students will be confined in front of a PC as they access your school’s LMS. Nowadays, mobile integration and flexibility should come as a given.
This allows its users to access materials whenever and wherever. With about 73% of teens having access to smartphones and mobile devices, this can help significantly increase LMS adoption as well as help improve engagement and completion rates.
Reporting and Assessment Capability
Another vital indicator of a good learning management system is the depth of insights it can provide you with. You must be able to drill down and see numbers on learner’s course engagement as well as the metrics of your training program as a whole. This will let you justify your ROI and help you equate business outcomes from training analytics.
Your next LMS’ reporting and assessment capabilities must be strong enough in order for you to track everything with exportable reports, so you can properly process the data and provide a detailed analysis to your stakeholders.
If your school already has a number of systems in place that should be connected with your upcoming new LMS, then integration will be an important feature. Proper integration will allow you to easily share data across these systems.
For instance, if most of your resource materials are in a different cloud storage system, it should be able to seamlessly integrate into this cloud storage. This will make it a lot easier for your school to onboard new systems moving forward, helping your organisation stay updated.
As you cross-examine different LMS solutions, you might observe that content management is a pretty basic, but necessary component of any learning management system. As you deliberate each provider, think of these questions that will help you gauge the quality with respect to content management:
- Is it in line with the latest international standards for eLearning?
- Does it support uploads of existing learning materials hosted elsewhere?
- Does it provide a systematic organization of your curriculum, learning materials, and evaluation logs that will yield an effective learning path?
- Does it allow seamless sharing of learning materials between different courses?
As a bonus, a good LMS will be able to promote engagement while supporting a lively learning environment through interactivity. Online discussions provide its users with a channel to exchange ideas and discuss thoughts among peers. It can help establish camaraderie between peers and rapport with instructors and also empowers students to respond accordingly in a safe and respectful manner.
With features such as forums, discussion boards, and live online sessions, an LMS solution will be a powerful tool in connecting with your students, which may even help pique their attention and interest.
Customer Service and Technical Support
In addition, you will need a team that’s willing to help you out when they’re most needed. Implementing a learning management system can be very tricky for most educational institutions, especially those without an in-house IT team. This is why it’s crucial for you to ensure that your LMS provider has experts ready to address your concerns.
Only your LMS solutions provider will be able to assist you should something break down. They should be proactive in offering support and training for your internal personnel while providing a dedicated team that is ready to respond at a moments’ notice.
Above everything else, data security should probably be a highlighted feature of a prospective LMS. In line with the recent GDPR implementation, one can only imagine the importance of data privacy and security. An LMS doesn’t only hold data about its users, it also houses learning materials which are most often than not, proprietary in nature.
Most LMS solutions have security measures in place, such as limiting its administrative users. However, should this sole administrative user get compromised, it often backfires. Your LMS provider should be able to assign a number of administrative roles to different users so you can be sure that your needs are met in a controlled manner.
It will help a lot when you are able to identify your needs and know which features you require before going out and searching for your school’s LMS. After all, your must-have LMS features will ultimately depend on your specific goals.