If you're reading this, then I'm assuming that you're looking for your first (or next) LMS!
For those new in the industry, an LMS (or Learning Management System) is a multipurpose tool that allows you to generate and post content for your learners. Moreover, an LMS allows you to track the learning progress for your students. It also allows two-way communication between yourself, your learners, and the community.
There are four particular things that you need to keep in mind whenever you choose an LMS that's 'just right' for you and your org.
Four seemingly harmless letters that pull a lot of weight whether your new LMS can make it or break it. For those who just encountered this jargon, UXUI is an acronym for 'User eXperience, User Interface.' This is probably the most important aspect to consider when you're choosing your new system. In a nutshell, UXUI refers to the 'look' and 'usability' of your system. Furthermore, it determines how well you or your users can navigate and use your system.
As a general rule in choosing an LMS with the perfect UXUI, put yourself in the shoes of a Grade 1 student. If you have trouble understanding the icons or having some issues moving around the site - then that LMS is not for you.
Pricing is another factor that GREATLY (an I put emphasis on this word) influences your selection of an LMS. I'll be very honest, learning management systems don't come cheap. Prices are usually determined by the number of administrators and users. Some services charge per user, some per every hundred or thousands of users. There are services that charge on a monthly or yearly basis, and there are also some (though rare) that charge per use.
A tip on how to determine your price range is to always start a service with the minumum number of users. It is always easier to upgrade later than to over-estimate and pay for slots/users that aren't being fully utilized.
Synchronizing and uploading content is also another consideration. If you're also an e-learning developer - I would have to say that this is the most important component that you need to consider. For those of us who are new, I'd like to introduce a few terms: SCORM, Tin Can API, and FTP. These are 'languages' that allow your e-learning content to 'talk' to your learning management system.
For example, you created a test inside your e-learning module, and when there is a SCORM or Tin Can API 'language' that connects your test to the system, the student's score or performance will automatically be recorded in the system. Another example is the FTP 'language' - it makes uploading created modules easier to upload in to the system.
In addition, some elearning creation tools such as Adobe Captivate or Articulate Storyline also have their own services that allow you to upload and synchronize your content directly from the application.
The good news though is that most, if not all, learning management system service providers are compatible with all three 'languages.' You just need to make sure that they're the same with what you're currently implementing in your content.
4. Social Media
This is a big bonus. This allows your content to be shared or posted thru different social media networks. This is very relevant now since most of our audience is a part of a social network. Being connected to social media not only allows your content to be shared, but also allows your targeted audience to use their social media account to register or login to your system. It also allows your audience to share your content with potential learners; thus, allowing you to reach a wider audience - even those outside your personal network.
There you go. Here are the four most important considerations when you're choosing your first (or next) learning management system. By the way, we at Minreeva can provide you with all four. Cheers!