Picking a flexible LMS: 9 questions you need to ask

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48% of L&D professionals either want a new Learning Management System (LMS) or at least want to revise their learning strategy. The main reason for needing a new LMS is the lack of engagement and collaboration offered by their current system. Their LMS technology either does not promote a collaborative environment or is too restrictive for true engagement amongst employees. When it comes to ensuring employee preparedness and compliance, you need a flexible tool that can meet everyone’s needs: learners, admins and administrators.  

Here are 9 questions to ask when it comes to picking a flexible LMS:

1. Does the LMS allow for users to tailor the learning experience?

A flexible LMS allows educators to tailor the learning experience to meet the specific needs of their learners. They can adapt the content, assessments and learning paths based on individual or group requirements, ensuring personalized and targeted learning.  

Likewise, learners need to have autonomy over their learning experience. They elect to take courses that interest them and will further develop their skills beyond required compliance training.

2. Is the LMS accessible?

When picking an LMS, it’s important to consider all of your end users. Flexible LMS platforms often incorporate accessibility features that cater to the diverse needs of learners. These features can include options for different learning styles, multilingual support, screen reader compatibility, closed captioning, and other assistive technologies, making learning more accessible and inclusive.

3. Can the LMS platform easily scale?

Flexible LMS platforms can accommodate both small and large-scale learning initiatives. This is especially important for organizations with multiple locations that may be spread throughout the state or country. It doesn’t matter if you have 1,000 users or 100,000 users, the right LMS will be able to accommodate your needs.

Another thing to consider is the platform’s multi-tenant capabilities (this is especially important for admins). Can you assign training to one location, without disrupting the rest of the organization? This scalability enables seamless expansion without compromising the experience for users. Learn more about multi-tenancy here.  

4. Does the LMS support blended learning?

Blended learning combines traditional classroom instruction with online learning activities. Leveraging these different learning types helps ensure all learner needs are being met. Educators can create a blended learning environment by incorporating multimedia content, interactive exercises, virtual simulations and microlearning sessions. This is critical because engaging content helps appeal to a wider audience of learners and can create a more robust learning experience.

5. Can the LMS platform be used anywhere, at any time?

If your industry has a high volume of "non-office" employees, making learning accessible via mobile phone is crucial. With a flexible LMS, learners can access educational resources and materials from anywhere and at any time. They can engage in self-paced learning, review course materials, complete assignments, and collaborate with peers and instructors remotely. This flexibility makes learning more accessible for employees who are always on-the-go, work part-time or prefer learning at their own pace. I'm going to nod back to the microlearning sessions I previously mentioned - because they are THAT important. Offering short, bite-sized, trainings that employees can take anywhere, will make taking those pesky compliance training modules that much easier.

6. How granular are the LMS reporting features?

A truly flexible LMS provides comprehensive tracking and analytics features that enable educators and managers to monitor learners' progress, track their performance and identify areas where additional support may be needed. These insights allow for data-driven decision-making, helping educators refine their teaching strategies and optimize the learning experience. Be sure to ask about the specific reporting features you will need, whether that means segmenting by location, timeframe – or both!  

7. Does the LMS promote collaboration?

Many flexible LMS platforms incorporate collaborative tools such as discussion forums, chat features and virtual classrooms. These features promote interaction and communication among learners.  

According to a report by the Harvard Business Review, 55% turn to their coworkers when it comes to learning new skills and asking questions, and 43% browse online resources. Leveraging your LMS to bridge the gap can help build a sense of community through knowledge sharing and peer-to-peer interaction.  

8. How many learning and development tools can the LMS support?

Here’s an easy analogy to explain LMS technology. Think of your flexible LMS acts as a bookshelf, and each book on the shelf is a learning or training tool in your organization. The bookshelf can be as tall and wide as your organization needs. Maybe you only have 5 “books” to start. That’s okay. Maybe you have 5,000, that’s also okay! Organizations can easily provide employees or learners with access to any range of training modules, courses and resources to enhance their skills and knowledge continuously.  

9. How will it save our organization time and money?

Like implementing any new technology, LMS systems come with a cost, but the benefits typically outweigh the cons of foregoing a flexible LMS. By leveraging a flexible platform, organizations can reduce costs associated with traditional classroom-based training, such as travel expenses, venue rentals ans printing training materials. In-person classes require heavy lifting and they don't guarantee a 100% completion rate. Learners can skip the class, miss an exam, get lost trying to find the classroom, etc. Even a 4-hour in person class can be a big ask for an employee, they'll need transportation, and time-off to accommodate the training. What if a new hire needs to complete their training and onboarding in-person, but they missed the class and the next in-person class isn't available until next week? This is frustrating for all parties involved and can lead to quick turnover. Web-based learning can mitigate these nuances.

A flexible LMS empowers organizations and their learners to create a dynamic and adaptable learning environment.

The bottom line is, no one wants to be limited by technology, not you, your admins, your instructors or your learners.  Want to see how Learnsoft’s flexible LMS measures up to your needs?

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