Pillar

What is a Learning Management System (LMS)?

A Learning Management System (LMS) is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting and delivery of educational courses or training programs.

Introduction

A corporate LMS is a platform that allows for the delivery and tracking of a wide range of online training courses as well as employee on-boarding and workshops. One of the greatest benefits of a corporate LMS is the ability to collect training metrics so that you can build the most effective learning environment for your organization. Other benefits include; performing skills gaps analysis, spotting difficulties in the learning curve, self-paced training, easy access to courses, automated reminders, employee evaluation, and many more.

What are the other types of LMSs?

  1. 1. Talent Suite LMS- The oldest type of LMSs, Talent Suited LMSs are internal employee focused instead of learning focused. Therefore, Talent Suite LMS's tend to be behind on integrating more modern features like mobile compatibility and social networking capability.
  2. 2. Standalone LMS- Standalone LMSs use to be considered the 2nd tier LMS, a step down from Talent Suite LMSs, until the majority of the Talent Suite LMSs were acquired, thus leaving Standalone LMSs as the new top tier. This is the most complex type of LMS and are most focused on learning. Good for managing large amounts of data, they can integrate with nearly any pre-existing talent management platform if necessary.
  3. 3. Cloud- Also called NextGen, Social, Mobile, eCommerce, or Gamified LMSs, Cloud LMSs are the newest type of LMS and, as the name suggests, are available in the cloud to be leased. Cloud LMSs are particularly good for extended enterprise use.
  4. 4. Extended Industry LMS- These LMSs are special in that they are focused almost entirely on external users as opposed to internal employees. Extended Industry LMSs can be remarkably diverse in their capabilities but are all designed to be used mostly by those outside of the company.
  5. 5. Industry LMS- The thing about Industry LMSs is that they are focus entirely on the needs of their industries. These are LMSs that are tailor made with the content that any industry will need to operate and are usually designed and distributed by someone in/or who has worked in that industry. This individualization is the reason that some chose an Industry LMS as opposed to a stand-alone, talent or cloud LMS.

John Leh the is the CEO and Lead Analyst at Talented Learning, LLC. Find John’s full explanation of the different types of LMS’s HERE

What are your corporate training needs?

There are a wide variety of different Learning Management System available for corporate training. Each one is different and therefore, when selecting one for your company there are several questions to consider. Different LMS’s are more suited to different tasks so choosing one that fits your training goals is important.

  • What exactly are your core learning and development objectives, what do you hope to achieve?
  • How much and how often will employee training take place?
  • How many people will need to use the system?
  • Will training take place outside of the workplace?
  • Do you need to meet industry or global standards such as ICO 9001 requirements?
  • Do you have your own content or do will it need to be developed for you?

Knowing the answers to these questions before starting your search will help you wade through the hundreds of systems available and hopefully ease some of the stress of finding the right LMS.

What is the capability and skill set of your users?

Whether you are looking for your first corporate LMS or you are switching out your old LMS, something that you will want to consider is the capability and skill set of your users. Choosing an LMS that is too complicated for your users will cause frustration, however if you choose an LMS that is too simple and easy to use you may be missing out on some great functionalities that can benefit your training program. Knowing the skill set and capability of your users will help you choose an LMS with the right functionality, control, and usability that you need.

Assess your current training strategies

Before beginning your search for an LMS look at your current learning and development strategy, see what needs to be improved upon and what is working for you. By doing this you will be able to select an LMS that will successfully utilize the learning materials you already have while allowing you the opportunity to do away with the ones that don’t support your successful Blended Learning Ecosystem.

Do you have any technical considerations or limitations?

It is important to take stock of your company’s own technical limitations when choosing a new Corporate LMS.

  • Will your new Learning Management System be integrated with your company’s already existing technologies and/or software or will new materials need to be purchased?
  • How will learners access training materials?
  • Can the training materials be accessed remotely and/or online?

These questions will need to be considered carefully as no two LMSs have the exact same technical requirements and some will be more suited to your company.

What essential features and functions are you looking for in an LMS?

Before selecting a Learning Management System, it is vital to examine what your company’s specific needs are in an LMS.

  • What are your must haves?
  • Does the LMS need to have extensive data tracking capabilities?
  • What about video creation, editing, and share?
  • Do you need your LMS to be fully mobile for offsite training?
  • Does the system need to be SCORM or xAPI compatible?

While you may find it difficult to find an LMS that will fit your every single need, knowing what features and functions you must have will help you narrow down your search.

What type of data tracking capabilities are you looking for in an LMS?

While virtually all Learning Management Systems can track data to varying degrees, the extent of this ability and what it can do with that data differs from system to system. Some are more suited to simply cataloging data while others can interpret the data collected. The level of data tracking capability needed in an LMS is something that should be considered before purchasing one.

Think long term

Will your LMS be able to grow with your business? Of course, you want your company to grow so when choosing an LMS you will want to find one that can keep up with that growth. Here are some questions you will want to ask to learn how an LMS can scale to continually meet your needs:

  • How will my overall system cost change as my business changes?
  • Can the LMS features scale to meet my growth?
  • Will the LMS continue to perform as my requirements change?

Choosing a new LMS can be overwhelming so its easy to overlook long-term goals, however they are essential to the growth of your company so don’t leave them out.

Implementing your new Corporate Management System

Now that you have picked an LMS it is time to implement it. The implementation of an LMS almost always requires a degree of employee training, so it is important to know what kind of strategies you should use to help ease your employees into using the new LMS. Be prepared for there to be some resistance to this change, read our Overcoming employee resistance to change blog post for some tips that may help ease some of this resistance while implementing your new LMS.

Conclusion

Developing the perfect adult learning or professional learning initiative for your organization can be a complex and complicated task. Adult learning is not one size fits all, there is a lot to consider when creating a successful learning platform such as; learning content, adult psychology, and applicable technologies. Understanding the Learning Ecosystem is a great place to start when shopping for the perfect corporate LMS.

Our team here at Asentia LMS, would be happy to speak with you in-depth about what our LMS has to offer and provide recommendations for how Asentia can be used to meet your corporate training needs.

What to see Asentia in action? Request a free demo today.