Are your online learners able to access online training resources on any device, or are they limited by an outdated Learning Management System that only caters to PC users? In this article, I’ll discuss how to choose the best Learning Management System for your modern, multiplatform-friendly eLearning course.
How To Choose The Best LMS For Your Multiplatform-Friendly eLearning Course
A majority of online learners now relies on their smartphones and tablets to login to the LMS. But there are still some who prefer computers to point-and-click their way through the learning materials. So as not to exclude any members of your audience, eLearning pros have to provide eLearning content that’s easily accessible on any browser or device. Here are 10 questions you should ask to choose the best Learning Management System for your mobile-friendly eLearning course.
1. Is It Responsive?
Responsive Learning Management Systems automatically display the suitable version of your eLearning course based on the online learner’s device. You also have the opportunity to preview the layout beforehand and make necessary adjustments. Typically, the LMS relies on breakpoints that coincide with the most popular resolutions and screen sizes. For this reason, it’s wise to survey your audience and identify their devices of choice.
2. Does It Fit Into My Budget?
Regardless of your objectives or online learners’ accessibility preferences, you need to find the best Learning Management System that falls into your price range. It may have an impressive list of features and be fully responsive, but can you fit it into your budget? Request a detailed estimate from LMS vendors and factor in any hidden fees. This includes monthly maintenance and additional third-party tools. Lastly, create a realistic eLearning budget before you even start searching for the best Learning Management System. This gives you a good indication of which tools you can afford based on your current evaluation, or determine if you need to allocate additional resources to invest in your preferred LMS.
3. Does It Offer An Intuitive User Interface?
Your eLearning team has to use the tool to develop, deploy, and monitor multiplatform-friendly eLearning courses. This requires an intuitive User Interface that aligns with your eLearning team’s skills and experience levels. Ideally, they should be able to access and modify online training materials on their mobile devices. For example, some LMS vendors offer a native app that allows eLearning professionals to revise eLearning content and collaborate with the eLearning team.
4. What Are The Specification Support Options?
SCORM 2004, Tin Can API, and Section 508 are just a few of the specification support options available. In short, these formats dictate how your LMS communicates with the eLearning content and third-party tools. As such, you need to ensure that your new Learning Management System is compliant with your existing software and meets the requirements of your eLearning program. For example, Tin Can API allows you to monitor external eLearning activities and provide online training resources via a native app.
5. Can I Integrate My Branding?
Multiplatform-friendly eLearning content is more likely to go viral and bring new online learners into the fold. For example, online learners who are currently enrolled in your eLearning course share your free tip video via social media. Everyone can access it on their preferred devices, then pass it along to their network. Brand integration also builds credibility and enhances the cohesiveness of your eLearning course design. Does the Learning Management System allow you to incorporate your logo and color scheme, or does it limit your customization options?
6. Does It Have Multiplatform-Friendly Tracking Capabilities?
The LMS may allow you to deploy multiplatform-friendly eLearning content, but can you track your initiatives after launch? Many Learning Management Systems that feature Tin Can API give you the ability to track social and informal learning activities. You should also have the power to monitor online learner device preferences via LMS reports. For example, 15% of your online learners still use the PC, and 20% use a specific browser or mobile device.
7. Will The LMS Vendor Provide The Ideal Level Of Support?
Even experienced eLearning professionals need help now and then. As a result, you must ensure that your mobile-friendly LMS offers the level of assistance you need. Specifically, on-the-go online training resources that you can access anytime, anywhere. For instance, a forum for online discussions or a support app that provides direct access to trained techs. In some cases, they may have support upgrades that require an additional monthly fee, which may be worth the investment if you want that extra tech safety net.
8. Will My User Data Be Secure?
Above all else, you need to be reassured that your data is safe on their servers, especially if it’s a cloud-based LMS. Ask the LMS vendor about their data encryption protocols and login safeguards. Also, verify that they back up your data on remote servers in the event of an emergency. You don’t want your information falling into the wrong hands or being lost forever due to a natural disaster.
9. Does It Provide Offline Access?
Many mobile-ready Learning Management Systems allow online learners to download course materials and complete them offline. This is the ideal solution for online learners who don’t have constant Internet access, but still want to participate in the eLearning course. The Learning Management System automatically syncs the data when they get into Wi-Fi range.
10. Is Navigability A Top Priority For The LMS Vendor?
Both online learners and your eLearning team must be able to navigate the Learning Management System on the front and back end. Thus, eLearning navigation and accessibility should be a top priority for the LMS vendor. When in doubt, ask for a free demo or read user reviews to ensure that that the LMS platform is user-friendly. You might even consider a learner testing round to gauge the tech learning curve.
These 10 questions can help you narrow down the list and select the best Learning Management System for your modern learners. However, there’s no substitute for firsthand experience. Sign up for free trials to try the LMS platform before making your final decision. You can also schedule a meeting with the LMS vendor to ask about its multiplatform functionality and address your concerns.
Are you having a hard time finding the right LMS vendor? Read the article 5 Easy Steps To Get A Learning Management System Quote Tailored To Your Needs In Less Than 3 Minutes to get an LMS quote tailored to your needs in less than 3 minutes.
Christopher Pappas is founder of The eLearning Industry’s Network, which is the largest online community of professionals involved in the eLearning Industry. Christopher holds an MBA, and an MEd (Learning Design) from BGSU. eLearning Blogger | EduTechpreneur | eLearning Analyst | Speaker | Social Media Addict