Tips to Prevent LMS Failure
Over the past few years, we have heard many horror stories, (not talking about your favourite scary movie here) regarding LMS (Learning Management System) failures. We outlined some of the mistakes in our our previous blog — Why Big LMSs Fail (3 Prospects’ Stories), and you probably are aware of the daunting experience numerous teachers and practitioners have walked through and are still trying to survive the post-apocalypse of their purchase.
When you buy a solution, you don’t anticipate failure, but success. To reach the land before time, these following tips will help you identify aspects responsible for LMS failure and steps you can take to avoid them:
(To help you identify failures, I’m using screenshots from the previous blog post)
Know your goals with the LMS
When an LMS is purchased to suffice teaching purposes, the first unintelligent decision teachers end up making is to buy the one LMS that houses all features (regardless of its usefulness). In many cases they end up overlooking their elearning requirements that would help in accomplishing their organizational needs. Basically, they begin their journey without knowing the destination. It’s no surprise but it’s one of the most common mistake people commit.
Before buying an LMS, you must know what your organizational needs are and whether the LMS glides with the features essential for you. Evaluate the LMS regarding its ability to cater organizational needs. Also, keep your goals realistic.
Connect LMS to entities
If an organization wants to buy an LMS, the entities who would be interacting with the LMS are: Administrators, Trainers, and Students. If they don’t pay attention to the needs of all entities, their tool may also fall short of expectation. As you can see in the image below that “the tool was remarkably beneficial for trainers but not for the students.”
When you buy an LMS, don’t get carried away with the features, but try to focus more on the user needs. To prevent it from failing, make sure that the tool is helpful, easily accessible and fulfills the requirements of each user.
Focus on LMS integration
To solve different purposes, organizations use multiple tools such as Skype, Google Hangouts, ZenDesk, Asana, Trello, Dropbox etc. In many cases, these organizations want to integrate these tools with their their LMS. Someone I know was not aware if their LMS allowed third party integrations, and you can see what happened,
To avoid such situations, pay close attention to the overall features and interface of your LMS when you opt for the demo. Modern training modules require LMS integrations with other systems, make sure that your LMS allows integration(if that’s what your needs are). If your LMS doesn’t flow with your training program, it probably will not do much good to your business.
Realize the LMS complexity
Most organizations purchase an LMS with exorbitant features, without understanding its usability for end-users. The buyer does not realize that some of these amazing features might not be useful and will make the interface needlessly complex. However, different tools may have distinct complexity issues, some tools may become complex even when you try different combinations of available features.
To avoid such situations, you should always buy the tool which is built perfect to handle different teaching and business scenarios. You must select the one which ensures smoothness in your workflow. This way you’ll have an LMS that provides a streamlined interface and the best return on investment.
Check LMS reporting options
An LMS feature state’s: “Comprehensive Reporting Solution”.
However, when the examiner tried fetching records of a particular student’s performance history, he realised — the LMS purchased only tracks courses one has opted for, it does not track overall student performance.
An LMS with good reporting solution will enable you to keep a track of every student, course, and trainer. One should always look for an LMS, which has filter report feature, so that you can access necessary data at any point of time. Moreover, you can also check features associated with reporting to ensure best possible results. Print report and Export report could be some functions you can seek for.
Evaluate your budget
There are huge misconceptions regarding pricing and maintenance of Learning Management Systems. In many cases LMS providers have minimal fees associated with the services they provide, and it adds up to a fortune. In some cases the user ends up spending way more money than accounted for.
When you choose an LMS, you should be aware about expenses that could add up over time. Confirm and create an understanding of mandatory fees, and add-on fee that your LMS provider will charge. For example, you can be charged for setup, monthly or yearly maintenance, upgrades and other exclusive features. When you buy an LMS, you must ask for a detailed breakdown of the LMS costing and budget.
Don’t ignore support services
To make your training process successful, you look for an effective LMS, that is backed up by an amazing support team. In many cases people don’t inquire about the support services and there are many problems the user might face in association with the support team.
If you want your LMS to be successful, select a provider whose executives will spend their time providing necessary maintenance as well as technical support services whenever requested. Otherwise, you will have an ugly dent on your training program, just like the one in the image above. A situation may arise where your tool might stop functioning, or you may not be able to access specific features. To handle such situations, you would require executives who would train the LMS users about finding solutions to the errors instantly.
Measure LMS future usage
A grave mistake that an LMS buyer can make is, to not define the intended use of the LMS on the long run. For example, in the image below, the company’s policies have changed, but their LMS tool is not capable enough to cope up with such changes.
When you buy an LMS, don’t just share information about its use in your business, but also the predicted use of the tool in later future. Buy the one which is fully functional and well prepared for additions and modifications in near future.
If you’re looking for an LMS that works flawlessly, these tips will help you identify niche problems, moving you one step closer to avoid LMS failures instead of getting annoyed at them.
Always go for a custom Learning Management Solution, as it’s sure to adapt with your changing needs. If you’re still not sure what to do with your elearning requirements, reach out to us at examinationonline.com
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