BenchPrep Team June 11th, 2020
How to Purchase a Game-Changing LMS for Your Organization
Do you feel caught between instructional designers trying to use best practices and corporate executives demanding better and better ROIs?
Often, L&D feels time-strapped and over-extended as executives identify ever more training needs. Can you blame them when the average skill has a 5-year half-life?
There’s a better way – a life-changing learning management system. Follow these 3 steps to make sure your LMS lowers your L&D team’s stress levels, while also delivering a great ROI.
Step 1: Evaluate Organizational Needs
Most instructional design models start with learning objectives, and, if you’re lucky, they might consider business objectives, too.
When purchasing an LMS, flip the model so you consider business objectives first, including industry-related needs. After this analysis, you can begin to consider what types of learning management systems might meet those needs.
Here are a few questions to ask about your organization’s training needs:
- Do learners often need recertification or updated training programs?
- How often do they need to learn new software?
- Are learners constantly asked to make micro-changes for greater efficiencies? Would they need frequent microlearning modules to keep up?
- What legal requirements need to be met for compliance training? Do you have a legal obligation to track this training?
- Does your organization rely on highly-integrated teams that would benefit from social learning?
- What data can your current L&D program provide?
- When asked, what types of training do frontline employees and managers suggest implementing?
Step 2: Discover how to engage learners
How do you feel when learners or employees don’t utilize the courses you’ve painstakingly created or carefully curated? Could it be the LMS at fault, rather than your course design?
It just might be. A hard-to-use, clunky LMS can make even the best-designed training a drag for learners.
Here are a few questions to ask when considering learner needs:
- Do you have a remote workforce that needs mobile learning?
- If you have remote workers, do you need user-friendly collaborative and social learning tools?
- Would your office workers be happy with a traditional LMS?
- Do employees work individually with the need for personalized learning pathways?
- If you have teams, could a blended solution with a face-to-face journeyman or mentor program meet learner needs?
- Are your learners students with a need for intensive training modules, integrated feedback systems, and a robust grade book?
- Do you need to track learner completion for compliance or would a platform integrated into your employees’ software be more useful?
- If your employees have a strong knowledge base already, do they need a curated, just-in-time learning platform?
Step 3: Develop an implementation plan
After meeting business and learner needs, it’s time to meet the implementation teams’ needs. Learning management systems provide different levels of support for instructional designers or SMEs.
Here are a few questions to determine your L&D implementation needs:
- Do you have in-house designers who need high tech authoring tools?
- Are SMEs creating content that needs automation support to follow your chosen instructional design process?
- Does your business need scaleable content with the ability to group and track learners?
- Do you create custom content for your learners? If so, would you like to crowdsource knowledge by allowing learners to upload content?
- Or, do you need a content curation service with thousands of courses available?
- Would AI be helpful to recommend courses and monitor personal learning pathways?
- Do you use blended learning? If so, do you need a user-friendly platform easily implemented by multiple instructors?
- If you have multiple learning tools, what features/technology standards does your LMS require to integrate your various tools?
It’s a daunting task choosing the right LMS. What if you get it wrong? No one wants to spend thousands of dollars on a new system (not to mention the manpower required to make the decision and implement it), only to have it set your learners back instead of propelling them forward in their learning journey.
These questions focus on the needs of your organization and your learner to help guide you to the best purchasing decision for your organization. Whenever you’re uncertain or feeling pressured by a pushy salesperson, you can use these questions to help figure out if their product meets your needs. If not, then keep shopping.
Are you trying to figure out which learning solution is right for you? Check out our case study to see how CompTIA partnered with BenchPrep to help them revamp their recertification program resulting in a 20% increase in revenue.