The lowdown on learning management systems
When it comes to using Learning Management Systems (LMS) to deliver training programs to employees, Moodle is still leading the pack in terms of having the most users as of May 2015.
According to a report published on ELearning Industry, some 73.8 million people are learning using Moodle, followed by Edmodo, which has the most customers (120,000), and then Blackboard with about 20 million users.
An LMS is a defined learning process that the user can get to via web-based technology or a software application. Within the industry, it gives a trainer a means to write and deliver content to students and monitor how they participate in the courses and learn from them. It can allow for students to participate in discussions together or enjoy video conferencing.
In the United States, LMS providers operate with a specific set of standards known as SCORM (Shareable Content Object Reference Model) which is set by the United States Department of Defense-sponsored Advanced Distance Learning Group. Many LMS providers, not only in the United States, but around the world, offer SCORM.
What should human resources directors look for in selecting an appropriate LMS for their firm?
One of the things to consider is whether it should be installed (the traditional way) or cloud-based. Based on the latest survey figures, an increasing number of businesses (as high as 87 per cent) are favouring cloud-based systems the reasoning being that an installed LMS has the benefit of working offline, but requires constant updates and can be problematic for remote users. A cloud-based LMS can always be accessed from the Internet and doesnt require the user to install updates and is also very scalable.
According to Christopher Passas, writing for ELearning Industry, this will continue to be the trend in the future as rapid growth is projected for cloud-based LMS like SaaS (software-as-a-service). Businesses are turning to this system as an alternative to the higher operational costs and capital investment required for the other system, coupled with less complicated implementation.
Another important consideration is how your employees will access the LMS. If your firm is like most, then almost 90 per cent of your staff will access their training materials from a desktop computer, about 75 per cent from a laptop and just a quarter from their tablets or phones. Before you invest, it might be a good idea to check with your employees in case your company has a different picture.
If you currently have an LMS, why would you consider switching to another? The primary reason is access to different features that cannot be supported on your current system. Cost is always a factor, of course, as is the degree of support provided by your LMS.