Have You Outgrown Your LMS?
Many Learning Management Systems (LMS) have been around since the 1990s. They play a central role in continuing education and ongoing training for employees. They also play important roles in distance learning for colleges, universities, and even K-12 schools. Of course, they’re not without their problems – many are aging and perform poorly when it comes to integrating modern technology. Many aren’t scalable, either, which means that they’re not capable of growing with your organization. Outgrowing your LMS is a reality faced by businesses large and small, but how do you know if you’ve reached that point?
LMS Costs Keep Rising
One sure sign that your LMS no longer fits your needs is that it just keeps getting more expensive to operate and maintain. While you’ll definitely incur an expense initially, and there will be ongoing costs of ownership, unreasonably high costs due to the need to constantly “retrofit” the system for modern functionality are a sign that you need to do more than just patch things up. You probably need a new LMS.
Impossible to Access Insights
The LMS your business uses should provide robust reporting that provides insights into learner behavior, pass/fail information, and a great deal more. The problem is that many older learning management systems only offer limited access to the information you need. It might only offer to export data into an Excel sheet, for instance. Not only is this inconvenient, but it also makes accessing that data almost impossible. Sure, you have the raw numbers at hand, but that actually doesn’t tell you much. You’ll need to transform that data into a visualization to really drill down into it, which increases time spent and costs.
Limited Integration with Other Applications
It’s vitally important that your learning management system be able to play nice with other programs you utilize. For instance, it should integrate with your SIS, or your time and attendance system. It should tie into your HR department for legal compliance. If your LMS doesn’t play nice with others, then it’s past time to change things up. Not only are you costing your business time and money, but you could be putting it at risk.
It Doesn’t Support Learner Feedback
Ongoing training shouldn’t be a one-way street. In the past, information flowed from your organization (via the LMS) to the learner, and that was the end of the story. Today, things are different. You need feedback from your learners. This provides you with a lot of advantages, including the ability to customize their experience, create new modules, determine shortcomings for your LMS, and a great deal more. If your learning management system does not support learner feedback through things like commenting, messaging, forums/message boards and the like, then it’s well past time to look into a replacement.
It’s Only Accessible from a Workstation
In the early days of learning management systems, the coursework was accessed through a company-owned workstation. Of course, this was before the mobile explosion, and there really was no other way to do it. Today, that’s not the case. Your employees should be able to access the LMS through a PC, tablet, smartphone or laptop to ensure that they can learn when it fits their schedule. If your LMS doesn’t offer multi-device access, it’s definitely past its expiration date and needs to be replaced.
No LMS will last an organization forever. Eventually, yours will need to be replaced simply because it no longer serves your needs and those of your learners. If any of the elements above is true for your learning management system, it’s important that you make time to check into a replacement option.
Need more signs it’s time to switch? See these additional readings:
- WizIQ – Teach Blog