Most trainers come to us for videos to teach good management skills. But, lately, we’re noticing that some of the smaller companies are starting to explore how they can manage and track their eLearning video courses by using a LMS (learning management system).
The good news is we’ve found the prices for LMS’s are coming down. Got to love technology. Also, SAAS (Software as a Service), offers learning managers the ability to pay monthly for a LMS and get going almost instantly.
But, the devil is the details. You really need to know what you want from these LMS providers. Do you want to create your leadership skills elearning video course once and be able to take it with you in case you change your LMS? Do you need software updates? Do you have someone on your team who is technically proficient?
We thought we’d research some of the LMS providers from the point of view of a small training department, trying to figure out which LMS to use. We were interested in “portability” because we assumed you’ve created some courses in Lectora or Articulate and you don’t want to create them again. Most of these LMS let you upload and test a SCORM compliant training. However, some of the LMS providers, like Docebo, require that you re-create your quizzes in their system to be able to track results. We didn’t like that because that means you’re recreating work already done (not very productive) and, should you decide to go with your own or another LMS provider, you’d be faced with creating the training a third time! That was a real show stopper.
Other LMS providers charge by the number of active users each month. The more users who use the LMS, the more it costs. Inquisiqr3 charges $200 for up to 50 people per month, $300 for 51-100 people and continues to ramp up. There are setup fees of a few hundred dollars. If you like this system and plan to use it for several years, they offer a perpetual license under $10k, which can be a big bonus for containing costs. However, you want to make sure you have software support and automatic updates so your LMS doesn’t atrophy because it isn’t up to date with all the new technology. To that end, we were disappointed with AJSquare LMS which looked promising at first because it provides software that you can upload to a server. However, software updates are not automatic and we found the system not too user friendly. You definitely need a web programmer to just get started.
Craig Weiss, who is an expert in eLearning, wrote an article on Low Cost LMSs that you can get for under $10k. You’ll see quite a few companies listed. Most of these companies offer free trials so you can test how your courses display in their system and then see what kind of reporting you receive.
Now, we all know a LMS is the container for managing good eLearning courses that helps managers and employees become more effective and productive. To that end, don’t get sidetracked with the bells and whistles of a LMS and over invest. The bottom line is to engage your employees and managers so they remember what they’ve learned and apply it.
- Short videos of great leaders and experts to turbo your eLearning courses.