Tips from the Pros on Choosing a New LMS

Choosing a new Learning Management System (LMS) is a big task. Which features do we need? What can we do without? I had to answer this question for a software company this month.

Time to do research! What do our top eLearning leaders have to say about this topic? In this blog, I will outline three top resources I found on my research journey.

My first major resource on the LMS journey was an informative and lively podcast from Connie Malamed, the eLearning Coach. In her podcast titled The Strategic Use of Learning Management Systems, John Leh of Talented Learning speaks to the strategies he uses to help his clients through the myriad of LMS vendors. John recommends concentrating on the training needs of the LMS with stakeholders, then searching for a vendor that fits the organization’s needs. In the podcast, John speaks to LMS integration with other critical systems as well as how to measure the success of the LMS after implementation. After listening to this podcast, I was ready for more.

My second major resource was finding Capterra’s comprehensive LMS software list. Capterra is a free service that helps organizations find the best software for their needs, receiving income through vendor clickthroughs. This list clearly shows the choice is not all about price or reputation. No single LMS can fit all. We must consider the organization’s needs first, identify the desired features, and then select the appropriate software.

My curiosity drove me to take a closer look at LMS features. My third major resource was finding an eLearning Industry blog from a well known eLearning leader. Christopher Pappas writes candidly about LMS features in an insightful article Highly Overrated LMS Features and Functions You Can’t Do Without published in April 2021. Live chat? Video chat? Integration with a certification program? Christopher summarizes why organizations should or should not consider each feature.

With these three resources in hand, I felt prepared to go to the next step of analyzing the organization as a whole to determine the needs of each group of learners.

I hope you enjoyed this blog as much as I enjoyed the research and learning from these talented professionals.

Happy New Year!