If you are considering an eLearning program for your organization or educational institution, then you have likely heard about e-Learning platforms that are needed to consider purchasing. These platforms are known as learning management systems (LMS) and are a vital piece of any quality eLearning program. With so many different options to choose from, sometimes narrowing down the selection can be a bit overwhelming.
Types of LMS Software
The two types of LMS software typically available for purchase are extremely different from one another. Looking at only their price tag will not give you 'an adequate understanding of the amount of work needed to get these e-Learning platforms up and running for your program.
Proprietary Software: This LMS option is sold by a vendor on a subscription basis. You sign up for a subscription and then add your content, users, and company logo to get started. Any maintenance or troubleshooting will be handled by the vendor. Your focus will be on administering your program or developing quality content instead of maintaining the software. One nice feature of this option is that if you are looking at any mobile learning programs, you won't have to worry about programming applications for each mobile device marketplace.
Open Source LMS: For companies with more money to spend, or an incredibly complex infrastructure, you may be interested in developing an open source LMS. Once you purchase the software, you have to finish the programming yourself. Throughout the life of the LMS, any updates or maintenance issues will be addressed in-house. While it is nice to have unlimited customization options, it's a lot of work to get this software up and running for your users. In some situations, it can take a year or longer to get the software ready.
Try an LMS
Before buying the first LMS that meets your budget and basic guidelines, take the time to shop around and find the best possible option out there. Litmos has an LMS that is used by organizations in a variety of sizes with incredibly different business objectives. This vendor supported LMS comes with a free trial you can use to see if you like the software before committing to a purchase. Give it a try and see if they have the eLearning platform you need for your program.