As you venture into creating your own eLearning program, you've likely been curious about the free eLearning platforms you see readily advertised throughout the eLearning community. Those free advertisements are tempting as training is an area that is notoriously under funded and in need of cost saving techniques any way you can get them. Understanding exactly what those "free" eLearning platforms are and what you do with them will help you make educated decisions about what is best for the program you are trying to establish.
Using Free eLearning Platforms
Most organizations who have successfully transitioned to eLearning will tell you that they have saved money in training costs one way or another. Whether it be that they don't have to print materials, rent locations, pay for travel, find instructors, repeat segments of the same course multiple times, there is an element of saving involved. Most of these organizations will not say that using a "free" eLearning platform is a way that they saved money.
The free platforms are incomplete and require an intense level of involvement by your company before they are ready to be used for an eLearning program. The programming is left open when you acquire it. Your training staff and programming staff will have to work together and build this LMS to the specifications of your eLearning program. It's not uncommon for this process to take a year or even longer before users can successfully utilize the system on any level. You may save money at the time of initial acquisition of the software, but in the long run, the cost of your personnel and the time they spend developing the LMS will be just as expensive (or even more so) than if you had purchased a piece of proprietary software.
Choosing an LMS
Before being tempted with a free eLearning platform, take some time to look at the other options available. You may be surprised to see that some proprietary software is so good that you can use it as soon as you purchase a subscription. Litmos, for example, has an LMS that is in use by over a million users in all corners of the globe. You can take advantage of a free trial to see if this LMS works for your needs before committing to a purchase. Go ahead and give it a try and see if this option makes more business sense than a free eLearning platform.
Free eLearning Guides
This brief guide contains the top 10 eLearning insights from industry expert Jay Cross in collaboration with Litmos.
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