Online learning is growing to such a degree that e-Learning tools are becoming commonplace with extensive number of options available for your program. One of the first things you need to find for your eLearning program is a good quality learning management system (LMS). Making the right selection for this important software is an important decision with long term implications.
Types of LMS Software
There are two primary types of LMS software on the market. You can look at the features and requirements of each of these options to see which one best meets your needs.
Open Source LMS: This LMS is sold with the programming left open so you can finish it based on your customized preferences. At first glance, it's a less expensive option. However, once you look at the extensive programming and technical support required to get this LMS up and running, as well as maintain once you start using it, you'll see that there are little if any cost savings associated with it. For the life of the LMS, any updates or maintenance needs will be your responsibility.
Vendor Supported LMS: If you're looking for an LMS that you can start using right away, consider the proprietary software of a vendor supported LMS. You purchase this on a subscription basis. Almost as soon as you start your subscription, you'll be able to add content and start using it. If you're looking to use e-Learning tools such as mobile applications or mobile browser capable interfaces, you'll want to give this option some serious consideration. All of the programming and maintenance is handled by the vendor, so you can focus on the content instead of the software.
It's important that you weigh both options carefully and consider both your current e-Learning program and where you expect to be in the future. While you may not be using mobile apps today, it's a nice feature to have available for when you are ready to use them.
Selecting an LMS
There's no shortage of LMS options on the market right now. Before finalizing your selection, you may want to look at a number of different types of software. Litmos offers you the chance to sign up for a free trial of their vendor supported LMS. With over a million users around the world, it's a popular option for many organizations. Give it a try and see if this software has the eLearning tools you need for your program.