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If you are looking at Learning Management System (LMS) options for your business or organization, you may be trying to decide between an open source learning management system or a proprietary LMS. Sometimes it's difficult to narrow down which one is the best choice, especially since the financial and time investments with these options are significantly different. Let's look at some of the primary differences between these two systems so that you can try to narrow down the option that works best for your needs.
What is an Open Source Learning Management System?
An open source learning management system is one where you purchase the LMS with the coding left open so you can program it based on your individual preferences. The advantage is that the LMS is fully customizable. There will be a learning curve involved with the programming, so even the best tech staff will have to go through a process of trial and error before getting the programming to function the way you desire. Furthermore, sometimes the lower cost of this option is deceiving, as once you consider the time and manpower involved with fully programing this LMS options, it's doubtful that you will be saving any money. There's also costs to add features or options which may not be apparent at the beginning.
What is a Proprietary Learning Management System?
A proprietary learning management system is an option where you purchase a vendor supported LMS. This is an off-the-shelf product that you purchase and then simply load your users and training data. When something goes wrong, you call the vendor and have someone who is fully familiar with the LMS programming and can help you get the problem corrected quickly. You can spend your time focusing on preparing quality training and loading it into the LMS, instead of focusing on making the LMS work the way you want. Even though this option is an off-the-shelf product, you will find that you have a lot of flexibility for the overall look and feel of the LMS.
Try a Proprietary LMS for Free
If you've been looking at purchasing a vendor supported LMS, Litmos offers a free trial where you can use their software for 30 days. You'll be surprised at how easy it is to get started. Give it a try and see how this option ranks over an open source learning management system.
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