What is an online training platform and the differences between open-source and vendor-supported
If you are developing eLearning content for your students or employees, you may have wondered what type of online training platform is used by other organizations. The most common platform is called a learning management system (LMS). This is a piece of robust software that can house your eLearning content as well as help manage all organizational aspects of your online training program. Selecting the right LMS to meet your needs is critical to your overall eLearning success.
Types of LMS
There are two common types of LMS software on the market right now. Both have strengths and weaknesses. Understanding what functionality you hope to gain from your online training platform will help you narrow down the selection to the one that best meets your needs.
Vendor Supported LMS: This proprietary software is purchased from a vendor on a subscription basis. At the time you activate your subscription, you follow only a few steps and you're ready to start using the LMS. Any technical issues or troubleshooting concerns will be handled by a simple phone call to the vendor.
Open Source LMS: If your LMS needs to be completely customized, this is the software that will allow you to do that. At the time of purchase, the programming is left open so you can finish it yourself. The downside is that it's an intense technical process that remains your responsibility throughout the life of the LMS.
As you compare the differences between these two options, be aware of the personnel requirements that will be needed to support them. An open source LMS requires dedicated staff who are familiar with your specific programming. If you go with a vendor supported LMS, you will not need separate technical staff. Most of the time, this option has an interface that is simple enough for even the most basic computer user.
LMS Free Trial
Purchasing an LMS is a big decision with long term repercussions. With the right software, those long term implications can be entirely positive. Before jumping in and making a decision, you may want to try the vendor supported LMS by Litmos. Here you have a chance to try their software free for 14 days to see if it's a good match for your program. What online training platform you end up using needs to be one that fulfils the functionality you are seeking.
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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