There are a lot of different management systems on the market claiming to provide all the features you could possibly desire in an easy to use format. Which to me sounds like a conflict of interests. Finding the right LMS can be an arduous task one that people struggle with, all too frequently ending up with the wrong one for them. One of the most important things to consider when choosing said system is that it has all the functionality you require, whether immediately or you can foresee needing in the future. So I’ve noted down a few simple features to keep an eye out for when choosing the right simple LMS for you. Don’t get dazzled by a long list of features that could turn out to be a double-edged sword for you and your users.
But just how easy are they to use really, and do the features listed work in the way you intend to use them?
Gamification for example, is a broad term that can be implemented in a number of ways. If you want to bring in badges and reporting for team leaders for example, but the LMS classes gamification as a point scoring system only visible to LMS administrators (a trap I found myself in) then it may as well
not be there. Once you have your requirements checked off the list, I urge you to have a good trial with each LMS on your short-list to see how easy it really is to use, don’t accept their claims or demos. Unless you have a full time LMS manager on your staff, or get a kick out of complicated drawn out processes, I’m sure you will be looking for something simple.
It needs to be intuitive
My first clue that I had the wrong LMS was that nothing was in an obvious location, I need to change the header colour, ah it’s behind the languages button… of course! If your LMS is not intuitive you will either be writing yourself complex instructions or re-learning how to do things each time you do them.
Processes should be quick
Processes that are undertaken regularly, uploading users or testing a course for example, need to be quick and easy. Having to fill out excel templates and move through several screens each time you want to upload one user is not useful or fun for anyone.
Learner notifications should be automated
When a learner is added, enrolled in a course or they need to reset a password, the process should be either quick and easy for the LMS administrator, or self-serving for the learner depending on your processes. I recommend checking the LMS can deliver on these and how editable the learner email notifications are.
A staging site is a good idea
You’ve decided to add a new logo, change the colours and some icons and when you go to publish it the whole page goes nuts! Maybe that’s just me, but it’s always a good idea to be able to publish to a staging site to check how it looks before publishing live to all your learners.
Vicki Rutter, Instructional Designer & eLearning Consultant
16th January 2018
If you’re interested in user focused design for LMS or are looking for guidance on which system would fit your project, contact the Fireant team via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.