Have you ever wondered how the LMS you have chosen stacks up against the competition? Maybe you are thinking of investing time and/or money in an LMS. How would you choose one?
- Look at demo’s
- Listen to a sales pitch
- Go with something commercial
- Phone a friend
What ever route you take does not matter. At the end of the day you will second guess your choice. Trust me, you will. I have work with Docent, IBM LearningSpace, Moodle, KEWL, and a bunch of others. The other day I came across a question in LinkedIn, where the person asked what you should look for when choosing a LMS.
Tricky question I think. Do you go with what’s popular, and adapt it to meet your needs, or do you go for a best fit, even if it’s not well supported.
This is what I answered:
- How is it to install, maintain and upgrade the LMS
- How much support is there in the global community for the LMS
- How easy is the User and Course administration
- How well is the course content presented
- How good is the reporting on User progress and scores
Something I would add at this point is, how easy is it to backup and restore a course. Lets not even discuss the issue of off-line courses. But, coming back to your choice of LMS. I used Google Trends to have a look at how some of the LMS’s measure up.
Opensource vs Commercial
I have linked the images to Google Trends, for those who would like more information. One last trend that I am including is one about authoring tools. Many LMS’s come with their own default authoring tool, but they are often not up to much. You will invariably want to build content using a third-party application like Authorware, Toolbook or Captivate. I have a personal preference for Flash, but did not include it in the measure. I also accept that you can use Dreamweaver to build SCORM content. Flash and Dreamweaver are so widely used that I was afraid they would not give a true reflection.
Let me know if you are using something else. Maybe I have this all twisted.