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We’re in an interesting time in history where things are changing fast, and even the education space is feeling those effects. Online learning is becoming the main way people consume educational content. And anyone in a teaching space is now looking toward using learning management systems to better curate learning materials for their students.
The online learning sphere is now worth over $240 billion worldwide. And much of that growth has been thanks to learning management software that drastically improves online learning experiences. But how do you find the best LMS of learning management system for small businesses in 2022 when there are many options? Here, you’ll learn some tips and guidelines when choosing the best LMS software for your business, educational institution, or organization.
Tips When Choosing an LMS Software
When comparing LMS software solutions, some guiding principles and practices will help you make better decisions. Here are tips for you when you’re choosing an LMS software for your students and business.
1. Know your users
The whole LMS experience pivots around the behaviors and preferences of your user base. Student groups aren’t built alike. Each segment has its own set of unique characteristics that define how they experience learning and learning management. There are about 73 million LMS users around the world today, and that number will only continue to grow. So the first step is to shrink that number to the people you want to serve best.
When you know your users, you’ll have a better idea of what experience they will need. Do they need tests after learning? What types of learning videos will appeal to the most? Are they after mobile experiences? Getting a sense of your student audience will give clearer answers to questions like this.
2. Focus on giving a great student experience
The main reason why you want to know who your users or students are is so you can create the best student experience for them. For example, if most of your students are people in the older generation, there might be some challenges to the technology side of the learning system. So you want to ensure that your LMS software will provide a lot of support and tutorials on how to actually use the online learning management system itself.
The key to successfully creating an education business or experience is to optimize your student’s learning experience. Keep your platform simple and easy to manage. Having a student database helps you manage experiences better because it gives insight into who your students are and allows you to proactively determine what technical road bumps they might experience along the way.
3. Develop a learning strategy
Before landing on the best small business LMS software you want to use, you must first have an idea of what your learning strategy will be. At the center of this strategy is your learning module curriculum. Create an outline of what you want to teach people first, and then find the platform that best suits that experience— not the other way around.
A good learning strategy will include the content of your training, the activities you’ll need to help them retain and apply their newly-added knowledge, and how you’re going to market the training to the people who need it most.
4. Know where you’ll host your videos
Videos are one of the most powerful ways to curate learning content today. So, it’s likely that your learning experience will involve a lot of tutorial videos. Well, the thing about hosting videos is that it will not be without its fair share of issues. For one, people steal and copy videos online all the time, so hosting them on a platform as public as YouTube might not be the best option.
You’ll also want to ensure that whatever platform you choose to host your videos will be stable so as not to have to deal with video players bugging down all the time. Vimeo, Wistia, and Bunny seem to be the most popular video hosting tools for learning management systems today, but there are definitely other options to check out.
5. Look for reporting analytics
In this data-driven age, reporting and analytics will help you gain a lot of insight and knowledge into what part of your learning experience might need more work and which ones work best. LMS softwares should track the watch time on your videos, completion rates, login histories, community engagement, and so on. These data points will help you create the best LMS experience and improve your business drastically.
6. Create progress tracking
For most learners, the crucible of learning is progress tracking. A poor learning management system will keep a student in the dark in terms of how far they have come in their learning journey. But a good learning management experience will provide regular and up-to-date progress updates.
Some learning management systems will have the progress tracker in the student dashboard itself. Others will provide email updates with progress trackers and give them a chance to pick up where they left off. When students progress through the learning experience, they’ll be happier about it and most likely share it with more potential students in the future.
7. Choose a mobile-friendly dashboard
In this age of great advancement, the learning device continues to shrink. 76% of online learners access learning management systems through their own devices. And many of those devices are mobile gadgets like smartphones and tablets. So, it’s important that your learning management system be mobile-friendly.
Students might prefer using a mobile device because it provides more flexibility and mobility. They’re also more affordable than desktop computers. So, create learning materials that adjust to smaller screens.
8. Determine your business model
When choosing the best LMS for business, it’s important to understand your business model if you’re planning to charge for your learning content. Are you going to get people to pay to access your content? Are you going to provide learning experiences to large groups or individuals? At the end of the day, someone will have to part with their dollars to keep the online learning experience live.
Many small businesses in education charge for learning experiences with a recurring subscription model because it provides more long-term stability. You can also consider providing one-off courses and getting people to pay per module. Choose a payment platform that your students will most likely use. The most common ones that you should offer include a credit card option and e-wallet gateways like Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Amazon Pay, among many others.
9. Ask for a demo before landing on your winner
Before you land on the best LMS for online courses, there has to be some hands-on experience with the platform. So you might want to ask an LMS software provider for a demonstration before deciding on the best platform for your business.
These demonstrations could come in the form of:
- A discovery call where an agent shows you the features of the program.
- A sample video that will tour you through the software’s features and benefits.
- A free trial period.
- A knowledge hub.
Learning in the Digital Age
Digital learning is past the fad stage. More people are taking this form of education as an accepted norm. So digital learning could be your best route if you want to teach people valuable skills or insights. You’ll need good LMS software for that to happen. Hopefully, the tips provided above will help guide you on that journey to finding the best one for your small business.
Rachel R. Hill is a real educational devotee. She prides in writing exceptional general guides while listening to every need of students.