Key features of an LMS
There are around 700 solutions in the LMS landscape, each offering something different. Finding the best LMS for your unique business needs may not be an easy task.
Here are some key features that an LMS should include:
Course and Catalog Management - Essentially, a learning management system is the central system that supports all courses and learning content. Administrators can easily create and manage courses and course catalogs for personalized delivery to each user.
Content integration and interoperability - Learning management systems must support learning content packaged in accordance with interoperable standards such as SCORM, AICC, and xAPI (formerly known as Tin Can).
Content Marketplace - not all learning content is produced in-house. Allow your students to access "off-the-shelf" courses which are created by different global providers such as OpenSesame and LinkedIn Learning
Notifications - Notifications allow students to stay up-to-date with required trainings. LMS systems must support automatic and real-time notifications, indicating to students their progress, course completion, certifications, achievements, comments, and more.
White Labeling and Personalization - Immerse your students in a completely unique platform and maintain your brand consistency within your e-learning experience.
Gamification - increase your students' engagement by allowing them to earn points, badges, awards, etc. in all of your learning activities.
Integrations - keep your organization's data in sync with an LMS
Ecommerce - integrate your ecommerce platform like Shopify, me with payment portals like PayPal and Stripe.
ILT classroom - instructor-led - the purpose of a training management system is not to replace instructor-led learning with online learning - rather, what an LMS should do is support learning in the moment. what happens (eg via a mix of formal and informal learning methods) and provide a way to deliver, track and measure learning activities. As such, your LMS must support classroom-based and in-person learning initiatives (eg, class schedule management, performance and attendance monitoring, etc.).
Reports - one of the most important functionalities of an LMS should include the ability to track the impact that your training programs are having on your business. Your LMS should allow you to obtain information and data through custom reports and dashboards that provide metrics on learning activities.
Pricing models of an LMS
License: Instead of paying per user, this LMS pricing plan involves a license fee. Typically an annual fee that needs to be renewed annually or an initial fee that grants unlimited access for life. However, as technology advances, you will likely have to purchase replacement software in the near future.
Subscription: A subscription fee generally grants you access to all the LMS features, or is based on a pay-per-user model. This pricing model implies a fee for each user or active user. In some cases, the LMS provider offers different price tiers. For example, the fee covers up to 25 active students. This is a great solution for smaller organizations that want to minimize online training costs, but still want to be able to scale the Learning Management System as their business expands.
Freemium - These LMS platforms are free for basic features, but there is a fee for more advanced features, such as plugins or updates. For example, a more comprehensive online learning assessment engine or advanced reports.
Follow up with an LMS
Data-driven companies understand that a key advantage of any software is providing metrics, allowing productivity and progress to be measured, as well as gaining insights on performance. Online training software is no exception.
An LMS can help you keep track of various learning activities. Formal learning metrics and reports include:
Course registration dates
Last access per user
Total time spent on courses and learning plans
Test and assessment results
Instructor-led classroom course sessions
E-commerce transaction data
Learning plans reports
User activity reports
Audit TRail reports
Gamification reports (eg badges and contests)
Reports of external training activities
Custom reports based on unique learning needs
Your LMS must also provide metrics on informal learning activities. With Docebo, for example, social learning activities can also be tracked based on activities in our Coach & Share app.