The best learning management systems for training providers
A training provider that wants to put courses online is looking for a different kind of learning management system (LMS). Training providers have particular requirements - they want functionality that is closely aligned to the way they run their business.
What should a training provider look for in a learning management system? Here is a short list of things to think about.
- A online course catalogue - a way of publishing courses so they can be found on the web. You’re going to want to be able to apply your own branding/look and feel.
- Online course bookings and payments. How do delegates (elearning or face-to-face) find and then pay for places on courses ? Online payments can streamline admin and increase revenue.
- Customer relationship management (CRM) functionality so you can track enquiries from potential delegates/learners and maybe get in touch with new offers.
- Support for SCORM e-learning content but maybe also some other elearning authoring tools that allow you to create richer content and/or online assessments. This is important for any training provider that wants bespoke elearning content that includes some kind of assessment. Online assessments can be limited in functionality if SCORM is the only way of moving data between the assessment and the learning management system.
- Attendance tracking - important if your courses include face-to-face sessions. You may also want to be able to collect delegate feedback at the end of a session.
- A pricing model that works for the training provider. Many cloud based commercial solutions follow a software as a service model. The training provider pays for the learning management system on a per learner enrolment basis - low cost at the start but it becomes expensive as your business grows.
There are several off-the-shelf systems that are designed for the training provider market.
The other option is to go down the bespoke route. This may sound expensive but for a training provider that has plans to grow it can be a very viable option. Yes you need to invest upfront (time and money) but you see a real economy of scale as your business grows. And you can be smart about how you build the solution - developing in stages, prototyping ideas, only adding new features when you’re sure they’ll give you a return on your investment.