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Online resources to help you select, implement, and use an LMS

LMS System Selection & Evaluation Toolkit, Part 2


This is the second in a five-part series.

Last post we talked about doing some background research and becoming familiar with terminology. In this post, we go a bit further: defining the process you will use to select an LMS for your company or organization.


In this stage you want to clearly identify your goals and objectives. Outline basic goals, processes and deliverables that you can communicate to team members. Establish the team, the selection timeframe, the methodology, and allocated hours. Have clear goals, whether that includes a budget limitation, time constraint, or other influential factors, include them in the project definition. Create a project plan that details the overall objectives and budget. This will be given to the project team.

Becoming an Expert LMS User

The process of becoming an expert user starts the same way you would research anything online: with a Google or Bing search to find potential sources of information and visiting those sites to gather details. This is a high level survey of what learning management systems have to offer in general. By looking through these sites, you are trying to become better versed on the products available, and the scope of features that are offered.

Download white papers and other information offered on the websites. Are there particular vendors that appeal to you? Are there vendors that include too many features, or that don't have enough? Again, you are just trying to get a feel for the marketplace, so don't spend too much time here.

As you visit websites make notes of features that are common across LMS's. Be sure to include features that particularly stand out, or that you know you need in you LMS. Identify any industry-specific features that may be of interest. This list will be the starting point for your requirements list that you will generate in STEP 3.

Common LMS Features

Before you start to evaluate specific learning management systems, it’s best to come up with a list of your requirements. This helps you avoid paying for features that you don’t need, and ensures that you are evaluating LMS’s that are potentially a good fit for your organization. Download the Common LMS Features List to get started.