How do you choose training management software for your organization? You have been requested by the your employer to give your opinion on whether your company should purchase or develop a training management platform from scratch. How would you develop your argument in each case, for or against building or purchasing the new training software? Learning Management Systems (LMS) or Learning Content Management Systems (LCMS) are a good way to organize your training and educational needs. Previously used terms include Content Management Systems (CMS) but that has since evolved to more fitting terms like LMS. Whether in a higher education or corporate learning environment, these tools have earned their place in the education process as a way of providing flexibility and diversity in teaching and learning options available to students, instructors, instructional designers and other stake holders. It is however important to keep in mind that while the tools continue to evolve, the founding principles of instruction and learning should always ground the learning process.
Tips For Acquiring Training Management Software
Considering buying verses Building Learning Management Systems (LMS) or Learning Content Management System (LCMS)? There are some specific issues for you to consider when deciding on if you should purchase or design your own educational software because e-learning resources should meet specific requirements to include flexibility, performance, and connectivity. The platform should also be efficient and effective.
Homegrown training management software can be appealing because it is tailor-made to for your specific needs. But is it saving or costing you money and effort? To minimize this cost, you would need to identify and detail every feature that would be needed, as well as pinpoint who in the organization will need to have access to the resource. Be sure to outline data and reporting requirements during the implementation and product evaluation process during the development process. Also think about data quality. If you plan to offer e-learning courseware, you need to be sure that it tracks the data you need and in the manner that you want.
If you opt to buy training management software, make sure that available features (custom-built or otherwise) are developed in advance. Don’t assume that the system has built-in features that will suit your all needs. In fact, it is a tricky to assume that all the data you need will be collected by the system unless you investigate its options in-depth. Think about the following questions prior to building or buying the e-learning software:
Try and respond to the following questions as you make your decision? What database outputs will be most important? How will you approach usability testing? What levels of access are important to the different users? How will trouble shooting and debugging be done? What are the important user interface features to have?
Because each of these questions typically has a different answer for each organization, a team should work together to come up with an air-tight plan for the best training management software. Testing should also be conducted throughout the process and piloted on a small scale before being distributed to the entire organization.
Sometimes it turns out that homegrown products are more expensive either to build or maintain. There is also a possibility that the people who build the systems are no longer with the organization and the technical support is thus interrupted. Because of these issues, companies end up looking for off-the-shelf product, with standard support, training, and continuous upgrades and improvements that they can buy rather than build themselves.
One disadvantage of pre-existing software is that it may not always meet your particular training and educational needs. Technical support can be expensive and not readily available when needed. The support features that include licensing and copyright requirements and software updates should be part of the project management teams discussion while the procurement process is ongoing. Whenever it is possible, looking into the customizable, flexible features of off-the-shelf applications is suggested. Most software vendors may have this as an option, so it is a good idea to investigate this further.
Regardless of the option decided upon, it is important to keep in mind that with online training management software for e-learning, there may be additional costs such as training, maintenance, upgrading. At the end of the day, the important thing to determine is the cost-benefit analysis, and of course the value added to the learners, instructors, and teaching and learning process.
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