Finding the right learning management system (LMS) for your organisation, education institution, or business can be a challenging process.
It is an exercise that requires time and diligence to make sure that whatever LMS you choose will answer the challenges you are facing now, and into the future, support potential growth and innovation.
So, what should you look out for when you are searching for an LMS, be that of Moodle or others?
Moodle Partner in the US, Canada, Caribbean and Africa, eThink Education, recently conducted a panel webinar with Moodle users in the higher education sector to find out what are some of the points you can consider in your LMS evaluation process.
First, let’s meet the Moodlers and their tips for finding the right LMS:
Norwich University is a private university located in Northfield, Vermont. It is the oldest private military college in the United States. The university was founded in 1819 and is the oldest of six senior military colleges.
Norwich University started using Moodle as their chosen LMS between 2003 – 2004. Their main focus in terms of finding the right LMS is one that supports campus faculty and their students, and is quick and easy to learn.
In addition, due to the nature of the faculty, their chosen LMS needed to provide freedom in terms of facilitating blended courses through to fully online courses.
After going through six different LMS until they arrived at Moodle, Norwich University has the following lessons and tips to share when it comes to choosing the right LMS for your institution:
- Find out the criteria and standards that your faculty need for online programs. At Norwich it was focused on an LMS that is student-centric and is affiliated with support and customer service (through a Moodle Partner for example).
- From the focus areas it is then possible to further expand what the faculty would be looking for:
- An LMS that is built on technology that is transparent and would never get in the student’s way for learning or the faculty’s capacity to teach (student-centric).
- To meet the above and also the criteria for expert support and customer service, the University looked to work with a Moodle Partner who knew more about Moodle than they did who could also help them to creatively use new or existing tools to expand and push boundaries to create a continually dynamic learning environment.
Overall, Norwich’s advice for finding the right LMS?
Create a detailed Request for Proposal that outlines what you are looking for in terms of a service area, infrastructure and system administration, system and technical support, system update, integration and customer support services.
University of Northwestern, St Paul
The University started using Moodle in 2006, after making a switch from another LMS and realising their need to expand to meet the requirements of students and educators.
Northwestern’s advice on finding the right LMS included:
- Identifying a dollar to dollar comparison between hiring an internal IT system to do everything for their LMS to working with a professional who knows Moodle well and can respond quickly to their needs.
- Identifying the pain points that you would like to solve with a new LMS and note growth plans that you would like to see be implemented with the right LMS.
- Look at the “extras” that an LMS brings with it. In the case of Moodle, the fact that our open-source learning platform is super flexible and supported by a global community developing plugins is attractive. It means that there are opportunities to share and collaborate to expand your systems.
So there you have it, advice from two Moodle-using institutions on how they chose Moodle and eThink Education as their learning platform and Partner respectively.
Want to know more detail about procurement processes and get more tips?
Watch the webinar from eThink.