When performing due diligence around Learning Management System vendors (LMS), there’s a lot to consider, features to compare, and people to please. It’s a tough job! We tip our hats to the technology-mavens who make it look so effortless. For the rest of us, don’t despair; we’ve got your back with this handy LMS Evaluation Guide.

Start by brainstorming the needs that will make a difference to your instructors and students. Next prioritize those needs. If it helps, put them into buckets: Mission Critical, High Priority, Nice to Have, etc. This will help to make the evaluation a bit more manageable. Finally, determine which learning management system (and partner) will best suite your unique campus needs.

Certainly, one item on your list of priorities will be the company’s track record of and toward innovation. Why is this such an important difference and comparison to make?

Technology is shaping all levels of education today at an increasingly rapid and disruptive pace. Instructors build their courses online and are constantly using and sharing content. Those courses are delivered online at an increasingly frequent rate. Whether delivered fully online or not, courses often include an element of (or an assist from) technology: a video that underscores a point made in class, or a remote expert serving as a guest lecturer. Some or all of a course’s students may be remote, attending class in real-time or in self-paced mode. Wherever they are, students sign up for courses, check grades, collaborate on assignments, conduct their research, and get support online.

When evaluating LMS competitors, learn as much as you can about what’s happening in the rapidly evolving world of LMS technology including:

  • Real-time engagement with students in virtual and blended environments
  • Access via new devices – smartphones, tablets, etc.
  • Support for live collaboration
  • Use of digital and interactive content
  • Personalization of learning
  • A proven track record
  • The ability to demonstrate educational and professional outcomes

From the list of Learning Management System vendors will emerge one strategic partner. Be sure to find out what they are doing to further and embrace innovation. Look back and look forward to see what impact they have made and are planning to make in the delivery of education. It’s an exciting world that’s hard to keep up with so put your vendor to work and make sure all your questions are answered so that your institution gains the best learning experience available.

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