If you are looking at driving digital learning then having an eLearning platform is absolutely necessary. There are two ways to go about it. Either you buy a platform which is customized to your needs or you use an open source where while the learning content will be exclusive to your employees the platforms can host learning content of other organizations.
Whether you should buy a platform for your organization or use an open source depends on more than one factors like:
How frequently will the users need to access the platform to go through the courses? If the frequency is consistently high then it makes sense to buy your own LMS or gradually prepare to buy one of your own
If the number of users is huge and across locations it would again make sense to have one’s own LMS. It is cost effective and also easy to manage
The volume of the courses could also be an important criterion to decide if a customized LMS is more viable than an open source or vice versa. If the number of courses that you want to assign are high and to a diverse group of learners managing a customized LMS would be a more efficient way out
An eLearning platform not only helps you facilitate learning among employees but it also helps you make learning management a more efficient process. Learning management as a process can be made more efficient if we are able to assess and validate all the aspects involved like the learner performance, learning hours, course effectiveness etc… Depending on the core purpose of driving learning in your organization you will be able to decide if you need a customized LMS or an open source would be more helpful
The above factors will help you decide if you should use a common source or go for a customized eLearning platform for the courses you want to host.
But these factors are not enough because they just introduce to some aspects of eLearning platforms as there are many more.
So, it is very difficult to answer the question – how to choose the best eLearning platform? Yes, you can look at identifying the platform which may be an appropriate fit for your organization but, the rate at which the landscape of learning and development is changing it would be not be wrong to imagine that the eLearning platform requirements which undergo considerable change too.
Investing on an eLearning platform is a big step while implementing learning and development strategies. It requires consensus, research validation and conviction.
It is not that once investment you cannot change your eLearning service provider, especially if you are careful with the terms of the contract but it is always safe to make informed decisions and constantly validate its outcome.
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