Many associations and chambers have considered adding a learning management system (or LMS) to their tech ecosystem, especially if their industry is focused on continuing education and certifications. Using an LMS simply makes it easier for staff to administer programs and for members to complete them.
But, finding the right combination of cost, accessibility, and functionality in an LMS that’ll accomplish organizational goals can be tricky. Here are some do’s and don’ts that should send you down the right path:
Do keep user experience top of mind. That means for your learners, and you, the administrator! Without a great user experience, you’ll be hard pressed to get anyone to actually use the system. Find a platform that’s easy to navigate, loads quickly, will match the look and feel of your existing website, and allows you to send important data to and from your association management software.
Do choose a platform that’ll pay for itself. Adding software will always come with a cost, but an LMS in particular is poised to bring money into your organization, too. A robust platform that can easily grant different levels of access is key to increasing membership value by adding LMS access to your benefits package, while earning non-dues revenue with paid access for non-members. (That functionality, combined with an already affordable rate, is a huge win!)
Do your homework on the provider. What’s their reputation? Do they provide other services? What do their customers say about them? What will their role be in the onboarding process? You want to partner with a company that’s known for having excellent customer service, as well as a number of options for training and support.
Don’t assume an LMS has to be used for traditional “learning” management only. Built-in functionality for administering courses and tracking continuing education credits, while key to any learning management system, may not be key to your goals. That said, an LMS is still an amazing platform for simply hosting all of the valuable content you have (videos, white papers, webinars, etc.) in one place for members to access.
Don’t be intimidated. Getting started with an LMS can sound like a lot of work, but if you do thorough research focusing on the above traits, getting started should be a cinch. Move forward with a platform that makes it easy to dive right in!
Hopefully, these do’s and don’ts will get you started on a short list of learning management software that make sense for your organization.
If you’re excited about the value that this type of content delivery platform could provide to your members, but you’re not entirely sure how you’d make best use of it, we have the guide just for you! Download the 3 Simple Steps to Creating an Online Learning Program below:
This article was originally published on 3/19/19; updated on 11/17/20 for added value.