Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The 10 Commandments of an Elearning Management System.

Are you ready to embrace elearning as a tool to enhance your training program?

Before you invest in the right elearning management system for you – it’s important to do the research.

Because elearning is a 5 billion dollar industry... you should know that there are thousands of solutions out there for you to pick from. With such a large pool of tools, how do you know which one is right for you?

Not every system can help you. Some systems are very large, complex and expensive. Others are very small, simple and cheap. The scale is vast. Some are priced according to the number of users. Some charge a flat fee for using the system. Some are hosted solutions and others are software implementations.

What works well for some, may not work well for you and your specific needs. There are many benefits to using a “hosted” tool over one that is “purchased” and integrated into your own Intranet infrastructure.

You need to know which will work better for you, before you spend a dime.

What I would recommend you do first is to identify your business goals and objectives and start the research on elearning management systems that fit those objectives.

Need help? Here are the Top 10 Commandments for the right elearning management system.

1. Thou shall be able to create courses or course folders in a systematic approach, to keep your training program organized and simple to access.

2. Thou shall be able to add documents to those folders (WORD documents, PDF’s, EXCEL spreadsheets, videos, etc., easily, quickly and seamlessly.

3. There must be an examination tool to “test” their knowledge.

4. There must be a powerful mechanism to create elearning presentations that engage and interact with your trainees for a full-contact experience

5. You material must identify with the four modalities of learning (everyone learns differently... reading, listening, watching, experiencing). Your material must “speak” to everyone, regardless of how they learn best.

6. Thou shall be able to create surveys – to elicit feedback from your group

7. Thou shall be able to create certifications and performance appraisals

8. Thou shall be able to have people register for your classes when training offsite or running an instructor-led classroom.

9. There must be a robust tracking system that scores and tracks performance in real-time, saving you time and money.

10. Depending on your business infrastructure – you’ll need to decide whether to go with a hosted or non-hosted solution.

Again, because each system is different – there’s no guarantee what you’re going to get – if you don’t’ first do the research.

And so when investing in elearning, it is important to identify these 10 items first before you explore and head into other areas and options. These 10 items will ensure that you have a strong foundation for your elearning management system and program.