How to Choose the Right Learning Management System (LMS)

If you’ve ever created an information product, written a “how to” article, or attempted to teach anyone something you know, you’ve probably discovered that the best way to do so is via some form of interactive learning. Today, interactive learning goes far beyond webinars. An individual can actually create a course and perform the delivery of that course just as well as a huge university via online learning software called a learning management system (LMS).

An LMS includes the ability to upload videos and presentations as well as text-based documentations. A good LMS will allow for discussions via discussion boards and chats (between students and between instructors and students), and even allow for live teaching with a whiteboard. Plus, they usually have collaboration tools such as wikis, shared documents and more.

Webinars are great, but they are often very one sided. Someone creates a presentation, sets a time to deliver it live, then the students show up, watch the presentation, maybe participate in a short Q & A session and then it’s over. While that is somewhat interactive, it’s not really giving everything that a student needs to learn something. The webinar experience can be somewhat anticlimactic. Using a fully integrated LMS can be the answer you are looking for to teach your students.

No matter the reason you want to teach others, choosing an LMS takes some thought and knowledge.

To choose the right kind of LMS for your needs, consider the following:

* Do you want to make money? – If you want to earn money from your courses then you need to choose a system that enables you to do so easily. Some LMS include the ability to charge for courses already included, while some do not. If this is one of your main goals, to make money from your courses, be sure that a solution can be easily created.

* Do you want to teach in an asynchronous or synchronous environment? – Some systems only allow for live webinar-like courses, while others will allow you to upload the lessons that your students can access anytime they want to. Some LMS allow for both types of learning. Know up front if this is something you need or not.

* Do you want accessibility anywhere with multiple devices? – Some types of LMS require a particular type of computer or access to a specific computer, and other LMS are cloud based which means they’re accessible from anyplace with an internet connection. Consider your audience and what will work best for them and you as the instructor.

Whether you’re a life coach, a baker, an information marketer or someone else who has information to teach others, using an LMS can be the answer to creating truly interactive courses that your clients really learn from. It’s a better way to impart information that students will walk away from feeling empowered. As a teacher you’ll feel good knowing that you left no stone unturned in helping your clients truly learn the information you want them to learn.

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