Which Learning Management System?
Part 1: Recommendations

Blog Post: LMS

There are over 600 LMSs (Learning Management System) on the market. You may also know them as VLEs or Learning Platforms – just to add even more confusion. In this series of blogs, I’ll be taking you through the process of finding the right one for you. I’ll talk about seeking recommendations, help you define your requirements and offer tips for researching LMSs.

Part 1: Learning Management System recommendations

I often see posts on LinkedIn along the lines of “I’m looking for an LMS, what do you recommend?” If we applied the logic of this question, to something else, let’s say a car, then you’d realise you can’t possibly make a recommendation without finding out a little bit more information first.

Without that information you could be recommended anything from a Lamborghini Aventador to a Fiat Multipla because one person will value and be able to afford a very fast, colourful sports car, whereas the other person doesn’t care if their car is ugly like the Fiat (not my words Carol, the words of Top Gear Magazine) but they really want three seats in the front.

We can assume that all cars have wheels, seats and a gearbox. These things that make it recognisable as a car. The Lamborghini only has 2 sporty bucket seats though, whereas the Fiat Multipla has 6 high positioned seats so a car “having seats” is not enough for a recommendation.

If you have three kids, a bad back, a £2000 budget and you aren’t bothered about the way your car looks, then the Multipla is now a sound recommendation. If you’re a single footballer on £200k a week and you just want something colourful to show off in then the Lamborghini is for you.

Now apply that logic back to LMSs. You will find that some features will be standard across 99% of the 600+ systems, but they may function in very different ways. When you get into the non-standard functionality, it can get even more complicated and confusing.

So if you want a Learning Management System recommendation:

  • Define what you actually need it to do first. We’ll be looking at this in more detail in part 2
  • Talk to someone who understands the functionality and has used/tested lots of LMSs, don’t just ask LinkedIn. It’s the equivalent of talking to Jeremy Clarkson versus asking your friends who have only driven Mazdas their entire life, as well as sending a blanket email to all the car dealerships (you WILL be bombarded with LMS companies telling you their system is the best).

By the way, Spokes Education offers a free, no-obligation, non-biased consultation to help you establish your LMS requirements and point you in the right direction.