Online Training Software: Is It Something Your School Should Consider?

Category: Learning Management Software

qnaA private college wants to know if LMS is for them:

“We’re a mid-range private college in the West Coast offering Liberal Arts. Many of our students belong to low-middle to low income households. We want to start an LMS program to, first, help working students, and two, to help us expand our student population. What can you advise?” – Suzette Hickins, San Diego, CA.

My first advice is to drill down further on your objectives. How do you want an LMS program to help working students? Here are some possibilities:

  • They minimize travel cost so they save money. In this case, make sure the LMS subscription (I assume you’ll be charging extra cost) is lower than if they have to travel to go to your school
  • They can get creditable subjects at a lower price. In which case, make sure your online courses have the same earned credits as your regular curriculum.
  • They can catch up with regular students with complementary online “companion books” or workshops.

Secondly, how do you choose to use the online training software? Again, here are some scenarios:

  • create an online version of existing courses, it’s a simple matter of migrating content into the online training software
  • develop an online course or workshop that complements an existing course
  • create a new set of courses online

Whatever your goal, ask yourself these questions:

What resources do the students have?

Your LMS program will only work if your students have the resources to go online. You mentioned that a big chunk of your student population belongs to the lower income class. Do they have Internet connection at home? What mobile or desktop platforms are they using? These are important points to consider in your review of the best or top of choice online training software for your school.

Do you have the market?

LMS can help you market your courses globally, but it may not be applicable in your case. How far away is your market? Within the city only or state or the west coast? Identifying your market will help you do a better comparison of online training software. The larger your projected student population, the more robust LMS features you’re likely to need (higher number of users, more license fees, more access channels, etc.).

Do you have support from teachers?

One key factor to earn your teaching staff’s support is to give them an LMS with simple and intuitive functionalities. They should not be turned down by having to learn technical specifications of the online training software. You should also let them try first the LMS using a free or demo version to gauge their reaction.

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Running an LMS program may be similar to running a small business. Expect to wear different hats to jump start it at your school, including learning how to use the more advanced LMS software today. Good luck!

By Jenny Chang

Senior writer at FinancesOnline who writes about a wide range of SaaS and B2B products, including trends and issues on e-commerce, accounting and customer service software. She’s also covered a wide range of topics in business, science, and technology for websites in the U.S., Australia and Singapore, keeping tabs on edge tech like 3D printed health monitoring tattoos and SpaceX’s exploration plans.

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