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Do You Need an LMS?

In the last few installments of this blog, we’ve touched on topics that are key to the instructional design process but not discussed as often. A parallel conversation to course development is how to deliver the content.

This question needs to be answered early in the process because it directly impacts many aspects of the design process. So if a client doesn’t have an LMS, the natural question from clients then is, whether they should use one or not. That is a good question, but it depends on a few factors. This article is not an exhaustive look at features and functions of the various learning management systems out there.  It’s a big picture look at when and why a client might or might not want an LMS. (If you have questions about a specific LMS, please feel free to call or email. We’ve spent the better part of the past 10 years working across multiple platforms and you’ll get honest answers)

When we start this conversation with the client, we begin by examining what their needs are. We take a look at their objectives for the course and what they are attempting to accomplish. By taking a look at what they are hoping to accomplish with their learning content we then know the specifications for the delivery platform. And here’s a unique thought, maybe we should let the audience and content drive the delivery mechanism. There are a host of cloud-based delivery tools and we should be looking at what makes the content the most accessible to the learner, although we fully recognize this might give heart attacks to the local IT department. (With apologies to our friends in IT. We recognize you have other security concerns we often don’t want to consider).

Here’s a glimpse at our thinking process when deciding if an LMS is right for a client (in an infographic, of course).

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