How do you choose education training software? Suppose you have been asked to give your opinion on whether your institution or organization should purchase or build Learning Management Systems or Learning Content Management Systems.
How would you anchor your argument for against either software? There are some specific factors involved in determining the case for whether to buy or use homegrown resources, because e-learning software must meet demanding requirements for performance, flexibility, and connectivity to be effective and efficient. Here we look at tips for acquiring education and training software and learning management systems with a look at buying verses building.
Homegrown educational training software can be appealing because it is tailor-made to for your specific needs. But is it saving or costing you money and effort? To minimize this cost, you would need to identify and detail every feature that would be needed, as well as pinpoint who in the organization will need to have access to the resource.
Be sure to outline data and reporting requirements during the implementation and product evaluation process during the development process. Also think about data quality. If you plan to offer e-learning courseware, you need to be sure that it tracks the data you need and in the manner that you want.
If you opt to buy, make sure that available features (custom-built or otherwise) are developed in advance. Don’t assume that the system has built-in features that will suit your all needs. In fact, it is a tricky to assume that all the data you need will be collected by the system unless you investigate its options in-depth. Think about the following questions prior to building or buying the e-learning software:
Seek to answer the following questions:
- What user interface features are desired?
- What level of trouble shooting and debugging is needed during production and development?
- What levels of access will different users have? How will usability testing be approached?
- What database outputs are needed for training and records?
Because each of these questions typically has a different answer for each organization, a team should work together to come up with an air-tight plan for effective education training software. Testing should also be conducted throughout the process and piloted on a small scale before being distributed to the entire organization.
It is entirely possible for a custom-built learning platform to be more expensive to build and manage. It is turns out that sometimes the programmers who developed the system leave the company and technical support is not readily available. With this sorts of possibilities arising, some organization choose to buy off-the-shelf software where the company provides standard support, regular software updates, and training. It should however be noted that in many cases this extra support comes at an additional cost.
The disadvantage of off-the-shelf training software is that is may not always meet specific training and instructional needs. The technical support can be costly and may not always be readily available. The support that includes licensing requirements and software upgrades should be part of the discussion even before procurement takes place. Where possible, considering off-the-shelf training software that is flexible and customizable should be considered. Many software vendors provide this option, so be sure to check out their terms and conditions.
Regardless of the the learning management system or education training software option that you chose, keep in mind that here may be additional costs in platform maintenance, software updates, and training which will be incurred. So, the company must decide what the return on investments is for the selected education training software option. Also important to keep in mind is the value that the learning management system will add to the organization or company. With more employees going through the training system, more skills and knowledge will be acquired and this translates to the company’s growth and improvement.