According to the network-based media and publishing company, eLearning Industry, any worthwhile learning management system (LMS) ought to be available for a free trial before would-be purchasers are asked to buy it.
It has now gone further by publishing a list of nine tips to help would-be LMS buyers get the best from this trial – and has published a list of the top 20 LMSs whose vendors offer a free trial.
“It’s always best to try before you buy,” advised Christopher Pappas, the owner and founder of eLearning Industry. “Test-driving an LMS enables you to see if its features and functions are worth your investment.”
The nine tips to put an LMS through its paces are:
- Get your L&D team on-board – since they’ll be working with the LMS you buy. Gauge their expectations and which features they require from an LMS.
- Determine which features and functions support your desired outcomes – especially since most LMSs have many features in common. So, you need to “spot the differences” in the LMSs on your shortlist – and see which ones meet your goals and your budget.
- Add real data to the equation – uploading online training content and user data to see how the tool holds up. See how user-friendly the user interface is; if there are compatibility issues with your existing data, and if you’re able to assign user roles with ease.
- Test the customisation features – by incorporating your branding elements, customising the dashboards to ensure that everything goes smoothly, and evaluating the personalisation features.
- Try the system’s support services – since some LMS vendors provide 24/7 customer support at no extra charge while others limit their basic support packages to an online FAQ and user forum. Ensure that the system’s support services meet your needs.
- Develop and deploy a sample project. You may even want to push the LMS platform to its limits to gauge how it handles more extreme tasks.
- Schedule a “Trial Recap” meeting with key players towards the end of the trial – to review the LMS’s abilities and value for money.
- Invite real users to test drive the tool – so you can see how the LMS operates on the front-end instead of merely analysing how it functions in the L&D department. Use surveys, questionnaires, focus group discussions, and/ or interviews to collect user data.
- Follow up with the LMS vendor. You may have unanswered questions after the trial – so schedule a follow-up meeting with the LMS vendor to discuss pricing, additional services, and any other concerns you have.
“It’s important that you and your L&D team find a tool with all the features you require and that aligns with your experience level – so exploring the platform before you make the investment is well worth the effort,” said Christopher Pappas. “That way, you avoid ‘buyer’s remorse’ and ensure that you get the best LMS for your money.
“Of course, choosing and making good use of LMS free trials can be a daunting task. To help you consider your options, you can visit eLearning Industry’s directory of 128 LMSs that offer free trials.”
“There’s also an article on the eLearning Industry site on an LMS’s basic functions and features – as well as an area of the website where you can read, and contribute, customer reviews of the major LMSs on the market.
“However, if you want to ask us, our LMS consultants will evaluate all the options in the LMS market based upon your chosen criteria, such as cost, features, scalability, and so on. Then we’ll produce a list of the LMS software that will best add value to your business,” Christopher said.
According to eLearning Industry’s research, the 20 best LMS vendors offering a free trial of their platform are: Adobe Captivate Prime, Docebo, Northpass, TalentLMS, Litmos LMS, Administrate LMS, GnosisConnect, iSpring Learn, LearnUpon LMS, eLeap LMS, My Learning Hub, UpsideLMS, ScholarLMS, G-Cube LMS, eCoach, Matrix LMS, 360 Learning, Joomla LMS, WizIQ and Teachlr Organizations.
To read the full article on the best LMSs offering a free trial – and the key issues to consider during that trial – visit: https://elearningindustry.com/best-learning-management-systems-lms-free-trials