We determined that it was time to change the Learning Management System (“LMS”) that we use to provide OSINT training. Our training practice had evolved and we determined it was time to identify a new solution to deliver our courses that was better aligned with our learner’s needs and our business objectives. This is the first of a series of four posts in a case study where we share our experience from the factors that contributed to our decision to move to a new solution, to the post-launch process. In this edition we’ll cover the reasons why a content provider might choose a new LMS.

The reasons to select a different option for online training can vary from organization to organization. Based on our research of LMS alternatives in general (not necessarily in the solution we previously used), we identified four main reasons:

  1. Navigability for learners: If surveys or comments from learners highlight difficulties such as i) accessing the LMS or that they are having a clunky user experience when trying to login, ii) finding content, including watching and re-watching videos, iii) challenges when completing assessments, or iv) inaccuracies with their progress meters; it is time to consider a different platform.
  2. Capabilities for content creators: The experience of facilitators and instructional designers is another reason to consider a different platform. Some red flags you should consider are: i) whether the existing LMS has the features or functionalities you require. For example, do you need authoring capabilities, e-commerce and reporting; or is the LMS hosting material sufficient for your needs? ii) the tool is difficult to customize for your needs, and you depend on your provider to make minor changes, iii) you use different platforms for other purposes with your learners, and it is difficult or impossible to integrate these other tools into your LMS or iv) you anticipate the LMS will not allow you to scale and grow in the future.
  3. Support: Inadequate technical support from your provider is a driver that is often highlighted as a reason to look for a new solution. Suppose you find that when you contact technical support you receive slow or unreliable answers to your questions. In that case, you might need a platform that has better support from the provider; or is simple and flexible enough for your technical team to resolve any problems.
  4. Cost: In general, there are two types of LMS options. There are very customized solutions that are either partially or entirely designed to meet your particular needs, but these tend to be more expensive. On the other hand, there are general solutions that are more or less flexible and cover the needs of online course creators in different topics and fields. Is your content and delivery format so unique that it requires a very customized solution? If you have the option to embed content, you might need to migrate to a general LMS and customize your courses by investing in different tools that allow you to develop your content.

How to weigh these different reasons depends on your unique experience. For example, sometimes learners are satisfied  with the LMS, but from your point of view, the LMS causes the team many issues and delays. Even if the learners can not identify relevant issues, we strongly recommend you explore your options.

In the next installment of the case study we’ll discuss selecting an LMS. We also invite you to read the posts on How to prepare for migration and  When to launch for further information.