Every organisation with an e-learning initiative needs a learning management system (or LMS). From authoring courses to tracking the progress of your students or employees, choosing the right LMS for your purposes is essential to your training program’s success. There are many criteria to consider, from scalability and community-building tools to reporting and course management. The LMS you use doesn’t just affect your ability to create and manage your courses, but it also has an impact on the end user’s experience. Plus, once you’ve committed to the use of a specific platform, you will probably continue to use it over the long haul. Switching from one to the other could prove to be more trouble than it’s worth. It stands to reason you’d want the best tool at your fingertips. What’s the best LMS for 2017? Here are several questions you should ask to find the right solution for you. What Are Your E-Learning Goals? What are you looking to achieve with your training programs? What are the learning needs of your students? What are the short- and long-term objectives for your e-learning initiative? Finding the right LMS begins with assessing your goals and what you hope to accomplish. This will help you determine what platform best matches your developers’ – and students’ – needs. What Skills Or Technical Experience Does Your Development Team Bring To The Table? Are your course authors and developers knowledgeable and skilled at a variety of programming languages, LMS and content management platforms, plugins, and so on? Or, are they, beginners, when it comes to computer software and applications? If your developers aren’t comfortable with the platform they’re using, they will find it a frustrating process to create courses, develop themes, track results, and so on. This will create bottlenecks in your training. It’s best to find an LMS that serves the needs of both your developers and learners. What Limitations Does The LMS Have? There is no one LMS that’s a comprehensive solution. Some will have more features than you need. Some will have fewer. Some will make reporting easy – others won’t. The important thing is to know what you need and what you’re looking for in a LMS. Buying more LMS than you need isn’t necessarily a problem unless price point is a major consideration. The ability to scale up later is something you may end up appreciating as your organisation grows. There are features you may not need now but find a need for later. What Support Does The LMS Offer? Is the LMS updated regularly? Is there sufficient documentation covering how to use and customise it? Are there plugins you can install to extend its functionality? Is there a number you can call if everything goes awry? If there is no support for a specific LMS, there’s probably a good reason for it. It may have been abandoned by its developers. Its users may have found it too difficult to use, or it may have many bugs that need to be worked out. You don’t want to be left with a solution that is no longer maintained and isn’t ready for use within a business or organisation. Conclusion: The Best LMS For 2017 Moodle LMS is still considered one of the most feature-rich, powerful, and recommended LMS tools on the market. It’s free, open-source, and has amazing language support to boot. In the end, you’ll still want to choose your LMS based on what’s right for your business or organisation. You may prefer the interface or feature set of other platforms. You may prefer an industry-specific platform that’s tailored to your exact course development needs. Use the criteria above to find a platform that allows you to put your e-learning program into place without friction.