Selecting a learning management system (LMS) for your organization is no easy feat. The market is brimming with endless options, and the lightning speed at which technology is advancing can have us fit to be tied.

Combine that with the significant impact a purchase like this has on a business, and it becomes crystal clear why the research phase of the LMS buying process can be bemusing and lengthy.

So where do you start?

We’ve taken a non-biased look at the “must haves” for learning management systems (LMSs), so you know exactly what features to look for to best serve your mission-critical initiatives.

LMS Must Haves

Play Nicely With Others

Just like with your AMS, your LMS needs to be able to integrate with other platforms to deliver a stellar learner experience. When talking to vendors, ensure their solution includes an open application programming interface (API) that easily allows your association to offer both single sign-on to your members, while also sharing data back to your main system of record.  

Dress for the Job You Want

First impressions are hard to forget, so make sure your LMS presents a friendly face. You’ll want customizable learning portals that mirror your organization’s branding, easy search functionality, and personalized classrooms that leave members feeling like you’re most definitely the association for them.

Be Easy to Learn From

Not all learning management systems are created equally. Look for an LMS that can do everything you need it to, from live streaming of in-person educational sessions and on-demand recordings; to quizzes, evaluations, and certificates; to mobile-friendly access.

Be Engaging

Do you make learning fun? Your LMS can enhance a member’s online learning experience if the right tools are in place. Look for features like live webinar polls, attendee chat and Q&A functionality, and the ability for presenters to screen share.

Happy Staff, Happy Members

Your LMS should be a tool your staff is excited to use. Check out the usability experience from an administrator perspective. Functionalities like report libraries, access to member profiles, and ability to offer special discounts and deliver refunds can make a huge difference in your staff’s workload.

Call Us When You Need a Friend

Any vendor you choose should treat you like a VIP. Your LMS partner should be no different. Look for LMS vendors who provide support to both your staff and your members. Ask questions about daily support, ongoing training, and how responsive the team will be to your needs. Remember, you’re a paying customer and deserve the best. Talk to your association peers and ask for references to get an unbiased gauge.

For a complete look at our LMS must haves and accompanying checklists, download our comprehensive guide here.

If you’re interested in taking a deep dive into the key features to look for in an AMS and LMS, and how to make the most out of your software, join us on Monday, September 26 at 2 p.m. ET for the interactive webinar, “Efficiency Made Easy: The Strategic AMS + LMS.”