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Top Five Pros and Cons of Learning Management Systems

• 6 min read

Learning management systems (LMSs) have been creating quite a buzz lately. Everyone is talking about the different personalization features, pricing models, and user experiences of the various LMS software options. But do they really live up to the hype? The only way to know is by examining the pros and cons of learning management systems.

It can be hard to know exactly what to think when information is coming at you in all directions. It’s best to start with the basics. Learning management systems have pros and cons, just like anything else. How do you know when an LMS is right for your business? Well, weighing the pros and cons of learning management systems against your business’s needs can help you answer that.

We’ll cover:

  • What is an LMS?
  • The top five pros of learning management systems
  • The top five cons of learning management systems
  • How to know if an LMS is right for you

Let’s go over what an LMS is before diving into the top five pros and cons of learning management systems.

What is an LMS?

An LMS is a software tool built to help businesses, educational institutions, and other organizations create, administer, and evaluate learning processes. They can be cloud-based, self-hosted, third-party hosted, or come in the form of a desktop and/or mobile app. Some incorporate elements of social learning like forums and leaderboards.

Different LMS platforms have different features. Finding the right one for your business can take time. However, the first step is using the pros and cons of learning management systems to decide if an LMS is the right solution for your business at all.  

Pros and cons of learning management systems for e-learning

Using a cloud-based LMS as an e-learning platform to create online courses for employee training programs is a great option. Corporate training can be difficult. Making engaging learning content and accommodating different learning styles can also be a challenge.

But a good LMS solution can make creating in-house learning materials easier. Features like gamification can really help with employee engagement and retention. However, an LMS isn’t right for everyone. It’s important to understand the pros and cons of learning management systems before deciding.

Top five benefits of learning management systems

An LMS system can do wonders for your business. This one software application can help in so many ways. Here are the top five benefits of using an LMS.

1. Keep all training content in one place

Businesses spend too much time going from one program or platform to another looking for training materials and documents. All too often, a company will have a mix of document types and formats in a variety of places.

They might use one tool for documents, another for spreadsheets, a third for images, a completely different stand-alone platform for webinars, and so on. This makes things hard to find and organize. Having one place to keep everything is a massive upgrade.

Using an LMS can streamline your workflows by creating one source of content. You can create a virtual classroom with all your company’s learning paths in one convenient place.

2. Guide learners through various online training types

A solid LMS can help you meet all your teams’ specific needs. You can have courses for onboarding, sales training, upskilling, reskilling, and so much more. You can create content that takes your employees from new hires to seasoned vets, all on one platform.

It also allows for the creation of different formats to help visual learners, auditory learners, and hands-on learners. You can create documents, e-books, webinars, quizzes, and whatever else you need to meet your training goals.

3. Online learning makes training more convenient

A user-friendly online learning platform can meet your training needs in ways traditional classrooms never could. Having a web-based LMS that allows employees to log into the user interface from anywhere at any time allows them to work on their schedule and at their own pace.

Some students learn just fine in large chunks. But many prefer small lessons so they can break up their training into microlearning bites. Many even have collaboration tools that make it easy to message colleagues for help or learn as a group.

4. Have assessments and gain insights

With quizzes, feedback forms, and powerful analytics tools, it’s easier than ever to assess employee knowledge, see how well your training materials work, and track progress. This provides insight into what courses are working and what needs some tweaks.

5. It provides continuous and scalable education

In today’s ever-evolving landscape, everything must be as dynamic as possible. As industry standards, product information, and compliance regulations change, your training needs to easily change with it. An LMS makes that possible.

As your business grows, your employees increase, and your needs expand, you need a platform that provides scalability. An LMS can do that with ease.

Top five shortcomings of learning management systems

While an LMS is a powerful tool to have in your belt, nothing is perfect. There are some aspects of having an LMS that can be more of a challenge. Some of these things might be dealbreakers for certain companies.

Just as every LMS has different features and benefits, the drawbacks don’t apply to them all, either. That’s why it’s so important to do your research to find the best LMS for your business.

1. It can take time to learn to use the platform

Any new kind of technology can have a learning curve. Working with a system you’re unfamiliar with always takes some getting used to. However, with an LMS, it can take time for the content creation team and admins to get used to the platform and then for employees to learn to use it effectively. That’s why finding a platform with a user-friendly interface and intuitive navigation is so important.

2. You must invest time and resources in initial educational content creation

Having all your employee training in one place is a wonderful thing. But first, all that learning content must be migrated, created, formatted, and organized into workable learning paths. How long this takes can depend on what content you already have and how easy the LMS you choose makes content creation and/or migration.

The training courses you create initially may not work. The analytics tools will help you identify what is working and what needs help. However, making coherent training programs that effectively teach employees what they need to know can take time and requires trial and error. Again, the right LMS platform will make this as easy as possible.

3. It sometimes requires high-level tech skills and coding knowledge

How user-friendly an LMS is will depend on what you choose to use. Every option has a different level of ease of use. Some do require a decent amount of technical knowledge. There are even those that require knowing how to code. This can be especially true with open-source LMS options.

This may not be an issue for large companies with a dedicated IT team. Smaller companies with more modest resources might want to pick the simplest drag-and-drop option that meets their needs. Integration with tools like a good content management system (CMS) can also help.

4. It can be hard to get all your desired features

Since every LMS has a different mix of features, benefits, and difficulties, every business must understand their needs and find the best LMS for their requirements. It isn’t always easy, though. You may have to rank your desired features by priority and go with whatever ticks the most boxes.

5. It requires an initial investment and may cost more over time

There are many pricing models that an LMS can use. Some work on a freemium model where the base software is free, but extra tools or capacity costs extra. This model often restricts many of the best features behind a paywall.

Other LMS options may operate on a subscription model that costs a certain amount every month or year. The price may vary depending on factors like the number of users you need to have access. Depending on the brand, this can be a very reasonable fee or quite expensive.

Some have licensing fees that may be one-time or annual. Depending on the cost of each option and how many users you need, some companies will find a one-time licensing fee much cheaper, while others prefer the price of the subscription options. When considering this, make sure you factor in the increase in cost if your business expands over time.

Is an LMS the right learning experience for you?

Since the pandemic, everyone has found ways to do things virtually. Businesses realized that having systems in place that only work in person is a liability these days. LMSs have become far more popular and necessary as a result.

However, just because something is popular doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone. You should evaluate your needs and resources to determine when an LMS is a good option for your company. Hopefully, this exploration of the pros and cons of learning management systems has helped you decide if it’s the right tool for you.

Docebo is a versatile LMS made to empower businesses and employees. Contact us to learn how we can help your business, or book a demo today!