What are the real costs of setting up an LMS for your school or education institution? This article covers four major areas of investment and resource allocation when establishing a new eLearning space in educational environments.
LMS Cost #1 - Implementation
Given the financial constraints that exist within many educational institutions, a budget-friendly LMS is often a priority for educators. When it comes to the costs involved in installing and setting up a Learning Management System, the biggest variable is often whether organizations opt for an open-source or proprietary vendor.
Proprietary LMS platforms charge license fees for access, which are collected on a monthly or annual basis, and may increase with user numbers. For this cost, proprietary models offer maintenance and service support, although levels of support offered can differ between vendors.
Open-source LMS are distributed freely and can be customized right down to the source code by course designers. These platforms are either run by in-house teams, or by managed hosting through providers like Lambda Solutions.
Why yes, we do provide Implementation for open-source LMS platforms such as Moodle and Totara Learn!
While proprietary LMS offer comprehensive coverage and technical support, open-source LMS are often the most budget-friendly option, allowing educators to start small and grow their eLearning offerings over time. For more information on LMS costs, take a look at this post: How to Choose the Best LMS for Your Organization or Business
LMS Cost #2 - Hosting
For educators, LMS hosting costs are an important consideration, not just in terms of financial investment. The decision between cloud-based and self-hosted LMS also affects issues such as user data privacy and the flexibility of your eLearning program.
Cloud-based LMS are SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) platforms hosted by a service provider. This means the system functions across an organization, with users accessing eLearning through login gateways such as a Single Sign-On (SSO).
Self-hosted LMS are installed and maintained by in-house IT teams, which gives organizations with the appropriate expertise more control over their content, and how it can be accessed. Read this post for more details on cloud-based and self-hosted LMS: What is LMS? Learning Management Systems in 2019.
The cost savings involved with cloud-hosted LMS stem from cloud hosting itself. Because software isn't needed on local systems to access the Learning Management System, cloud-based vendors can claim lower start-up costs and a more efficient implementation process.
Self-hosting requires a significant level of in-house technical expertise, and this offers more or less value depending on the skills within an organization's team. Although cloud-based LMS usually require subscription fees, the costs of additional hiring to support and maintain self-hosted LMS outweigh any cloud-hosted vendor. True Cloud hosting also empowers you to provide the fastest and most responsive experience for all your users, regardless of where in the world they are!
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LMS Cost #3 - Onboarding
From an educator’s perspective, onboarding and training new hires is an area where effective teaching strategy can make a substantial impact on costs. The faster new hires are provided with the information they need to succeed, the more cost-efficient training becomes.
Using an LMS to deliver training allows educators to use the latest technology to optimize orientation procedures. Microlearning is a popular eLearning approach that aids onboarding through content ‘chunks’ or ‘nuggets’ designed to support specific learning outcomes.
The flexibility offered through cloud-hosted LMS give learners the freedom to manage their learning pathway, accessible at the point of need. Lambda’s webinar - Microlearning - Why You Should Order the Nuggets! - is perfect for those interested in finding out more about microlearning strategies.
LMS Cost #4 - Support
LMS for education is as susceptible to technical and security issues as eLearning in any other industry. The large number of enrollments supported by Learning Management Systems, as well as the ability of users to access the LMS from multiple locations, makes budgeting for responsive support services a necessity rather than a luxury.
Because unresolved issues risk the smooth-running of eLearning programs, educators value LMS support that is there when they need it, as many times or for as long as it takes to find a solution. Providers that offer unlimited support free educators from operating under a ticketed or per-our support model, helping to create a transparent environment between LMS providers and L&D staff.
Guess who offers unlimited support for all your eLearning technology, from LMS to Analytics to eCommerce? That’s right, we do! See what dedicated, fanatical, expert support can do for your eLearning!
Lambda Solutions has supported educators across industries and institutions as they work to get the most value for users from their eLearning programs. See how Lambda is redefining the future of eLearning through innovation and extreme customer service.