What makes a good learning management system (LMS)?

LMSs come in all shapes and sizes – but finding one that ticks all the boxes for your organisation can be a challenge.

What makes a good learning management system (LMS)?


There's a lot of learning management systems out there.

From global interfaces to niche systems, LMSs come in all shapes and sizes – but finding one that ticks all the boxes for your organisation can be a challenge.

So to help you in your search, we've compiled a list of the top 10 things to look out for in a great LMS:

1. Features

Your LMS is much more than a virtual library. It’s a central learning hub where users can access all the training tools they need in one place. Look for an all-in-one platform packed full of useful features – from quiz builders to live dashboards. With the right system at your fingertips, the possibilities are endless!

2. Mobile functionality

It's hardy a new trend, but mobile functionality is a must-have for any good LMS. Find one with a cross-platform app so leaners can train anytime, anywhere, on any device. Also look out for offline storage and snap-and-sync technology so learners can continue to train even when they're offline.

3. Real-time reporting

Don't use a system that's so slow you need to run reports overnight! Find a slick software that draws data from across your platform and generates real-time reports in seconds.

4. Ease of use

Adapting to new technology is always a challenge, so finding a simple system that's easy to use is really important. Speak to other users and read case studies to see what their current customers think.

5. Flexibility

Everyone learns differently, so a good LMS should adapt to the user. You need a system that has custom accessibility, flexible display settings and multiple evidencing methods to suit a wide range of courses and learning styles. Look out for an LMS that can be used for training, learning and assessment together.

6. Cost-effective

Initial cost is important, but try to think more about the return on investment your new LMS will deliver. Will it save paper, printing or storage costs? Will it reduce admin time? Will it increase staff productivity? If the answer to these questions is yes, you're on to a winner!

7. Regular updates

Most technology becomes out of date quite quickly, so a great software provider will make regular updates to the system throughout the year to fix bugs and improve functionality.

8. Integrations

A great LMS will integrate with most major HR, MIS and admin systems and sync data automatically. This will make life easier as you won't have to keep switching between two systems. You might have to pay for custom connections to be built, but it's well worth the extra cost!

9. Excellent support

Like with any software company, it's important to know your LMS provider has your back. Do they offer round-the-clock support? User guides? Online training? Find an LMS with an excellent reputation for customer service and technical support so you can make the most of your new LMS.

10. Live Demo

An LMS is a major part of your elearning strategy, so it's always wise to try before you buy! During a live demo you can take a look around the software, see how it can be customised to suit your organisation and ask questions to the sales team.


Combining a VLE, training eportfolio, CPD tracker and live reporting suite, OneFile is an all-in-one learning and development platform. It’s one of the most versatile systems on the market, ideal for all kinds of vocational training. Plus, it's backed by technical support experts, a fully native app, unlimited integrations and the 2017 Queen's Award for Innovation.

To find out more about OneFile, download our brochure.

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Or for a guided tour around the software, book a free live demo.

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This article includes research and opinion sourced by OneFile at the time of publication. Things may have changed since then,
so this research is to be used at the reader's discretion. OneFile is not liable for any action taken based on this research.