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 are lots of learning management systems (LMS) out there – but they weren’t created equal.  

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. 

We’re going to resist the urge to be too biased here – instead, here are the top 10 things you should look for when trying to find a great LMS: 

1. Features

Your LMS is much more than a virtual library. It’s a central learning hub where users should be able to 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. Make sure this functionality can be aligned to meet the specific needs of your organisation 

2. Mobile functionality

Mobile functionality is a must-have for any good LMS. Find a system with a cross-platform appso leaners can train anytime, anywhere, on any device to maximise their performance. Also make sure you get good offline storage, as well as snap-and-sync technology so learners can continue to train even when they're offline. 

3. Real-time reporting

Save yourself the pain of using a system that's so slow you need to run reports overnight! Choose a slick software that draws data from across your platform and generates real-time reports in seconds. 

4. Ease of use

You need a system that makes it as simple as possible to accommodate developments in technology. The best reviewers are those who already use a system – talk to them and read case studies to get an accurate picture of customer satisfaction  

5. Flexibility

Everyone learns differently, so a good LMS should include options to configure accessibility, display settings and evidencing methods to suit a wide range of courses, learning styles and accessibility needs. 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 resist the false economy of a ‘quick fix’ and think more about the long termreturn on investment your new LMS might 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 onto a winner! 

7. Regular updates

Software can become out of date quite quickly, so you need to choose a proactive, forward-thinking provider which will make regular updates to the system throughout the year to fix any bugs and improve functionality. 

8. Integrations

Great LMSs will integrate with most major HR, MIS and admin systems to sync data automatically. This will make life easier as you won't have to keep switching between two systems. You might have to pay an extra cost for custom connections to be built, but you won’t regret the associated time and cost savings.

9. Excellent support

Learning never stops, so it’s important your software provider offers round-the-clock support, and resources like user guides and online training. Check feedback and choose 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. 

OneFile is an all-in-one learning and development platform which combines a VLE, training eportfolio, CPD tracker and live reporting suite. 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 2022 Queen’s Award for Innovation. 

To find out more about OneFile, download our brochure. 

Download brochure

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

Book a demo

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.