2 Checklists: Selecting the Right LMS

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In last week's 7 Second Survey, Academic Impressions asked academics to comment on their learning management system (LMS). 184 academics responded.

What they told us:

  • 33% of respondents were unhappy with their current LMS. Asked why, they cited lack of user-friendliness, "clunkiness," and lack of flexibility for their needs.
  • 34% were also unhappy with their institution's current process for selecting an LMS, and they cited minimal faculty involvement in the process.

We asked Thomas Cavanagh, associate vice president of distributed learning at the University of Central Florida, to comment on the findings. Cavanagh and his team recently underwent an LMS review and selection process, including external consultations, vendor demos, comparative feature checklists, pricing, etc.

Cavanagh reacted especially to the second finding--that over one third of academics responding to our survey expressed a need for more faculty involvement in the LMS selection process.

"My experience is that you almost can't have too much faculty involvement. The faculty are the front lines who will be using this system. If they are not comfortable with the usability, the features, and the affordances of that particular system, it will be very difficult to make that LMS successful at your institution. Involve faculty as early as possible."
Thomas Cavanagh, U of Central Florida

So how do you ensure that your review of possible LMS platforms doesn't miss any critical steps? Cavanagh offers two short checklists to get you thinking:

  • A checklist with 8 questions to ask vendors during the LMS selection process
  • A checklist with 6 questions to ask your faculty during the LMS selection process

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