A LMS is short for a Learning Management System.It is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting and delivery of electronic educational technology (also called e-learning) courses or training programs.
Most business owners recognize the value of training their staff, not the least of which includes productivity, morale, and improved customer service. I’m not talking only about technology training on Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Think new hire orientation, how to use your in-house systems, office procedures and all kinds of business training.
When talking about training, most people think of going to classes or buying a text book. A LMS is a cost-effective way to set up your own e-Learning system, tailored to your specific business. For example a new employee can be directed to take your “Customer Service Basics” course online, in their own time. It consists of two videos that you created, a PDF document of your procedures, and an online quiz that grades them.
There are dozens of online LMS services, but they range in price from $200 to $1,000 per month. I want to explain how you can set up your own LMS for a one-time cost of under $200 and no monthly fees at all! Here goes.
You need four things, some of which you may already have. If you don’t have someone able to assist with the technical parts of the one-time setup, then contact your IT support person.
1. A website hosting provider, like GoDaddy, One and One, and Site Ground.
2. Install WordPress – no charge, public domain software which provides the foundation for the remaining two steps.
3. Install a WordPress plugin called WP Courseware (http://flyplugins.com) which adds full LMS capabilities.
4. Purchase a one year subscription to Screencast-O-Matic (http://screencast-o-matic.com) for $15 which lets you create your own videos.
That’s it. Once installed you can start developing your own private e-Learning system and opening it up to your staff!
I’ve installed over a dozen of these for my clients and the results have been excellent. I Hope you can make use of this terrific technology!