Choosing an LMS for your RTO can be tricky. Invest in the wrong one, and you could end up in a world of pain. Despite the growing number of platforms on the market, only a few offer sufficient features to help RTO’s easily deliver quality training. I’ve worked in five RTO colleges prior to freelancing, so I know how time-consuming and painful it can be to use a clunky LMS.
Most LMS’s will have three main types of users: trainers, students, and administrators.
Trainers must be able to perform tasks such as:
- create and manage online training courses
- easily upload training content such as PDF’s, audio, video, and presentations
- create and edit student assessments and quizzes (self-marking is ideal) with due dates
- grade (mark) student assessments and send individual or group feedback
- monitor student progress and academic results
- generate student grading and analytics reports
- interact and communicate with students and staff via messaging and forums
While students must be able to:
- learn on the go by accessing training content easily and quickly
- check their attendance and course progress
- check assessment deadlines
- review assessment feedback and results
- communicate with their trainers via messaging, forums or assessment feedback
- communicate with other students via messaging and forums
Administrators, on the other hand, need to be able to:
- manage the backend of the LMS easily by performing routine updates and backups
- manage student and trainer information
- generate reports and activity logs
Now that you’re aware of the features, here are a few more points to think about before choosing your LMS:
- your budget and how much you’re willing to spend on a new LMS; some LMS’s are open source (free) but you’ll have to pay for customisation whilst others come ready-made out of the box and are pricier
- your student’s needs; think about how your students will use and interact with your LMS
- your training content; consider the type of content you’ll upload and use on your LMS
- ongoing technical support; most LMS platforms except open source will offer a version of technical support dedicated to assit you with bugs, errors or maintenance
One stand out open source LMS platform, currently used by over 100,000 colleges around the world is Moodle. It’s open source and completely free however you’ll need to employ a developer experienced in Moodle to help you set up and install Moodle. By using an Australian company like Moodlin, you can rest assured that your LMS can be up and running in no time. Moodle has a directory of over 1000 plugins, like WordPress, which means you can easily customise Moodle to your heart’s content. Moodle also boasts responsive free modern themes, meaning your LMS can be customised to match your RTO branding and website.
And with integrations for popular RTO student management systems, including Wisenet, Axcelerate, Vettrak and more, you won’t have to worry about transferring studnet data manually. What’s not to love?