Six Must Haves in a White Label Learning Management System
What’s the best way for a training provider to deliver their own e-learning content to learners? Perhaps you’ve always done face to face training but now you would like to turn some of your existing materials and ideas into e-learning content? You’d like to generate revenue by enrolling remote learners on your e-learning course.
One option is to use a commercial off the shelf system such as Kallidus. You get to use a well established, mature product with lots of features. You’ll probably pay on a per learner basis - it may be inexpensive at the start but you’ll be handing over a sizable amount when your learning offer begins to take off.
Another option is to use an up and coming off-the-shelf like Skillsby. It emerged out of the white-label LMS world so is mature with lots of features. As a newcomer in the off-the-shelf LMS world it is currently great value for money but may become more expensive as it grows in popularity.
An alternative for many training providers is to use Moodle - a free to download learning management system. Moodle’s a good way to get started but it isn’t really free. It has to be hosted and you’ll need some kind of technical support. It’s also not a good fit for a commercial training provider - it’s roots are in classroom based education, the interface is complicated and it doesn’t have the sales/sign-up features that a commercial training provider might want.
A better option might be a simpler, white label learning management system. One that is tailor-made for the training sector, has good marketing features (course catalogue, self signup, online payments) and is easy to use - learners don’t support with the system. And of course, a ‘white label’ system gives you complete control over branding - it looks like it is your system.
What features should you look for a good white label training management system?
- Complete control over branding. You want the system to look like it’s part of your business. Look for a learning management system supplier that can take your branding and apply it to their LMS. You should expect to pay for this service but it shouldn’t take more than a few days.
- Simplicity. This is really important. Our experience is always that busy end users want fewer features but they also want them to be better. You want a system that showcases your content - that makes it as easy as possible for learners to learn. Tracking is important, notifications that remind learners to complete things are also important, but they should be done in a way that doesn’t frustrate the user.
- SCORM support. Make your own e-learning content SCORM compatible and make sure the learning management system also supports SCORM. Use SCORM and then you’ve still got the option of selling your content outside of the LMS - some of your other clients may already have an LMS. Beware clever proprietary content authoring tools that come with the LMS - they can lock you in.
- Course Marketing, Self-Signup & Online Payments. Three things here but they all really into the sales and marketing bucket. Why not get a learning management system with features that can make it easier for you to promote and sell your courses? You might not want that kind of feature at the start but we’ve worked with training providers that have moved from selling their own e-learning content to employers to selling it directly to home learners.
- Good back office administration tools. You want to be able to add new client organisations, track how they use the system and get feedback on how learners interact with your content. Look for a learning management system that comes with admin features that are well adapted to the way your business works.
- Multi tenancy. This should be standard now. You want one hosted instance of a system that you can use to run multiple client organisations. You get a top level ‘super admin’ account that you use to manage your client accounts.
A white label solution sits between the feature rich but less configurable off-the-shelf solution and the fully bespoke option. It’s an affordable alternative for the training provider that has outgrown Moodle, wants more flexibility than an off-the shelf-solution and can’t justify the investment required for a fully bespoke solution.