Why you should develop a bespoke learning management system to deliver compliance training to multiple clients
From time to time we get asked to develop a bespoke learning management system for a training provider that wants to use e-learning to deliver compliance type training to multiple client organisations. Most of those training providers are already using an established off the shelf system - either Moodle or a commercial Software as a Service (SaaS) solution.
A bespoke learning management system can be the right platform for delivering e-learning compliance training because:
- You can save money. We use a lot a pre-built components when we develop applications. It's definitely possible to build a bespoke learning management system for less than what you might be paying a commercial provider if you already have a lot of learners and you're paying on a per learner model. The bespoke system can pay for itself in one or two years.
- The real value of what you do is in your e-learning content. Our experience is that users really want simpler systems - fewer features not more. The learning management system can be streamlined - focused on delivering your e-learning content and tracking progress. And it can fit your business model - you can manage multiple clients with a multi-tenancy application, each client or 'tenant' only sees its own users and courses.
- You can build a minimum viable product quite quickly and then add more features - online payments for example - later. Again, you start simple with the learning management system and instead invest more in the development of engaging content.
- You have the option of making the interface between the learning management system and the content proprietary instead of standards based. Most of our clients want SCORM compliant systems but we have occasionally been asked to develop slightly more sophisticated ways to interact with bespoke e-learning content. There's a case for doing that if you want to create more online assessments that need to be marked by remote tutors.
- You can invest a bit of effort in developing good features around tracking and reporting progress. Organisations usually want to know who's completed compliance training, they also want email reminders that go out to users when their training has to be revisited, perhaps once a year. With a bespoke system you could configure the email alerts on a client by client basis if that's the way your business works.
Training providers come to us because they're looking for a solution that's a better fit with their business - sometimes they want a simpler solution because they get feedback from clients that Moodle is too complicated or perhaps their clients request new features that their existing commercial LMS provider doesn't want to implement. With the right approach - modern web development tools and pre-existing components - it's possible to build a high quality custom learning management system surprisingly quickly at at a very reasonable cost.