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Top 10 Weightiest LMS Functional Requirements

lms functional requirements

A Learning Management System (LMS) is multifunctional software used to administrate, analyze, track and document the learning process. It is made to automate the delivery of training courses. More and more companies are investing in this market and implementing this technology, striving to improve productivity and motivate employees’ professional growth. The system has already proven its success in a long-term perspective. 

By the way, you may be interested in the educational project but have not decided which one you need, please find out the difference between LMS vs LCMS vs CMS and choose the one that is right for you.

It is essential to clearly understand the LMS requirements to get an efficient system that will facilitate achieving the goal. It will help to realize the necessity of an LMS.

Classification of LMS System Requirements

Before learning about learning management system functional requirements, it is worth taking a look at how LMS are sorted by all the specifications.

1. Business Requirements for a Learning Management System

More and more companies are striving to empower their employees to grow professionally by providing them with E-learning. According to some research, nearly 42% of companies have decreased their personnel training costs by implementing LMS. The main difference between business and any other requirements lies in focus on reaching the company's goals.

While choosing the right system, organizations consider the following LMS business requirements:

  • Size and specifications of the audience: whether the LMS will be used only for the employees or for the customers.
  • Based on the previous point, one can define an appropriate model of paying for this LMS. When it comes to producing online lessons, paying a fixed price after selling the course makes sense. If the audience is limited to employees only, it is more common to purchase an annual or monthly license.
  • An  LMS vendor’s experience in the company's field may help him offer a unique management system.
  • An appropriate learning strategy, which is based on a concrete business: classic E-learning, combined with in-person studying, or including an online instructor.
  • The vendor’s credibility has to be checked. Online reviews, examples of previous works, the way the customer support team deals with clients — all this can give an idea from different perspectives of one’s professional skills. Even a brief background check helps evaluate the reliability of a company.

Those are some key business requirements for a learning management system. It is also recommended to provide the vendor with a use-case scenario — a written description of how, why, when, and with which outcome the requested LMS should work. 

2. User LMS Requirements

Before choosing or building one’s own learning management system, one should define its future users. They can be employees of different departments, LMS administrators, or some people outside the organization willing to buy a course. A conception of the audience helps determine goals, methods, and types of content training.

Here are some of the most common user LMS requirements:

  • Easy navigation and a simple interface that works equally on multiple devices and browsers. No one has enough time to spend trying to access a particular section of the website with a complicated and impractical interface. Simplicity attracts customers and makes them stay on the platform. Also, it is fundamental for the system to include some visual components — infographics, charts, videos, and pictures.
  • Responsive design for learning features, including user dashboard, messages, activity feed, virtual classrooms, etc. The ability to access the course from any place is one of the most crucial demands for an average user. It is important to consider the possibility of accessing the platform and downloading materials offline. Also, consider the variety of devices and browsers it can smoothly work on. 
  • Customization, which, from the user’s point of view, means unique learning plans, personalized progress reports, subtitles, and the choice of languages. From the organization’s side, it is about the ability to customize the LMS for the company’s needs after purchasing it from a vendor. It includes the possibility to change a color scheme, add your logo and banner, change the page layout, and use HTML templates.
  • Automated analytics for visualizing growth helps measure learning progress and determine whether it needs to be changed. Detailed reports sent via email or diagrams that are shown in a personal account provide data about the time spent on each module or about topics that cause particular troubles. This information is useful for both sides — the user and the administrator, as it gives each one an opportunity to adjust the system and get the whole experience.
  • Payment system, such as monthly or annual subscription plans, licensing fees, free trials, per-course pricing, or per-use pricing. The choice depends on the company’s needs: the same payment model will not be equally suitable for schools and hospitals. It’s worth mentioning that some vendors do not publish pricing details on the website and only offer it upon request.
  • Single Sign-On and secure connection not only guarantee the safety of users’ data but also make the process easier and more enjoyable for everyone, as they can access the entire learning portal with just one click. This is especially relevant when it comes to large companies with a multi-component ecosystem. Once integrated, the system saves the user a lot of time and patience since they no longer have to struggle to remember all the passwords for each platform.

3. Solution Learning Management System Requirements

Solution criteria specify the system’s features that meet the needs of all parties. These aspects are subdivided into functional and non-functional requirements for LMS.

Non-Functional Requirements of Learning Management System represent some general aspects of each LMS, including:

  • Reliability shows how long the system can work without any technical issues leading to the failure of the operation. While investing in an LMS, a company should provide scheduled maintenance and regularly check the average server response time. A stable platform keeps users engaged.
  • The efficiency of use demonstrates the simplicity in operating the system and the time to achieve the goals.
  • Performance relates to how the LMS responds to an increasing volume of users. 
  • Security shows the level of protection against viruses and from illegal access to the database.
  • Availability can be measured by the time when the system's operations are available for users, including the periods of scheduled maintenance.

On the other hand, the functional requirements of LMS focus on the technical characteristics of how the system should act and its functionality. It includes:

  • Scalable content hosting helps update courses and the platform smoothly while the audience is growing. Only the system that has the ability to adapt to the changing needs of a flourishing business is worthу of investment. 
  • Secure data storage is a must, whether it is a cloud-based LMS or an on-premise one. Additional features that help keep the platform safe include advanced data encryption, antivirus and anti-spam software, IP blockers for unwanted addresses, and advanced password authentication with a limited number of attempts to log in.
  • Customization, technical features of the platform, regular updates, and other basic learning management system requirement specifications.
  • The capability to integrate with other software like CRM, Google Analytics, payment systems, etc. There are two types of integration: a native one, which is built in the system, and a third-party one that uses external software. Both of them automate the process by moving the data between platforms.
  • Security software and backup strategy in case of malware attacks. Ideally, the vendor should conduct system vulnerability tests against hacking by third parties.
  • The interface has to be easy to use and simple to analyze. It is easy to lose a learner who gets frustrated and annoyed by a platform that is complicated to use. The key to success lies in minimalistic and responsive design with simple navigation. Also, it needs to adapt to any device.
  • Reliable customer support through a suitable channel should be available. A good vendor provides after-sales services for LMS administrators through all phases, especially during the stages of system integration, data transfer, or migration from the old platform to a new one.
  • Gamification elements such as points, badges, or ratings encourage students to achieve more as they become more engaged in the learning process. It also includes certificates and diplomas at the end of the course. According to some studies, gamification can increase employee engagement by up to 92%.

4. Transition requirements

These are additional LMS conditions, defining necessary steps that a company should make to change the current situation to the desired one. It also includes the right approach to avoid technical integration issues in the process.

Don’t know how to build a learning management system? We are here to help you! Fill in our form to start the solution development rolling.

Top 10 Weightiest LMS Functional Requirements

After diving deeper into the classification of all learning management system conditions, it is time to outline some key requirements.

lms requirements

This LMS requirements list is meant to give one an idea of where to concentrate the attention in the first place.

  1. The automated analytic and report system. Without monitoring the progress, studying might be frustrating and inconsistent. Self-evaluation allows the user to grow and become more engaged. As for the LMS administrators, automated reports help them understand when and where certain adjustments are needed.
  2. Gamification. Certificates, points, and badges encourage users to learn more, and it generates healthy competition. Also, the system should include software that triggers an automatic reward for a student after completing some parts of the course.
  3. Scalable Content Hosting. It simplifies the process of upgrading the system to meet the altering company’s needs. The right LMS must easily adapt to the changes and handle a huge amount of learners accessing the platform simultaneously.
  4. Integration ability. The system must not work autonomously, but it can exchange the data with third-party applications. Synchronizing platforms automate the work and create new possibilities for your business. Without integration capability, there is a risk of losing data, unproductive performance, and, therefore, losing time and money.
  5. User-friendly interface. Buttons, icons, search bars — everything has to be functional, easy to navigate, and simple to use for an average learner. It needs to adapt to any device since the mobile learning market is going sky-high.
  6. The right subscription plan. While selecting one, it is important to take into consideration the needs of a particular organization, its audience, and its goals. For instance, pricing models such as per learner and per month/year work effectively for business. Per-course subscriptions are suitable for some specific industries where employees need a certification or a refresher course — it can be hospitals or factories. The best choice for large businesses would be purchasing a license to set up and use the software.
  7. Single Sign-On. This function will spare employees from the burden of memorizing and inputting different passwords for every platform of the company's ecosystem. Also, it enhances data security because the majority of learning management systems with SSO operate with advanced data security. Hence, it eliminates the risk of stealing the data or hacker attacks.
  8. An encrypted connection should be provided through the HTTPS protocol and secure data storage, including advanced encryption, antivirus and anti-spam software, IP blockers, and advanced password authentication. No one is immune from emergencies. Therefore, a good vendor has constantly monitored data centers with all necessary equipment and redundant power supply systems. They should also provide regular data backup to ensure everything is safe.
  9. Customization. It is important to understand whether the company wants to design a platform from scratch with a corporate style or if it is enough to just change a color palette and upload a logo. Every vendor offers different kinds of personalization functionality.
  10. General course management. Basic points to understand from the very beginning: how the company plans to organize the process of registering and adding new students — by themselves or by the administrator. Which materials and formats are going to be used: PDF, docs, videos, audio, infographics, etc. — the LMS should support all the E-learning formats. Which learning model is more suitable for the organization’s needs: pure online learning, a mixed approach, or the one with the instructor.

Choose the Right LMS: Learning Management System Requirements Checklist

Based on our experience in learning management system development, we have created an LMS requirements checklist to help businesses choose the right one. That is what one should be looking for in the learning management system.

  • Single Sign-On and secure connection through the HTTPS protocol
  • Automated analytics
  • Cloud-based LMS or an on-premise one
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Customization
  • Compliance
  • Scalable Content Hosting
  • Easy integration
  • Subscription plans and pricing
  • Gamification
  • Learning model: classic E-learning or a combined one

We will be happy to advise on how to develop or select requirements for your LMS system. Contact our team of experts, it's free and fast.

Our Advice in Choosing an LMS

Before choosing and implementing the LMS, it is vital to visualize the company’s goals to achieve by using one. Writing a comprehensive use-case scenario might help a potential vendor understand the client’s needs — from the system's design to the results it is expected to bring.

Do not neglect online reviews, and take the time to make a background check on a potential vendor. The best would be to talk to previous customers about their experience of dealing with a particular vendor. Free trials also allow you to check if the system and the vendor have the potential to meet your business needs. To avoid wasting your free trial, it is helpful to create a list of functions and aspects you would like to test. 

We at HuskyJam, when developing a custom LMS system, carefully investigate the client's business processes in order to make the most of all the necessary options. For example, let’s take a look at our wonderful educational platform for Google Russia and Sberbank which offers anyone interested in doing and creating business-free courses on various aspects of doing business. Here you can read the details.

learning management system requirement

Sometimes enterprises need to not only develop a new LMS system or choose a ready-made product but also make a migration from the previous LMS system to the new one. LMS migration involves different risks, such as data loss. How to implement a safe and effective migration from one LMS system to another - please, read our article

Ready to start your E-learning idea? We are here to help you choose LMS functional requirements for your project. Drop us a line and we'll return fast.

Conclusion

Recent years have shown us that the future belongs to online education. The competitive market of E-learning is constantly developing, and the LMS market is projected to reach $38.10 billion by 2027 as opposed to $8.76 billion in 2019. It is the organization's choice to implement a new system, but all the economic forecasts confirm that it cannot be ignored and is worth trying. However, it is important to trust this task to a reliable company with experience building the LMS from scratch.

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