Responsive e-learning  is currently one of the most widely discussed topic in the domain of e-learning. From the pain of manual pinching and zooming to adjust the contents on the screen, the responsive e-learning design offers a big relief as it helps the learners to enjoy a seamless experience across the devices as the contents gets automatically adjusted to the different screen sizes.

If you closely observe the evolution of responsive learning, you can see that the shift to responsive learning was influenced by several factors or drivers. Some of the most influential ones are:

1.Increasing number of mobile users and people using mobile devices to access the internet.

2.Organisations increasingly promoting BYOD policy.

3.The development and growth of the mobile network infrastructure and systems enabling users to access information through internet.

4.Increased growth and adoption of mobile learning

As you may be aware, for responsive learning, an organization essentially requires a responsive LMS. Know more about what is a responsive LMS and its features here.

With the current market flooded with responsive LMS and with almost every LMS vendor advertising and competing to be the best responsive LMS provider, it becomes a tough task for the L&D teams to make a logical purchase decision.

Hence in this blog, I have listed down the nine steps you can follow to choose a responsive LMS.

1.Enquire with your current/existing vendor

This step is applicable only if your organisation already owns an LMS, The organisation can enquire with its current LMS vendor to see if they are able to offer responsive LMS.

If the existing LMS provider is able to upgrade the existing LMS to a responsive one, then it becomes easy for the organisation as they don’t have to worry about the integration or data migration which otherwise can be a big headache for any organisation.

2.Know your target device

The L&D teams should be aware about which devices are being used by the employees currently. A survey on types of devices being used in organizations, their versions, OS etc can give deeper insights about the usage pattern and deployability of learning

For example, if employees are using both android smartphones and iPads which are built on different operating systems, then the responsive LMS should be compatible with both the platforms.

3.Choose what you want the responsive LMS to do for you

Here the L&D teams should be able to list down all the benefits they want from their responsive LMS. Some of the common things you can check before choosing a responsive LMS are –

  1. In depth tracking capability across platforms and devices.
  2. Ability to create responsive e-learning courses which eliminate the need for a responsive authoring tool.
  3. Check the type of interactivity supported by the LMS – The present day smartphones, tablets etc are based on touch screen interface and hence it is recommended to ensure that the LMS is compatible with different user interactions like scrolling, swiping,etc.
  4. Check for offline download option: Offline course download option is very beneficial for those users who are having lesser internet connectivity as they might be operating out of remote locations.
  5. Check if the LMS supports social learning- Today social learning and knowledge collaboration has become a default feature in most of the leading LMSs and hence it is always recommended to have the social support function enabled in the responsive LMS.

4.Start your research and submit a Request for Information.

Once you are completely aware of your requirements, you can submit a request for information from the various LMS vendors. The internet itself is a huge resource for the management to search and evaluate the various responsive LMS in the market. Apart from the vendor website I recommend you to go through the different reviews and discussion forums where the users have given their feedback about the different responsive LMS.

After the management is able to identify and shortlist some of the responsive LMS vendors, they can send the request for information to these chosen vendors.

In this stage, the management should ensure that they are able to get all the maximum required information about the LMS.

With the detailed documented requirement sheet in hand, the management is able to compare and understand how the different responsive LMS vendors are able to satisfy these requirements from one another.

5.Evaluate LMS vendors

Now you should be in a position to shortlist the responsive LMS providers that meet your needs and requirements the most.

It is recommended to take into consideration views of all the important stakeholders here to arrive at a logical decision, as this can make the evaluation process an unbiased one.

6.Plan your budget and request for proposals

It is obvious that the management will have a budget set for purchasing a responsive LMS, but sometimes, the budgets can increase to a little more as the management might feel that they can own a better LMS if the budget is more.

Moreover, in the primary stages, the management may not have a clear idea on what should be an ideal budget.

Once the budget is decided, the management can now request for proposal from the final shortlisted vendors. The management can also try to negotiate here with the different vendors to arrive at the best price.

7.Evaluate the proposals and choose the best one

In this stage, you can evaluate all the proposals received and chose the best one among them.

The proposals are generally evaluated on the terms of the budget, capabilities and functions, technical assistance or support, etc.

8.Implementation of the new LMS

In this stage, management is all ready to implement the responsive LMS. It is recommended to do a trial run before the LMS is fully operational to check for any errors.

9.Post implementation support

This is the last stage or step where the management should be very careful about, as I have constantly heard from several clients who had purchased their responsive LMS after a thorough research but missed on the important element of post-implementation support.

Post implementation support is very essential and this is a common trap which should be treated with caution.

The management should thoroughly review the terms and conditions of the support being offered from the LMS vendor and make sure that you are clear and satisfied with it