Any modern LMS (either custom-made or out-of-the-box) is a complex piece of software. And learning management system development reflects this tendency fully. Even when a professional tech team works on building a solution, it typically takes a great deal of time and requires control on the customer’s part.
To help you avoid unpleasant surprises and end up with functional modern software that meets all the goals and helps your business grow, we’ve created the following editorial. In it you will find the most comprehensiveLMS features checklist to keep your eye on during the development process.
However, keep in mind that the list of “must have” features will vary from business to business. For example, for one company or educational establishment multilinguality will be one of the mandatory requirements, and for the other, it won’t be necessary at all. So, after familiarizing yourself with the LMS feature checklist, feel free to add some functionality you think is missing. After all, no one knows your business better than you do.
User Management Functionality
No LMS can function without the users. Depending on the customer’s vision, there might be several different types of users. The most common options include:
- teachers and students
- students, content creators, and managers
- teachers, students, parents, and administrators.
Yet, no matter which approach is chosen by a business owner, it’s vital to make sure the system is equipped with multiple user management tools. There should be a way to add and remove users from the system, modify their profiles, assign different roles and assort them based on specific criteria.
Think out all of those aspects and determine the most comfortable way everyone involved can interact with the system. For example, will it be better for your project if the new users registered on the platform themselves, or would you prefer if the managers took on the task?
Content Management Functionality
Another thing a learning management system just won’t function without is a set of content management tools. The execution, as well as the toolset, may vary, yet basic features like upload/download, media library, and a course editor should always be there.
Consider incorporating a way to manage files in bulk, as each LMS has plenty of files, and there will be times when it’s not efficient to work with those separately (think homework, reports, learning materials, etc.)
Another aspect a customer should pay attention to is the system’s compatibility with different types of files. Most probably, the students, the teachers, and the administrators will work with different types of content: videos, audio, images, PDFs, Exel files, etc. Take some time to evaluate which types of files the LMS users will be interacting with and make sure nothing is put out of account.
Responsive Design or a Separate Mobile Version
A couple of decades ago, mobile traffic wasn’t such a big deal as it is now, and it was ok to build an LMS solely for the desktop. However, leaving out mobile users when building educational software in 2022 is inexcusable.
There are two ways to secure the mobile-friendliness of the system: either to opt for a responsive design or invest in a separate application. The first option is more budget-friendly, yet the second one is more profitable in the long run as a mobile app is a sure-fire way to safeguard that truly flawless user experience.
Analytics & Reporting
No LMS features checklist will be complete without the analytics and reporting features. Most of the time, customers prefer to leave this type of functionality for internal use only. It means that only teachers and managers or admins have the ability to create reports. Still, it is possible to create separate analytics and reporting systems for students and teachers. The teachers/admins will have access to specific inside information (finances, course usage, feedback, etc.), and the students might have the ability to generate individual reports regarding their progress and overall performance.
Third-party Services Integration
During the next six years, the global LMS market is expected to develop and grow even further, reaching USD 40360 million in 2028. And if you’re among those business owners who just considered learning management system development or even plan to do that in the future, you probably already have some kind of software you’re working with. It might be an ERP, SIS, or other solutions you’ve been using prior to investing in an LMS. We’re also talking about all the specific software, plugins, or add-ons you’d like to see in a freshly developed learning management system.
A trustworthy IT services provider will examine the customer’s existing infrastructure first and come up with a way to put all the puzzle pieces together to not destroy the workflow but enhance it.
Search & filtering
This feature is useful both for the students and the teachers. A modern LMS offers plenty of content: educational materials, multimedia, and all types of internal documentation. And there must be a way for a user to navigate the system quickly and efficiently. That’s when a well-thought-out search and filtering system comes in useful.
It’s always a good idea to give the audience several options, so consider adding multiple search, sorting, and filtering methods (e.g., by date, a keyword, an author, etc.)
A properly functioning notification system is key to smooth and productive interaction with any LMS. It helps every user (regardless of their role) stay proactive and get the job done.
Depending on the customer’s vision and needs, there are several ways to implement the notifications so that the users would appreciate this functionality while not getting distracted by it. Some platforms use classic email notifications, others rely on push notifications, and some prefer to be on the safe side and utilize both approaches simultaneously. Think about which method is better suited for your business strategy and stick to it.
Even though gathering feedback about the software people interact with on a daily basis is crucial, entrepreneurs often overlook this aspect and forget to include it in the learning management system. How important is it? Think about it this way, 20% of the startups flop during their first year because they get outcompeted, and another 8% because the final product had poor quality. Both of those issues can be resolved by listening to the audience’s feedback and actually applying the critique to deliver better services.
How to allow the users to provide you with their feedback? One of the options is to include a rating system for each course, teacher, author, etc. Another way to do it is to include a chatbot. Even the most basic intercommunication via the company’s social media will do! Just don’t forget to make feedback retrieval functionality a part of the LMS features checklist.
This feature is very obvious but still often neglected by business owners when it comes to LMS development and LMS feature checklist creation. You never know what kind of problems the users might experience. From regular bugs to issues with navigating the system, payment difficulties, or miscommunication. To safeguard that top-level user experience, the software should be equipped with some kind of support tool. Whether it’s a 24/7 live chat with a manager, email support, or a phone advice line, there should be a way for an LMS user to get any kind of assistance when it is needed.