You might have heard that “the best things in life are free.” But is it applicable in the case of a learning management system?
On the quest for an ideal tool to design and deliver online training to your workforce, the primary choice that’s likely to pop up to your mind might be a ‘free LMS,’ and that’s quite natural. But is it the right choice for YOU? It depends on what you are ready to spend – time or money. If you belong to a group or organisation that believes ‘time is money,’ then a free LMS is a big no-no for you.
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Let’s figure out why a free LMS is not always the best choice.
To begin with, what is a free learning management system or free LMS?
As the name suggests, a free LMS is free of cost. But is a free LMS really free by all terms? Of course, it’s a pocket-friendly choice, and the affordability of the free LMS platform is an undeniable factor. It even hooks potential customers with the fact that initial monetary investment isn’t required. However, the cost is not the only thing you should consider while opting for an LMS for training your employees.
Free LMS is not really 'free'
There are open-source learning management systems in which the source code is freely available, modifiable, and distributable. Although these learning management systems are free (no fee for licensing), there are multiple costs to consider before investing your time in embedding them into your business. For instance, there may be charges associated with integrating and maintaining a free LMS. When it comes to hosting, support, and maintenance, the open-source training software eventually becomes costly. Furthermore, the lack of advanced features makes this alternative time-consuming.
Free LMS means DIY
Choosing a free LMS means DIY, to an extent. You will be on your own for a lot of the installation and troubleshooting if you go with an open-source, free LMS. Expect no help from a specialised team to guide you through the implementation process. Sure, there are a variety of resources available on the internet to assist you. However, getting a free LMS up and running exactly the way you need it will take a lot longer. Once you are done implementing, any troubles that arise on the go will again take extra time to be resolved.
Bad user experience
Another point to keep in mind is user experience. While using a free LMS, your employees might face issues such as site downtime, password resets, poor performance, or prolonged loading time. Imagine the negative impact it could create on your employees, eventually slowing down their learning process, which leads to job inefficiency, lack of motivation, disengagement, and growing frustration.
A free e-learning platform could be slow to adapt to changes. When there are changes in Google browser requirements, the platform might become unstable or unusable. Moreover, if there is a constant or recurring issue with downtime due to browser restrictions, it can be highly frustrating for your staff.
The risk associated with safety
Safety is another thing you might need to compromise while using a free LMS. You can’t rely on a Service-Level Agreement (SLA) with a free LMS. There will be a lack of commitment to the company and the learners with a free LMS. If there is an issue, mostly you’ll be left to solve it on your own. The LMS providers have no urgent obligation to provide a solution. If the platform is dropped or altered, it will disrupt your workflow abruptly and without warning. This is a serious concern though.
To sum up, the above-mentioned are a few of the major drawbacks that can arise while using free or open-source software. Therefore, choose wisely. Always consider your users in mind while selecting an e-learning platform for your business. It is in the company’s duty to ensure that their employees have a favourable experience with their LMS to keep them interested and enthusiastic about their careers and personal growth.
You might have also noticed that the paid LMS solutions are advancing. Prices are falling for professional and paid services, and learning management platforms are becoming more accessible and intuitive. Moreover, a paid platform is the logical solution if you have a large number of employees, remote or dispersed teams, or multiple training needs.
Mykademy is one such highly-reliable cloud-based LMS platform that can adapt to the varying training needs. Its security, scalability, user-friendly interface, and advanced capabilities will provide you with all of the features you need to conduct high-quality employee training on a large scale. Try the 14-day free trial to experience the best enterprise LMS.