A Learning Management System (LMS) might be just the tool your organization needs to deliver your education or program content—or maybe not. Investing in an LMS is a big decision that requires ongoing resources to successfully implement and maintain. There are some key questions to ask before acquiring an LMS and best practices to follow when moving ahead with purchasing, implementing and administering an LMS.
Get the inside scoop from non-profit colleagues and non-profit learning consultants who will share their tips for success, pitfalls to avoid, and demo how they’re using this online learning technology.
What you’ll get from attending:
• Clarity on what an LMS is (and isn’t) and what it can (and can’t) do
• An eLearning terminology cheat sheet (re: the basic nuts and bolts of online learning delivery)
• An overview of some of the most common LMS options for small to medium non-profits
• Top LMS mistakes to avoid and tips for success
• LMS use case stories from a panel of 3 small to medium non-profits (why they invested in an LMS, and how they’re using it).
• Steps your organization can take right now (or later) to determine if an LMS is right for you.
ABOUT LEAH CHANG
Leah has 16+ years of combined experience in education working with non-profits, private companies and public authorities to develop online and classroom learning. She specializes in Learning Management System matching, configuration and workflow, systems learning and instructional design. She loves learning about new systems and tools that might shape the future of work or help non-profits streamline their operations. She currently serves on the board of directors of the Arts Council of New Westminster, and worked with Pain BC Society as a communications and education consultant and Education Lead.
eLearning 1 Asynchronous
5 Web-based training (WBT)
3 Classroom/in-person training
Blended learning 4 Mix of eLearning &
7 Rich media file (video, PDF,
quiz, webinar recording, etc.)
that can be part of a course.
8 , 9 Storyline/Captivate
10 Typical file format of a
standalone eLearning courses,
shareable on most LMSs
Low-barrier delivery of
Image source: brightwebs.ca/ux-design-accessibility
WHO IS AN
LMS FOR? Employees
Board of directors
2. Open source
Image source: amazon.com/Complete-
1. Under allocating resources
2. Underestimating work
3. Unavailability during
configuration or data
4. Missed training opportunities
5. Lack of ongoing maintenance
plan or resources
Be good to your LMS.
Don’t “get it and forget it”.
Image source: amazon.ca/Wenger-
1. Choosing an overly robust
2. Underutilizing functions
3. Paying for LMS subscription
before course content is
4. Not integrating the LMS with
your CRM and other
Size your LMS project appropriately.
Image source: failblog.cheezburger.com
1. Lack of expertise in-house
2. Not working with a consultant
3. Project management gaps
4. Lack of strategy or planning
5. Misunderstanding what an
LMS can/can’t do
6. Missing requirements
7. No project scope or timelines—
implementation drags on and
Work with a pro; you’ll save
time and get a better outcome.
1. Missed branding &
2. No LMS launch plan
3. No course promotions
4. Inconsistent branding or
Image source: netvantagemarketing.com
Leverage your marketing &
communications teams. Promote.
1. Lack of data management &
2. Poor organizational
3. Infrequent or inconsistent
4. Ineffective or unsustainable
Manage your data sustainably.
Clean data is sexy.
BUSTER 1 Image source: LearnUpon.com/blog
You don’t have to use SCORM.
• Combined learning objects can create a course
Image source: Maastricht University Online Library
There are 1,000s of LMSs but they all do
the same basic things.
Image source: Sam Saltis, CEO,
MIGHT be a
Similarly sized organization, staff, funding, etc.
Learning objects developed and ready to deliver
Learning content = general public Learning content = targeted audience
Host learning objects on their website:
• Webinars (live & recorded)
• PDF downloads
Courses consist of/provide:
• Variety of learning objects SCORM
• Registration for online, blended
and classroom learning
• Certification/accreditation for
• Analytics facilitate reporting to
NO LMS YES LMS
Does my organization really need an LMS?
Image source: newmediapeople.ba
Canadian data storage
updated BC Societies Act)
Cost-benefit: # of potential
1. Designate key admin resources
2. Get to know all your LMS functions
3. Set aside time to build, test, and maintain
(leverage stakeholders, employees, users)
4. Outsource when needed: Hire a pro
5. Document as you go: Create templates for
workflows to use for internal training
6. Use APIs for automation wherever feasible
7. Follow a project management framework
1. The Administrator Experience
(“AX”) is just as important as User
2. Choose a vendor with quality
support & training
3. Configure your LMS with your
CRM & other web tools in mind
WorkBC grant for training of use of
software – up to $10k/person
Arts BC Digistarts Program
• Gather & script
• Confirm IT
• Longlist - sales
• Shortlist -
• Interview other
• Confirm exact
costs: Year 1, Year
Case or grants
• Discuss articles or use cases to start
your team off with best practices
• Rely on project management
resources for configuration &
• Take full advantage of vendor-
• Become BFFs with your customer
representative Image source: amazon.ca/LMS-
• Ensure & measure LMS project success
• Create templates for internal workflow or SOPs
• Devise strategy for online course delivery
• Advise or broker LMS partnerships
• Use functionality creatively & build workarounds
• Assist & guide regular internal audits
• Troubleshoot tricky problems efficiently
• Collaborate on marketing campaigns, launch plans
1. What’s an LMS?
2. Do we need one?
3. Are we ready for one?
(If yes, what’s the next step?)
HOW I GOT
The Beginning: ESL Instructor
The Journey: Non-Profit Education Coordinator,
Moodle Administrator and Course Creator
Here: Director of Client Engagement, LMS
Implementation & Product Engagement for Moodle,
1. Know why you are doing this
2. Take stock of your resources
3. Know your Audience, Create an Experience
4. Map the Learner’s Journey
5. Look at the Big Picture, Work in Small Chunks
6. Reporting: Who needs to know what?
7. Really want to do this