Choosing an LMS for Your Trade or Professional Association

BY Jeff Cobb

Choosing an LMS for a trade or professional association can be a confusing process. It used to be that there were not many choices – most LMSes were designed for corporate training or academic programs.  The vast majority of LMSes are still designed for these purposes and do not fit association needs. Nonetheless, the range of systems that are designed to work for associations has expanded dramatically in recent years.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that figuring out which systems truly are association-friendly, and then identifying which one works the best for your organization is often far from easy. The resources in this post will help.

  • A List of Association LMS Providers (Blog Post – Regularly Updated)
    A complete list of all of the LMS providers we currently track along with links to brief profiles (as available) and interviews.
  • AMS-LMS Integration: A Primer (Blog Post)
    An overview of the key types of integration between association management systems and learning management systems and some of the critical factors to consider.
  • Learning Management System Vendor Interviews (Audio and Video)
    We’ve conducted a series of 20 brief interviews with representatives from major providers of LMS software to the association sector. These provide good information about the companies, but more importantly, they also provides a range of insights into the challenges and opportunities associations encounter as they implement e-learning.
  • Key E-learning Standards (PDF Article)
    This article offers a brief overview of key organizations and the standards or models they provide for e-learning. Included are AICC, SCORM, xAPI (Tin Can), IMS Global, Medbiquitous, and Section 508.
  • 8 LMS Pitfalls to Avoid (Blog Post & PDF Resource)
    A brief overview of 8 issues that can rear their heads when selecting and implementing an LMS.
  • Learning Platform Selection Discussion Guide (PDF Resource)
    This resource contains questions an organization may need to ask when developing requirements for a learning platform and undertaking a selection process. The questions are not targeted at specific platform features. Rather, they are intended to surface general issues and circumstances that the implementation of a learning platform may help address. Organizations can use these questions as a discussion guide.

Have questions, or need help with your LMS selection process? Contact us.

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  1. Ellen says:

    Jeff — Thanks much for the shout-out on the LMS tutorial! Of course the challenge with it (and any other LMS selection process summary) is that choosing and purchasing an LMS is a pretty complicated process, and the variables within the process are daunting… Even so, providing some general suggestions can’t be a bad thing! I’ll have to check out your seven step process to see where those differences lie 🙂

    Thanks again, Jeff!

    PS — Though off topic here, the latest aLearning Fundamentals tutorials have focused on various topics within Robert’s Rules of Order, with the final segment (on Voting and Elections) going live soon.

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