Selecting a Learning Management System: Picking the Right Technology for Your Association’s Vision (Free Webinar)

BY Celisa Steele

Register for the Selecting an LMS free Webinar.

Choosing a learning management system can be daunting—not only when it comes to evaluating features and functions, but also when the new LMS will play a strategic role in your association’s future. Your technology decision can mean the difference between a big success and a big mistake.

We’ll address that important LMS decision process on Thursday, May 9, from 1 to 2 pm Eastern. We’re grateful to Meridian Knowledge Solutions for sponsoring this Webinars so that we can provide it at no charge. You can reserve your spot now at

Over the course of our years tracking LMS technology and working with clients through the selection processes, Jeff and I have learned a great deal, and we’ll draw on that experience for the Webinar. In our work, we’ve seen what amounts to a lot of good news for the organizations and learners using them.

  • Lower-cost models

We’ve seen LMSes get better and faster while pricing has fallen. We’ve seen companies emerge that offer low-cost models that make LMSes a possibility for small organizations, and we’ve also seen growth in all-you-can-eat models; LMSes typically charge a per-user license fee, but quite a few companies now offer an unlimited model—the license fee remains the same regardless of how many users are in the LMS.

  • More hosted solutions

We’ve seen a move toward hosted solutions. Most associations don’t want to maintain LMS servers in their own facility with their own staff resources—that’s something they want from their LMS partner. And, of course, of late, we hear more and more about LMS vendors moving to the cloud. (Note that we offering “Clearing Up the Cloud: What Is It—and How It Impacts Your Learning,” another free Webinar sponsored by Meridian, on June 13. Stay tuned for more details about that closer to the date.)

  • Better integration and interoperability

Integration and interoperability have improved. Standards like SCORM are well established and let organizations feel confident they can develop content that will play as it should even if they switch LMSes down the line. Web services and APIs allow associations to hook together key systems and give end-users an apparently seamless experience with what may really be a hodgepodge of systems working in the background.

  • Support for richer experiences

LMSes support richer experiences now—social tools like discussion boards or Twitter feeds can augment learning, and LMSes tend to support a wider range of formats now—online and off, real-time Webinars, self-paced e-learning, classroom and conference place-based events, etc.

  • Improvements in reporting

With reporting, we’ve seen ad-hoc reporting options grow—so now associations don’t have to rely on canned reports but can develop their own reports and apply filters to get the information they want. We’ve also seen growth in the use of dashboards and visual reporting to provide snapshots of key data. And reporting will only continue to improve with all the buzz (deserved, in my opinion) around “big data.”

  • More association focus

There are a lot of LMSes out there—hundreds and hundreds. When we started, only a handful were built with associations in mind, with a focus on things like member versus non-member pricing, support for credit and certification, AMS integration, and e-commerce. But the number of LMSes focused on associations and with features and functionality that really respond to association needs has grown over the years. We put out our first Association Learning Management Systems report in 2009, and it covered 12 LMSes. The latest 2013 version covers 20 systems. Meridian’s system, Meridian Global LMS, has been in all three editions of the report.

All six of these developments make LMSes more attractive to associations that don’t have one yet, and these changes have driven some to switch vendors or at least ponder a move. Whatever your situation, we’ll help you think through the steps and issues in this Webinar.

What the Webinar Will Cover, Plus a Call for Your Input

Jeff, Jason Marceau (Meridian’s COO), and I will share processes and insights for making the crucial LMS decision. I’ll present a time-tested 7-step process for selecting a learning management system. Jason will share real-life examples of associations that dramatically increased their revenue by expanding the reach of their educational content using an LMS. Jeff will act as virtual MC, fielding questions and comments, so come prepared to participate (or just listen, if you prefer).

While we’ll take questions during the session, we encourage you to send Jeff questions you would like to have answered during the Webinar. Send them any time between now and May 9. Jeff, Jason, and I have all spent many years building, implementing, and/or running selection processes for LMSes, so this is a great opportunity to tap into that experience.

You’ll leave the session with a clear understanding of how to lead your organization in choosing the right LMS technology, and we’ll follow up with some goodies, like a checklist of key issues and questions to consider when running a successful selection process.

The Webinar Details

Title: Selecting a Learning Management System: Picking the Right Technology for Your Association’s Vision
Date: Thursday, May 9, 2013
Time: 1 to 2 pm Eastern
Reserve your Webinar seat now at

Press release:


The May 9 LMS selection Webinar is the first in a series of three Webinars sponsors by Meridian Knowledge Solutions. The next two will also run from 1 to 2 pm Eastern:

  • Clearing Up the Cloud: What Is It—and How It Impacts Your Learning (June 13)
  • How Mobile Impacts Your Organization’s Learning and Marketing of Learning (July 18)

So save the dates.


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