It is very much important to select the top LMS (Learning Management System). However, trying to calculate the involved costs can be a real challenge for organizations. When determining custom elearning application costs, it is essential for both the corporate training segment and private organizations to take into consideration specific factors. Since every member will be accessing the LMS platform including online training resources, it needs to be something effective and result oriented. Only then it will be able to meet the client expectations perfectly.
Some crucial factors to consider when calculating LMS budget
Before using the top elearning authoring tools, it will be wise to first calculate the LMS budget and then move accordingly.
- Pre-learner fee: A small pre-learner fee will be required by few LMS platforms. Some amount needs to be paid to every user. Every learner registering for the elearning course is to log into the LMS, thus incurring an additional fee. If there are many users, then it can become expensive.
- Set-up expenses: LMS set-up costs may vary immensely and depend upon LMS features, upgrades and add-ons. The LMS vendors in few cases might charge one-time fee and others might request for monthly or annual charges. For deriving additional support, additional charges need to be paid. Prior to finalizing any LMS, it is necessary to identify hidden costs if any, to avoid exceeding the set budget.
- Monthly or annual charges: Several platforms do require monthly/annual renewal fee. In case, the license lapses, access will be denied to the platform, which means certain privileges cannot be availed. Various subscription packages are offered by the vendors based upon user numbers and features present. Hence, prior to finalizing any long term contract with the vendor, testing the applications will be useful to derive the best results.
- Training fee: In case the user is unfamiliar with LMS platform, some amount of training will be required. Even few user friendly tools will need proper guidance. There are few vendors who do provide free training tutorials and others provide one-on-one support, with charges. Although full advantage can be taken of such application features, there will be some increase in overall expenditure.
- Compatible authoring tools: There may already exist several online authoring tools, however, might not be found compatible with new LMS. In such a case, it becomes essential to get it replaced with replacement software, for creating training materials. The latter should get uploaded in the LMS effortlessly. These expenditures should be accounted for.
- Maintenance: It is often a significant cost which is to be undertaken when using an LMS. Maintenance cost is likely to be approximately 15% – 20% of application base cost and the training content also needs to be updated, so as to make it fresh. Even new multimedia needs to be added, so as to remain advanced. The ongoing maintenance could include fees structure, payroll hours, etc.
Besides the above, there are several other aspects which should be taken into account in the budget.