5 Important Characteristics Of An eLearning Software

There are so many eLearning software programs that you can use. It all depends on the institution or the organization that you would like to implement it on. Not only that, it has to be aligned with the learning or training goals that you have.

But despite the many options that you have, there are 5 important qualities that you need to look into when you are searching for the right eLearning program.

magnifying glass on development definition

  1. It can easily be maintained. An eLearning program will require you to add and delete users, change content, and improve test simulations. That requires long term maintenance on your eLearning software. If maintenance is difficult and complicated, you will exhaust unnecessary resources just to make things work. You want to be able to maintain the program by yourself – otherwise, a small problem will put you at the mercy of the vendor who created the program for you. What you want is a program that has existing templates that will allow you to make updates and improvements despite the lack of technical knowledge.
  2. It is compatible with other eLearning programs in the market. It is not a good idea to have an eLearning software that only allows the vendor’s learning management systems to be integrated into what you have. You want to have the ability to choose other LMSs from other vendors without worrying about compatibility. Regardless of how perfect your existing vendor may be, you want to have the freedom to jump from one provider to the another. A great way to test this is to ask your existing vendor if you can share information with another module from a different vendor. This should be possible if the vendor followed the same standards in creating the program as the rest.
  3. It is user friendly. You do not want to have to employ a technical expert just to make the slightest changes in the eLearning software. That being said, you should make sure that you and your existing team can manage the ins and outs of the program yourself. Not only should you be concerned about the backend administration, you also want the program to be user friendly for both instructors and students. For instance, is the navigation easy to manage? Is it easy to move from one level to the other? Can you provide a portal for both instructor and student to communicate on their own accord?
  4. It is easy to access. The other characteristic is accessibility. There are two ways that your eLearning program may not be accessible. One is physical and the other is technical accessibility. By physical, we mean any physical obstacle will not hinder the users from accessing the content in your eLearning software. For instance, there are people known as screen readers who only rely on what they see on the screen. If you have a video lesson, there should always subtitles – or at least the option to turn it on or off when necessary. As for the technological accessibility, it is important for your program to be accessed regardless of the platform, browser or operating system. You do not want your content to be distorted or unreadable in certain browsers.
  5. It is made up of small instructional contents that are self sufficient. Modularity is the last characteristic of your eLearning software. You want to be able to take certain pieces and apply them into other eLearning program so you don’t always have to start from scratch. This is a great way for you to move forward to other learning materials without having to spend too much time in development. That is because you have self sufficient instructional content that is already working and you do not have to redo.

These 5 qualities should ideally be a part of the software that you want to use for your learning or training objectives. While we have defined them one by one, you will notice that some of the characteristics actually overlap. Despite that, you still have to identify each and every characteristic in the eLearning software that you will be scrutinizing. This will help you determine if the program has what you really need.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles for FreeDigitalPhotos.net