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E-learning costs aren’t what customers expect – and here’s why

Throwing its hat into the ring following reviewer comments, vendor iSpring Solutions has said that organisations should choose carefully to achieve value for money from e-learning software.

According to iSpring Solutions writer Helga Kolinski, user research now removed from the Capterra website estimated that organisations may spend more than expected on a learning management system (LMS).

“The variety of LMS pricing plans may look like a confusing salad of the quantity of users, courses, and features,” she wrote in an iSpring blog post. “Figure out the plan that meets your needs.”

Kolinski said that the best choice for a given organisation can be found by considering specific needs for user management, content management, progress evaluation, training automation, blended learning and the like, weighed against cost.

Pricing can often be per learner, which can suit organisations with a stable number of learners and an amount obligatory training, or per active user, where you charged according to how much the LMS is used during the relevant billing cycle. Yet this isn’t as clear-cut a choice as it may sound.

“Let’s suppose you are going to train 120 employees in iSpring Learn LMS. Thirty-seven of them are salespeople; they’ll be the most active learners, who need to maintain their knowledge of products and sales techniques, as well as have instant access to presentations and promo materials uploaded to the LMS,” she said.

A remaining 83 employees might be divided into groups with their training spread evenly over a year. Every month you’d have 80-90 active users, including up to five new team members in need of onboarding.

“It’s not one size fits all,” she added.

Perhaps you will need to add temporary users or conduct one-time training, or you’d like to spread training for different batches of learners evenly throughout the year, Kolinski said.

At the same time, there are also some with pay-as-you-go options, and others with set prices for set amounts of time or upskilling focused payment models with no monthly fees but a certain fee rate per learner per course — as long as you pay in advance.

But Kolinski says think about the LMS price plus hosting, setup fees and customisation including plugin purchases as well as the dedicated IT specialist salary.

iSpring Learn made the 2023 Capterra shortlist of leading LMS offerings, which you can find here.

( Image by Adrian from Pixabay )

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