Benefits of a Community-Driven LMS

LMS | September 4, 2020

The world of online learning is rapidly expanding, and the utilization of a Learning Management System (LMS) helps bring your learning goals to new heights. However, if you choose a platform that isn’t right for your organization, you may find an LMS platform is bringing your budget to new heights, too. If you’re in the market for an LMS, you’re likely experiencing an all-too familiar predicament: finding an LMS with the features you need using the limited budget you have. You have likely researched open source LMSs only to realize that, while the system itself may cost little to nothing, the implementation costs are very high. Next, you may have investigated proprietary LMSs that may or may not have all of the features you want, but the price tag simply puts it out of reach. But did you explore community-driven LMS options? Most likely you overlooked this option, as TraCorp’s community developed LMS model is the first and only of its kind. If your goal is to avoid unnecessary costs while leveraging a robust, customizable system to provide an engaging learning experience, TraCorp’s LMS platform is the perfect option. TraCorp was at the forefront of the learning industry, opening their doors in 1996, and quickly recognized the need for a model that provided organizations with a budget-friendly setup and a high level of personalization – all while giving back to the learning community.

What Is A Community-Driven LMS?

A community-driven LMS means you have the ability to request any level of customizations you desire to your platform, with universally-beneficial updates rolling out to all organizations on the LMS. Essentially, customers in the community customize the LMS to meet their exact needs, while providing an opportunity to continuously improve the solution for all. This customer driven development enables the provider to extend an unbeatable monthly LMS pricing plan to all customers. Any time a new option is added that is not uniquely-specific to just one organization, all organizations within the community will also have the ability to access these changes in their LMS instances. This shared arrangement means you get access to any LMS additions that are developed for other organizations – and you always have the choice to opt in or out as you so please. This process helps companies achieve learning success within their businesses, and helps learners at any level – and anywhere – learn valuable skills for success through the platform. “TraCorp is more unique in regards to their ‘community-driven LMS’ where you can submit product improvement ideas to them. With competitors that process is internal or a custom environment that’s significantly more expensive than the TraCorp model.” ~ TraCorp Client A community-driven system allows you to have access to a number of different modifications and updates that otherwise may not have been available to you. At the same time, it allows you to access these modifications at a fraction of the price normally offered, as the cost is offset by our significantly lower monthly pricing plans. By using a community-driven LMS, you get the best of both worlds: customization and reduced cost.

Why You Should Choose a Community-Driven LMS

The benefits of a community-driven LMS are numerous. Other LMS platforms either do not offer any options for personalization – like with an open source LMS – or they offer it but for a much higher cost, as is the case with a proprietary LMS.

#1: Low Implementation and Life-Cycle Costs

Because changes to the system are funded collectively by customers, they should not be amortized into the hosting cost. Due to TraCorp’s community model, hosting costs for customers remain low compared to other LMS platforms. #2: You Decide How the LMS Evolves With an open source LMS you get what you get. With a custom LMS you drive the design, but at a high price. With a community-driven LMS, you still get a stake in the development process but at a much lower cost to you. Because all community organizations contribute to continuous improvements of the LMS better as they request modifications, your system evolves into an even more powerful system over time. In many cases multiple organizations want the same new feature and can split the cost of development. Here are just a few examples of modifications an organization might request:
  • Incorporate a help desk that offers technical support to learners and LMS administrators.
  • Integrate Google Analytics™ into the LMS so you can analyze learner behavior and make more informed business and training decisions.
  • Automate the process of re-enrolling learners in courses that must be completed regularly (e.g., once per year).
  • Link files to Vimeo™
  • Market specific training assets to learners.
TraCorp has been evolving and enhancing our system to best meet the needs of companies in the non-profit, government, software, hospitality and healthcare industries.

You Have a Say in Customization and Price

Your organization’s input is crucial to the LMS development process. As part of a community-driven system, all you have to do is bring your questions and/or ideas to the TraCorp team. We then design features within your LMS to address all of your particular needs. This level of personalization provides you with the LMS designed to meet your goals, and offers your ideas and developments to all organizations within your LMS community as well. “From a cost perspective I have never seen anyone that can beat them. Their value standpoint for their ability to get a large business enterprise up and running is very much better than most things on the market.” ~TraCorp Client If other organizations are looking for these customizations as well, then you have the option to split the cost of the change alongside them, and vice-versa. You will likely find that other organizations suggest additions to their LMS that are extremely helpful for your LMS and this collaborative approach benefits everyone who elects to be involved. This ongoing development and enhancement to the core platform enables us to offer a low monthly rate, eliminating per user and per server licensing fees. Furthermore, any modifications that all clients can benefit from are implemented on your LMS without delay.

How Does a Community-Driven LMS Work?

Step One: Identify a need and present it to your LMS provider

When you identify the need for a new feature in the LMS, bring your request to your LMS provider. They can partner with you to clearly define the problem you are trying to solve and design an effective solution that would benefit you and organizations within the community that are facing similar issues. “They’re honest, patient, and extremely knowledgeable about e-learning and of TraCorp’s functionality. They didn’t sell me on one thing and deliver another. And listened to the needs I need met with an LMS and then delivered as promised. You can’t ask for much more than that from a 3rd party partner.” ~TraCorp Client

Step Two: Fund or co-fund the LMS modification(s)

Based on the popularity of the change you request, you may fund a modification on your own or split the cost with other organizations who want the same upgrade. When you fund a modification, you will be involved in the development of that modification to ensure it meets your organization’s specific needs. This is your chance to have a stake in the process and drive the evolution of your LMS.

Step Three: All organizations in the community can opt in or out of the upgrade

When applicable, the modification you fund will be rolled out to all organizations in the community, with the option to opt in or out of using the new feature. Likewise, when other organizations fund a modification you will receive it at no additional cost to you. “Honestly, I don’t know what more I would need. And if there was something, I am sure I could ask and they would help me figure it out.” ~ TraCorp Client

Questions to Ask Prospective LMS Providers

If you aren’t ready to give up the features you need or spend more than you have, explore a community-developed LMS option, including TraCorp’s LMS. As you interview providers, get the information you need by asking the following questions:
  • Do you offer a community-driven LMS roadmap?
  • How do organizations contribute to the development of your LMS?
  • What hosting and supporting costs do you charge?
  • Are there per server or per user licensing fees? (The answer should be no.)
  • What types of LMS modifications have customers made in the past, and what did it cost them?
  • What is the approval process for making an LMS modification?
  • What happens when the LMS modification request is approved/not approved?
  • Can we decide to opt out of changes we don’t want? (The answer should be yes.)
  • Can we split the cost of LMS modifications with other organizations in the community? (Again, the answer should be yes.)

TraCorp’s Commitment to Community Learning

Lower prices and higher customization options are two of the most important benefits of a community-driven LMS, along with the overarching goal of making learning more accessible to all. We believe in developing processes, innovative training, and communication programs that elevate the accessibility of learning to everyone, at all levels, and at all types of organizations. Your focus should not have to be on cost-cutting or sacrificing priorities. Your focus can remain where it’s most needed:on the learning and development of your organization and employees. By choosing a community-driven LMS, you help your organization, and the broader community, work together to achieve this goal. Why invest in an LMS that doesn’t fit YOUR needs? See how the TraCorp LMS is scalable, flexible and completely customizable.  Request your customized 1-to-1 demonstration today.

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