Searching for the perfect learning management system (LMS) for your organization? There are hundreds of LMS solutions on the market, each with different features. With so many options, it’s tough to choose which features are worthwhile and which ones aren’t. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the four essential features you need in your LMS.

Essential feature #1: Easy course authoring

Why pay for software to host your content and separate software to develop your courses? The best LMS solutions offer both. LMS solutions with integrated course authoring tools are typically much easier to use than other rapid e-learning software. You can add or delete elements of your course from within the course creator without needing to learn coding or complex software.

lms solutions should integrate with other platforms easily

Most LMS course authoring tools offer PowerPoint, PDF, Word document, and YouTube integration. This is a great feature because you use materials you’ve already built, or build new materials on software you may already own. Beyond uploading your existing materials, make sure your LMS allows you to add elements or engagement opportunities (such as introduction texts, class message boards, surveys, and assessments) to link them together.

Essential feature #2: Interactive exercises

Practice is an important element of any learning opportunity. With many LMS solutions, it’s a challenge to create practice exercises that truly assess a learner’s ability to perform a task or behavior. Be sure your LMS solution allows you to build interactive exercises that help gauge understanding before you send trainees out into the live environment.

Interactive exercises also increase the engagement factor. Today’s web-based applications provide plenty of interactive opportunity: matching exercises, ordering exercises, and interactive diagrams are all available, so make sure your LMS provides these features. No one wants to take another boring e-learning course.

Essential feature #3: Learner analytics

Obviously, you need to know how you learners are performing. How can you tell if your training is working otherwise? But not every LMS solution can give you the insight you need.

lms solutions should include learner results for tests and progress

As a training professional you need to know: how much of a learning path or course series a learner has completed, the average score for all learners on an assessment, how each individual learner scored, and how they answered each individual question. The data provided by these measures will help you determine if the material is too hard, too easy, or if there are questions on the assessments that may need to be revised. This also helps you assess whether you may need to prepare learner intervention if someone seems to be falling behind.

Don’t be limited by a pass/fail score. Make sure your LMS has the capability to give you the learner analytics you need to ensure the success of your training initiative.

Essential feature #4: Accessibility from multiple platforms

We expect to have information just a few clicks away on our mobile devices. Training should be no different. Find an LMS solution that takes your content from desktop to mobile ready with no coding or file conversion required.

lms solutions should offer easy mobile viewing

Learners love being able to access the content from their own devices, on their own time. Organizations with remote or field work employees will like that employees can refer to the training material on their mobile devices while they’re away from the office. Best of all, training departments won’t have to invest in expensive computer labs just for training.