Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 1.2 billion students worldwide have shifted to online learning. Additionally, higher education institutions and organizations in all industries have relied heavily on the Learning Management System (LMS) to provide ongoing education, remote training, and important resources to support learners at a distance. While open-source LMS solutions deliver substantial advantages for providing education to all types of learners including freely available and modifiable software that can be hosted internally, self-hosting an LMS has become significantly more challenging for organizations recently due to the surge in usage as well as the way these platforms have needed to pivot to address new challenges.
Why is Self-Hosting your LMS Riskier than Ever Before?
The LMS has gone from a nice-to-have to a long-term must-have solution for many organizations. In the scramble to support remote instruction, many eLearning managers were forced to quickly disseminate courses, resources, and online trainings without giving much thought to scalability, sustainability, or impact and engagement. As more learners work from their homes and away from on-site classroom interactions, providing accessible, reliable, and engaging resources is crucial to maintaining happy, confident, and productive remote teams.
Over the past few months, we have seen unique challenges present themselves for self-hosted LMS users as they balance backend processes, upgrades, and troubleshooting along with maintaining quality end user experience and support. Without additional support to help keep your learning programs moving in the right direction, L&D or IT teams often face the reality of being burdened with more hurdles or adjustments than they have the bandwidth to efficiently address. Below are a few challenges that organizations who are self-hosting may face, especially as we continue to confront the challenges posted by COVID-19.
A surge of new users on any piece of technology increases the chance of system crashes or glitches. With more learners using learning platforms and for longer durations of time, this rings true for learning management systems as well. Fortunately, Moodle™ is a robust open-source learning platform that can handle a large number of concurrent users. However, site speed and platform optimization can be challenging with any increased load.
This is where an LMS hosting partner becomes invaluable. An LMS provider can offer support services to help you troubleshoot any glitches caused by an uptick in users, recalibrate user policies as needed, and keep your site running smoothly and without interruption.
An increase in users presents another challenge for those that self-host an LMS, and that is the issue of security. Storing a plethora of intellectual property, private student data, and even medical records for a large number of users can be tedious and precarious from a self-hosted data center.
Instead, your LMS hosting partner can store your data for you using secure, scalable, and reliable cloud-hosting with added security measures and countermeasures already in place to combat any potential threats.
Not all educators and administrators have the same level of expertise when it comes to their learning technology. Some instructors will use their institution’s Moodle™ instance to manage all aspects of a course, while others might have avoided the LMS entirely up until this point.
Regardless of where you lie on this spectrum, all learning professionals can benefit from the resources and expertise that a hosting partner can provide, including self-paced eLearning courses, professional development workshops for staff and administrators, and more. By attending a Moodle™ or Totara LMS course by eThink, you can get your specific LMS questions answered with hands-on training and expert tips for building an online course that meets your precise learning needs.
Onsite trainings and instructor-led courses have dwindled to accommodate for the health, safety, and convenience of learners wherever possible. Whether it is for the time being or a permanent procedural shift, remote learning initiatives can only be sustained with constant innovation in order to meet evolving industry needs. The LMS market has seen a cascade of new tools and solutions for eLearning content, data and analytics, and much more in recent years. Evaluating which tools will best fit your organization’s needs can be a bit overwhelming and challenging to evaluate among other responsibilities.
However, working with an LMS provider that offers a service-heavy support model enables you to use their team of eLearning experts as an extension of your IT team who can help you scale and improve your learning programs as needed. An LMS partner can provide expertise when it comes to best practices and finding the right tools and solutions to meet your organization’s unique needs. This means they’re also on hand to help you leverage your learning technology to support learners even through times of emergency or unpredictability.
Those using a self-hosted LMS face more difficulties than those with a hosting partner. Some of these difficulties, including insufficient bandwidth to support online content, hinder the success of your learning initiatives and prevent you from scaling and innovating your L&D approach. However, with expert LMS support , you can better maintain and scale learning programs that are streamlined, innovative, and effective.
eThink is ready to take some of these concerns off your plate. We can decrease your workload by managing the tech end of your LMS for you. You tell us what changes need to be applied to your learning platform, and we make it happen. Contact us for more information about our fully-managed LMS solutions for Moodle™ and Totara Learn, or request an individual demonstration below.