I'm used to using Moodle with my students. I only have access to the features that are provided by my school district, and so I have worked within that box for the last few years. Reading this article was interesting because it opened my eyes to all the possibilities that are available in an LMS. Here are my top ten LMS characteristics (in no particular order).
1. Flexibility: The LMS should provide options for students to personalize their own learning.
2. Scalability: The ability to change as the size and needs of an organization grow and change.
3. Cost Structure: In today's K12 environment, budget cuts are the norm. Aan LMS must be cost effective to implement and cheap to maintain over time.
4. Electronic Commerce Capability: The ability of the LMS to process and track monetary transactions online. This is an essential capability for higher education and business.
5. Instructor Usability: The LMS must allow the instructor freedom to create their class. This involves supporting many file types, supporting chats and forums, and screensharing as well.
6. Technical Compatibility: An LMS must communicate with all information systems used by an institution. This can be a challenge when working within systems that have been together piecemeal over time.
7. Administrative Features: An LMS should be able to track student courses of study and progress in courses over time.
8. Longevity: Best to choose an LMS created by a company that has a strong base of customers and will remain in business for the foreseeable future.
9. Technical Support: Implementing an LMS across an organization can be technically challenging and it is very beneficial to use an LMS that has excellent customer support.
10. Course Authoring Tools: Important to choose an LMS that incorporates a course authoring tool that fits the needs of a given organization.