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What RTOs should be asking when choosing an LMS

What features are most important when choosing an LMS for your RTO?

Working with Learning Management Systems (LMS) as a learning designer across three large institutions for 10 years as well as being a student using different systems has really helped me to understand what's required of an LMS for staff and students.

This article discusses the top questions RTOs should be asking and the features they should be demanding from their LMS.

Mobile friendly: Does the LMS work on all devices?

Construction worker on a worksite investigating an issue on an iPad with digger in the background text reads Does the LMS work on all devices with the Ammonite logo on the right hand side of the text

This should be your first area of investigation when looking for an LMS for your RTO. Ensure you investigate whether the system supports mobile and what browsers it supports. There are so many LMS platforms that do not support mobile devices, or large parts of their system that are not available on mobile devices at all. I ran a trial for a large university in 2020 and one of the LMS products had an app but large parts of the LMS content did not show on the app for students meaning students were missing important information for their courses! Another popular LMS used by many Australian universities hides iFrame videos coded into content on Safari browsers or Mac devices using Google Chrome, pretty problematic when thinking about the number of Mac and iPhone users!

The first iPhone was released in June 2007, today in 2021, 14 years on, just over 50% of website traffic is mobile phones with a prediction that this will increase a further 25% by 2025 (Chaffrey 2021). LMS Platforms should be on board across all of their content!

What Ammonite offers: LMS that works on all devices, including mobile
  • Ammonite's system has the benefit that it has been designed to work across all devices aligning the pedagogy of assessment driven learning when students can learn and document their progress on real-world job sites through their mobile phone.
  • The system also connects with mobile devices allowing trainers to set up text message reminders and alerts to students to keep them on track with their work.

Compliance and mapping: how does the LMS meet these requirements?

Computer with blurry text text reads Does the LMS support compliance and mapping requirements Ammonite logo on the right hand side of the text

Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) has requirements RTOs must meet across the areas of marketing and recruitment, enrolment, support and progression, training and assessment and completion (Australian Skill Quality Authority 2015).

What Ammonite offers: compliance and mapping
  • Ammonite's system links directly with ASQA to map every requirement for the course and allow course designers to map requirements as they build a course. This ensures that no elements are missing and an RTO always has the mapping ready in case of an audit.
  • Alongside course mapping, the Ammonite system has developed a Language, Literacy and Numeracy tool to map these requirements for RTOs.
  • Ammonite's Validity and Authenticity Technology (VAT) is used to support clause 1.8 of the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) standards on effective assessments, namely, addressing the principles of assessment including fairness, flexibility, validity and reliability and applying the rules of evidence including authenticity and validity. We have created a short video (1:15) on how the design of Ammonite's Learning Management System (LMS) has incorporated competency based training alongside the principles of assessment to ensure learners to obtain the required skills, abilities and knowledge:

Analytics and data: where's student data stored and what analytics does the platform offer?

Analytics data on a Macbook Air computer text reads Analytics and data storage with the Ammonite logo on the right hand side of the text

Data will talk if you are willing to listen

Jim Bergeson

Your RTO should explore whether the system data storage complies with Australian data and privacy laws for student data. For Australian RTOs this means checking that the LMS servers and student data are in Australia.

Your RTO should also investigate what reporting systems are available on the system and ensure reporting aligns with the sort of reporting your RTO needs.

What Ammonite offers: Analytics and data
  • RTOs can feel safe because Ammonite stores all data on servers based in Australia.
  • Ammonite offers a range of report builders exploring a range of data from academic records, enrolments, feedback, funding, activity logs and so much more. There are over 20 reports your RTO can use to explore data to keep both students and trainers on track.
  • Ammonite's system provides feedback across the lifecycle of assessment with data and analytics so course designers can analyse what assessments need to be tweaked and improved over time.

Features, upgrades: how are features implemented and bugs repaired within the system?

Data reaching from a Mac computer and helping the human on the other side of the screen, text reads Features, upgrades and help resources with the Ammonite logo on the right hand side of the text

Investigate whether the system is hosted or whether your RTO will need to self host the system (self hosting can be very costly).

Find out whether the LMS provider is responsible for upgrades in the system.

Explore whether other help resources are available for users (a lot of LMS systems expect institutions once on board to create their own help resources, run their own help systems, run their own upgrades - and all of this without even responding to any suggestions for new features).

What Ammonite offers: features, upgrades and help
  • Ammonite has digital help library of videos and articles to help RTOs navigate features and upgrades.
  • Ammonite hosts many different RTOs sites and provides training for new RTOs. They also take responsibility for system upgrades and new features.
  • Ammonite has a support number and ticketing system to respond to customer requests, this is different to many LMS systems which do not provide any support.

Want to learn more?

Contact our friendly team to show you what Ammonite can do for your RTO.


Australian Skills Quality Authority. (2015). Users’ guide to the Standards for RTOs 2015. https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards

Chaffey, D. (2021, March 30). Mobile marketing statistics compilation 2021. https://www.smartinsights.com/mobile-marketing/mobile-marketing-analytics/mobile-marketing-statistics/