Your Lift & Shift: Uplift Strategy When Migrating Courses

Sep 22 2023

Your Lift-Shift-Uplift Strategy When Migrating Your Courses From One Platform to Another

Michael Wegerbauer: VP Learning Solutions
Michael Wegerbauer

VP Learning Solutions

Universities and educational course publishers need a reliable and robust learning management system (LMS) to offer valuable online education. Now that new LMSs are on the market, there is no need to be stuck with an old and outdated LMS that simply can’t offer many courses. Often, universities and associations deal with LMS platforms that don’t support their courses. What can you do? Migrate to a newer, fully featured LMS system.

Lift-Shift-Uplift Migration Approach

Now that your organization has identified a newer and better LMS, it is time to address the key question: How can you migrate your existing courses from an old LMS platform to a newer one? The most popular migration approach is the Lift-Shift-Uplift, called the L&S approach. In this approach, you can Lift EdTech content from the old system and Shift it to the newer systems with minimal changes to the structure or content. You can Uplift your content to add more functionalities enabled by your new LMS. Some reasons this approach is right for your LMS migration are:

  • Quick and cost-effective migration
  • Maintain existing course content and pedagogy structure
  • Retain functionality, customizations, and integrations
  • Update new features and functionalities seamlessly
  • Avoid any necessity to relearn to use the new LMS

Addressing Key Challenges

Project and IT managers must create a migration plan for successful migration from one LMS to another. Multiple components of the cloud infrastructure must be redefined, with security a key area of focus. Apart from data security and integrity, focus on cybersecurity, disaster recovery, and data backups. You should understand the existing content strategy and pedagogy so learners don’t find any difficulty with the LMS migration. The technical feature gaps between the different platforms must also be addressed during and after migration.

Configuring Lift-Shift-Uplift Strategy

Organizations need to upgrade their LMS to support multiple mobile devices and platforms. As learner needs change, the LMS should be flexible to accommodate them. Engaging learning methods like gamification, microlearning, storytorials, and scenario-based learning are gaining popularity among new-age learners, and your LMS should support these. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy to migrate e-learning courses, however, organizations must prepare a checklist to ensure a seamless migration.

Lift Checklist

  • Ensure the new LMS is a good fit for the learning needs and goals.
  • Evaluate features and capabilities of new LMS to align with learning objectives and strategies.
  • Make minimal changes to the content, structure, and functionality as necessary.
  • Manage compatibility to reduce QA costs.
  • Customize and integrate changes into new LMS while continuing support for existing workflows and processes.

Shift Checklist

  • Migrate quickly with minimal disruption to learners.
  • Ensure continued access and engagement with the courses.
  • Avoid the need to relearn using the new LMS.
  • Retain customizations and integrations from old LMS to save time and resources.

Uplift Checklist

  • Ensure that the new course content and structure reflect changes in pedagogy and curriculum for all subject areas.
  • Update accessibility features to support learners with different capabilities.
  • Upgrade multilingual support based on new LMS features.
  • Partner with a reliable solution provider to ensure complete migration.
  • Make the courses engaging, effective, and interactive.
  • Include additional multimedia elements such as images, videos, and audio clips to improve learning outcomes.
  • Complete DEI sensitivity checks to ensure inclusivity and avoid biases.
  • Redefine globalization and localization checklist strategies for the new markets.
  • Create a strong QA checklist to avoid human or technical errors during migration.
  • Get a third-party QA partner to avoid undesirable impacts like a poor learning experience.
  • Test and validate course content and structure for old content and new upgrades.


When migrating to a new LMS, you must ensure your learners and members get an intuitive experience that encourages learning. The course must be easily navigable with interactive features. Learners need control over the pace to customize their learning experience based on their needs, and using the Lift and Shift strategy is less labor-intensive and cost-effective. With the right QA partner, your organization can ensure minimally disruptive migration that extends the capacity and improves the performance potential of e-learning courses.

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