A learning management system (LMS) is a software application for the administration, documentation, monitoring, reporting, automation and delivery of educational courses, training programs, materials, or learning and development programs. The concept of a learning management system grew directly from e-learning. The teacher's role can configure the course to be a fully online e-learning course or to have a mixed approach. The LMS gives us the flexibility to prioritize the online class or the physical class of a course.
The blended learning approach combines e-learning with traditional learning experiences, such as a conference or training session. You can set up training “units” taught by an instructor within LMS courses. A learning management system gives you the power to monitor every aspect of learning. By collecting feedback and observing data analysis, you can know if your students are getting the most out of their online learning experience and if the quality of your content is high enough.
An LMS seems like a big outlay for a company that has just started developing its e-learning offerings, but it's a significant investment. You don't need a dedicated L&D department to find value in an LMS. A good LMS, especially a collaborative learning tool, makes it easy for any member of the company to create and share courses. An LMS is by far the most efficient way to run an online learning program, for both administrators and students.
Ad hoc solutions, such as video tutorials on YouTube, educational documents and webinars, can only take you so far. While you can share some information this way, but without the tools that an LMS provides, you can never create an organized learning program. Moving from face-to-face or informal online learning programs to a comprehensive online learning system gives your learning programs an enormous boost in efficiency and effectiveness. With an LMS, learning administrators can create complete courses quickly, without the help of a developer.
All important information is stored in one place so that employees can easily find what they need. It's easy for an e-learning program to scale up with the company, because there's no limit to the number of times you can reuse and update each course. A collaborative learning platform takes this a step further by democratizing the learning process, relieving some pressure from learning managers, and increasing employee responsibility when requesting and creating courses. It's easier to conduct an efficient analysis of training needs because employees directly indicate what they need to learn.
An LMS makes courses more impactful and easier to consume. With an LMS, employees can access their learning materials from anywhere, allowing them to learn on their own schedule and pace. The easier it is for employees to complete online training courses, the more likely they are to actually do so. In the meantime, managers can monitor completion rates to ensure that employees are truly taking advantage of the resources available to them.
Background analysis and employee feedback help ensure that courses are useful and of good quality. Make informed decisions about whether to expand excellent courses and eliminate or rework those that aren't effective. All of this leads to a more efficient use of resources and a better ROI in learning programs. Online learning also helps preserve valuable internal knowledge within the company.
If employees share their experience in an online course, it stays there long after they've left the company. An LMS allows you to create, manage, and deliver e-learning courses in the same way that word processors (such as Microsoft Word) help you write documents and email servers (such as Gmail) help you manage your email. An LMS automates the most boring and tedious tasks, such as grading, processing statistics, analysis, and preparing reports. In order to offer your e-learning content and therefore LMS training, you must first add it to your LMS.
Learning management teams use their LMS to store, organize, and distribute courses to employees as needed. You are responsible for the installation, monitoring and upgrades, and you retain direct access to your LMS to customize or integrate it with the rest of your infrastructure. The best LMS platforms should also be able to adapt to mobile devices, with adaptable user interfaces, tactile interactions, and modes accessible without an Internet connection. Halfway between locally implemented options and cloud options, you get a secure, private LMS environment that doesn't share resources or code with other companies, giving you the best possible performance and security.
While traditional LMS and LXP mean that the responsibility for creating the courses falls on the L&D department, collaborative learning platforms allow any member of the company to create learning content. The LMS can be used to train its employees and the education sector can use it to empower students with access through multiple devices. By using LMS training, you can reduce employee training costs, since you'll spend less money and effort compared to hiring specialized instructors to teach conventional seminars. While corporate organizations or government agencies use SCORM more, the LMS LTI is popular in higher education.
As part of an organization that implements an LMS, you can configure different people such as students, instructors, and system administrators, each with their own set of interfaces, access levels, and permissions. Most LMS providers follow a SaaS (software as a service) model, for which companies pay monthly, depending on their usage. You can download and use this LMS comparison guide to compare different platforms side by side and facilitate your final choice. Or, if you're an agency that helps companies develop the social skills of their employees, you can create a course in your LMS and share it with your different clients.