What Is A Learning Management System (LMS)?
A Learning Management System is a software or web-based technology developed to plan, execute, and assess specific learning processes.
This is used for online learning and contains two crucial elements: a server that implements base functionality and a user interface that’s operated by administrators, instructors, and students.
Learning Management Systems give instructors a way to create and deliver content, oversee student participation, and assess students’ performance. An LMS may also give students the ability to use interface features like video conferencing, threaded discussions, and discussion forums.
These systems are often used by businesses, federal government agencies, local governments, eLearning based schools, and traditional educational institutions. LMSes enhance traditional learning methods while also saving time and money. A working system will enable administrators and instructors to effectively manage user registration, calendars, communication, content, user access, notifications, and certifications.
The United States Department of Defense sponsors the creation and advancement of Shared Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) specifications to promote the standardization of Learning Management Systems.
What Is A Learning Management System Used for?
An LMS is beneficial to many organizations, including high schools, higher education institutions, and corporations. The main use of an LMS is for Knowledge management (KM). KM entails gathering, planning, sharing, and analyzing an organization’s knowledge regarding resources, documents, and people skills.
However, each Learning Management System’s role will vary depending on the organization’s goals and training strategy.
Employee onboarding and training are one of the common use cases for learning management in a corporate environment. Here, the Learning Management System is used to train new employees by giving them opportunities to access training resources across different devices.
New employees can be recognized once they add their knowledge and feedback, which, in turn, helps employers understand the effectiveness of their training courses and note the areas where employees require assistance.
Learning Management Systems can be used for extended training purposes as well. This includes client, member, and partner training. Customer training is common in technology and software companies where users have to be taken through the system’s basics before starting using a new product.
Giving ongoing customer training will also play a role in improving customer experience as well as brand loyalty.
Another use of a Learning Management System in corporate environments is for worker development and retention. An LMS can assign current employees the necessary resources to make sure that they’re developing essential job skills, staying informed about product changes, and retaining relevant knowledge through compliance and new product training.
How Does An LMS Work?
A learning Management System is a big respiratory that enables users to store and track information in a central place. Users have secure logins and passwords to access the learning system as well as its online learning resources.
The system can be self-hosted as well, in which case the user would have to either access the software through the company’s server or install it on their hard drive.
WHAT CAN AN LMS DO FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION?
There are many benefits of an eLearning Management System for your organization, including:
- Allows for consistent design and messaging across all training and sales content.
- Helps you deliver your training/sales messages faster to more recipients than you ever could without an LMS.
- Allows you to track and evaluate user learning, which helps determine what training content is most effective.
- Helps you deliver your training/sales content when it is needed. If a salesperson forgets or misplaces their guide booklet on how to sell software, the LMS allows them to download it again.
- Collects and stores all your training/sales content in one location, making it much easier for employees to find the information they need.
WILL YOUR CUSTOMERS BENEFIT FROM AN LMS?
An LMS that is designed specifically for training/sales can be a great resource for your customers. Here are some ways that a consumer might benefit:
- Training-specific eLearning courses can be completed at the employee’s convenience from any computer, rather than being tied to classroom time or scheduled meetings with an instructor.
- Allows employees to learn more about products/services without having to call or email the company.
- Enables employees to learn on their own schedule, through the use of online instructional videos, audio lectures and practice tests.
WHY SHOULD YOU CONSIDER AN LMS FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
If you are looking for a tool to help boost the productivity within your sales force or deliver more training to your employees, an LMS is an affordable solution. Although many companies are moving away from traditional face-to-face training to online training, there is still a place for both in business. An LMS gives you the flexibility needed to deliver more training/sales content when and where it will do the most good for your organization. And let’s face it, isn’t that what you want? After all, the main goal of an LMS is to deliver training and sales content.
Key Features of a Learning Management System
A Responsive Design
LMS users should easily access the system from a device of their choice, whether it’s a tablet, laptop, desktop, or smartphone. The system should automatically display the best-suited version for the user’s device. Also, the system should give users access to download content for offline use.
The user interface (UI) of an LMS should enable learners to navigate the platform easily. It should also align with the goals and abilities of both the organization and the user. An unintuitive UI can confuse or distract users.
Reports and Analytics
This includes online learning assessment tools. Administrators and Instructors should view and track their virtual teaching initiatives to know whether they are perfect or require adjusting. This can be applied to learner groups and individuals.
Course and Catalog Management
The Learning Management System holds all the virtual learning courses and related course content. Administrators and instructors need to create and manage catalogs and courses to deliver a more targeted learning experience.
Content Interoperability and Integration
Content created and stored in a Learning Management System should be packaged according to interoperable standards, such as SCORM and xAPI.
Different LMS vendors provide distinct levels of support. Many offer online discussion boards. Here, users can connect and assist each other. Additional support services, like a dedicated toll-free service number, can be added at an extra cost.
Certification and Compliance Support
This feature is important to systems used for online compliance training as well as certifications. Administrators and Instructors should assess an individual’s skillset and point out any gaps in their performance. This feature will also make an LMS useful during an audit.
Social Learning Capabilities
Many Learning Management Systems now include social media tools. This enables users to interact with their peers, partner, and share their learning experiences.
Some Learning Management Systems include built-in gamification features or gaming mechanics that allow administrators and instructors to create extra engagement and motivation courses. This can help students perform best with an extra incentive to complete the course. It often comes in the form of leaderboards, badges, and points.
LMSes should allow administrators to automate repetitive and tedious tasks. Examples include new user population, group enrollments, user grouping, and user deactivation.
Learning Management Systems need to include multilingual support features. This helps to make the learning and training content to remain unaffected by language barriers. Some LMSes add geolocation features that automatically help them present the correct version of the course upon access.
Artificial intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence can help a Learning Management System create customized learning experiences for users by offering course formats that suit their needs and by suggesting courses or topics the user may find interesting depending on the courses they have completed.
Types of Learning Management Systems
Cloud-Based Learning management systems are hosted online/on the cloud and typically follow a SaaS (Software as a Service) business model. Vendors of Cloud-based systems maintain the system and perform technical upgrades or updates.
Online users can access cloud-based systems at anytime, anywhere, using the right login details.
Self-hosted Learning Management Systems require users to download software. The platform offers greater customization and creative control. However, users need to maintain the system themselves and must pay for updates often.
Desktop Application Learning Management Systems are installed on the user’s desktop. Still, the application may be accessible on multiple devices.
Mobile Application Learning Management Systems support mobile learning and can be used whenever and wherever via mobile devices. This platform allows users to engage with and track their online learning on the go.
The different pricing models used for LMSes include:
- Freemium – This pricing model gives users access to the basic features of some LMS platforms. The moment users start engaging with the system’s more advanced functionalities, then a fee is added.
- Subscription – On this option, users pay a recurrent fee at timely intervals to access the LMS. The subscription may grant you total access to all LMS features or require you to pay for each system user.
- Licensing – This is either a yearly fee that companies need to renew or an upfront charge that offers users unlimited lifetime access.
Benefits of an LMS
LMSes offer users many benefits, regardless of the type of organization using it. For instance, a Learning Management System can save an organization a lot of time and money. Besides making learners take time out of their day to travel and for physical classes, these systems allow users to complete the school work at their convenient time. Also, costs can be reduced by getting rid of instructors’ needs, training materials, training days, location hiring, and travel expenses.
Other benefits of LMSes are:
- ability to monitor a user’s performance and progress;
- increased online learning accessibility without location limitations;
- ability to customize the learning experience and training;
- ability to efficiently and easily update eLearning activities and modules;
- ability to make sure that online training and learning resources are being distributed efficiently; and
- automation to keep users away from tedious, repetitive tasks — like enrollment and certification distribution — and focus on more resourceful tasks.
Finally, Learning Management Systems provide centralized learning. This enables an organization to organize and store all big data safely in one location. This allows admins and instructors to update and maintain learning materials more easily. It also helps produce efficient training that’s consistent across the organization. Besides, most LMSes have advanced encryption features to ensure the content and data remain secure.
An LMS can also be used to provide students with blended learning experiences. Blended learning combines traditional teaching in the classroom with online learning tools. This method is more effective than simple face-to-face education because it enriches the classroom-based experience with additional digital content customized to fit a student’s specific learning needs.
One of the current trends within the eLearning industry is to offer multiple functions together on one platform. This allows companies who purchase an LMS to do more with less. Using this approach, you can create training content and sell it through your own eStore (which is also part of the platform.) You could even offer online courses that are self-paced or have a live instructor component.
WILL AN LMS WORK FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
Even if you already have someone creating your training/sales content for you, having an LMS in place will make things run smoother. A good LMS will:
- Allow you to streamline all processes related to the delivery of information from pre-production to post-production;
- Help you organize and manage all documentation and data within your organization;
- Provide a consistent look-and-feel and user experience across all training/sales content;
- Provide you with an environment to quickly create customized, goal-based learning paths for your users;
- Enables you to determine which training or sales content is most effective according to individual needs;
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THE RIGHT LMS FOR YOUR COMPANY?
When it comes to choosing the right LMS for your business, there are several factors that should be considered. These include:
- How much time will employees spend each week using the software? If they will only use it occasionally, a simple system may be best. On the other hand, if most of them will use it every day, then an advanced system will be needed.
- Will there be a lot of online training, or will the transactions only take place in person? If most of it will occur face to face, then an advanced system may not be necessary. However, if you have a large online component, then choose one that has been proven to handle many users smoothly.
- How much content is already available within your company? When adding new learning content to an LMS system, you want to make sure that they do not conflict with each other and are as easy as possible for employees to find and use. This requires a little planning before getting started.
WHAT MAKES A GREAT LMS FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
Every LMS is different from the next, so there isn’t one size fits all answer to this question. However, you can use the following list as a guide:
- Scalability: Does it have the ability to easily scale up or down depending on your needs?
- User Experience: Is the content easy to find and interact with? Can it be accessed from most any device at any time?
- Support System: Is customer support readily available when needed? Are tech support issues taken care of quickly? Will they ensure that upgrades and/or additional features are implemented within the specified time frame?
WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF AN LMS FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
As more businesses adopt an eLearning environment within their organization, they will realize that an LMS will be the foundation for success. It doesn’t have to be overly complicated or difficult to use. In fact, one of the main reasons why companies like Salesforce, Oracle and Microsoft are getting involved with this market is because they provide a solid system that works well together with their other programs/solutions.
In short, learning management systems (LMSs) are here to stay! They offer businesses an easy way to deliver training/sales content throughout all levels within the organization as well as give them flexibility in how it’s presented. There are many options right now when it comes to choosing an LMS for your company, but keep in mind what you want out of one before making a final decision.
GOT QUESTIONS ABOUT AN LMS?
If you have any questions about this topic or want even more tips on how to choose the right learning system for your business, please don’t hesitate to contact us at https://www.highschoolofamerica.com/about-us/request-info/ or call us on +1-(888) 242-4262.
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