Michael got a new achievement: he is “The Ambassador.” He is now in fifteenth place in the overall standings, but more importantly, he has earned a position in the standings compared to his colleague George of Miami, given the competition between the two. They are not playing World of Warcraft. Michael is the manager of a supermarket belonging to a major chain of stores. He achieved this after completing The Standards of Service online course. You can upload your learning resources online and implement the same principles as the game using a learning management system , or LMS. We will explain everything about the LMS platform: what it means and how they can be useful to you.
Learning management system: what is it?
A Learning Management System (LMS) is a software or SaaS platform ideal for organizations and suitable for the distribution, management and design of an organization’s online training programs. Its main features can be explained thanks to its acronym.
L – Learning . An LMS is a container for your digital courses and training materials. It can thus become a unique source of knowledge in your organization, able to maintain and increase the internal skills of your company.
M – Management . You can manage courses and students to improve your effectiveness.
Unlike file sharing services, an LMS is not just an archive with several files, but a well-organized system in which you manage the entire training path. To get started, just add collaborators and assign courses to them.
Did you hire anyone? Send onboarding training invitations. Did sales go down? Practice your sales department with virtual customers. Thanks to features such as the calendar, it is possible to assign and manage not only online training but also classroom lessons. Thus, an Learning Management System can be a kind of application with the list of training courses to be followed and created specifically for your “e-Students”.
S – System . Computer system, to be precise. Even if your employees live in different time zones, you can train them without leaving your office. In addition, an Learning Management System automates the most tedious work, such as evaluating, processing statistics and generating reports.
In other words, an Learning Management System is like your online university. The system helps you create and save eLearning courses, gives learners access to content and helps evaluate results.
What type of Learning Management System to choose?
Now that your quest for Learning Management System meaning has been answered, it’s time to understand what the major learning platforms are and how they differ from each other. Here is a description of the different types of Learning Management systems:
Corporate or academic Learning Management System platform?
Both business and academic platforms offer access to online learning materials and automate various aspects of the learning process. However, there are also differences between these two types of LMS.
Academic training aims to produce good students who have in-depth knowledge in their subjects and strive to learn more. In this case, the ultimate goal is theoretical knowledge. Business training places an emphasis on application-related learning, and one of its main goals is ROI, or return on investment.
Timeline of the course
For workforce training, time limits are more stringent, so a corporate LMS must be flexible enough to adapt to all business timelines and needs. Semesters, quarters and quarters, are the timelines for educational and academic institutions. For these institutions, the LMS should offer scheduled units such as holidays, exam dates and sessions.
Certifications or grades
A business training platform offers tracking and completion capabilities in the form of certifications. An academic LMS typically tracks student progress through a grading system. It offers logs to track homework attendance and results, and keeps other types of information for each student in the program.
Social learning tools
Other functionalities normally offered by an academic learning platform concern the ability to create groups of students for class projects and workshops, discussion tables and integrated tools for videoconferencing.
The content students need are based on science and humanities; that is why an educational LMS platform is not required to update content regularly. As markets change fairly quickly, an enterprise LMS platform should be able to update courses quickly and smoothly.
Free or commercial platform
This is usually one of the first challenges companies face when choosing an LMS: deciding between a free and open source system and a commercial platform. In fact, there is a false belief that all open source LMS platforms are free. Even if there are no fees to pay, this does not mean that there are no costs. You are likely to spend more on an open source platform than a commercial Learning Management System, as you need to set up a server and hosting architecture, customize features that start out standardized, fine-tune your site branding, and update your system regularly. Furthermore, if there are no technical talents within the team who can fully customize the platform for your company, your eLearning project is doomed to fail.
The ideal solution for users who do not have computer skills is commercial software. Generally, it is easier to implement and use, and offers technical support services at no additional cost.
LMS SaaS / cloud vs LMS hosted locally
You can choose a SaaS (software as a service) Learning Management System or store data on corporate servers. If you decide to host the system yourself, you are fully responsible for all server specifications, uptime and security. If you select a SaaS system, your Learning Management System provider will take care of the load, server backup and any other aspect related to archiving your training data. This is the best option if you don’t have IT staff in place to manage the system and take care of support, customization, and scalability issues. Instead of spending time managing the LMS, you can focus on creating educational content.
Some companies shy away from a cloud-based LMS platform because they are concerned about data security. They think that if their information is not stored on a remote server, it could be compromised. However, there are several ways to protect your data. For example, you could check whether the Learning Management System provider has strong encryption protocols and will back up your information.
Course Creation (LCMS) or Non-Course Creation (LMS)
To be precise, an LMS (learning management system) is a tool that simply allows you to deliver ready-to-use content. A system that, in addition to the delivery, has functionalities for creating courses is called LCMS (learning content management system), ie a system for the management of training contents.
There is a delicate balance between these two systems. An LCMS has greater capabilities for creating and managing eLearning content, while an LMS focuses on user management and offers a wider range of learning experiences. For example, it allows you to manage more traditional training methods, such as scheduling face-to-face events in the classroom. If you create your courses in-house, you can choose between two alternatives: get an LCMS, or buy an LMS and an authoring tool separately.
In any case, you will have to face two problems:
Built-in editors generally have heavy feature limitations, so you’ll only be able to create elementary courses or tests Not all LMS and authoring tools are compatible with each other. There may be difficulties loading courses into the system or tracking student progress, for example. If you want to avoid compatibility problems and create beautiful interactive courses, choose an LMS with an authoring tool provided. For example, iSpring Learn LMS integrates seamlessly with iSpring Suite. This integration allows you to create professional-looking online courses, easily upload them to the platform, and take advantage of advanced reporting capabilities.