What is a Learning Management System?
A complete guide to understand Learning Management System (LMS)
Online trainers or training organizations have a lot to manage for any training. They have to create & deliver the course, managing the enrollments, assessments and various required reports. These are the primary reasons that a Learning Management Systemis best suited for such trainers or organizations looking for such solutions.
What is LMS?
A Learning Management System(LMS) is a platform to facilitate the modern training requirement and make it easy and accessible. It also helps smoothen the process right from creating to delivering the course. Learning Management Systemis a robust tool to set up and manage the course modules, course materials, assessments, and evaluations.
It has been a great success in both business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) model. It has been very helpful for an Organization to develop their own course materials and modules in order to attract more learners. It can be used from anywhere like office, home, café, etc.
This platform can be either hosted on the internal server or can be on the cloud hosting. You can expect the upgradation in terms of features that can help in evolving the platform as the best eLearning portal. It is widely used by staffing companies, training institutions, corporates, and educational institutions to promote learning and development among their internal and external stakeholders. Technological advancement in the past few years has definitely helped in evolvement of Learning Management System and its acceptability to the people.
Features of Learning Management System (LMS)
There is a huge variety of Learning Management Systemavailable online to be used as your best corporate training management system. Every LMS systemhas some uniqueness as compared to the other in terms of features, pricing, support, etc. However, there are various features available in almost every Learning Management System:
- Digital Attendance: It has digital attendance capability for sending the invitations and then measuring the attendance of the users.
- Sign-up: It has the ability to allow the users to read the entire eLearning curriculum and sign-up at the end. It is a highly flexible platform for you to manage your sign-up process and the eLearning curriculum.
- Course Planner: You can easily create the course schedule, invite people, set the deadlines and take the test to measure the effectiveness.
- Document Management System: Every Learning Management Systemshould have a robust document management capability in order to upload all the important references for each course.
- Accessibility: Capability to manage and deliver the course content through various modes like Desktop, tablet and mobile phones can work well for any organization.
- Engagement: It has various modes of communication like chat, email, forums, and discussion boards to increase the engagement among the users.
- Social Learning: It has capability of supporting the informal training that can include the collaborative methods to curate and deliver the course with the help of peers and mentors.
- Alerts: It is a very important aspect for any online platform and most of the Learning Management Systems have it. Automatic alerts and notifications to the learners and even to other stakeholders can help in improving the usage of the platform and promote more learning.
- White Label: Capability to white label the platform is one of the best things for the training institutions who are not really willing to accept to deliver the course on other brands.
- Reports: Reporting system helps to improvise the platform on the basis of different parameters. eLearning companies, Content curators and learners can easily understand the effectiveness of the content and analyze if there is a need of any modification to the current course modules.
TYPES OF USERS of LMS
Learning Management Systemis used by learners and the administrators. These are two different types of users using the online training platform as per their defined user roles. Online training platform is widely accepted today across the globe and it is growing year-on-year. Let us understand both the types of users in detail:
- Administrator: The administrator plays an important role in any online platform. They are the back end users of the platform that enable the course modules and ensure the complete course management. They are expected to do the course content management, plan and schedule the learning, creating the learner groups and mapping it with the specific plans, managing the reports of the learners, and other such aspects.
- Learner: Learners are the end users of the eLearning platform in an Organization. They are the ones expected to earn the training after login to the Learning Management System. All the learners are expected to access the course modules, conduct the learning and have the assessment done to evaluate the progress after the training is completed. Learners are allowed to take the training on the basis of various parameters like their job functions, role in an organization, skills, hierarchy, etc.
TYPES OF CUSTOMERS for LMS
Large Corporate:Companies across the globe are using the Learning management systemfor performance improvement and professional development of their staff. Large companies are usually spread across various countries and regions hence they are in constant search of an online training platformthat can help them in achieving their desired goal. They are happy to deploy such global online training initiatives within their organization. Some large corporates use enterprise versions of the learning management system so that they can help their other stakeholders like suppliers, channel partners, franchises, etc in the professional learning and development. This platform can also be used for ensuring the compliances, informing and training about the new product releases to all the stakeholders.
Small and Medium Business (SMB): These are relatively smaller size of organizations mostly short of resources. These types of organizations like to get benefited by utilizing less of their current resources. They are happy to depend on the technology to optimize the output and gain more from the existing limited resources. An online training platformhelps such companies in achieving their goals with limited resources in short span of time. This ensures growth of the business and professional development of its employees.
Freelancer: Learning Management Systemis not limited to the corporate but it also facilitates freelancer trainers who work with less number of clients to train their employees. These freelancers work with lesser number of individuals and try to create customized training courses as per their need.
Advantages of LMS
Any online product can be successful if there is an advantage of using it to an individual or an organization. LMS platform is nothing different. With the advancement in the technology, eLearning Platform has emerged as one of the greatest tools for learning and development. It has various advantages such as:
- Managing entire training for an organization through Online platform
- eLearning Course Modules and content can be reused over the period of time
- It is very easy to adapt to the eLearning platform
- Curriculum creation at its best with the ease of delivery method and evaluation technique
- Economies of scale for every type of organization irrespective of their sizes
- Encouraging learning and development within the organization empowering the staffs with the help of tools
Pricing Model of LMS
FREEmium: The most common pricing model for a startup. Even established players have started giving the basic features for Free and then charge for advanced features. These advanced features are used as add-ons.
License Fee: It is usually the fee paid for annual subscription of the entire platform irrespective of the number of users. In this model you will have to pay if you are looking for updated platform in the future else you can use the same for lifetime.
Subscription Fee: It is usually on the basis of number of features or the users. It can be paid or subscribed against monthly, quarterly, annually but on the basis of number of users. Number of users can be either registered users or active users, some platform may charge on either of the parameters. It completely depends on the Learning Management Systemplatform to define their pricing strategy.
Future of LMS
LMS platform is in high demand due to its various direct and indirect benefits. It is also evident that online mobile users have increased and people have started adapting online learning for their upgradation. It is evolving almost every day and there is something new to experience in terms of advancement in technology. There is still huge capability for the technology platform to go further in terms of enhancement:
- Automation to enhance the benefit of third party integrations.
- Optimizing the cloud platform to achieve the maximum benefit out of it.
- Could be possible to use and do the integration with technologies like AI, VR, etc.
- Further use of collaborative approach to increase the user engagement
With all such integrations and advancements the future of the Learning Management System looks very promising and dynamic.
Learning Management System had a great journey in all these years of evolution of e-Learning. The most important feature has been capability of interacting with the third party integrators and other applications to achieve the organizational objective. An organization can decide the benefit that is expected from an LMS system.