What is a Learning Management System? (LMS)
What is a learning management system ? A learning management system (LMS) is an amazing tool that creates, distributes, and tracks your online training programs effectively. It helps the entire administration of an educational course or training program deployed online.
Key Features of a LMS
- A Learning Management System successfully manages training or educational records to the distribution of various modules and exams for universities these days. LMS is extensively used in higher education nowadays with the increasing trend of online exams. This technology also helps organisations adopt more advanced training programs online.
- A LMS facilitates employees or students to log in directly to their individual training program and browse and take up a variety of modules. This kind of online training reduces the in-house training costs, improves the learning outcome as individuals have the flexibility to take and retake courses at their leisure and training can be made available to a greater number of people.
- A LMS also helps to streamline organisational records, as it is easy to keep a track of employees who have attended and completed each course. This proves to be of great help especially during audits and for monitoring compliance. Mandatory training courses for new hires or employees heading to a specific job can be taken and completed within a couple of hours too, instead of having them take up tedious classroom training sessions.
- Ongoing assessment is also an essential option offered by a LMS, where employees can provide instant feedback which provides scope for future improvements. Regular tests are designed to ensure that the employee retains all critical information in their minds. It helps to eliminate errors at the workplace and brings to the forefront any knowledge gaps that can help customise a training program for each and every employee.
- Cloud computing has further enhanced the usage of LMS software, as training can be taken anytime and anywhere these days owing to the accessibility on mobile devices.
Common Components of a Learning Management System (LMS)
The Learning Management System is a framework that oversees the learning process, compared to course management system, which is a more focused and limited software. A LMS has a robust infrastructure that manages all the course content, right from registration to the syllabus. It can be likened to an online university which takes care of administration, analyses skills gaps, tracks, reports and grades, employee appraisals, succession planning and so much more.
Since most of these courses are web-based, a LMS allow them to be accessed anywhere and the course material may be modified, and even additional materials can be inserted.
Every LMS is unique, and there are more than 600 different types of LMS available in the market these days. However, they differ in the level of performance and optional extras based on the model. Some LMSs offer much greater levels of customization. Let’s take a look at some of the common components of a LMS:
- Rosters: This is a digital register, which facilitates tracking the individuals who have attended and completed each training program or module or course.
- Document Manager: It is a common space where you can upload and manage your training materials.
- Multiple device access: These are tools that enable the course content to be delivered over web-based access points like cell phones, desktops, or tablets.
- Distributed instructor and students: It facilitates access and participation by several instructors, students, and reviewers from across the world and enables them to work together.
- Calendar: It facilitates the simple creation of a course calendar with schedules, deadlines and the build-up to tests.
- Student engagement: It facilitates interaction between the students via various forums, instant messaging facility, and email chains.
- Assessment and testing: It enables easy creation of simple tests based on the course material, or even comprehensive tests at the end of each module and course.
- Grading and results: LMS facilitates automatic marking which saves time significantly and provides instant feedback.
- Automatic enrolment: A corporate Learning Management System reminds employees of mandatory courses that they need to take and also registers them automatically.
- Enhanced security: A lot of corporate LMS tools offer more advanced sign-ins.
- White-labelling: Corporate LMSs provide the ability to brand the online content more effectively in order to ensure that it suits the corporate identity.
- Multilingual support: Since many companies operate across countries and continents, they need to train their employees consistently across the world to ensure that the company standards are met internationally. A corporate LMS is equipped to provide multilingual support.