what does LMS mean?
LMS stands for Learning Management System.
An LMS consists of two parts:
A ‘front end’ user interface that is seen and used by admin, managers and learners.
A ‘back end’ CMS (Content Management System) that is used to create and manage content, courses and data and is controlled by Admin users.
who uses an LMS?
The short answer is: everyone involved in taking eLearning modules or implementing them.
- Educational institutions - from major universities to your local primary school.
- Businesses – Businesses of all sizes use LMS’s including big corporates and the smallest SMEs.
- Organisations – Also including non-profit and charitable organisations.
- Government – From the health department to the military.
what an LMS does and doesn’t do
An LMS however will not take over from an L&D employee. Here’s a list of do’s and don’ts for functionality:
- Host eLearning content.
- Reduce costs due to travel of trainers and learners.
- Create a more flexible approach to learning.
- Increase knowledge retention
- Create content – An LMS may include authoring tools for the creation of courses but you are the author of your content.
- Manages and maintains courses/content – This is generally actioned by a designated admin team.
what is the purpose of an LMS?
An LMS can be customised and utilised for a number of different purposes. Here are a few examples of ways that an LMS can benefit different organisations.
- Hosting compliance and introductory content within a business or organisation.
You can reduce costs for staff training by using an LMS to access online training content. An LMS allows users to access tailored content that is specific to them and their career position/group. The face to face training budget can also be reduced as more content can be accessed online.
- Knowledge retention within any organisation.
An LMS allows users to access courses in a time that suits them which means that they are much more likely to be switched on and ready to learn. They can also digest content at their own pace.
This is of course the classic purpose. Elearning is used in schools, colleges and universities both as part of traditional courses and online offerings worldwide. LMSs allow staff to track and produce comprehensive reports on students’ progress. It also makes content available to students 24/7 to learn outside of the traditional class environment.
An LMS can also function as a ‘one stop shop’ for learning. Many off-the-shelf solutions feature chat areas, blogs, reporting and analytics and blended learning in the form of virtual classrooms and course booking as standard so it is worthwhile shopping around when buying an LMS to get the best possible combination for you. More often than not, organisations choose to purchase a bespoke LMS. A customised approach means that they are not paying for features that they do not need.