If you are ready to transition from traditional training to online training, then you need to know something about Learning Management Systems (LMS) as well as the benefits and features to look for in a Learning Management System. In this article, we will look at what you need to know about a Learning Management System including the basic functions and features of LMS. Learning Management System is a term that is frequently used in eLearning articles and beginners guides but it is important to understand what it entails and its benefits.

What Is a Learning Management System?

A Learning Management System often abbreviated as LMS is a software application that is designed to deliver, report, track and administer training. In other words, Learning Management Systems enables you to create, report and deliver on training programs and courses. There are several types of Learning Management Systems available to choose from which is why most people including businesses find it difficult to choose an LMS. Learning Management Systems are basically classified into two main categories namely:

  • Open source LMS Vs Commercial LMS
  • Installation LMS Vs Cloud-based LMS (Saas)

While commercial LMSs incur a certain cost open source LMSs are absolutely free although they do require a lot of set up, upgrades, hosting and maintenance to keep them operational. This may actually be more expensive than paying for a commercial LMS subscription or license.

When choosing between an installation LMS or a cloud-based learning management system, the choice will be whether to install your LMS on the organization’s hardware or to choose cloud-based services. While most companies opt for cloud-based solutions, some go for a full network installation as a result of their network limitations but in order to avoid additional costs as well as upkeep, using a cloud-based software as a service (Saas) is most preferred.

What are the Basic Functions and Uses of a Learning Management System?

Everyone has a unique approach to LMS depending on its intended purpose but it is a valuable tool for any organization with training needs. An organization can use it to train their own staff including learners who are external to the company such as customers, resellers or partners. LMS can also be used to sell eLearning courses and programs allowing learners to purchase courses online. Learners can get free training courses online with certificates to advance their educational and professional skills. LMSs enable client-focused training since each an every client can be issued with their own partition of a Learning Management System known as a portal. These systems also facilitate compliance training by helping to track the progress of mandatory courses as well as credits and certification to proof compliance.

What are the Features of a Learning Management System (LMS)?

Organizations have several LMS options on the market to choose from and each has its own unique features. However, some features are considered to be standard and these include:

  • Creation of courses
  • Enrollment
  • A reporting suite

LMSs basically allow you to create training courses or upload pre-existing courses. You will also be able to upload relevant training material in form of document, audio or video. You can also create examinations, surveys and quizzes within the system which allows you to assess the learners performance.

Once you publish a particular course, you are able to decide the category of learners to be enrolled hence you can notify them of their enrollment by email including the expected time frame within which the course is to be completed. The reporting suite generally allows you to monitor the progress of your learner since you will be able to access a variety of reporting tools to track course progression and performance.

Author's Bio: 

Having more than 15 years of professional experience in IT, I love to write on various topics related to Information Technology, Education and skill development.