Do you need a Learning Management System (LMS)?
A Learning Management System (LMS) is a software application used to create, plan, deliver, and track various learning or training programs. This kind of elearning platform can be used in schools and universities, educational institutions, companies looking to train their employees, and various other types of organizations. The Learning Management System market is huge. Expected to reach 17 billion USD in 2022, it currently holds the largest segment of the elearning market. With this article we will detail where all LMS can be utilized, what are its main characteristics, and whether or not your business needs it!
Learning Management System Examples
The very basic principle of an LMS is to provide an online platform through which an instructor can deliver personalized courses to students, manage the content, and follow the students’ progress. Course-related materials are available for students to learn at their own pace whenever they like. There are different types of LMS, of which the most commonly used are:
A cloud-based LMS is hosted on a remote server, and can be accessed from anywhere as it does not require any specific hardware or software to be installed on a user’s computer. These types of LMS are a relatively cheaper option which is easy to implement, and provide a high level of cyber-security. Therefore, they are the easiest solution for small and medium-sized businesses who may not have the required infrastructure or technical team required for maintenance.
The most common type of cloud-based service model is Saas (Software-as-a-Service). Easily accessible through a web portal, SaaS applications work on a subscription basis, and can have multiple payment levels depending on the number of subscribers, meaning this is a solution which can easily be scaled both up and down.
Open Source LMS and Free LMS
There are tons of free LMS options online. One example are platforms offering free versions of the system to a certain number of users or for a certain amount of features. Beyond that, the provider offers paid options for more users/features. Another type of free LMS are open-source learning management systems. This means the creators have made the source code available for any developer/user to modify for their own purpose. The downside is you might have to hire a technical consultant to change/implement the code, and there is rarely any customer support.
A proprietary LMS is a closed-source software built and hosted by one company, whose source code cannot be changed by users. This kind of LMS comes with a copyright license, preventing competitors from copying their product. Proprietary LMS usually have in-house technical teams to support customers with installation, maintenance, as well as with any issues that might arise.
The amount of features you get in your LMS would depend on the price tag attached to it. Nevertheless, even the best learning management systems have a set of fundamental features:
Course material management
includes course creation and categorization, test and assignment implementation, user enrollment, notification delivery, etc.
Tracking and reporting
includes elearning assessment tools, user progress tracking, automatic test results report generation, etc.
Accessible and responsive design
the content is available both online and offline and can be accessed through any digital device – the UI adapts to different screen sizes.
Intuitive, user-friendly interface
the platform is easy to navigate and therefore doesn’t deter users from actually using it, or using it effectively.
allowing for communication between teachers and students, or just between users through chats, discussion forums, etc.
should integrate well with other systems, thus eliminating the need for multiple platforms which are more expensive, time-consuming, and generally a hassle.
Some not so basic features include
personalized approach and immersive experience.
Personalized learning experiences
Many LMS use AI technologies to create individual learning plans for users based on their interests and abilities.
Learning can be made more fun and more effective by incorporating immersive technologies like gamification, VR and AR technologies, etc.
Do you need a Learning Management System?
Throughout this article, we’ve detailed how a business can benefit from using a learning management system. Let’s check out some specific use cases for LMS implementation and see if you recognize your business needs anywhere:
- Employee training/onboarding activities
- Hosting learning content for employees
- Setting up a single educational platform for all employees
- Complementing other learning systems
- Constructing a social platform
- Credentialing platform
If you feel like you fit into one or more categories from the list above, you could definitely benefit from choosing a learning management system. If you are a small to medium-sized business, maybe you can choose one of the hundreds of commercially available LMS software on the market. If you manage a large enterprise or require a customized solution, get in touch with our software house. We will create tailor-made software for your specific business needs.