You might be considering improving your organizations learning technology and maybe introducing online learning and perhaps are wondering what benefits this will have to your organization. On the other hand you might be aware of some of the benefits this will have to you but not yet sure or convinced this is the way to go.
Let’s dive deeper and understand what a Learning management system is and some of the benefits you and your organization will reap by deploying it.
What is a learning management system?
This is an application or web-based technology that is used to plan, implement and assess learning processes. It is essentially used for eLearning purposes and mainly consists of two elements: the server which performs the base functionalities and the user interface that instructors, administrators and students operate.
It provides instructors with a way to create content and deliver it, monitor the participation of students, and assess their performance. Students also get the opportunity through interactive features to hold discussions in forums.
What are learning management systems used for?
LMSes have a wide range of use for both institutions of higher education and corporations. However, the primary use is for knowledge management. Knowledge management refers to the gathering, analyzing, organizing and sharing of organizations knowledge in terms of resources, people skills and documents. The specific role of the LMS may however vary depending on the strategy and goals the organization aims to achieve.
For corporations, employee training and onboarding are the most common uses of LMS. It helps train new employees by providing training materials that can be accessed across various devices. Feedback can also be collected from the new employees to assess the effectiveness of the training and identify areas the new employees may need more assistance.
They can also be used for extended enterprise training. These include customer, member and partner training. Technology and software companies apply customer training to teach users how to the system works before they use it. Ongoing customer training improves the customer experience and helps increase brand loyalty.
Features of a learning management system
Some of the features associated a LMS are:
It should have a responsive design so that users can access it from the device of their choice. Be it a laptop, desktop, tablet ore even smartphone. It should automatically display the best suited version of the device the user is using. It should also allow users to download content and access it later while offline.
User friendly interface
The user interface should be easy to navigate by the users. It should also align with the goals that both the user and organization want to achieve.
Reports and analytics
Administrators and instructors must be able to track progress of their learning initiatives to determine their effectiveness. This includes eLearning assessment tools and can be applied to groups of learners or individuals.
Course and catalogue management
All the eLearning courses and course content are held in the LMS. Admins and instructors should be able to create and manage these catalogues in order to deliver a better learning experience.
Content interoperability and integration
Content that has been created and stored in an LMS should be packed in a manner that is in accordance with interoperable standards.
Vendors of LMS offer varying levels of support. Some may provide discussion boards where users can interact while online and discuss issues. Other services like a toll-free number can also be provide but this will attract extra costs.
Certification and compliance support
This one is essential for systems used in online certifications and compliance training. An instructor or admin should be able to assess the skill set of an individual to identify any performance gaps. This feature also makes it possible to use the LMS records in case of an audit.
Social learning capabilities
This feature enables users to interact, collaborate and share learning experiences through social media. Many LMS systems have started including social media tools in their platforms.
This feature includes game mechanics that allow instructors and administrators to come up with courses that have more engagement and extra motivation to complete. The incentives to complete the courses may include badges, leaderboards and points.
A good LMS should enable administrators to automate tasks that are tedious and repetitive.
This feature may include geolocation that will allow users to automatically access the appropriate version of the course based on location and even language.
This can help a LMS create personalized learning experiences for users by suggesting topics and providing course formats that are according to their interests.
Types of Learning Management Systems
There are four different types of LMS namely:
Cloud based LMS
This one follows the SaaS model and the LMS is hosted on the cloud. The vendor takes care of the system and performs any updates or upgrades. The system can be accessed from anywhere as long as one has a password and username.
Desktop application LMS
This one is installed on the user’s desktop but can still be accessed on multiple devices.
Mobile application LMS
This one is accessible anywhere as long as one has a mobile phone with internet connectivity. It supports mobile learning and allows users to engage and track their learning initiatives on the go.
This requires the user to download the software. It gives greater creative control and customization to the user, who must maintain the system themselves. Users pay for updates themselves.
Benefits of a learning management system
Some of the benefits of a learning management system include:
- The ability to monitor user performance and progress
- Increased accessibility without geographic boundaries
- The ability to personalize the training and learning experience.
- Ability to easily and efficiently make updates.
- One can ensure online learning and training materials are being distributed effectively.
- Automation helps users to concentrate more on important activities and forget the repetitive and tedious ones.
Learning management systems have been a game changer not only to institutions of higher education but also organizations. From employee training to making it easier for instructors and lectures to monitor the learning activities of students, LMS has changed the learning landscape significantly. As the LMS keep being improved on, we can only sit and fantasize on how the future of learning is going to look like.
Finally, connect with edtech development company to know more about learning management systems