Find out more about Learning Management System
What is Learning Management System?
Learning management software helps companies to regulate the delivery of online educational courses, from employee training materials and workshop courses to college curricula or hybrid types. First and foremost, this tools can collect multiples learning metrics for students to allow you to define the most suitable learning environment for any student. Apply it to perform skills gap analysis with pre-testing, or measure personalized learning curve for the course and adjust the learning pace. In the same way, it is simpler to evaluate student accomplishment by presetting your after-course tests and metrics. Learning management software will at the same time automate the cumbersome task of record-keeping and registration, while some solutions even feature collaboration functions to develop course materials. If you need to read more about learning management software, continue checking the best apps in the category, and consider our top app TalentLMS when making a decision.
Most Popular Learning Management System
Best Learning Management System
How to Choose Learning Management Software
Learning Management System (LMS) is the broad term used for managing online courses to train, educate, or orient a group of learners. Technically, LMS does not involve creation of content. The software only focuses on providing training materials, it allows you to manage your students’ progress and keep an eye on their performance. However, a lot of vendors include collaborative functionalities in their LMS services making it possible for teachers and coaches in various locations collaborate on expanding the course itself. It’s one of the important distinctions to look for when subscribing to an LMS plan. Here are a few more aspects to help you choose the best learning management software solution.
Get to know each product with free trial
It’s definitely a good idea to research the best learning management software by trying out at least a couple of free trial plans from well-known vendors. It can save you time and money as you will have the opportunity to get hands on experience with crucial features you will most likely find the significant issues. The best thing to do is to try services that currently have the highest results in our SmartScore and Custmer Satisfaction Rating in the customer support software category: Talent LMS reviews, Docebo, and MyOwnConference
Training and learning are critical for every business, be it a small, medium, or large one. Now that technology has taken over corporate training, the shift is becoming global and it doesn’t exclude any company:
- Small Businesses. Best LMS software systems are also designed to meet small businesses’ requirements for flexibility, namely to ensure employees 24/7 access to training and materials without spending a fortune to do it. Most generally, small businesses require SaaS solutions because they are more affordable, easier to implement, and less requiring to maintain.
- Medium Businesses. In the case of medium businesses, LMSs are recommended even if they have a healthy budget and a streamlined workforce to train. What these programs can do for them is to save their time, and to let them focus on more productive aspects of their work line. Besides, being ranks in the mid-sized category usually indicates that the business is growing, and that’s where facilitating the hiring process is most necessary.
- Large Businesses. Finally, LMSs are very welcome on enterprise level too, because they lower large companies’ bottom lines. What this means is that large companies have a lot of employees to train, and a highly controlled budget to divide, and they can benefit from every solution that cuts their long-term costs.
Learning Management Software For Enterprises
Learning management systems are a catch for heavy-equipped teams, and that’s mostly because of their ability to retain them in control of their training processes regardless of the number of trainees involved. To start with, they make it incredibly easy to draft a variety of complex courses, in particular such with sub-courses and individual modules for each student. The systems’ interface usually allows branding and customization, providing unique login pages and benefits for the students involved. At the same time, solid LMSs can be used for faster turnarounds, improved employee satisfaction rates, prosperous marketing strategies, or even payment and e-commerce control.
- TalentLMS: One of the best LMS software tools for delivering information and enhancing participation with a myriad of advanced capabilities such as web-conferencing, statistics, e-commerce, etc.
- Schoology: A revolutionary tool for learning and social networking that streamlines sharing and content management. It also offers a systematic approach to content creation.
- Docebo: One of the leading SaaS solutions (cloud solutions are also available) that attends global customers and operates in 30 languages. It is also mobile-optimized and easy to integrate.
- Canvas LMS: A customizable solution that streamlines the relationship between learners and teachers, famous by a variety of unique and creative learning gadgets.
- Edmodo: Another reputable social learning system empowered with group learning and online classrooms, evaluation statistics, and gamification.
Types of Learning Management Systems
Depending on deployment, there are three different types of Learning Management Systems:
- On-Premise Learning Management Systems. Most of the time, learning management systems are sold to customers on premise, meaning that they are enterprise products hosted on the company’s own server. They are traditionally more expensive, but their price can be justified by the fact that they offer more customization and individualization than any other type, and they tackle scalability issues. Most of them can be integrated with other locally hosted products.
- SaaS Learning Management Systems. SaaS, or Software-as-a-Service systems are those hosted on the vendor’s server for you to access from any location. They are known for being very flexible, and that’s because the vendor is in charge of upgrading them and providing IT support, while they user doesn’t need to care about scalability. Scaling them up and down is easy even without experience, and they are considerably less expensive than the on-premise ones.
- Cloud-Hosted Learning Management Systems. Cloud-hosted LMSs are probably the most popular option among companies looking for streamlined and cost-effective training. They are hosted on the Internet and accessed by logging on the vendors’ site, which is exactly where all communication and training is taking place. Due the fact that there are no implementation and maintenance costs, they rank as the least expensive solutions for online training.
Key Features of Learning Management Systems
LMS solutions vary as oranges to lemons, but they do belong to the same family and share common features and purposes. A good LMS solution should help you do the following basic processes:
- Create Self-Registration – if you’re targeting a large pool of learners an automated self-registration feature is a must. Otherwise, registering a small class can be done manually.
- Create a Portal for Course Materials – If you’re into LMS for a long time, having a single location of past and current course materials makes it easier to retrieve data, reuse materials, or organize courses
- Create a Knowledge Base or Self-Service Portal – learners and educators will need assistance to use the LMS, but you won’t have the time to answer all questions. A self-service section should address FAQs or collate best practices and case studies.
- Assemble Course Materials by Categories – you should be able to arrange the courses by topics, subjects, authors, or curriculum order to help learners and educators sort through the materials
- Create Groups or Teams – this feature lets you conduct group classes, which is useful for group orientations or team workshops
- Customize Course Delivery – the ability to customize the delivery of materials based on the student’s learning curve can increase completion and competency rates
- Create a Course Funnel – lets you offer programs where learners can level up or down across curricula or courses
- Create Quizzes and Tests – lets you assess students’ performance or competency before, during, or after the course program
- Export/Import – you should be able to migrate, among others, course materials, reports, and registries to popular document files like PDF, TXT, JPEG, CVS, and DOC in case you need to use other business systems
In addition, the features below make an LMS solution more robust, but they usually cost more, so skip them if the budget is tight:
- Custom Branding – lets you dress up the user interface with your corporate logo and colors
- Robust Calendar – lets you create events, invite participants, perform self-registration, and track attendance in one module
- Robust Analytics – allows you to get real-time view on training or generate team-based reports on top of basic reporting
- Mobile Platform – allows learners to access your courses via their smartphone or tablet
- Video Library – lets you create video courses
- Shopping Cart – lets you sell your courses off the LMS infrastructure
- API – lets you integrate the LMS to your other business solutions, such as, finance, CRM, helpdesk, and e-commerce
- Surveys – to get feedback and insights from learners and educators.
Benefits of Learning Management Systems
Learning Management Systems are invaluable tools for individual and corporate training which streamline the relationship between teachers and learners, and store all useful information in centralized databases from where it can be easily accessed. That means that they turn learning into a centralized process because all training, performance, and development happen at the very same location. Delivery of materials is easy due to their social networking properties, and modules are flexible enough to be personalized to meet every need and style.
What is really precious about LMSs is that they offer accurate and simple evaluation mechanisms, and keep records which can determine the overall success of the team and lead to smarter decisions. The cost and time loss of traditional learning are eliminated, because attendance is made easy, and materials are accessible anywhere, at any time.
Additionally, upgrades can be made fairly easy, especially when the system is hosted in cloud and doesn’t require individual version control. Requirements are automatically met, and users are instantly informed upon them. Overall, LMSs are made to simplify learning, and they are rich with tools and gadgets that helps both learners to understand content, and teachers to administrate the process.
These are exciting features you might come across in newer or more established LMS solutions. Many of these trends will likely be the standard in future LMS solutions, so pay a close attention to them.
- Content Creation – advanced LMS solutions now incorporate authoring tools to create courses inside the system. Furthermore, these courses can be linked to the LMS e-commerce platform so you have a seamless process of developing, selling and delivering content. Look for SCORM-certified authoring platform. SCORM stands for Sharable Content Object Reference Model, a set of standards that lets course developers share materials across LMS solutions. In short, creating course in SCORM-certified environment allows you to reuse content in other SCORM-certified software.
- Performance Management System – robust LMS solutions include this module, which allows educators and course administrators to appraise students’ performance or identify skills gap to fine tune individual curriculum. Some LMS also offer a 360-degree review, where both students and educators exchange feedback about each other.
- Recruitment and Reward – some LMS solutions provide this feature to help you market the courses to a wider territory by giving incentives to re-sellers or referrals
- Talent Management Integration – as LMS solutions become more robust, functions like employee appraisal and training are integrated; hence, expect tighter integration between LMS and talent management solutions n the future.
Here are a few aspects to consider to avoid escalating a minor issue today into a major problem tomorrow:
- Export/Import is Limited – at the least you should be able to export to PDF or TXT, but preferably, you should be allowed to export to CVS or XLS for database, JPEG/PNG for images, and MP3 or SWF for videos. As you build up on course materials, you’ll need more flexibility to migrate files to and from the LMS system. Furthermore, an important client in the future may request for a specific file format and you’ll be glad you can.
- No SCORM Certification – SCORM lets you use/reuse course content in other SCORM-certified LMS solutions. Anticipate that you may need a feature in another LMS solution that is not present in your current LMS. Having a SCORM-certified content gives you flexibility and convenience.
- Hidden Fees – read beyond the published rate and check the terms even how cumbersome. Make sure the pricing term is clear (is it per user or per course? annual or monthly); otherwise, ask the vendor. The vendor’s response will also give you a hint on the kind of support to expect once you’ve subscribed to the LMS.
LMS is a fast-growing industry, so expect newer features sooner than later. The key is to keep tab of the latest trends, issues, vendors, and applications (we’ll help you), or to put it squarely, keep learning about LMS.
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Page last modified on 26/10/2016