A learning management system (LMS) is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting and delivery of educational courses, training programs, or learning and development programs. It is used for eLearning practices and, in its most common form, consists of two elements: a server that performs the base functionality and a user interface that is operated by instructors, students and administrators.
What are learning management systems used for?
LMSes are beneficial to a wide range of organizations, including higher education institutions and corporations. The primary use of a learning management system is for knowledge management (KM). KM refers to the gathering, organizing, sharing and analysis of an organization’s knowledge in terms of resources, documents and people skills. However, the specific role of the LMS will vary according to the organization’s training strategy and goals.Some popular LMSes used by educational institutions include Moodle, Blackboard Learn and Schoology. Popular enterprise-level LMSes include Adobe Captivate Prime, Docebo LMS, TalentLMS, iSpring Learn and eFront.Employee training and onboarding is one of the most common use cases for an LMS in a corporate environment. In this case, the LMS is used to help train new employees by providing opportunities to access training materials across various devices. New employees can be recognized when they add their own knowledge and feedback, which will, in turn, help employers understand how effective the training courses are and identify areas where new employees need more assistance.
How do learning management systems work?
A learning management system can be thought of as a large repository that allows users to store and track information in one place. Any user with a secure login and password can access the system and its online learning resources. Or, if the system is self-hosted, the user must either install the software on their hard drive or access it through their company’s server.
Some common features found in a successful LMS include:
Responsive design – Users should be able to access the LMS from whatever type of device they choose, whether it’s a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone. The LMS should automatically display the version best suited for the user’s chosen device. Additionally, the LMS should also allow users to download content so it is accessible while offline.User-friendly interface – The user interface (UI) should enable learners to easily navigate the LMS platform. The UI should also align with the abilities and goals of both the user and the organization. An unintuitive UI risks confusing or distracting users and will make the LMS ineffective.