What is a Learning Management System (LMS)?
A learning management system, or LMS is used any time eLearning takes place. Learning management systems are being used across many different industries to improve organizational efficiency. They are also used in schools for online and blended courses. If used properly, an LMS can be a valuable tool that increases the effectiveness of training while reducing costs and time spent on training.
The use of LMS is only likely to continue to grow, so understanding what these systems can do and how to work with them can be helpful for future grow and development.
What Does an LMS Do?
Any LMS should perform three main functions:
- Systematizing and presenting training content
- Creating assignments to solidify and test knowledge
- Evaluate progress
Functions of LMS
LMS features and functions may vary, but all LMS are typically capable of having documents uploaded, managed, and distributed to students or trainees through web-based software. Most systems also have a calendar function that allow instructors to schedule training and evaluations in a place students can easily view.
Students are generally able to communicate with other students and instructors via the LMS in settings such as email, instant messengers, or forums. In addition to these features, LMS will sometimes include functions that allow instructors to create quizzes and provide reporting. If LMS are specifically for an organization, these features may be integrated with employee performance goals.
Advantages of LMS
Implementing an LMS into an organization or educational institution is highly advantageous for both administrators and students. A web-based LMS allows anytime access where administrators can design and deliver content in advance. Students can access that information when it is most convenient as well. This reduces issues of tardiness and attendance on both sides, fostering more effective learning.
Anytime access may also help to improve students’ ability to absorb the presented material, as learning can take place in a stress-free environment where the student can focus strictly on the new material. Of course, learning hours must legally be factored in as work hours, so it is important to devise a plan for allowing students to clock training hours even when at home or elsewhere. When LMS hours are regularly factored into a schedule, it can help to foster a culture of continuous training.
Training Content Development
Developing training content is easier and less costly with LMS. If changes in the industry or area of study make it necessary to alter content material, it is a simple matter of editing the materials and either redistributing the altered content or saving the alterations for future classes. This is far more efficient than the textbooks and training pamphlets used for training classes in the past, especially since this content can be used indefinitely without fear of damage.
Most LMS allow content to be customized, so the format and techniques used to deliver the material can be updated as frequently and completely as needed. This enables workplaces and schools to make sure that only the most current and relevant material is being presented – in the most modern and relevant way. Additionally, the option of customizing materials can allow workplaces and schools to focus on making training materials as engaging as possible for students.
Who Could Benefit from LMS?
Businesses and organizations of many different kinds can benefit from using LMS. Training is necessary for pretty much every organization and business, and an LMS helps to improve the way that training is managed. The following are a few organizations types that stand to benefit the most from LMS.
Schools that teach all ages can benefit from integrating learning management systems into the curriculum. By making LMS options available, students can review specific materials, work on assignments using mobile options, and even ask for help from peers or teachers when stuck. This can help to make homework less overwhelming and give teachers a unique and effective way to help students that are underperforming.
Healthcare is an industry that can benefit greatly from opportunities for continuous training. New breakthroughs and regulations are constantly emerging in healthcare. LMS makes it easy for trainers to update information and disperse it to nurses, doctors, and specialists so that everyone stays well informed and can best focus on the patients.
As technology is constantly evolving it is necessary for everyone in the IT industry to stay completely up to date with the latest trends, events and products. LMS makes it possible for IT firms to remain on the cutting edge by helping them distribute new information quickly and efficiently to all workers that must stay informed.
Evolution of LMS
The use of LMS for training and teaching is still a relatively new concept. However, demand for LMS is steadily growing. With this increase in demand, trends are emerging that are sure to shape the evolution of LMS.
Users desire LMS that can be easily merged with technology already being used throughout the company, industry, or institution – such as HRIS. As evolutions occur and make LMS ever easier to implement and use, these systems are sure to become even more widely used.
Authored by: Dave Rietsema