LMS 101: What Are Learning Management Systems?
What Is an LMS Anyway?
A Learning Management System, or LMS, is a software application that automates training. Whether your training consists of live training sessions, is delivered online, happens formally or informally, an LMS helps you to easily administer, document, track, and report on your training or learning initiatives.
An LMS delivers and manages your instructional content, identifies your organization’s training goals, tracks the progress towards meeting those goals, and collects data for supervising your entire learning process.
How Can You Benefit From Implementing an LMS?
Depending on the system you choose of course, there are many benefits to implementing an LMS. Here are but a few:
- Streamlining your training processes
- Delivering customized and engaging training to enhance employee performance
- Providing users the flexibility to access training materials at their convenience
- Reduced overall administrative costs such as travel and material expenses
- Measurable Return On Investment (ROI)
Do All LMSs Offer the Same Features?
Although many LMSs appear similar, each has their own unique set of features and functionality. It’s worth spending time looking into the details. For instance, most LMSs have reporting features, but do they provide you with the information you need or will you have to pay extra to have customized reports developed? Some LMSs have an integrated Learning Content Management System (LCMS) or authoring tool so that you can develop your own custom content, whereas other systems have authoring tools that only allow you to download a presentation. See – the difference is in the details!
So How Do You Choose the Right LMS?
It really depends on what your needs are! For example, do you have a large IT staff? Then maybe your organization would benefit from implementing an installed LMS rather than a cloud-based LMS. If not, perhaps you need to find a LMS partner that has great client servicing to help support your organization’s training goals.
Your first step should be to gather your key stakeholders and identify what your training needs, goals and objectives are. The most effective way to accomplish this is by developing use cases. This will help you identify what you’re trying to accomplish with your training program and supporting technology. Also define your current training “pain points” and what problems you are hoping an LMS will solve. Then identify which LMSs out there meet the majority of your needs and start making some calls! Would you like to learn more about our LMS? Let’s Talk.