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What is a Learning Management System (LMS)?

What is a Learning Management System

The lockdowns and shutdowns caused by the COVID-19 compel schools, colleges, universities, and other educational institutions to revamp conventional education systems and learning models. Some educational institutions facilitate digital learning by leveraging existing digital platforms and applications, while others use customized learning management systems. 

Unlike popular digital platforms and applications, learning management systems enable educational institutions to deliver training programs and educational courses in their own way. At the same time, businesses and enterprises from various industries also use the learning management system to train, upskill, and reskill employees by planning and implementing elaborate training programs. 

What is a Learning Management System (LMS)? 

According to ResearchGate.com,

Learning management systems can be defined as web-based software platforms that provide an interactive online learning environment and automate the administration, organization, delivery, and reporting of educational content and learner outcomes. 

As its name suggests, a learning management system (LMS) is a web-based system or software. The administrators and learners can access the software over the internet using a variety of devices – computers, smartphones, and tablets. The web-based software or system is designed with features to facilitate the delivery of training programs and education programs in a digital environment. 

At the same time, an LMS system also comes with features to simplify the management of creation, delivery, and management of educational content or training materials. Most learning management software these days deliver educational content in a variety of digital formats – eBooks, audiobooks, videos, quizzes, and simulations. 

Also, they allow administrators to assign courses to students, monitor their progress, and assess their knowledge using a single interface. The sophisticated learning management systems eliminate the need for the creation of fresh content by allowing access to a wide variety of digital libraries. That is why; both educational institutions and businesses invest in an LMS to automate important aspects of online learning or digital training management. 

What are the Key Features and Functions of an LMS System? 

Responsive Design 

Most learners these days access learning management systems on their mobile devices. The vendors make the same LMS look good on both computers and mobile devices by adopting responsive design. Many vendors even optimize the LMS for smartphones and tablets by improving their mobile experience. Hence, organizations should opt for an LMS that learners can access anytime and anywhere using their choice of device. However, they need to ensure that the digital libraries integrated into the LMS are also optimized for mobile devices. 

Multilingual Support 

An organization can use the same LMS to deliver online training to learners across geographic locations. Many learning management systems these days support multiple languages. Some learning management software even comes with digital libraries consisting of the content in many languages. Multilingual support is essential for businesses to train employees, customers, dealers, and franchisees by creating training programs in multiple languages. 

Intuitive User Interface 

Most users these days abandon slow websites and complex mobile apps. The organizations need learning management systems that learners can access without putting extra time and effort. In addition to being compatible with mobile devices, the LMS must be easier to access and use. The intuitive user interface will persuade learners to acquire knowledge and complete the course. The organizations can easily evaluate the user interface by asking for a free trial. 

Learning Model Integration 

There was a time when the learning management systems were supporting only the online learning model. But the new-age learning management systems support online, offline, and instructor-led training models. The integration of multiple learning models helps learners to read the educational content at their own convenience, along with being guided by instructors. Many learners clear their doubts by interacting with the instructors after learning the digital content on their own. 

Digital Library 

The sophisticated learning management systems come with a digital library integration option. The digital libraries provided by the LMS vendors help users to create courses and training programs without creating the content. The leading vendors allow customers to choose from several digital libraries containing SCORM-compatible content in multiple languages. Also, each of the libraries consists of a variety of digital content – eBooks, audiobooks, videos, and simulations. 

Gamification Features 

Like mobile apps, sophisticated learning management systems keep learners engaged by providing gamification features. The gamification features keep learners engaged and encourage them to complete the course by transforming online learning into a friendly competition. The learners feel excited and motivated when they can earn points, badges, leaderboards, and similar rewards by completing online courses. 

Learning Assessment Options 

In addition to keeping learners engaged and motivated, the learning management systems are designed with eLearning assessment tools and options. The LMS makes assessment an integral part of online courses and eLearning. Some learning management systems even allow users to customize assessment options by providing templates and tools. The users can use the templates to assess the skill and knowledge of the learner by combining pre-tests and post-tests. 

Reports and Analytics 

The LMS helps administrators to track the activities of both teachers and learners by generating reports dynamically based on real-time data. The administrator can use the built-in features provided by the LMS to create a variety of reports – learning item reports, learning path reports, and examination reports – on demand. The administrators can further generate reports to assess the critical aspects of individual courses and training programs. The sophisticated learning management systems use analytics to help administrators achieve training goals by optimizing the performance of training programs. 

Data Security 

When an organization integrates conventional and digital learning models, it must focus extensively on optimizing data security. Many learning management systems these days restrict access by providing a variety of authentication and authorization options. Also, the vendors monitor the security of the LMS continuously to combat security threats. However, the organization must explore ways to strengthen data security by customizing the security features provided by the LMS. 

24/7 Technical Support 

No organization can make training programs successful without making the LMS available and accessible to learners 24 hours a day. The availability and accessibility of the LMS are often impacted by a variety of technical issues. The leading vendors these days provide 24/7 technical support to the clients. Also, they allow clients to communicate through multiple channels – telephone, emails, text messages, and instant messages. Also, they deliver free communication by setting up toll-free numbers. 

What are the Different Use Cases of an LMS? 

At present, both educational institutions and business enterprises use learning management systems. The educational institutions use an LMS primary to facilitate the delivery and management of educational courses. On the other hand, business enterprises use LMS to facilitate employee training, upskilling, and reskilling. That is why; the use cases of an LMS differ according to an organization’s precise training needs and goals. 

Flipped Classrooms 

Many educational institutions use an LMS to switch from conventional classrooms to flipped classrooms. The flipped classrooms enable students to learn at their own pace and convenience. The sophisticated learning management systems help schools and colleges to set up flipped classrooms by combining online, offline, and instructor-led training. The learning management students help educational institutions to keep their students safe in the post-pandemic world. 

Employee Orientation 

Each company must train new employees early and adequately. The learning management systems help companies to train new employees by assigning specific courses. A company can further design onboarding courses to provide the new employee with the information required to understand the organization’s work culture and her role. The LMS further helps managers to ensure that the new employee completes the onboarding course successfully. 

Employee Training 

Each organization these days implements new training programs to train new employees and upskill existing employees. Also, the learning management systems help businesses to enable employees to learn at their own pace. As the employees can access the LMS on their mobile devices, they can learn after the working hours. The learning management systems help businesses to curtail employee training costs and minimize business interruptions. 

Compliance Training 

Some companies update their compliance strategies frequently to comply with the latest rules and guidelines. They need to ensure that each employee understands the latest compliance protocols and adhere to the guidelines. The LMS makes it easier for businesses to make each employee know the latest compliance guidelines. The businesses can further use the data tracked by the LMS during compliance audits. 

Channel Training 

In addition to training the internal sales team, the enterprises these days need to train the dealers and franchisees to boost sales. The learning management systems help businesses to train an external member of the sales channel by planning customized courses. The courses help dealers and franchisees to collect product information as well as company policies regardless of their geographic location. 

Knowledge Retention 

Many enterprises these days plan training programs to train and upskill employees. They explore ways to retain the knowledge and content within the organization. Also, the learning management systems ensure that an employee cannot download the content and access the materials using any external interface. Hence, the enterprises leverage LMS to use the same information to train new employees when existing employees leave or retire. 

Training Service Providers 

Many enterprises these days outsource employee training or internal training to third-parties to overcome constraints related to skills and resources. The training service providers use an LMS to plan a variety of training programs for clients and manage the training programs efficiently. They further leverage the authorization and authentication options provided by the LMS to ensure that the content and interface are authorized only by genuine learners. 

Conclusion 

The learning management systems differ from each other in several aspects, including features, accessibility, usability, content, and security. Also, each organization must choose an LMS that complements its precise training needs and strategies. Some of the learning management systems are designed with features to complement the varied training needs of educational institutions and businesses. 

The LMS software developed by Mintbook aims to meet the training needs of different organizations by combining online, offline, and instructor-led learning models. Many educational institutes and enterprises already use the LMS as an end-to-end digital learning platform to train employees from various departments or teams. 

Also, Mintbook allows users to integrate the LMS seamlessly with over 1500 digital libraries consisting of a variety of digital learning materials – eBooks, magazines, journals, audiobooks, videos, quizzes, and simulations. The digital libraries help enterprises to implement training programs without putting extra time and effort. 

Abhijit Panda

Abhijit boasts of an advantage of being in the digital space since 2009. He is an accomplished Marketing Leader with Over 10 years of experience in integrated marketing. He is currently working as the Vice President in the Mintbook Digital Team.

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