title image - What is an LMS and what does it do

Is an LMS the right solution for your training delivery?

Dennis Kyle

March 18, 2021

What is an LMS?

LMS eLearningWhen companies need to create training for their teams on processes, applications or materials, there are many outputs they can choose from. They might decide to record a quick video explaining the concept, write a step-by-step user guide, or get a trainer to learn the material so they can teach others in a more detailed eLearning. What each of these outputs have in common is they need to be housed somewhere so learners can access them. This is where an LMS comes in.

LMS stands for Learning Management System, and it is defined as “a software application or web-based technology used to plan, implement and assess a specific learning process. 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.”[1]

The LMS concept originally came from eLearning, as creators needed a place to be able to house and manage the content they were creating, while also being able to track important competency metrics, and control versioning of content.  The LMS was designed as a single point of truth where the entire learning experience could be securely accessed through.

What does an LMS do?

What does an LMS doAn LMS allows you to house all of your training in one place behind a secure website that requires users log in to their account and are only given access to specified courses and content. Most LMSs can house a range of content, including documents, images, presentations, audio clips and eLearning modules (often in SCORM or TINCAN format).

LMSs can often be set up into a desired learning deployment structure, such as a standard courses and modules format. In that example, learners would be enrolled in a course, which can contain one or many modules. The modules would be where the content of the course is located and learners could access each module individually to learn about that particular part of the course. Think of courses like books, modules like chapters within those books, and content as the text and pictures inside each chapter.

Unlike simply uploading a video to a website, an LMS provides a variety of features that allow you to host eLearning courses, track progress, report on important metrics, set up chat and messaging systems to students and provide secure, controlled content to only those you wish to enroll.

Is an LMS the right solution for your training delivery?

Host on an LMS or upload a videoSometimes your team might just want to create a few quick videos around fairly basic concepts that stand on their own. In that case an LMS may not be necessary, and you might instead want to utilize a video hosting platform such as Youtube or Vimeo where you can upload unlisted or password protected videos/playlists and share them only with your team.

However, if your team plans to deploy learning virtually and one or more of the following things are important to you, then you might need a LMS:

Progress Tracking

One of the most important features of an LMS is the ability to track the progress of learners throughout courses and modules. This can be shown to both them and your management team so you can keep track of how people fare across your learning platform and address any issues that might arise.

Compliance

Most LMSs can provide specific criteria for reporting and enrollment that can meet compliance department guidelines. This is extremely useful if your company needs to follow compliance regulations in training and content delivery.

Gamification

An LMS can work hand-in-hand with your eLearning content to gamify processes and provide rewards and incentives for them to access and complete content. This has been shown to increase learner engagement with the material.

Reporting

Good LMSs should have a robust reporting engine that allows trainers to track and manage a variety of metrics from learner comprehension to time spent in courses or pass/fail ratio across different courses and modules.

Assessments

Providing and grading assessments manually is possible, but can be time consuming. Most LMSs offer built-in assessment module functionality that allows you to create your own questions and path for the learners to take. Once the learner completes the assessments they can be automatically graded and allow the learner to continue progressing through content (if they meet the requisite criteria) while the results can become available to you through reports.

Security

It’s more important than ever that data be secure, and an LMS can often do a much better job of delivering secure training to learners than other content delivery platforms. LMSs provide gating of content through requiring users to create accounts, then be enrolled in only courses they are allowed access to, while also restricting their access of the LMS as a whole to only the necessary features.

This makes it easier to feel comfortable providing training on important confidential material, such as trade secrets. Each LMS may provide different levels of security, so it’s very important to do your due diligence when research which LMS is right for your team.

LMS benefits and drawbacks

Final Thoughts

Positive Results™ is a training development and cloud solutions company that analyzes the business process of organizations and provides appropriate training and technology solutions to the gaps we find.

We were formerly re-sellers of LMS content, but shifted our focus to where we work best, ensuring that the training content itself is of the highest degree of quality and meets or exceeds client expectations.

Although we no longer directly re-sell LMS solutions, our focus on delivering the highest quality training to clients includes staying in the know about the feature-set and requirements needed to help clients choose an LMS that will work for their needs.

If your team needs help to create training to solve for gaps in your current business process, please consider reaching out to us. We’re happy to assist.

 

If you have additional questions or need support, contact us at:

 

Positive Results™ Custom Business Solutions

440.499.4944

https://PositiveResults.com

 

[1] https://searchcio.techtarget.com/definition/learning-management-system

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