What is a Learning Management System? [ LMS Overview ]

What is a Learning Management System? – A Complete Overview on LMS and its Applications

a person open an e-learning app on his smartphone

COVID-19 is not just disrupting the “grown-up’s “life. It has put more than 1.2 billion children out of school worldwide. As various governments try to implement their social-distancing measures, closing down schools and colleges was one of the first moves.

As every coin has two faces, this situation has its other side too, for example, the World Economic Forum, sees this as a defining moment in the history of human education. Because the learning has not fallen as we thought, it might. Powered by different learning management systems and software the advanced innovations in the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), mobile app development and internet-led technologies our kids are continuing to learn as effectively or more online.

an illustration of learning management system

What is a Learning Management System?

A question which has become very prominent now. Because parents, educators, etc. are looking for a way to facilitate learning at this hour. But there are two answers to the question: one the simple one and a little technical one.

Learning Management System for Everyone

An e-learning system has three main pillars :

  • Course – A course includes study materials in the form of videos, pdfs, docs, etc.

  • Tool – a tool is a software that helps to develop these course materials. It is popularly known as e-learning authoring tools.

  • LMS – It is a software that helps to deliver the courses to different learners. So it is the connecting tool in an e-learning ecosystem.

Learning Management System for the Sophisticated

It’s a bit technical definition, but you can digest it if you have had a dose of basic computer science degree. Here it defines an LMS is a software that helps to create, manage and provide e-learning courses effectively ( just like we saw before). 

An LMS will have two parts viz. are :

  • A server part that handles the core functions of the creating, handling, delivering courses, sending push notifications, providing data and authenticating users, etc.

  • A user interface component that runs within the web or mobile application which lets the user (student) or the administrator (the organizer or institution) handle the various elements of the internet or mobile app.
a collage image which describes about the main elements in a learning management system

Being a fundamental component of an active learning strategy, an LMS can be used to deploy a multitude of learning techniques.  It does it through social learning, formal and experiential methods of learning, managing certification for each type of courses, setting the criteria for it; changing and updating them over time. It is the best way an enterprise or an educational institute can leverage technology to generate revenue as well.

business professionals learning by using a learning management system

An example can make things much simpler for you. Imagine you have identified a lack of skill in your sales team. You want to improve their communication skills in English and Spanish, where your business is located. You create modules and lessons for six months. Now how do you conduct the class practically and transfer study materials? How do you ensure that they have received it and are working on it every day?

That’s where Learning Management Software comes into being. An LMS here acts as a connecting platform to share the daily lessons, work materials, homework. The employees can submit their daily works, and the course coordinator can check them. With a single click, they can send the documents to all the participants and hence save time and resources.

Who Needs a Learning Management System?

learning management software industry statistics
Image Source

There is little doubt now that LMS now needs to be the backbone of every institution aspiring to deliver quality and continuous education. The reason is COVID-19 is a reminder of the fragile nature of our gatherings. Post COVID-19 world is going to go for a more healthy social distancing option whenever possible.

LMS is must if you are into some form of training activity, it doesn’t matter whether you are a :

1. Large Enterprise 

Enterprises who are running massive training programs and are providing educational services also can benefit from LMS immensely. Globally operating enterprises can sync their training sessions across the globe with powerful learning management system.

2. Medium Business

Medium businesses also stand to benefit a lot in terms of cost of operation and conduct. Because for medium enterprises, training is an essential part of growing further. They are already at a place where they have only slight margins of profit and competence with similar competitors. Skilling their human resource hence is the only masterstroke they can play to get higher dividends and enter the ranks of the elite companies.

3. Small Business

Small businesses are always on a lookout for cost-effective solutions to build their capacity and expand. An LMS is the best way to reach maximum clients in a single shot and yet save on classroom rentals, teacher fees, etc.

4. Freelancer

You might wonder where the freelancer fit into the picture? It is in the number of clients they have difficulty in managing them. A freelancer can attend to multiple clients with an LMS. She/he can drop off the files, docs, pictures, designs, etc. with a single click into the client and save time and shed misery.

What are the Uses of an LMS?

lms software deployment statistics
Image Source

An LMS finds use in a multitude of things. As we already saw, an e-learning management system is the heart of every e-learning programme. However, there are different models of LMS viz. are cloud and on-premise. As you can see below, the cloud is more popular among small emerging companies as it is economic.

But the size of the company is a decisive factor in this selection. Because an MNC or large institution can benefit tremendously by going on-premise as the cost of setting up it is minuscule compared to the returns it brings as an actor of numbers.

Now coming to the uses to which you can put your LMS to we see that they serve the following purposes :

1. Distant Schooling

A way to conduct classes, deliver courses, materials and other essentialities during vacation, pandemics or to promote education in places with poor infrastructure.

2. Employee Coaching

Skilling your employees or giving them specific training. LMS can help arrange the classes, distribute the learning modules and test them for progress.

3. Extended Training

Providing vital know-hows on your product to third party organizations or to staff to whom you have outsourced your projects, the scenario is vast in the present context of open economies.

4. Instructing Clients

Innovative products need updated users. Delivering products that are new to customers, you may need to train them on some more delicate aspects. For example, suppose you are providing a mobile restaurant app. Your client will need training on how to use the backend, check for parameters, enter codes if any, etc. LMS helps in all such learning necessities.

How to Know if my Organization Is Ready for an LMS?

You can see that an LMS simplifies the administration, reporting, assessment and documentation of your school’s or organization’s learning processes.   

a collage image describes the elements of a learning management system

One of the frequent scepticism associated with adopting an LMS is that it is very costly and that the whole process of election is very time-consuming for the companies.

But our experience reveals that if you want to succeed, you need to take the risk. Many organizations like to conduct meetings and brainstorming sessions with little intent for action on the outcomes. We would say that if after you analyzed needs and requirements, you have concluded that your organization needs the following, then you need to get an LMS. You are ready and in need of it. The requirement list includes:

e learning app

1. Easy Administration

To manage your course catalogue, enrollments, instructors, classrooms, projects, assignments, etc.

2. Enhance Learning

Build modules and design courses in your online LMS system for schools and organization to promote more significant learning among students or employees.

3. Full-time Accessibility 

Build e-learning courses that are accessible anytime anywhere with simple credentials.

4. Comprehensive Solution

You need to connect throughout the organization and across various departments and employees.

5. Consistent Training

Want your training programs to be consistent and employees getting standard materials for learning and working out objectives.

6. Tracking and Reporting

If your institution wants to calculate the ROI in the education app development investments, employee progress, etc., and need to furnish reports to the administrators and board of directors and authorities.

7. Cost Saving

Need to bring out a learning management solution that is not hefty and meets your requirements at the same time.

a boy with a piggy bank

Perks of Using a Learning Management System

An LMS can serve your organization in many different ways. Let us look at the advantage of having an LMS in your company or educational institution:

1. Saves Money

Nothing can be more attractive in the post COVID era than economic and smart solutions to technical problems. LMS is one of them as it cuts on the cost of training involved in transportation, training days, printed materials, location hire, etc.

2. Better Allocation of Resources

An LMS system helps you in pinpointed channeling of resources. Dispatching new sessions to employees, ensuring distribution of study materials or training modules, etc. an LMS acts as the central nervous system of e-learning programs.

3. Prevents Time Loss

When productivity is a significant concern, time is held very dearly by managers and CEOs. It even leads to a state of paralysis with training efforts being quashed from the management side in the name of productivity. LMS is a game-changer here.LMS gives every employee a fair chance at attending skill development sessions. One can visit them without skipping work hours, even while travelling or during break hours comfortably.

4. More Space for Creativity

The ability to resume materials and the option to digitize presentation and course structure gives more room for creativity with an LMS. Trainers and teachers can try methods and track their efficacy and then modify them without disturbing the course using learning management system.

5. Automate

One of the greatest needs of a trainer is to ensure that they keep the students, trainees engaged. Free educational apps have succeeded tremendously in this aspect of education. Keeping things interactive and alive, they always motivate learners into action. LMS is very advanced in this front as it can automate alerts and with proper integration, alert people through push notifications and other social media tools as well.

6. Assessment 

Report cards can be easily tracked with LMS. The centralized repository of student data helps trainers to publish report cards in innovative ways. They can create competitions, point out even the minutest mistakes through data analysis and much more.

The opportunities of LMS systems in education and industrial training are immense. It all depends on how one uses the courses to develop amicable and practical solutions through e-learning apps. Many mobile app development companies provide partial designs for your e-learning platform. But it is always wise to go for the one that sees your problem through a comprehensive outlook. Mobile app ideas are here to keep life ticking and moving.

Mindster has a decade-plus experience in crafting apps for many top brands across the industries like Oman Air, Edenred, etc. Leverage your business with our impressive e-learning apps and LMS.

Thejes Udayan

Thejes Udayan  

Thejes Udayan, is the Technical Content Writer at Mindster, with an extensive experience in covering the latest developments in software and mobile technology. He specializes in writing to client-specific needs through intensive research on topics. He also has an arts background that adds to his creative style of presentation.

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