A Learning Management System (LMS) deploys and tracks online training initiatives for an organization. Training assets are made available online, providing an accessible way for people to train and participate in remote learning opportunities. An LMS can be customized to meet the needs of the users. In some cases, they might include built-in eLearning authoring tools without using third-party software.
This is one of the most effective ways to create a repository of learning and training opportunities relevant to your organization. Online training resources provide an affordable way to keep your workforce up to date on relevant training or even remain more compliant with industry procedures, policies, and guidelines. Here we look at the role of the LMS and what they provide to your organization.
What is a Learning Management System?
The definition of LMS is a form of software used to deliver online courses and training materials. Managers of the LMS can organize online courses, check the progress of participants, see results and even track course effectiveness.
What Types of Organizations Benefit from an LMS?
An LMS is designed to help organizations provide an easier way for onboarding and training new hires. All training and information are exchanged remotely, an important aspect of hiring in the business world of today. You can use an LMS for many different reasons making it suitable for just about any organization from educational institutions to major corporations and not for profits to small businesses. When you have an external team working from different locations, an LMS becomes an invaluable tool.
What are the Different LMS Options?
There are several types of LMS options including:
- Cloud-Based (SaaS): In this case, an LMS provider hosts the platform on the cloud. The provider maintains ownership of the software and in turn remains responsible for upgrades, maintenance, and updates for the system. Programs are accessed via a secure username and password. No installation is required and rights for use are charged to users. These programs are generally not customizable.
- Self-Hosted: This LMS works from software downloaded to the users’ own site. These are popular with organizations requiring customization and creative input for the programs provided. This is best for organizations with some tech savvy as they don’t include tech support.
- Desktop or Mobile Application: This allows people to access the LMS from the most suitable device. They work well for collaborative programs as well as for people who tend to be on the move.
You choose which one suits your needs and budget and that will best meet the needs of your remote workforce.
How is an LMS Paid For?
The most common forms of LMS payment include:
- Licensing: This provides a flat rate payment made annually or sometimes monthly. Users have unlimited use, but in most cases, an additional purchase is required for updates.
- Subscription: This fee provides access to certain features with different levels of subscriptions available. The pricing model includes a user limit based on scaled pricing. This is great for smaller organizations as you only pay for the people using the system.
- Freemium: These are systems that offer a free basic version of the system. If you want to use the advanced features, you pay for add-ons and upgrades. This works well if you have an ongoing flow of people in need of basic training.
There really is something to suit everyone’s needs.
What are the Benefits of an LMS?
There are many benefits to using an LMS, especially for organizations with a remote workforce including:
- Organizes Learning Materials: You have control over your training materials that are stored and updated in one location.
- Tracks Learning Progress: You can always know where each employee stands with their training and review their performance. You can ensure people adhere to a training schedule. You can also use reporting to track trends in learner engagement, performance, etc. to keep your programs more effective.
- Easy Resource Allocation: Because the training remains online, you can allocate online training resources easily. Everyone can log on using their device of choice that encourages engagement and participation.
- Customizable: You can customize your training programs to suit the needs of the individual, each department, new policies, etc.
- Increased Learner Satisfaction: Providing a personalized training program to meet the goals of each employee improves learner satisfaction. This in turn can also improve retention when you show employees you are dedicated to their success.
An LMS is the easiest way to improve consistency in training while offering an engaging, flexible training model.
What to Look for in an LMS
What you need will be specific to your organization. However, some of the top features would include:
- The ability to run reports and analytics
- Responsive design to allow for the use of multiple devices
- User-friendly dashboard, records, and recommended training
- An intuitive user interface to improve engagement and increase completion of programs
- Support services
- Assessment tools and tracking
- Gamification features to make eLearning more fun and improve engagement
- Compliance capabilities
- Certification if required for certain programs
- Integration capabilities to work with onboarding, compliance tracking, skills development and more
These features make your LMS more adaptable and customizable to suit your needs.
You now know the answer to the question, “What is an LMS?” Your organization can reap the benefits of an LMS with affordable solutions that help you meet your goals.
About The Author
Ingrid is the Content Marketing Manager at Paypro, managing both inbound and outbound marketing initiatives for the company. She has 15+ years’ of extensive marketing communications experience, leveraging brand awareness and strategic partnerships to increase sales revenue for a diverse group of B2B brands.