What Is A Learning Management System?

What is a learning management system

What Is A Learning Management System?

If you’re starting to think about developing a custom e-learning course, then you may have been advised to use a learning management system (LMS). But what is a Learning Management System exactly?

Let me explain, as simply as possible to help you understand this question. Before I start – this explanation is written for people new to the world of elearning and LMSs.

So let me begin.

If you provide staff or external learners any kind of training, then that training will need to be managed.

You might provide some or all of the following types of training:

  • Basic induction training
  • Specific training needed for career development plans
  • Comprehensive talent management programmes
  • Compliance based statutory and mandatory training
  • Other short courses

A Learning Management System is a software application that enables organisations to do the following key things.

Manage courses

  • Create training programmes, allocate resources, publish approved courses
  • Set authorisation levels and provide self service to learners
  • Take course bookings online

Deliver courses

  • Deliver classroom based events
  • Provide a platform from which learners access elearning courses and resources
  • Deliver mobile assessments
  • Automate communications, such as booking confirmations, reminders, evaluations and cancellations, saving considerable admin time

Track courses

  • Record attendance, post-course evaluations, financial data
  • Track completion of online courses and pass rates
  • Deliver assessments and manage certification expiry for statutory and mandatory training

Report on courses

  • Produce management reports, from finance to compliance
  • Identify training requirements for better budget planning

Do I need a Learning Management System?

Some businesses manage perfectly well sourcing and booking training courses as and when they’re required. They track the training using something as simple as Excel spreadsheets.  However when you have a large portfolio of courses and hundreds of learners across the country to manage and track, then this simple system can become inefficient.

So how do you know when the time is right?  If any of the following scenarios are true of your business, then it may be time to invest in a Learning Management System:

  • You need to deliver and track compliance based training and certification, and possibly deliver assessments to identify training needs
  • You have a formal induction, appraisal and personal development programme that you need to manage and you need to track individual’s learning activity and progress
  • You deliver elearning content but have no way of tracking completion of modules
  • You need to reduce the admin time spent sending out course confirmations, reminders and chasing up evaluations
  • You need better visibility of how the training budget is being spent and future requirements
  • You’re a training business with many online courses, and need a smarter efficient way to manage, administer and track courses and learners

Managing, tracking, delivering and reporting your training through a Learning Management System means you will:

  1. Save your business time and money
  2. Improve the effectiveness of the training you deliver.

Learning Management System solutions are not all cut from the same cloth.  Some are elearning solutions only. Others cover the full spectrum of capability development, talent management and enterprise resource planning.

Finding the right Learning Management System for your business is a specific procurement exercise. You’ll need to do your research to find one that fits your requirements.

Find out more about our Custom e-learning course development

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