If you’re considering the ways in which you can improve the standards of training within your organisation or business, then you’ve probably come across the concept of learning management systems. But you might not know exactly what these useful products are, and the benefit they can bring. Let’s take a look.
Before we consider the benefits, it’s helpful to know what an LMS is.
In short, a learning management system is designed as a central e-learning portal from which learners can take courses and complete tests, and through which tutors and business leaders can manage, view and monitor training material and data about learners. These management systems can sometimes be desktop based, and are now often browser based, which means that they can be accessed from anywhere. A learner can log in to take their courses, and a tutor can log in to see how learners are performing.
There are various learning management systems available, and some will be designed to work with specific courses, whereas others are able to be used with all manner of courses, provided they’ve been designed to be compatible with that LMS. SCORM for example is the most widely used course standard, and courses designed in this way can be used with many different management systems.
It’s worth noting that within the training industry, there are also content management systems (CMS) which are the pieces of software in which training courses are designed and built. These are often separate from a LMS, but in many cases, the LMS will in fact have some course-building functionality, which is the case with the Virtual College product, called Enable.
There are many benefits that an LMS can bring compared with more traditional methods of training. Most business leaders will be aware of the value of having better qualified and educated staff, but how exactly do e-learning, and centralised learning platforms, actually help? There are two perspectives; from learners and from tutors or business leaders.
From the perspective of a learner, an LMS is a really convenient way of taking a course. Instead of having to leave work to go to a learning centre, or take time out to attend internal training, a learner can simply sit at their normal desktop or laptop and take whichever training courses they’ve been assigned. In many cases, training materials can even be accessed through mobile devices, for learning anywhere and any time. They also don’t need to remember multiple logins and how to use different services - there’s just one system to get to grips with. Finally, there’s also the fact that an LMS allows for interactive and engaging courses.
From the perspective of tutors, the LMS is a system that they can use to check up on the progress of learners. e-Learning can often be used in conjunction with more traditional contact methods, and an LMS can help facilitate that. Tutors will be able to see where learners are struggling, and what they have and have not accessed.
The ultimate effect is that business leaders are likely to see much better results from their investments into training. With learners more engaged in their training and able to take it more flexibly, they’re more likely to be successful. Leaders will also be able to spot skills gaps in the workforce, and ensure that these are closed by seeing an overview of all learners and courses available.
Here at Virtual College, we use our own Enable LMS system. This innovative system has a number of benefits, which you can find out about here. However, we’re also pleased to be able to offer SCORM courses which can be used with other systems. You can see what we have to offer here.