LMS stands for learning management system. In short, this is a piece of software on which businesses can deliver, monitor, track and generally administrate training programs or other courses for learning and personal development. They’re hugely useful tools in the world of modern business, and in this article we’re going to go through a bit more about what they are, what they do, and the benefits that they can bring.
LMS have been around for several decades now, but they continually improve in terms of the functionality that they can offer.
The main function is to actually deliver a training course. E-learning is widely recognised as one of the best ways of training employees, because it’s easy to facilitate, interactive, engaging and can be very easily tracked. An LMS will generally work with dozens if not hundreds of types of e-learning courses. You simply upload the course to the LMS, and it can be opened and taken by a learner, whether in their own or allocated time. The LMS functions as the whole portal through which a learner accesses and completes the course, including studying and taking any tests.
User roles are a useful LMS function, which allow various different people to see and interact with learning courses. While this may not be used extensively in the workplace, it is something that schools often take advantage of. The student has their own account through which they can complete courses, parents can also view the materials and student progress, teachers can then assess the work, and there may even be a final stage for other bodies to ensure that grading is correct.
We’ve briefly mentioned tracking already, but it’s useful to go into a little more detail about what this means. Data is one of the biggest tools at the disposal of any business, and comprehensive tracking allows businesses to see exactly where their employees are at in terms of learning. An LMS will show who is studying what, how far they’ve progressed through the course, what they’ve already achieved on other courses, and potentially also whether they’re due to retake or refresh any qualifications.
An LMS has major benefits over more manual methods of delivering and tracking training courses.
From an administration standpoint, learning management systems are much easier to keep on top of than disjointed record keeping systems. For large businesses in particular, keeping track of the training levels of all employees can be a particularly strenuous task. When compliance is involved, it can be very important that training is up-to-date, and that nobody slips through the net when it comes to things like refresher courses. Having a comprehensive LMS can eliminate this, by having a full record of all employees, including their course completion and qualifications. Reporting is quick and easy too, with all of the relevant information about current levels of training within the business available to easily deliver to whoever needs it.
As a tool for learning, an LMS means using e-learning, which is in many ways superior to alternatives. Because e-learning packages are put together by experts, and generally accredited by awarding bodies, they can be relied upon as excellent sources of information, and there’s far less reliance on having a good tutor. You know that your employees are going to have all of the right information presented to them, even if there are course managers with differing knowledge on the subject. The courses themselves are generally engaging and interactive, and small parts of them can be completed at a time, which reduces the expensive need for sending out employees for training days. Many people will find that they are able to study more effectively when using a course through an LMS than they do in a classroom during a seminar.
At Virtual College, we use the Enable Learning Management System, which offers a number of benefits. Click here to find out more about what it does, how it works, and some of the benefits it could bring if you choose to use it.