“What is a learning management platform?” That’s a question you get asked quite often. So here you go with the complete guide to learning management platforms!
This article covers: What is an LMS? How does it work? The difference between SaaS and on-premise learning management systems? What features should a learning management platform have? Which open-source platform is for you?
What is a Learning Management Platform?
A learning management system (LMS) is a software application or web-based technology that provides the framework to handle all aspects of the learning process.
An LMS allows an organization to manage employees’ training programs. These LMSs are available as SaaS (software-as-a-service) or on-premise software.
According to reports, the learning management system (LMS) market size crossed $25 billion in 2021.
How Does An LMS Work?
The following image provides an overview of the typical process that a learning management system follows:
At first, a training program is defined by the platform’s admin. It includes a description of the course, who takes part in it and how often. Once all details have been added, participants can register for the program. It is an automated process, which means they only have to do this once.
After participants have registered for a program, they can download learning material, such as PDFs or presentations. This system also allows participants to submit work, such as an essay or PowerPoint presentation.
Once the program has ended, managers can give each participant a grade.
It helps evaluate if learning goals are achieved and what employees need to improve.
The Difference Between SaaS and On-premise LMSs
On-premise learning management systems are installed on an organization’s servers, making them more expensive to maintain.
SaaS learning management systems are hosted by a third party and can be accessed anytime via the internet. It stands for fewer costs upfront – but the user has to pay per student or month.
Which Features Should an LMS have?
To provide the best learning experience, a learning management system should have as many features as possible. Here are ten top requirements for every good learning management solution:
1. A good e-learning platform should provide multiple file formats, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and videos.
2. A great system offers online tests. The type of test can vary from multiple choice to specific answers or even essay questions.
3. A platform needs to allow participants to upload documents. It makes it easy to share work with others.
4. Another requirement for a system is enabling mobile learning. The course content should be available on mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets.
5. A good e-learning platform lets participants take quizzes, including true/false questions and matching activities.
6. The LMS should support offline learning and allow employees to download files for later use.
7. An intelligent course management system enables the admin to add new participants. This way, employees can join a program at any time, and managers don’t have to migrate data from old courses.
8. Another crucial element of an e-learning platform is analytics. It includes statistics of how many employees have completed a program or which topics are viewed most often.
9. Employees should share files inside the LMS’s interface, so they don’t have to do this via email.
10. This system keeps track of employees’ progress. It includes logging for learning efficiency.
Which Open Source LMS is Right for You?
An open-source learning management system is best suited for small organizations that don’t have many participants. These systems are less expensive to maintain and easily customized by an in-house developer.
They also offer more file formats, mobile capabilities, and offline learning than a SaaS system.
On the other hand, open-source LMSs have fewer reporting options and a smaller number of features. So, they’re not ideal for large companies with many participants.
How Often Should an LMS be Updated?
An e-learning platform should be updated as often as possible to learn with the newest content and examples. Many LMSs receive updates monthly. Some platforms even follow a six-week release cycle. This way, the LMS’s admin can quickly apply new features.
How Do You Integrate an LMS with Other Learning Tools?
LMSs are rarely stand-alone tools since they cannot provide all the learning materials and services an organization needs. This way, participants can manage their schedules, and training will be more effective.
How to Ensure the Quality of Your E-learning Platform?
There are many aspects to consider when evaluating the quality of an e-learning platform. These include intuitiveness, attractiveness, content management capabilities, reporting options, and analytics.