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LMS for Dummies – What LMS is and Why You Need It?

What appeared as just an e-learning course delivery system in the 1990s is now the world’s leading online learning system. It is used by millions of organizations around the world. Due to evolving technology and demand for e-learning training, the LMS industry was a leading 2.5-billion-dollar business in 2021, and it is now expected to grow to a value of $23.1 billion by 2023. In LMS for Dummies we take care of clarifying the complexities on the subject.

Previously, an LMS, or Learning Management System, was simply a platform used by higher education institutions to provide students with free and 24/7 access to their courses. Today, nearly 79% of LMS users are non-educational organizations such as large franchises, enterprises, and organizations with learning and development requirements.

So, what exactly is the LMS? Why are a large number of businesses shifting towards LMS? How effective is the LMS in e-learning courses and e-learning training? Does your organization also need a Learning Management System? LMS for Dummies was written just for you, so that you can learn all about this topic

In this article, we will answer all these queries and will help you understand what an LMS is and why you need it. Let’s have a rundown of everything there is to know about LMS.

What is a Learning Management System?

The three words: “learning”, “management”, and “system”, describe exactly what an LMS is.

The “L” in LMS stands for Learning, and it describes that LMS is a learning platform where online courses can be created and delivered to employers, students, or customers based on the type of organization using it.

The letter “M” in LMS stands for “Management”, which means that once online courses are created, administrators or employers can manage them in any way they want. For example, they can track the efficiency of users and learners, invite new employees to training, give them up-to-date product knowledge, and much more.

Last but not the least, “S” in LMS stands for “System”, means that an LMS is an automated computer system that can do most of the daily tedious tasks without your help. For example, in physical employee training, you would have to keep track of their progress, create reports on their performance, evaluate them based on their progress, provide a worksheet, and perform other such tedious tasks.

But LMS is a system that automates all of these boring tasks. It does not require traveling to different locations or constant diligence to run an effective training program for your organization.

Putting the above information together, we can define LMS as a platform for organizations to create, manage, and deliver an e-learning training programs, as well as track training content and employee progress.

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LMS for Dummies

How Does LMS Work?LMS for Dummies

Almost all organizations with L&D needs require a platform where they can store and track all the training-related information. An LMS provides exactly that and that too, on a much smaller budget – an online platform where the organization can invite new employees and provide them with training.

Some LMS platforms even come with communication tools like live chat, video conferencing, etc., so that the company can stay in direct contact with the employees. A good LMS system allows admins to have full control over their employees’ efficiency and progress analytics so that they can revise their online course for maximum outcome.

Types of LMS

There are different types of learning management system platforms, each with its own unique features. Before starting with types, we need to clarify the difference between LMS and LXP. LMS is often mixed with LXP, Learning Experience Platform. Though in many features LXP overlaps with LMS but both are different programs.

In the case of the Learning Experience Platform, the users/employees search for and choose the e-learning training course on their own. While in an LMS, it is the admin or employer who assigns and grants access to the employees to their respective online courses.

All of the learning management systems described here have unique and different features, but they all serve the same purpose: to organize and track the e-learning courses for users.

Cloud-Based LMS

A secure login password and username are given to the users. That way they will be granted with access to the e-learning course whenever they want. Occasionally, the admin employers will take care of maintaining the cloud system to keep the course updated and easy to use.

Desktop Application LMS

It is what its name implies. Users would have to download the LMS application on their desktop where all the content for the e-learning training program is available.

Self-hosted LMS

Self-hosted LMS means an LMS that an organization’s admin hosts on their own server. Here is a quite good summary of less or more popular self hosted learning management platforms available on the market.

Mobile-Based LMS

Mobile-based learning management systems are, nowadays, one of the most widely demanded and used management systems because of their easy availability on mobile devices. With the e-learning training right in their hands through a mobile-based LMS, users can have access to the online courses on the go all the time.

Features of Successful LMS platforms

As we have already learned through our LMS for Dummies article, we know that there are different types of learning management systems in the market. What are the features and benefits you can get from almost any kind of LMS:

User-friendly Interface

A good LMS has a user-friendly interface that allows the user or employee to navigate through the system. A good and interactive UI is necessary because an unresponsive and poor interface can lead to user confusion and an ineffective learning management system.

Effective Analytics and Reporting

Assessing the employee/users’ performance helps organizations to understand whether their e-learning courses are helpful and whether this e-learning training is having any impact on the users. That’s why an effective reporting and analytics process is a must in a successful LMS.

With analytics, administrators will have insight into user performance and the effectiveness of learning materials. So that employers can use this analytic information to make the online courses more impactful for the learners.

User and Content Management

This is the most obvious feature available across almost all LMS platforms. Any LMS platform allows admins or employers to add new users, edit out those done with training, assign new tasks to the learners, create groups for social interaction, craft new content and practices, and other important managing tasks like these.

Mobile Capabilities

Brands with active mobile applications are likely to achieve more success in the coming years than those with no mobile applications. The reason lies in the active and increasing mobile phone use percentage. That’s why a mobile-compatible LMS has proven to be more efficient because it allows users to learn online courses from anywhere, instead of sitting in a classroom or conference room for 2-3 hours a day.

According to a survey by the Association for Talent Development, almost 34% of all companies surveyed said they are shifting their L&D programs to mobile learning.

Artificial Intelligence Personalization

AI is everywhere these days, and the LMS industry is not sitting back. There are many LMS platforms available on the market with an AI personalization feature that crafts the e-learning courses and e-learning trainings based on the data and documents provided, for exmaple, by the authorities.

Various Content Formats in the LMS are a Plus

Plain text written on a document sheet is boring than any other thing. In LMS for Dummies we present a simple solution the LMS industry came up with. Various content formats of online courses, such as slide-based presentations, videos, audios, webinars, and even AR/VR capability can be made available on LMS to help users learn the contents of e-learning courses better than ever before.

Customer Support

The customer service feature allows users to communicate directly with support team to discuss any system-related issues.

Integration of Third-party Tools

Some LMS platforms allow you to integrate third-party tools for effective e-learning. For example, this could be animation software that allows you to create more visually appealing online course content. Or just integrate a management tool that will facilitate the overall employee onboarding experience.

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6 Reasons Why Your Organization Needs an LMSLMS for Dummies

Most organizations around the world use LMSs to train employees through online courses. But LMS platforms are much more than just e-learning training. Here are 6 reasons why your organization needs an effective learning management system:

1. Onboarding

Corporate industries use the LMS for onboarding and the statistics show that companies with much better onboarding processes tend to enjoy a 70% increase in their overall productivity along with an 82% increase in new employee retention rate.

Furthermore, LMS provides a much more efficient onboarding system to corporations, allowing you to provide the appropriate training material to the new employee while also tracking their efficiency. Also, the LMS customer service feature allows direct communication between both parties so that employers can keep the trainees updated with, for example, their product knowledge.

2. Cost-effective LMS will Save You Money

Physical employee training requires a lot of resources, which needs a large budget. This large budget covers course development costs, trainer costs, equipment, and, in some cases, travel and training area expenses.

While using an LMS, there is no need for equipment or trainers, which saves money on the overall training budget. But here, it doesn’t mean that all LMS platforms are free. You can find multiple pricing plans in commercial LMS from which you can choose the desired one. In free or self-hosted LMS, an admin has to do everything like maintenance, development of content, building interfaces, etc., which is a difficult process.

That’s why it might be a good idea to go for the commercial LMS with suitable pricing. Keep it mind that it may cost you a few thousand dollars less than the physical employee training.

3. Organize All Your Organization’s Learning Materials in One Place

An organization with a one-stop shop for all the training materials attracts more employees as the new users find it convenient to learn when all the materials are in one place.

Using LMS, all the training materials for your organization (videos, slideshows, documents, etc.) can be stored in one place for your employees to come forward and learn. What’s best, it even allows the continuous updating of the content following the current marketing trends.

4. Learning Management System (LMS) Saves Time.

Moving to and from the training place, distributing the right material to all employees, creating content for each employee separately, and establishing a training schedule that suits everyone’s timings requires long working hours and days.

But using LMS, you can handle all these time-consuming tasks much more efficiently. Using LMS, there is no need for scheduling. Employees can learn whenever and wherever they want. There is no need to travel to training space and keep an eye on the progress of employees. You can do it sitting on your chair in the office using LMS analytics features.

And with just one click, the whole e-learning training material will be distributed among the employees without you worrying about it.

5. LMS Protects Your Data

The last thing you want in your e-learning training is for your data and online courses to be leaked to and used by your competitors. Thanks to “LMS for Dummies” you are covered.

Trusting a secure e-learning platform is not an option, it’s a need. Your LMS platform provides all the privacy and security for your company’s data and prevents virus or malware attacks on your online learning system.

Sharing important and in-depth details with the employees will build an atmosphere of trust and loyalty between both parties, and you will not have to worry about your data leaking onto the internet. Because all commercial LMS platforms come with tight security systems.

6. Technology Upskilling

A report from IBM shares that in three to four years, a total of 120 million workers will need reskilling training to keep them updated with AI advancements. And online courses or e-learning training is the most favorable option here.

Using LMS, you can provide the technology upskilling of your company’s employees. You can give your employees access to e-learning courses they need to learn to keep up with technological advances. And a better technology-skilled staff means a better return on investment.

What Conclusions Can Be Drawn from LMS for Dummies

This is absolutely all you need to know about the learning management system in your first search. LMS is the future of e-learning training and in the coming years, it will be a go-to option for all enterprises to provide their employees with online courses and trainings. And we are saying it without a second thought because according to the Fortune report, the LMS market is expected to grow by 38.10 billion dollars by 2027, and that is not a small figure, is it? If you wish to find out more about the e-learning industry, follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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