What Is a Learning Management System?
For years, technology has advanced at a rapid pace. What’s more, 81 percent of learning professionals believe the current pace of automation will drive the need for reskilling and upskilling of employees. However, training and development take a great deal of time, money, and resources.
Fortunately, you can implement a Learning Management System (LMS) to help your team reach its fullest potential. An LMS will help you train customers and employees to scale your organization and minimize possible skills gaps.
In this post, we’ll explain what an LMS learning management system is. We’ll then discuss why you may want to use an LMS and how to determine if it is worth your time and investment. Let’s get started!
What Is a Learning Management System (LMS)?
A Learning Management System (LMS) is a unique software that stores and delivers training content and tracks performance. It is designed to virtually manage every aspect of the learning process to save time and energy.
LMS software is often scalable and can grow as your business evolves. Some LMSs are large and complex to support thousands of users, while others are small and can only be accessed by a handful of individuals. Additionally, this type of software can be tailored to fit your organization’s needs. You can use an LMS to offer real-time courses taught by professional instructors or to deliver pre-established content, such as slides and videos.
Technological advancements in computer systems have permanently transformed the way we learn. Virtual solutions have replaced books and notebooks, and many instructors are adopting hybrid virtual and in-person learning environments. In fact, the eLearning market excelled to over USD 315 billion in 2021, and it is projected to reach a 20 percent Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) from 2022 to 2028.
Who can use an LMS?
Learning management software is commonly found in educational settings, such as schools. For instance, Blackboard Learn is a popular choice among colleges and universities:
Blackboard Learn is a reliable LMS that provides educators with a variety of tools and resources to develop the ideal virtual learning environment. The software’s combination of education and technology helps keep students engaged both inside and outside the classroom. In doing so, learning institutions can deliver courses to students both on- and off-site.
Businesses also use LMS software to assist with employee training, compliance, and onboarding needs. Doing so provides team members with an engaging learning experience while reducing the need for actual trainers and instructors.
Moreover, companies can provide product training to customers using learning management systems. For example, tech companies can provide in-depth program training for complicated software via LMS.
Furthermore, you can find virtual coursework for topics ranging from marketing and accounting to photography and blogging. This makes LMS platforms also popular among self-learners, such as entrepreneurs and hobbyists.
Components of an LMS
Each LMS is equipped with unique, state-of-the-art capabilities. However, many platforms will include similar components, including:
- eLearning Standards Compliance: The content is compliant with standards, such as SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model), and can therefore be uploaded to any LMS system.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI): AI helps to create a personalized learning experience for learners.
- Multichannel Access: The software is mobile-responsive, and users can access the LMS from a variety of devices, including desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
- Intuitive course management: Administrators can efficiently build and import courses.
- Course calendars: You can create schedules and deadlines.
- Communication features: This includes messaging features and discussion boards to communicate with instructors and classmates.
- Assessments: You can assess knowledge through quizzes and exams with digital certificates.
- User-friendly dashboard: Users can easily navigate the dashboard to find what they’re looking for quickly.
- Tracking and reporting: Users and administrators can track analytics via detailed reports, and the LMS can notify users when they’re due for re-training.
- Blended learning: The LMS incorporates both instructor-led and on-the-job training for a hybrid learning experience.
You will often find additional features in an enterprise learning management system. This type of LMS will likely include increased security measures and the ability to integrate with other eLearning tools. You may also have the ability to brand your LMS, so it will appear to be in-house software.
Why Use a Learning Management System?
The purpose of an LMS is to support the learning and development efforts of an organization. A learning management system helps to streamline training and development tasks and create a central location for course management.
It has an intuitive interface that enables learners to easily navigate courses and complete assessments. Additionally, LMSs are designed for automated administration and simplified course management. What’s more, you can share administrator privileges with multiple people, so an entire team can create and update your training content.
If you use WordPress, you can choose a WordPress LMS plugin, such as LearnDash. LearnDash is an intuitive, user-friendly LMS plugin created by e-learning experts:
You can use LearnDash to easily build and sell online courses with dynamic content delivery, such as drip-feed lessons. The plugin keeps users engaged with course points and leaderboards, and also awards badges and certificates to show proof of completion.
Benefits of an LMS
LMS software has a variety of benefits. Overall, a learning management system helps organizations save time and improve efficiency through virtual learning.
Training and upskilling are critical aspects of a successful, growing business. According to LinkedIn, the primary focus of 46 percent of learning and development professionals is upskilling and reskilling employees. Moreover, 79 percent agree it’s less expensive to re-train a current employee than it is to hire a new one.
Administrators enjoy how an LMS saves time and money by minimizing the need to travel and reducing the need for training facilities. Moreover, the ability to generate reports and track progress and certificates helps to maintain training schedules.
The AI-based content creates a personalized experience with dynamic learning procedures to help keep users engaged:
Furthermore, LMS solutions help instructors to adapt to short attention spans with a focus on immersive learning. For example, gamification enables users to receive points, badges, awards, etc. These methods help to increase knowledge retention and improve performance.
Additionally, the convenience and portability of eLearning are beneficial to both users and administrators. Courses can be accessed anywhere, anytime, and on any device. Therefore, you can study materials at your own pace and even download them to review later. You can even skip over material if you already have an understanding of a topic.
Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the way we learn. According to BestColleges’ Online Education Trends Report, 60 percent of students said they would enroll in online courses after their campuses return to normal operations.
The continued impact of the pandemic has caused many administrators to consider online learning as a permanent format. An LMS can help bypass worries of face-to-face gatherings to ensure that learners feel safe and secure.
Is an LMS Worth It?
An LMS is a notable investment. It helps support eLearning objectives by creating a streamlined virtual environment to house training and development needs.
Having an LMS can help you save a great deal of money on travel, training facilities, instructor fees, and learning materials. You can also consider the long-term benefits of increased productivity and higher retention rates.
You can look at your current training regime to help you determine if an LMS is worth it. Items to consider include:
- User Experience. Can your training experience benefit from an LMS? You can survey your learners to help you determine any gaps in your current training program.
- Integration. Will it seamlessly integrate with existing programs? Review your existing software(s) to understand whether it can be integrated with your chosen LMS.
- Savings. What savings does it provide? Analyze your current training initiatives to gain an estimate of how much time and money you may be able to save with an LMS.
Once your eLearning system is in place, you can track activities to help determine your Return on Investment (ROI). The LMS can help you do this via learning metrics, including user activity, certification, and course completion reports.
Additional ROI factors include new revenue, data maintenance costs, travel and training expenses, and time savings and allotment. You’ll also need to consider your retention rate and productivity rate.
An LMS may seem like a steep investment. However, it can provide a significant ROI in terms of money, time, and overall quality of your team.
Keeping up with the latest technological advancements can be challenging. However, you can implement a learning management system to help train your team and simplify employee development and management.
An LMS, such as LearnDash, coupled with a dedicated hosting plan from WP Engine, will help ensure a smooth learning experience. This way, you can minimize possible skills gaps in your team while saving time, money, and resources.