As web-based technology has evolved, we’ve evolved with it; creating advanced software programs to transform the tedious, everyday task into one that is simple, time-conscious and exceptionally accurate. The days of traditional, classroom-based training programs are becoming numbered as web-based education technology (eLearning) has become the new norm. Training has gone virtual, and with it has borne the age of the LMS.
What LMS Learning Is, and Isn’t
A learning management system is an online software program that provides a vehicle for the exchange of training or learning curriculum. Its seamless delivery of online training allows organizations across all industries to deploy virtual training to end-users (employees, suppliers, customers, partners, etc.), manage training materials and track and evaluate results aimed to improve end-user performance. It should be noted that the educational content within the LMS, the electronic courses, are not part of the LMS. Course creation is a separate process that can be facilitated through a course builder tool, like our Instructional Content Editor (ICE). An LMS provides the framework to host, deliver, manage, and evaluate the electronic courses created, whereas a course builder provides an intuitive dashboard that allows managers and administrators to build courses, code-free.
Features of an LMS
Every learning management system is different regarding its basic makeup. However, most systems include the following features:
- Ability to create custom learning paths delivered to various groups within the organization, i.e. sales, operations, finance, etc., or outside the organization, i.e. customers, suppliers, partners or vendors. Often, these groups can be further defined by department or role within the organization.
- Delivery of online educational content that can be uploaded by administrators from their eLearning courses, documents, and other resources.
- Advanced access controls that enable the administrator to issue default passwords, import users, enter a single sign-on or make logging in optional.
- Run customized reports, view learner transcripts and quickly export reports to Excel.
- Methods for assessing learner participation and satisfaction through the use of surveys and rating scales.
- SCORM compliance.
- Support for a blended learning approach where training within the office can be managed, i.e. classroom training or webinars.
Why an LMS is better than Traditional Training
Times have changed, and generally speaking, traditional training programs don’t satisfy regulatory demands for improved performance and knowledge retention, employee expectations or budgetary restraints allotted for continuing employee education or training. With an LMS, you can ensure that your organization gets the right training to the right people at the right time and save money along the way. You can also ensure that the training your end users receive is consistent and relevant to them by delivering streamlined course work to end-user groups who require similar skill and knowledge development. Here are a few other reasons why using an LMS is superior to the traditional training approach:
- Online training can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection, removing location barriers and reducing costly travel expenses.
- An engaging, flexible training program decreases resistance from employees to complete and participate in training programs, increasing training compliance and boosting skill and knowledge retention.
- An LMS offers an improved mechanism for tracking and measuring training results.
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