Must-Have Features of a Learning Management System

What is a Learning Management System (LMS)?

A learning management system is a software solution that businesses use to organize and provide learning opportunities. Like many of the software programs, we use every day, such as Google Docs for content creation and QuickBooks for accounting. Learning management systems are used by enterprises for simplifying two key features: Strengthening the training program and a data archive of important information about the creation, management, delivery, and learner’s journey and performance of courses and other e-learning materials. 

What Is the Purpose of a Learning Management System?

While using Learning Management System has many benefits such as cost savings and security, the main purpose of a learning management system is to deploy and track learning and e-learning initiatives in one place. The look and behavior of LMS depend on the purpose of the business, but the capabilities of LMS allow L&D professionals to simplify the following process: 

  • Course Registration and Delivery 
  • User Data Tracking and Analysis 
  • Performance-based tasks. Skill Gap Analysis 
  • Course Management 
  • Communication between teachers and students. 

Another benefit related to the purpose of the LMS is that professionals can use specific data elements to ensure that each learner achieves his or her desired learning goals. As all instructors know, their learners have different levels of achievement and difficulty in traditional and e-learning courses. The ability to use key data elements tracked and analyzed by the learning management system can increase student acceptance. This is especially important for companies operating in highly regulated or highly regulated industries such as healthcare, aviation, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, finance, and nuclear. Providing employees with the tools and knowledge they need to succeed while maintaining compliance is paramount.

What Are the Different Types of LMS?

There are many ways to classify a learning management system, but here are the three main types of an LMS:

  • cloud-based or installed
  • open-source or proprietary
  • free or commercial.

Cloud-Based LMS vs Installed LMS Solutions

LMS vendors that offer installed solutions are a shrinking part of the market, and big companies are no longer offering it. This may be due to the fact that installed LMS solutions are often considered “clunky” and awkward than cloud-based solutions. Users must use in-house maintenance to install an LMS instance on their server. NS. Customers need a dedicated IT expert with knowledge of security. This makes the installed LMS solution more expensive than the cloud-based solution. 

The cloud-based LMS solution is the “latest” iteration that costs less to set up and maintain than an installed solution. In addition, LMS providers that provide cloud-based solutions maintain software and provide customers with seamless updates. Even with these additional features, cloud-based solutions have low monthly costs and usually do not require high setup fees.

Free and Commercial LMS Solutions 

Like everything else in the technology market, there are free LMS solutions. If you’re a startup with a limited budget but have the opportunity to harness your in-house talent (developers, software engineers, etc.), you can opt for a free LMS solution. 

However, we do not recommend the free option for large organizations with multiple users. Especially when considering the compliance features provided by some LMSs, which are important in high-impact industries. 

Open Source LMS and Proprietary LMS 

Both installed and cloud-based LMS solutions provide open source and closed source instances of  LMS. Let’s start with open source and look at the basic implications of both. 

Wikipedia defines open source software as a type of computer software whose source code is published under a license that the copyright owner grants, modifies, and distributes the user’s rights. Study software for anyone and for any purpose. Open-source software can be developed in a jointly published way.

Closed source or proprietary software is non-free computer software in which the publisher of the software or someone else holds intellectual property rights (usually the copyright of the source code, but in some cases patents).

As mentioned earlier, open-source LMS software gives users more freedom. However, this increases the responsibility of the enterprise to maintain the LMS solution. For many companies, finding an LMS provider responsible for LMS maintenance and service is a better option.

What features does an LMS need? 

To achieve an ROI and build a better business case for your company, it is important to be prepared to find the best LMS provider. This includes a good understanding of the company’s training goals and how to achieve them. For L & D professionals who want to provide a better learning experience for their teams, find a platform that includes the following 13 key features of  LMS: 

  1. LMS Integration:

LMS that seamlessly integrates with other systems such as HR management software or talent management systems allows L&D professionals to supplement learner information on critical course completion dates. 

  1. Data Tracking:

The ability of the learner to track the learner’s journey through stored data helps to better understand the course and how the learner is doing in one place. This allows L & D professionals to better track and design their learning programs. In addition, the ability of learners to recognize where they need to improve their skills and where they excel can help accelerate the training process. The ability to categorize and label training content according to skill allows learners to create a more personalized learning environment. 

  1. Personalized User Experience:

To facilitate widespread adoption, high-performance LMSs need to serve content based on the learner’s history and their role in the software. For example, if a learner has a sales role, LMS should make it easy to find sales-related training content. Adaptive assessments and quizzes that reflect the learner’s performance during the course allow users to prioritize areas for improvement. If the LMS is tailored to the user’s learning preferences and duties, the LMS will invest more in the process. 

  1. Offline Learning Tracker:

For roles that require training and evaluation in a real environment as Learning professionals may find it difficult to track and store learning data, such as those involving manual and technical activities. To bring this offline learning back online, LMS needs to allow L&D professionals to collect offline assessment results. This can be done through the ability to create electronic records and edit and personalize evaluation checklists that match the specific skill or ability that requires evaluation. 

  1. Automatic Alerts and Notifications:

Even with a feature-rich learning management system, administrators and L&D professionals cannot properly identify learner needs without proper supervision. An LMS feature that requires automatic alerts and notifications to ensure that trainers and managers know how learners are involved and completed in the course’s materials. LMS can provide timely feedback to the right people by automatically notifying learners of training deadlines or by notifying trainers of user completion rates. 

  1. Centralized learning material:

LMS is not just for e-learning. You need to be able to store videos, slide sets, written instructions, and various other learning materials in one easy-to-use central location. Centralized learning materials help users and L & D professionals stay organized and consistent, two basic elements for increasing learner involvement. Space for different types of learning materials also provides space for distributed learning. This is a useful tool for L & D professionals working in distributed teams.

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