Imagine that you have hundreds or even thousands of students, employees or clients around the world and you want to educate them. Such an activity involves close cooperation with several services, and the organization of training and advanced training can take several months only at the initial stage of preparation, not to mention the management of their knowledge. The learning management system offers the use of modern technologies that make it possible to manage all aspects of the activity.
Varieties of knowledge management systems
During the last ten years, different methods of program management for learning (LMS) have emerged. They are designed for students, teachers and administrators. These include:
- WebCT (currently owned by Blackboard).
All learning management systems have been around for over twenty years. They have become more accessible and widespread thanks to the Internet and the growth of for-profit colleges anduniversities. They are used to post information and create learning opportunities for people.
Initially, learning platforms were used to document and deliver online, asynchronous, computer-based learning over the Internet.
Today, these types of platforms offer not only the above features, but also streaming or synchronous learning. In addition, they allow you to create analytical reports that help organizations determine performance indicators. LMS schools are used by all universities in Europe, Canada and the USA. Many start programs while working with graduate students and students who are completing their final master's courses.
Differences between platforms
They are also used by organizations to train their employees. While most of these platforms can be applied to each of the different types of companies, they tend to focus on one area or another.
This is largely due to the fact that learning happens differently depending on whether you are an educational institution or a private business. In addition, educational institutions track user performance through grades, while private businesses may offer certificates and/or badges showing achievement. University LMS schools use learning platforms for a variety of reasons.
Remote learning opportunities
These include the ability to enroll students who are not close to the campus, which increases the number of applicants. Classes are notlimited by audience size. It also corresponds to how many prefer to learn: in their own time and at their own pace, or using a tactical strategy of getting the course through guided parts or modules.
On the other hand, organizations focus on employee development. Speaking about the main benefits of an LMS for employee training, skills development and succession planning, it is worth bearing in mind that it does not provide practical knowledge. That is, the funded system acts as a theory, which can then be reflected in work.
Initially, organizations used compliance training platforms audited by government agencies, as well as a built-in tool for new hires. This is an introduction to the course, awareness of the duties of the position. In many ways, there are pluses, but there are also disadvantages of the LMS. Therefore, some companies have adopted learning platforms as a tool for continuous improvement, offering knowledge that goes beyond conformance and adaptation.
How much do they cost?
The cost of the entire learning management system depends on the specialization and direction. For example, a refresher course in an MBA platform can cost a company several thousand dollars per department. The Moodle LMS is free but requires special skills to set up. Also, the open source program makes it easy to update and customize components. There is another factor to betake into account, is the time required by the programmer for development and customization, and sometimes adaptation and translation into the user's language is required.
Most of these types of LMS are purchased for corporations, where there are no fixed costs regardless of the number of users, and the data is stored on their own servers. In other words, this is WYSIWYG - e-learning in the format of distance learning.
Another option is to purchase it as SAAS (Software as a Service) where the data is stored in the cloud or on the provider's servers. This model usually includes provider assistance and automatic updates.
LMS features and benefits
There are homework here, and it is important that you answer all the questions correctly, otherwise the course can be retaken only after a long time. It is also important to understand how you will use it not only today, but also in the future. After all, there are a lot of services that are ready to introduce platforms into a remote learning management system, where students will be private individuals (at home).
Also, there are several different types of learning platforms where you can add plugins to improve their functionality.
One area that needs careful consideration is the ability of the SLA to analyze and report data. Consideration should also be given to whether it can interface with other systems such as HRIS (Human Resource Information System) or SIS (Human Resource Information System).system for students).
Depending on add-ons, you need to look for and make decisions about adapting the platform. If students later become part of a company, such as after an internship, some programs need to be changed to be compatible with multiple systems.
Some types of e-learning are encrypted. There are built-in testers and course creation tools that allow you to create your own tests and questionnaires that are loaded into the system. If these built-in tools are not available, consider integrating the LMS with other software tools. It must accept various types of file formats such as:
In addition, a good Learning Management System program should be mobile friendly. The most important aspect to consider is UI (user interface) and UX (user experience). Do you want users to feel comfortable using the learning platform? Then you need to make sure that students can work with the LMS and embed personal files there through the user interface and UX, such as coach requests, other student posts, instant messengers and networks for communication.
How to use LMS?
Firstly, the history of the emergence of the learning management system is associated with industry problems that did not allow expanding and developing trade relations. workers were lessqualified, and it took too much time and money to train them and become professionals.
To technically become a part of the program, users must understand how it works. In addition, there is such a thing as an entry fee from management, which is reported through the ROI (return on investment) system. That is, the contribution to the employee has occurred, which means that the return must be compensated through the passage and study of the material. This is taken into account in the US corporate ethics, as programs are created based on the Western mentality.
What should not be forgotten?
One of the most overlooked strategies in buying and implementing an LMS has to do with connecting it to the organization's goals. In fact, this should be one of the first things to look into before installing a package. By using a specific strategy, you increase your chances of making a profit. But not all programs can be effectively used. They may not fit the structure of the business. The corporate learning management system should not be perceived as an additional program on the desktop, but as an individual monitoring of the growth of the educational scale.
Are there any pitfalls in using LMS?
The first potential pitfall that comes to mind is choosing the right kind of program. The time and cost factors that go into developing it and learning how to use it can be high. Switching from one LMS to another is not as easy as it seems. Think about how you will use your system in the future, consider addingfunctions.
Another problem is the scalability of the program. You need an LMS that can grow with your organization. You need to be able to quickly add users. Keep in mind that the cost of an LMS is often based on the number of employees, so the cost will increase as more people are added.
Probably the most underestimated mistake is not being able to use the system at its optimal level. This may be caused by the way you set up courses for data processing. In other words, is it easy to find what you are looking for?
- Your system may have a built-in calendar that allows you to schedule live calls.
- Some learning platforms allow you to send push notifications to users to remind or encourage them to register for certain courses or training.
- In addition, some learning platforms can customize landing pages and search experiences that can improve UX.
- May not use some features built into the system, such as discussion forums or reporting tools.
Using all the tools that an LMS can provide, you increase the effectiveness of learning and the acquisition of quality knowledge.
If you decide to use an open source LMS or create your own, consider the time factor for developing it. If you purchase a ready-made package, then study the technical documentation that will provideuser support. As a rule, expensive management systems do not notify about such changes, and notifications rarely come by mail or personal accounts.
Several LMS programs
Let's look at some good learning management systems. Technical aspects and possibilities for adding tools, maintenance are at the highest level.
- eCoach is a flexible LMS and authorization tool in one platform. It's easy to use with a simple and intuitive interface that feels like an Apple product rather than an LMS. You can tag your eCoach campus with your logo, customize fonts and colors, and even change the wording of the feedback that is displayed on campus.
- eFront offers a powerful and highly customizable learning management platform for any business. There are local and cloud options. It's a mobile-optimized program that's ready for e-commerce. The system is equipped with flexible deployment solutions, advanced security tools and fully customizable features.
- LearnUpon has a complete set of tools for course management and student engagement. The package comes with a flexible lecture builder that allows you to expand the lessons with texts, images, videos, polls. Lectures are also multilingual and mobile-optimized so that all students can easily access class content. LearnUpon is used to motivate, empower gamification andmonitoring progress.
When choosing a learning management system, you should also pay attention to such programs as Docebo, TalentLMS, Litmos and others. For students of different speci alties, separate projects are needed that would contain all the lectures.