A learning management system (LMS) is a tool (software or web based) used for management, documentation, tracking, reporting and distribution of eLearning courses or training content. A course authoring tool additionally complements a LMS by giving users the ability to create courses, learning paths and training material which can be hosted in the LMS.
A majority of personal users and SMEs use an LMS to deliver, track and certify online courses and training. This is because an eLearning solution consisting of an LMS and a course authoring tool allows real time tracking of training results, optimizing time and reducing expenses connected with traditional learning methods, while giving the flexibility of anytime, anywhere access.
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LMS is the framework that will handle all aspects of the training process for you. The LMS will be the infrastructure that distributes and manages your instructional content, identifies and measures individual and your organizational learning or training goals, track the development towards meeting those goals, and collect and present data for overseeing the learning process of your business as a whole. A learning management system will not only deliver content but also handle recordkeeping for courses, course management, skills gap analysis, tracking, and reporting. Combined with the authoring tool, you will have a complete eLearning solution that will meet your educational and training requirements.
A LMS is eLearning in a Box
A self hosted LMS is installed and maintained on your own server. It is sold to you by the vendor as a license which you need to renew annually. Because of this, you yourself are responsible for service tasks such as backing up data, updating to new hardware and scaling. On the bright side, this gives you flexibility to make changes by altering code as per need.
A cloud based model like the one offered by Udutu, is subscription based where most major tasks such as updates and server monitoring are taken care of by the vendor while the users only interact with the interface. As it’s hosted on the cloud, there is no hardware or installation procedures that need to physically take place at the office. If you are an individual or a business, this type makes the most sense for you as you can start very small and can scale up you need without any upfront costs (some cloud LMS’s unlike Udutu have upfront costs).
This is a hybrid of the Cloud and the self hosted models as this type hosts your LMS in a private environment without your organization sharing a common resource or code library with other businesses. As you have your own dedicated environment, you have direct access to your LMS for integration or customization needs while service tasks such as installation, updates and monitoring is taken care for you by the vendor. This option makes sense for your businesses if you have extremely high security and performance requirements.
What are the features of a good Learning Management System?
1. Integration with a Course authoring tool and the ability to sell those Courses through Paypal (e-commerce functionality).
2. The ability to integrate with third party systems through standards such as SCROM.
3. The ability to create custom branding and layout themes as per personalized requirements.
4. Creating , distributing and tracking courses , training sessions and eLearning content while monitoring learner progress.
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Things to know about a learning management system
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