8 Types Of LMS & How They Help To Improve Your Business
The need for training systems is not a new craving in the professional scene, as there have always been learning management systems for various professions. If we were to dive deeply into the history of LMS, we would go as far back as the ‘teaching machine’ by Sidney Pressey in 1924. But if these systems have existed for almost a hundred years, why are we just paying more attention to them now? What exactly are learning management systems? What types of learning management systems do we have? And what benefits do they provide for your business?
In 2019, the Coronavirus began causing havoc across the globe, and by the middle of 2020, it had grounded the global economy. Companies were forced to shut down temporarily or had their workers operate remotely. This did not terminate the need to train staff continually, and with this need, existing learning management systems began to become more mainstream. By facilitating learning and training far into the future, this technology accelerates an education trend already well underway. From 2021 to 2028, the global LMS market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 19.2%, reaching $51 billion.
What is a Learning Management System?
The easiest way to define a learning management system is by breaking it into individual terms.
Learning by dictionary definition simply refers to the acquisition of knowledge, skills, behaviors, or values through studying, experiences, or being taught by someone who already knows and understands what you intend to learn.
Management refers to the administration, coordination, or organization of tasks to achieve a goal.
A system is a set of things working together under specific laws or rules to form a network or a complex whole. In the context of an LMS, it refers to a platform for delivering learning programs.
When we bring all these three elements together, what do we have? Software designed to help users create, plan, distribute, track, organize, and deliver their course content to their students or staff.
LMSs are end-to-end learning platforms that facilitate online learning and provide robust frameworks for managing and delivering learning material.
Now, does this sound familiar already? If you have used an eLearning platform, they sound similar to learning management systems (LMS) but are not the same.
Are They the Same as eLearning platforms?
An eLearning platform is a web-based application that allows users to design online courses, deliver them, and share them with students.
What makes these two platforms or systems different include:
- (1) their flexibility and functionality, as LMS tends to be more functional and flexible than e-learning platforms, and;
- (2) time to integrate; LMS is usually larger packages, especially open source LMS and they take longer to integrate with other applications, unlike their web-based counterparts.
There are other marked differences, but these two mark both as different systems.
Types of Learning Management Systems
The various types of LMS depend on the parameters used in describing them. We’ll take a look at eight types of LMS.
- Installed LMS
- Web-based LMS
- Hosted LMS
- SaaS LMS
- Mobile LMS
- Open Source LMS
- Licensed Product LMS
- Built-in Authoring Tools LMS
This refers to LMS installed on your computer in a traditional way. Although this is becoming outdated, they are still quite effective when you use the right services. The software is usually installed on your server on the premises of organizations. It requires in-house I.T. infrastructure maintenance and high setup fees.
It is believed that this type of LMS gives users more free hands to customize their services to their fit, faster deployment of the LMS, and tighter security. A significant disadvantage of Installed LMS is that upgrades might take more effort than their web-based counterparts.
With the gradual progression to web-based apps, LMS has its versions. As its name implies, Web-based LMS work directly on the web through a browser. There is no need for any app installation or software download. Web-based LMS offers users access to all the tools in the provider’s arsenal, opening a gateway to extensive customization options. Updates are also seamless compared with Installed CMS.
An LMS software vendor manages its software and constantly updates, improves, and maintains it. When compared to installed LMS software, web-based LMS costs only a fraction.
Hosted LMS refers to web-based LMS that your company would host by itself. What this means is that you have control over the server’s uptime as well as its level of security. Your I.T. teams or your technology associates are the ones who need to manage any changes or upgrades to the system’s software.
A SaaS LMS vendor is responsible for providing complete application services, unlike a Hosted LMS. The LMS vendor and infrastructure ownership and management will handle software maintenance and upgrades. As a customer, you only pay for the usage, which can be per user per month or on an annual basis.
Mobile learning management systems allow trainees to access e-learning materials via their mobile devices, enabling strategies such as micro-training and learning on the go. Mobile apps facilitate learning both at home and in the classroom.
Open Source LMS
This open-source software enables you to customize your learning management system and align it with your specific organization’s requirements. Because it is open source, it is often free to use, and when there are fees attached, they are usually nominal fees. With open-source LMS, you have more control over your content and more flexibility concerning customization. The major drawback for open-source LMS is also tied to its advantages, i.e., updates, customization, and running of the technical aspects of the LMS rests on you.
Licensed Product LMS
With licensed product LMS, the LMS is customized to the user’s fit; thus, they enjoy reliability and customer support. In addition, it can be tailored to each customer’s specifications, which may take some time. The software can be installed either on-premises or in the cloud.
The user license is the most expensive component but licensed LMS is far superior, especially if they are a cloud-based solution. As a result, when compared to SaaS solutions, the cost of ownership and the cost per user are much lower. Support may be time-limited or available as a premium add-on.
Built-in Authoring Tools LMS
Most contemporary LMSs contain content authoring tools, support The Experience API/xAPI (or SCORM) standard, and permit developers to upload courses and lessons previously generated in authoring tools or LCMS/CMS. In general, courseware developers prefer having access to authoring tools that enable the design and editing of comprehensive courses.
What Fields Can We Use Learning Management Systems in?
LMS can be used across all fields and for various subsets of professional workplaces as long as there is a way to educate individuals in that domain.
The LMS market includes:
- Employee Training
- Health Workers
- Customer Training
- Product Training
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Advantages Of A Learning Management System
An effective learning management system has its advantages for both users and recipients, they are:
- 1. Learning management systems help to save money that would have otherwise been spent on physical training.
- 2. Learning management systems saves time.
- 3. It help learners pace themselves.
- 4. The system also allow you to collate accurate data as to the improvements of your staff.
- 5. It allow your staff or those being trained to access many resources in one place.
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The importance of learning management systems cannot be overstated in modern times. While there is no one size fits all learning management system, you can pick one based on your needs or your company’s.
Aristek Systems team has extensive experience providing learning management systems to leading organizations and companies worldwide. We not only create custom-made LMS that fit your demands and style, but we can also offer the support you need to implement your LMS properly. It does not matter if you need a novel or regular option. Our team is up to the task. All you need do is reach out to us to learn more about how we can provide you with solutions for training and educating your staff and students.