What is a Learning Management System?

The Impact of Learning Management Systems

Using a learning management system is being recognized as a vital tool to a business’s growth and development. Today’s technology industry is changing at a rapid pace and among the top players in the market our LMS platforms. Finances Online report 40% of Fortune 500 companies use LMS extensively to remain competitive. The global LMS market was previously valued at $7.76 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow to $38.10 billion by 2027 according to Fortune. Usage of LMS platforms will exponentially increase in the coming years and it’s important to know what they are and their benefits.

Definition of a Learning Management System

A learning management system is a software platform that helps create, distribute, and manage e-learning materials. Just as Gmail is designed to send and receive emails, an LMS is designed to distribute and manage e-learning content. Using an LMS allows users to create educational content without the worry of physical papers or manual record keeping. In an age where people are always on the go, using a learning management system allows users to access their educational content from a computer to a smartphone.

Types of LMS Deployment Options

  • Open Source – Usually free and online-based, they often require users to have some coding experience and can require multiple customizations in order to function properly
  • Enterprise (Commerical) LMS – Easier to use and comes with numerous features and functionality
  • SaaS – The Software as a Service platform is typically the preferred deployment option because they are web-based and all data is stored in the cloud
  • Installed LMS – Hosted locally, this deployment option allows for organizations to customize their learning management system to their specifications. They are, however, responsible for all IT aspects of the platform as well
Learning management sytem set up on computer

Who Uses an LMS?

A common misconception about learning management systems are they geared toward educators; that is only scratching the surface of who can utilize and benefit from LMS software.

  • Schools and universities – The Coronavirus and subsequent pandemic forced many schools to migrate to virtual learning. The US Census reported, nearly 93% of households with school-age children report some form of distance learning during COVID-19
  • Businesses of all sizes – Every company needs to train its employees properly; the use of an LMS ensures all employees are trained correctly according to the business’ guidelines
  • Hobbyists – You don’t have to be an “educator” by definition to offer a great LMS course; Those interested in photography, drawing, yoga, blogging, and more can share their skills with the world using a learning management system.

Why Use a Learning Management System?

The primary use of an LMS is for an administrative user to provide educational content to benefit learners actively engaging in the course materials. There are many other benefits from utilizing LMS software that you don’t get with traditional learning mediums.

  • Learning management systems reduce costs of physical classroom rental, high instructor salaries, and eliminate the use of paper printouts
  • Learners can access the course material from anywhere on a computer of smartphone
  • Course content can be scalable according to business size and amount of content needed to suit the business’ needs

The Future of LMS

The industry of learning management systems will continue to grow as we expand our technological footprint. While many organizations were forced to switch to online learning in 2020, the switch will likely remain for many. The shutdown of many businesses in 2020 has forced companies to find new ways to bring their employees up to speed in 2021. A report from LinkedIn states 66% of learning and development professionals expect their companies to spend more on virtual-instructor-led training and online learning. Virtual learning is here to stay and the best way to manage online courses and educational materials is with a learning management system.

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