Learning Management System Definition

A learning management system (LMS system) is the system in which an organization uses to distribute informational learning across an organization. This is not to say it creates the learning content, but it plans, delivers, and manages the learning content for an organization.

When implementing a learning management system, some companies prefer an open source learning management software. Open source is the concept of setting a concrete framework initially for an LMS, then allowing you as a company to take over the LMS and alter the code to develop or customize your LMS. With an open source LMS, like Moodle, it’s a one-time purchase. That means that it requires server space by you and any installation and coding that needs to be manipulated within the software will require maintenance from an IT team.

There is also free learning management software. Free learning management software, just like an open source software, has its caveats. Generally the tools are minimal and the executive help is little to none. Free LMS companies, like Edmodo, are hardly updated and are more hassle than help for a larger organization. Before deciding to use an open source or free LMS, be sure to do some research and read some learning management software reviews.

Basic LMS functions:

  • Registering learners
  • Tracking and quizzing
  • Feedback/Discussion capabilities
  • Delivery methods
  • Scheduling lessons

One huge factor that comes into play when considering purchasing an LMS software is being AICC or SCORM compliant. How these are defined doesn’t matter much—if you choose an LMS that doesn’t require these. However, much larger organizations that fear switching to a modern LMS may feel they need it.

The AICC definition, as an acronym, means Aviation Industry CBT Committee, and SCORM, as an acronym, stands for Sharable Content Object Reference Model. Both of these depend on an LMS you choose. They are means of communicating content created outside of an LMS through and to the LMS.

Lessonly is one of many examples of learning management systems. It’s primarily an online LMS software, but also plays a big role in organizational learning. However, Lessonly defies the traditional LMS system by simplifying the learning management systems definition. We don’t believe that being SCORM or AICC compliant is necessary for organizational learning (although we do support both of these for clients that need them). Technology has come a long way since the first LMS in 1996, and because of that, we have the tools to rid LMSs of these content-compliant barriers. Content no longer has to “agree” with an LMS, the two just always get along. The format, size, and file-type of content don’t have to be compressed into this complaint form.

Course Management System Definition

A course management system is a system platform in which courses can be managed. Documents can be uploaded and organized, and learners can post on discussion boards. CMSs can not identify users, and though with a CMS you can test and quiz learners, you can’t quite track their learning. Files uploaded to a CMS don’t have to be in a web format like HTML, but don’t support authoring tools, so materials that are created outside of the CMS need to be linked to.

Course management system examples aren’t unfamiliar. WordPress is the top-of-mind course management system. WordPress is a great example of a CMS. It lets users build content and publish it to the web. It’s often used for websites, but can be used internally for organizational learning.

With that said, CMSs lack streamlined delivery and tracking. That is, think of it like having a company wiki page. You can send the page link to learners, and they can make comments and post on threads, but there isn’t automation involved. Learners aren’t reminded to take lessons. As an administrator of learning, you can’t track a learner’s progress, and some content will have to be sent separately because of file size or lack of support.

Basic CMS functions:

  • Online content creation publishing
  • File compatibility, like PDFs and PowerPoint presentations
  • Discussion boards
  • Communication through announcements (often not two-way)
  • Assignment posting and storage
  • Statistic information (depth varies)

Course Management System vs Learning Management System

To recap, an LMS plans, delivers, and manages organizational learning. LMSs can track and test learners, but is a big system to build, and often becomes outdated in a very short amount of time. This is a big blow to free LMSs and open source LMSs, which require a developing team and server space to support it.

A content management system is essentially a platform for uploading (publishing), sharing, and organizing learning material. Learners can comment on discussion threads, but CMSs lack efficient tracking and delivery. Monitoring learning would depend heavily on trust, and content that can’t be edited within the platform would have to be edited then reuploaded outside of it. If you haven’t noticed, although CMSs are convenient for web publishing, they are not as focused-efficient when it comes to corporate e-learning.

So what’s the solution? Why not combine the two?

Learning Content Management System Definition

An LCMS takes the pros of both a CMS and an e-learning focused LMS and combines them into a single software system. Rolls off the tongue nicely, huh? LCMS features include ways of creating, publishing, delivering, and tracking learning content for an organization. Still very much focused towards e-learning, the ‘C’ in the LCMS definition stands for ‘Content.’ The content that usually has to be created outside of an LMS is now easily created in the learning content management system. Open source LCMSs can be purchased, but to completely rid of the complexity of logistics, most companies are choosing software-as-a-service LCMSs.

When choosing an LCMS, do in-depth research into learning content management systems. Wikipedia won’t do you any justice. Make sure you do need all the functions an LCMS provides. If not, maybe you can leave out the cost of content because you already have some, or you’re not training employees, but rather customers on who you are as a company.

Here’s the brevity in a learning content management system vs learning management system (LMS vs lcms): An LMS today is more than likely an LCMS. Didn’t think it could be that simple, right? If you were to look at a learning content management systems comparison alone, you’d find that many of them consider themselves an LMS. That is to say, the ‘C’ in LCMS has become assumed in modern LMSs. A great LMS today give you the tools you need to create and disseminate training without getting caught up in logistics and functional caveats. Lessonly is a perfect example of an LMS made to change the way elearning works within an organization.

Organizational Learning with Lessonly

At Lessonly, we’re big fans of creativity in learning. As a modern LMS, we strip traditional LMSs of clunky logistics and superfluous tools. With that said, we provide more compatibility with media platforms you love, streamlined assigning and delivering, and tracking you’ve never fathomed before. Lessonly has a myriad of uses with elearning, but we notice the software trend primarily for onboarding, sales enablement, and customer service team training.

Lessonly is a software as-a-service. By yearly contracts, clients are provided with all the creating and learning tools they need to run efficient organization-wide, online training. On top of that, we provide clients with an experience team to help them with any questions they have while working with Lessonly. That’s something you don’t find with open source and free LMSs. We’re going to break down Lessonly from two different perspectives: the administrative use and the learner use.

Administrative use of Lessonly

Admins in Lessonly have complete control over disseminating roles and learning within Lessonly. Admins have the power to create, assign, and track lessons. And with all of these things, Lessonly’s interface makes it completely intuitive.

Creating elearning lessons and courses is done directly on Lessonly’s platform. There doesn’t have to be (though, there can be) content created outside of the platform then published on the platform. Although your can upload AICC and SCORM content from other sources, with Lessonly you can create and share great content—right inside our platform.

When creating lessons, we suggest keeping them short. By that, we mean under 15 minutes. If your content is longer than that, consider condensing it or splitting up into different lessons. Learners learn better in short snippets. Add some humor and graphics in your content to help learner retention. Lastly, quizzing throughout a lesson and at the end of a lesson reinforces the information learned through repetition.

If you have a lot of learning content already created, simply upload the files. Lessonly works with copy, video, photos, and even GIFs! All those Google Docs you’ve been using for training can be worked onto the platform and give you the tracking capabilities you didn’t have before.

Tracking in Lessonly starts from the assignment end. Once you assign a lesson, you can see when a learner started a lesson, how much progress they’ve made in the lesson, and how well they did with quiz questions. Lessonly also has a free-response question feature, which enables admins to collect feedback on whatever they need. This changes the way administrators approach mass learning. Now, more than ever, admins (teachers) can focus on what particular students are excelling and what students need more assistance in learning. Furthermore, teachers can see if a topic isn’t being understood correctly by recognizing patterns from the learner audience.

You can assign lessons in Lessonly a few different ways. Once you’ve added a user by their email, they are a Lessonly learner until you decide otherwise. When you’re done creating a lesson, simply click the big yellow ‘Assign’ button in the top-right corner.

We’ll give you an example of group assigning. Say you’re a significantly large company, and you have over 200 learners within your sales department alone. Instead of searching for each individual learner, and risking sending the lesson out to a completely different department, you can create a group in Lessonly called ‘Sales.’ Then with one click of a box, all 200 employees are assigned that lesson.

Say instead of assigning through the admin end, you just want to shoot it over to a coworker to edit. Lessonly also has quicklinks that appear for your copy and paste purposes.

With the Plus Package or above in Lessonly, admins can assign roles, so that they are not taking on the weight of creating and managing content. Obviously, admins assign learners to lessons, but can also assign the role of Creator and Manager. Creators in Lessonly do just what you’re thinking. They create fun, engaging lessons with the tools at hand. Managers are in charge of a group of learners. In a business with multiple large departments, a learning manager can be assigned to each department. The manager can monitor learning closely and work with creators to create the best, concise content for learning.

Learning With Lessonly

Learners in Lessonly experience elearning in a fashion that doesn’t fit with the stereotypical, stuck at a computer, nodding-off scene. It shouldn’t be the burden of an admin to restrict learners from the way they learn best. That’s why Lessonly is mobile. With any laptop, tablet, or smartphone with internet access, learners can access lessons (before a deadline) at a time and in an environment they excel in.

Learners also get automated reminders before deadlines to take lessons. With quizzing, learners can see how well they’re doing and provide feedback to managers. This creates an open dialogue between learner and administrator — from floors apart and across the hall. Learners in Lessonly can always use this content for reference too.

Employee training has become more essential than ever before, and with that, LMSs must keep with the technological times. Lessonly has the simplicity and flexibility for both teachers and learners. We help teams get onboard and keep them there. Interested in trying Lessonly out? Take a tour.