A Learning Management System (LMS) is a software application or service that is used to support the online delivery, management and tracking of online training and blended learning programmes.
An LMS traditionally lets organisations publish and deploy training content, manage, schedule and record training activities and enables them to report on their users’ training progress.
A modern LMS will also enable organisations to publish a wide range of learning content, including eLearning and microlearning courses, videos, podcasts and performance support tools (PDFs, Office documents and weblinks).
An LMS is a fundamental component of an effective learning strategy.
LMS deployment and support terms
SaaS (Software as a Service): A cloud platform that provide the core purchased platform with free upgrades and the ability to scale a system to reflect the needs of the organisation today and into the future.
SCORM (Shareable Content Object Reference Model): It is the defacto technical standard for the online delivery of eLearning courses. By using SCORM compliant eLearning you can create eLearning courses that can be hosted on any SCORM compliant LMS and you can track user interactions with this learning; such as course completions, answers to assessment questions and overall scores.
Experience API: The Experience API enables the tracking of more than just eLearning courses. The Experience API enables the tracking of interactions with other forms of learning content such as videos, podcasts and PDF documents. It can also be used to record informal learning activities or activities that occur outside the LMS, such as classroom training, webinar training or reading a blog. By being able to record all types of learning activities, the Experience API enables the build-up of a rich and comprehensive picture of an individuals’ learner journeys.
Key users of an LMS
There are two key types of LMS users:
Administrators: Administrators are responsible for managing the LMS, which involves content curation, uploading learning content courses and creating learning pathways (curricula), assigning learning content and learning pathways to individual learners and groups, and tracking learners’ progress.
Learners: learners are on the receiving end of learning initiatives and by accessing the LMS will be able to see personalised learning content and catalogue content. They will also be able to complete assigned courses and any evaluations, and see their progress.
Learners are typically assigned learning content on an individual basis, or according to their job function, and/or role within an organisation.
What is an LMS used for?
Learning management systems can supports a variety of internal and external use cases, including:
Employee development and retention: The most common LMS use case is to support the training and development of current employees. Within the LMS, learning content can be assigned to ensure employees acquire the right job skills to ensure they can function and develop within their role.
Employee induction and onboarding: An LMS can be used to support new employees with their preboarding and initial induction and onboarding. Within the LMS, new employees can be brought up-to-speed on an organisation’s culture, their department, and their role and function by providing them with relevant learning content.
Compliance training: An LMS can be used to make sure employees receive any mandated training and manage recurring training programmes and certification. This helps organisations to mitigate risks and helps to avoid any potential regulatory compliance issues.
Customer and partner training: An LMS can be used by organisations to provide external learners, such as customers and partner, with learning content. This is especially common for organisations who need to effectively train customers and partners on the use of a product or service. Ongoing training will help to prevent customer and partner churn, and provide more value to customers and partners.
Member training: An LMS can be used to enhance membership value by providing relevant learning and continuing professional development (CPD) content to member, enabling members to record their learning and CPD activities, and facilitating engagement among members.
Key LMS Features
Some of the key features that an LMS should include:
Branding and customisation: Connect learners with an organisation by providing a learning platform that looks and feels like a brand.
Course and catalogue management: A central solution that that holds all learning content and enables Administrators to easily curate and manage content to deliver targeted learning programmes.
Compliance and certification: The LMS should allow for the tracking and management of all compliance and certification activities through the management of recurring training and compliance programmes.
Mobile Learning Apps: Learning content should be able to be accessed anytime, anywhere, regardless of device. Learning management systems should allow content to be accessed via native Apps (for iOS and Android devices) to better enable learning at the point of need.
CPD solution: Empowers learners to take ownership of their CPD and to build a continuous learning record by enabling them to record all learning and CPD activities. Organisations can configure their CPD to reflect their internal or external CPD requirements, and enable the internal or external auditing of CPD activities.
Microlearning: Microlearning provides easily accessible, bite-sized learning content that engages learning at the point of need.
Social Learning: Social learning features encourage community content sharing, collaboration and discussions.
Gamification: Increase learner engagement by allowing learners to achieve points, badges, awards, etc. on all learning activities.
Learning Record Store (LRS): Provides a view of the learning experiences across an organisation. It tracks, measures and analyses the learning activities that occur both inside and outside of the LMS - enabling organisations to see the impact of their learning programmes.
Reporting: Provides the ability to track and measure the impact that learning programmes. The LMS should provide learning insights through customised reports, automatically delivered to the right reporting audiences.
Integrations: Enables organisation to keep their data in sync with other platforms, such as HR, Talent Management, CRM, Enterprise Social Networks, eCommerce, Online Conference Tools and, identity management systems
What to read next
The Professional Golfers’ Association partners with Agylia to support member CPD and learning experiences
Read why The PGA has selected the Agylia LMS and CPD Solution
Agylia to provide digital learning support to Samaritans
Read how Samaritans will use the Agylia LMS and Apps to provide learning and support to its 20,000 volunteers
The Chartered Institute of Marketing enhances member experience with new CPD platform
Read why CIM has selected Agylia to develop their LMS and CPD platform to enhance member experiences