Learning Management Systems and elearning

What Is a Learning Management System?

By Neil K Campsie

A learning management system (LMS) is a software platform that enables people to learn anything, at any time and in any place.

This process overcomes the limitations of time, distance and resources and uses internet technology to deliver relevant and up to date training content to an audience in the most cost effective manner while still allowing people to do their jobs.

Elearning includes text, audio, video, animation, quizzes and virtual environments and is a self paced, on-demand, rich learning experience that can even surpass the level of classroom based training.

Reasons to use a learning management system.

Save time and money

It reduces the time away from the workplace, cuts down on travel costs and reduces the need for expensive classroom-based training. It frees up trainers and expensive technical resources from boring and repetitive administration tasks and allows them to focus on more strategic issues.

Less expensive to produce

It is virtually free once you have reached the break-even point. Synchronous programs will have continued costs associated with the teacher managing the class, but it will be lower than traditional courses.

Scalable and efficient

It gives you the ability to easily create and deliver training material to support your business processes. It is based on a centralised on-line database that allows you to roll-out new material to large audiences quickly and cost-effectively.

Faster moving

Elearning courses can progress up to 50% faster than traditional courses. This is partly because learners can skip material they already know and concentrate on the issues they need training on.

On-demand and flexible

It gives learners the freedom to learn when and where they want and at their own pace. Learners in remote locations have the same access to training as if they were at head office. Smaller locations can free people up for training without impacting on day-to-day operational efficiency.

Delivers high knowledge retention

Elearning appeals to a wider range of learning styles and results in higher knowledge retention rates. Learners can focus on the subject matter that is most relevant and learn at a pace that suits them repeating any, and as much of the course as they like, when they like.

Measureable results

The software provides a central database of learners results across all courses and locations. Information can be used for feedback to client organisations, one-on-one reviews and for supporting a help desk infrastructure.

Consistent

Learning management software eliminates the problems associated with different instructors teaching different material on the same subject. It delivers high levels of coverage among your target audience and ensures that the message communicated is always consistent, critical for company based training.

Easy to manage

It allows corporate training directors, HR managers and others to keep track of the course offerings, assign training to employees and track their progress and results. Managers can review a students results and identify areas for additional training.

Reduced carbon footprint

Elearning software delivers training and testing through online tutorials and quizzes providing a green alternative to paper-based forms of learning and testing.