A LMS or Learning Management System is a technology that lets you administer, track and deliver eLearning and web based training. But what exactly is an LMS? An LMS is something that you have probably used before without knowing, if you have taken an eLearning course such as health & safety training this would most likely have been hosted on an LMS.
For learners an LMS is essentially what allows you to access eLearning courses from your device providing you have a network connection, for administrators it means they are able to upload eLearning courses, enroll users and track learner progress.
Types of LMS
An LMS can be either commercial or open source, depending on your situation both have advantages and disadvantages. If you are a small company or an individual who wants to host their own eLearning platform you may want to use open-source LMS as they are often free. However it doesn’t mean there are no costs involved, you often have to spend both time and money in other ways as you have to host, setup and maintain the LMS by yourself, setting up an LMS this way will also require technical knowledge of the different systems involved.
A commercial LMS can be far more straight forward as the company that owns the LMS will do most of the work to set up, maintain and administer the LMS for you, this allows you to focus on developing your eLearning courses. When using a commercial LMS you will most likely have a point of contact that can support you with technical issues and provide information. The downside of using a commercial LMS is that it will most likely cost more as you have to pay someone to host and maintain the LMS for you.
Benefits of an LMS
Using an LMS means you are able to quickly and effectively deliver eLearning and digital training to your learners. Once uploaded to an LMS learners will be able to take your eLearning from their own device and at a time of their choosing. You will be able to enroll students on courses and track their progress, it is recommended if you are creating an eLearning course to choose an LMS that best matches your businesses needs.
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