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What is the difference between eLearning and an LMS?

You may of heard the terms eLearning and LMS if you are planning to develop digital training for your organisation, but what do these terms mean and how are they factors in deciding the design of your next eLearning course?

When comparing the two it is important to note they are not separate technologies but two different technologies that work together to develop and deploy digital training to your learners.

eLearning is short for electronic learning and is the digital course your learners will take and interact with. When designing your eLearning you will be looking at things such as content placement, button placement and colours. Authoring tools such as Articulate Storyline, Captivate or Lectora are used to develop the training, you then publish out the files to a format which can be distributed online.

LMS is short for Learning Management System and is used to host your eLearning so that learners are able to access it from their laptop, tablet or smartphone. This where the published files from your eLearning course are hosted, this method of deployment is good if you want to push your content out to many users and implement features such as tracking or administer courses in a particular way.

When designing and developing eLearning it is important to remember these technologies are used to support each other and serve very different purposes, it is important to decide how you want to use both when developing your next eLearning course.

Below outline some of the key features of both eLearning and Learning Management Systems



· Digital courses that are taken online

· Developed using authoring tools

· Where learning content is created e.g text, functionality, layout

· Published files are created


· Hosts eLearning courses using published files

· Allows learners to access eLearning on laptops, tablets and smartphones

· Allows educators to track and monitor courses

· An easy way to structure and push learning materials to learners


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