What’s an LMS?
If you’ve ever looked into sharing an online course, you’ve likely come across the term “LMS.” Picking up industry lingo can be a bit daunting at first—especially the pesky acronyms. But in this case, it’s pretty easy to understand what an LMS is, what it does, and why it’s valuable.
LMS stands for “learning management system.” It’s software that makes your online courses available for others to take. Most modern LMSs look like regular websites where folks who want to take your course can log in and interact with the material. As they do, the LMS collects data on their behavior to share with you.
All kinds of people and organizations use LMSs to share online training. A large enterprise might use an LMS to track the effectiveness of its robust employee training program. A private university, meanwhile, might use one to share lecture videos and reading files.
At this point, you may be thinking, “I get what an LMS is, but why would I use one when I could simply host my course on my website and share a link? Or send a PowerPoint presentation as an email attachment?”
Good questions. Here’s why many professionals think an LMS is a better idea:
- Convenience. Keeping all your course materials in one place is easier for everyone. With an LMS, folks know exactly where to find the latest version of your course. And you don’t have to send them a new file anytime you make a tiny tweak.
- Scalability. If you need to deliver your online course to just one person, dropping the course file into an email is not a big deal. But dropping the course file into 10, 50, 100, or 1,000+ emails is a time suck. With an LMS, you share your course once.
- Insight. An LMS gives you helpful data you wouldn’t get if you hosted your online courses on a website or via email.
LMS providers build out specific feature sets to attract different types of customers. Here are a couple of the most common features for an LMS beyond what we’ve described above:
- Course creation tools. Historically, the software you use to create training and the software you use to host it (i.e., your LMS) were separate. For example, you’d build a course in PowerPoint and upload it to your LMS to share with others. Modern systems like Rise offer a one-stop shop for creating and delivering online training.
- Advanced analytics and reporting. A lightweight LMS can tell you how many people have viewed your online course. More robust software can provide extra analytics and reports, which can help you measure the impact of your training and spot problems.
- Beefed-up security. Keeping data safe is super important, especially for enterprises that use an online LMS to deliver training. Security features such as secure socket layer (SSL) and single sign-on (SSO) help make sure that no one has access to data they’re not supposed to see.
Now that you understand what an LMS is, why it’s useful, and what types of special features can come with it, you’re better equipped to pick the right LMS for sharing your online course.
Looking for an LMS? Take a closer look at the benefits of using an all-in-one training system like Rise, as you evaluate your e-learning needs.