An LMS, or learning management system, can be defined as a type of software that allows users to build, share, automate, and manage online courses.
What is LMS: Ultimate Guide on Learning Management Software
Today’s world is an online one. You connect with friends online, go shopping online and increasingly, go to work online.
So why not move training and development online, too?
And before you think that has to mean dry, boring videos emailed out to the whole company or archaic, hard to use online courses that leave trainers frustrated, think again.
An LMS is an effective, interactive, and easy-to-use platform for online learning that can bring your training into the 21st century.
In this post, we’re going to explore the ins and outs of what is LMS, as well as signs you need one and the unique benefits for key industries.
What is an LMS and How Is It Used?
An LMS, or learning management system, can be defined as a type of software that allows users to build, share, automate, and manage online courses. The concept of learning management systems stems from elearning, evolving from basic online learning environments in the 1990s to the robust, interactive offerings of today. Businesses who need to share training with employees, as well as educators and other people who need to train their audience can all benefit from using an LMS.
Basically, an LMS is used to get the information and training to people you need to reach and to track that training and progress with ease.
But that isn’t giving you the full picture of what is an LMS and how it’s used.
Learning management systems are so robust and powerful that it’s hard to boil all they can do into one statement. How they are used depends largely on the user themselves. They can help solve corporate compliance problems and small business training headaches alike. It all depends on the user’s goals
That being said, here are some common uses for an LMS:
- Provide corporate compliance training
- Automate new employee training
- Centralize learning and development resources to a single platform
- Create virtual corporate development initiatives
- Offer remote team building and brainstorming activities
- Monetize courses and presentations
- Certify users or employees
- Modernize current training or learning and development tasks through gamification and social learning
- Track learner progress
While that’s a pretty extensive list, it certainly isn’t exhaustive! The way you use an LMS is up to you. Think of it as a blank canvas, and you’re the artist. You can utilize the tools available to create your customized vision for learning and development.
Components of Learning Management Systems
Like any software, there are key learning management system components that make an LMS what it is.
The two components that make up an LMS are:
- Learner Interface (what users who are participating in the training see)
- Administrator Interface (what the person creating and administering the course sees)
For learners, the interface is all about viewing course content, registering for events and courses, submitting quizzes, and tracking their progress. On the flip side, the administrator interface is where the courses are created and (you guessed it) administered. This can include building quizzes, uploading course content, monitoring learner progress, and tracking registrations and fees for an upcoming event.
As you can see, the way you experience an LMS depends on which role you are in. The table below outlines features versus the components of a learning management system, and how they differ.
Feature of LMS
Upload course material, make changes to content, create quizzes and assignments.
Access course materials and see how they are progressing. It’s also where they take their tests, quizzes, and submit assignments.
Virtual Classroom and Meeting Spaces
Facilitate recurring meetings and classrooms, as well as host breakout sessions and presentations. Track attendance after a class has finished.
Chat with other learners, watch a class and share reactions and questions in real-time.
Event Calendars and Registration
Create events and manage their attendance, fees collected and pre-entry required learning.
Pay event entry fees and view event information in multiple formats.
Progress and Reporting
View and create reports for transactions, events, course progress by groups or individuals, and check on learners’ success.
See your personal progress, view badges you have earned, and see where they stand on the leaderboard with other learners.
What Does a Learning Management System Do
Now that you know what is an LMS and how is it used by organizations, we’ve got more to cover and you might have one important question on your mind:
What does an LMS do, exactly?
While there are many examples of LMS, each one you encounter will offer unique features and benefits, most learning management systems offer you a few key functions:
- Create online training and course material
- Host and deliver training modules to your employees or users
- Track attendance, progress, and participation of users
- Report on the performance of users
- Manage certificates and transcripts of users
As you can see, the sky's the limit when it comes to using an LMS for your company. Choosing an LMS like Tovuti can put these functions and more in your back pocket.
5 Signs You Need an LMS
Engaging, effective training for employees in an organization of any size can be a challenge. You need the right tools to get the job done. Tools like an LMS.
You already know what an LMS system is, so let’s take a look at the signs that it’s time to bring one into your learning and development toolkit.
Sign #1: Your Training Resources Are Scattered
Like we said, executing good training for your team isn’t always easy. You can have the best plans and ideas, but if you don’t have what you need to get the job done right, learning and development can be time-consuming and stressful tasks to execute.
Something that plagues many organizations is disorganization around training materials. You may have PowerPoints stored on a myriad of USB drives, plus videos on DVDs and online, and maybe even some quizzes you can only seem to find as a paper copy laying around the office.
Just writing that sounds stressful! Let alone trying to share that scattered information with your employees in an effective, easy-to-understand manner.
An LMS offers you the ability to:
- Store all course materials in one location.
- Easily update courses as materials change.
- Administer consistent courses across the organization.
- Manage user transcripts and track progress.
Combatting training resource fragmentation by centralizing it all in an LMS is one way to make sure employees are getting the benefits of professional development and training regularly.
Sign #2: You Can’t Track Training
Assigning your employees training is one thing, but seeing how they progress and how they perform is another.
In traditional training settings, you have to have someone to not only facilitate the training itself, but the tracking, marking, and recording of employee progress, too. That can take up a lot of time and valuable resources. And with the average employee taking in 55.4 hours of training per year, that’s plenty of training time to keep track of.
With an LMS, you can make sure you can check attendance, automate reports, track the progress of users, and store transcripts with ease. Powerful reporting can give you insights into what’s working for your audience, and what isn’t. All of that with a few clicks, rather than hours of manual labor. Plus, an LMS will give your audience the ability to participate in a social learning environment and see how others are progressing on the leaderboard.
Sign #3: You Need to Train Remotely
Working remotely has certainly been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and it looks like we won’t be heading back to the office in droves down the road, either.
Over 40 million people in the US expect to have roles that are fully remote in the next five years according to a 2021 survey. That projection increased by about 5% from the last survey in 2020.
So having a virtual tool kit in your back pocket that allows you to create engaging learning content is paramount to remote training and learning now and in the future.
But where do you invest your time and money?
An LMS, of course!
By using an LMS, you can offer engaging virtual training for remote employees.
Sign #4: Employees Aren’t Engaged in the Training Process
You spend hours creating great content to train your audience. You create fun presentations and videos, but you just can’t seem to get people excited about learning and development.
Maybe you’ve been here, or maybe you have just wondered if your employees really get anything out of your professional development time. Either way, you need to make sure the time you’re investing in employee learning is worth it.
The trick to getting buy-in from your employees is simply to take them from observer to participant with interactive features throughout the training. Gamification, or the use of video game elements and principles in non-gaming contexts, is one way to increase interaction.
While the term has only become a buzzword in the last decade or so, gamification is a simple concept that has been shown to be effective in everything from education to the corporate world.
In a survey where employees were asked about gamification, it was found that gamification made people more motivated. It found 83% of employees who completed gamified training felt motivated. In contrast, 61% of employees receiving training without gamification felt unmotivated, distracted and bored while completing training.
Based on those numbers, it’s no surprise many businesses are embracing gamified features of an LMS such as:
Each of these features offers your audience the opportunity to interact with the content, as well as with each other, and fosters a social learning environment beneficial to the participant and administrator alike.
Sign #5: You Need Industry Compliance
Did you know that each year, companies in the US lose $14.82 million to non-compliance issues?
That’s a lot of money and a lot of mistakes.
In specific industries like finance, healthcare, and human resources, there are compliance requirements for employee training and professional standards that can be a challenge to manage for small and large organizations alike. In order to avoid losing out, and facing non-compliance issues (and costs), you need to provide the right training for your employees.
An LMS allows administrators to not only get compliance training to employees efficiently and consistently but also to:
- Manage their employee’s certifications
- Track training time
- Easily update course content to reflect regulatory changes
- Quickly report on overall compliance training if needed
Benefits of LMS by Key Industry
With some learning management system basics under our belt, we know it’s not a matter of if organizations in varying industries benefit from an LMS, but how they benefit.
And though the objectives of learning management system implementation can be similar from industry to industry, the specific benefits can depend on what kind of business you’re in.
Training is extremely essential to healthcare workers, but actually administering that training to employees can be exceptionally difficult due to challenging hours and long shifts.
Using an LMS gives you the ability to offer flexible access to training modules and classes for healthcare workers. That way, your employees can check into training at a time that suits them.
Additional benefits of using an LMS for healthcare include:
- Easy compliance management: Stores information and training documents securely, yet easily accessible for later on if compliance checks are needed.
- Communicate updates with ease: Keeps your employees informed about regulatory changes they need to be aware of and you can easily modify training in a changing environment.
In the tech sector, where businesses grow rapidly and often have employees spread across the country, you want to ensure that training reaches each and every employee with consistency and ease.
An LMS can do that and benefit a technology business in the following ways:
- Allows remote employees to access high-quality training: A recent survey found that tech workers who have gone remote due to COVID-19 have the desire to keep it that way, with 95% of surveyed employees who have the option to work remote permanently planning to do so. Remote is the present and future, so getting good, engaging training to employees will only become more important.
- Scalable alongside the growth of your company: Tech businesses are known for their rocket-like trajectories, and that’s not just a trope. A study found that tech businesses need to grow at a rate greater than 20% per year in order to avoid failure. That means a lot of changes to communicate, and furthermore, a lot of employees to train.
- Helps improve retention: With a turnover rate of over 13%, it’s no surprise that retention is at the top of the list for tech companies. Thankfully, research points to implementing solid learning and development to keep employees happy and motivated. LinkedIn found that 94% of employees say they would stay with a company longer if the organization invested in their learning and growth.
From the highest office in the country to the lowest, governments can benefit from using an LMS.
When you gather employees together for traditional training, you incur labor costs, transportation costs, catering costs, and of course, the productivity cost of employees being away from the office.
By using an LMS to execute government training, you create cost savings. With no in-person training and fewer company resources needing to be tapped, you can get great training to employees without the hassle of hosting a physical training session.
Additionally, using an LMS is secure and safe, so sensitive information and data can stay private and employee training records can be stored safely, which is often a concern for government organizations.
The cherry on top of the LMS sundae is that you can get consistent training to all employees in the organization, no matter how far they are dispersed geographically. That way, you know every member of your team, far and wide, is getting the same level of training.
One final group of people who can benefit from using an LMS are human resources professionals.
HR professionals are often striving towards goals that can be transformational to the organization. Their work impacts the success of employees at every level.
Implementing an LMS can help HR professionals achieve those goals, such as:
- Keeping up with industry compliance requirements
- Creating learning and development consistent across the organization
- Managing successful new hire onboarding
- Monitoring employee participation in company events and meetings
Common LMS Challenges & Solutions
We wish we could tell you all LMS platforms are created equal, but that’s just not the case. You may already have an LMS system in place and aren’t getting the benefits out of it you know you should be.
Challenges stemming from implementing the wrong LMS are common, so you’re not alone.
Common problems companies face when implementing and using an LMS include:
- The LMS you’re using is hard to update.
- Your existing training isn’t adaptable to your LMS, such as having a partial or complete library of training materials that can’t be uploaded to the platform.
- It is too time-consuming to implement an LMS so it never gets done.
- The interface of your LMS isn’t user-friendly or easy to navigate.
- The LMS you chose doesn’t offer video conferencing or meetings.
The trick to solving these challenges? Finding a robust, easy-to-use, modern LMS like Tovuti.
What Is an LMS Platform?
An LMS platform like Tovuti is a type of online learning platform where businesses and organizations store and administer eLearning content and training to their audience. An audience can be students, employees, or members of the public.
Where Can I Get Learning Management System (LMS) Fundamentals?
If you’re trying to learn everything there is to know about our LMS platform, Tovuti offers a knowledge base that can help you answer the questions you or your team has with helpful videos and articles explaining our features and how to use them.
What Is LMS Training?
If you’re wondering what is LMS training, the good news is that you’ve probably already completed some training via this kind of platform before! LMS training is simply learning or training you have completed using an online platform.
When it comes down to it, an LMS is a tool. The ways in which you can use to create, administer, track and report on online learning from your audience are practically limitless.
There are also key benefits to implementing an LMS that can make life easier for professionals in all industries, as well as improve the quality of training you offer employees.
No matter how you look at it, companies who don’t implement an LMS for training are missing out, and will only continue to fall behind as time progresses, losing time, employees, and money along the way.
So if you’re ready to lay the first stone in your organization’s LMS path, it’s time to watch our demo so we can share how our software helps businesses like yours take learning to the next level.