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An introduction to LMS systems
The term Learning Management System (LMS) has been doing the rounds quite a lot nowadays, and with good reason too. LMS platforms have played a huge role in disrupting the learning environment. But before going into anything else, let’s start by defining an LMS first.
An LMS is an amalgamation of two words – learning and management – where learning refers to delivering courses and training programs whereas management refers to organising these courses and content in a manner that makes it easy for learners to consume it.
The diversity of its functions and application depends on the objectives of the organisation, the strategy for e-learning adopted, and the desired results expected. However, the most common function for an LMS is to deliver and track e-learning courses.
An LMS helps trainers upload all of their training materials in one place so that it can be accessed remotely by everyone. Some LMS software also has built-in tools for developing the materials without the use of third-party software. So basically, LMS systems are huge repositories of courses and training using which you can access and track your companies L&D (Learning and Development) initiatives.
In all of this, one thing is apparent; there are two types of users for learning management system software – one are the users accessing the courses, and second are the ones deliver and updating the training content, the trainers themselves.
Who is the target audience for LMS software?
Online learning management systems can be used by both educational institutions and companies alike. For example, businesses can utilise online training resources for their sales channels and customer service as well. However, before you plan to deploy an LMS, it’s important to lay down your organisational and training objectives from beforehand. For example, some may focus on support and customer service training while some may focus on sales training.
The typical target audience for LMS software includes:
- Large companies – LMS software can be used by large organisations to keep track of all their employees’ growth and learning efforts. It can also help create standardized content for employees across the globe, helping create a universal culture across geographies.
- Small and medium businesses (SMBs) – LMS can help small and medium businesses by reducing their need for human resources in terms of training staff. It also ensures that a common repository of knowledge is maintained irrespective of employee attrition.
- Freelancers – LMS software is also suitable for freelancers to help them to deliver projects on time to their clients. The collaboration tools that come with the software can also help them to work alone or with a remotely collaborate with client teams.
Benefits of using LMS for corporate training
LMS software transforms your entire approach into data-driven one and can help your business gather data on skill gaps and leverage team insights.
Here’s taking a look at all the benefits:
- Accessibility – Every company or business has some facility kept for training. It’s important for your employees to keep on updating their knowledge and skills, for your customers to have simplified demos on how to use your products and services, and for your distributors to know about the offers for your company. Over a period of time, there will be a lot of changes and updates in your business. It may seem like an overwhelming task to get everyone under one roof and update them. This is, of course, not taking into account the costs of flying people into the venue of training as well as the costs of hiring a place. The organisational power of LMS can easily resolve this problem quite easily. The fact that all training content will be available to all remotely is a perfect solution to the problem of logistics.
- Standardisation – Although there are several pros of face to face training, however, the cons are pretty significant. For example, not everyone has the same level of knowledge, so some people may be bored as they’ll know many of the things. Again, there may be others who may not be able to keep up with the training. This is what e-learning resolves. Training content on LMS systems can be accessed by people at their own speed, it makes training more personalised and suited to each one’s learning curves. One thing this definitely helps solve is to reduce the embarrassment of people to disclose that they may be lagging behind. In the case of an LMS, they can just repeat the sessions until they understand without any cause for embarrassment.
- Content Production – The effectiveness of LMS lies in delivering content smartly and making it convenient for the user consuming it. The beauty of LMS software lies in the fact that they make the content production process extremely easy. Online LMS systems can help trainers create courses with ease and the content authoring tools on these platforms reduce the dependency on graphic designers and developers. LMSs also help in effective content curation as they can quickly curate and organize content from external links, YouTube, and SlideShare as well.
- Individual Learning Paths – The overall training quality
increases when the organisation determines the department, role, previous performance records, skill gaps, and career progression of employees and factors them in while creating training content. Online learning management systems help track the learning journey of employees to ensure that they are on the lines of the company objectives. It also helps to track the ROI from the training since the growth from the training can be exactly measured.
- Analytics – An LMS can provide excellent insights on the ROI/ need for training to the Human Resource team and management. LMS systems can help keep a record of your performance and also update you on your present performance levels within the company. Thus the software helps paint an accurate picture of the training needs of your company.
Deploying an LMS: Cloud v/s On premise
The following are some of the deployment options for an Online Learning Management System:
These LMS platforms can be hosted on the cloud. Here, the vendor takes care of the system maintenance, technology upgrades and updates. As organisations don’t have to install any software, they can get started as soon as possible.
Your LMS vendor may direct you to download it from their site or offer you software discs. With self-hosted LMS platforms, you get greater creative control and customisation. But the system will require IT know-how.
Desktop or mobile applications
Learning Management Systems can be installed and accessed from multiple devices, including mobile devices. This makes it easy for the entire eLearning team to collaborate and track training initiatives on the go.
Cloud-based Learning Management System v/s Self-hosted: Which one to choose?
Cloud-based learning management systems are getting more and more popular as organisations can start using them right away without having to install anything on their computers or web servers.
A cloud-based LMS is easier to use as the vendor offers support for the systems, and you don’t have to worry about its ongoing maintenance. With a self-hosted LMS, you have to focus on everything, including software installation, management and integration of add-ons and upgrades.
The following are some of the pros of choosing a cloud-based LMS over a self-hosted LMS.
- Enhanced security features – A cloud LMS offers a secure platform. You can get these security features on your own, but you have to pay extra for them and invest time learning about security.
- Lower learning curve – As most of the management is done by the vendor, adopting a cloud-based LMS is quite easy. Any update to the software or system upgrades is carried out by the vendor as well.
- Easy to set-up – Using a cloud LMS lets you set up your course almost instantly. Even if you get a fast set-up with some self-hosted LMS, you might still have to spend time finding a good theme, adjusting it or uploading the content.
- Unlimited content – Cloud learning management systems usually don’t have a limit on content addition. You can upload unlimited content, including video content as well.
- Scalable bandwidth – At times, organisations face the problems of service outages when the number of users on their server increase. Such problems can make the user experience go sour. But, that’s not the case with a cloud LMS. They can always autoscale your bandwidth depending on the number of users.
Why choose AlphaLearn?
Moving your corporate training from the classroom to the cloud has many advantages. Reduction in travel costs, learners access to training resources in their moment of need, cost reduction of training material, no need for on-site instructors and increased employee engagement are just a few of the benefits you can expect from a Cloud-based Learning Management System.
However, due to the wide range of Cloud LMS options, selecting the right one can be a big challenge. If you’re on the lookout for an LMS platform, you may want to consider AlphaLearn, one of the best Cloud-Based Learning Management System (LMS) for Corporate Training in India.
AlphaLearn is an affordable cloud-based learning management system and its pricing is based on an Enrolled User Model. AlphaLearn LMS has been adopted by MNCs and top startups alike for their corporate training needs. It is primarily used to centralise, deploy and measure learning activities, but is not limited to them.
It supports a variety of internal and external corporate use cases that include:
Onboarding and orientation of new employees is an important task. Using a business LMS can automate the process and make it easy to handle. After they get a tour around the office, they can go through the relevant materials regarding the company’s history, the message from the CEO, employee conduct code, their roles and responsibilities, career opportunities and benefits, etc.
Personalised employee training
With the help of an LMS, employees can be assigned personalised learning paths or training resources. This ensures that everyone receives training based on their job roles, learning goals and other criteria.
Knowledge retention programs
It is essential to train your employees and learn from them as well. Sometimes, valuable information just stays in some document management system, where nobody checks. With knowledge retention programs, LMS makes it possible to make the valuable skills, techniques and information accessible to everyone within your company when your employees leave or retire.