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With traditional training having taken a major leap towards going digital, there are several new terms doing the rounds in this space, enough to confuse many. Two of the emerging technologies that are doing the rounds in the online learning space are content management system (CMS) and learning management system (LMS).
To successfully streamline your courses and training programs, it’s important to understand the difference between LMS and CMS and where each tool is to be used. In fact, when you are doing a content management system and learning management system comparison, it’s not hard to understand their unique features. In this quick guide, we break down the similarities and the differences.
But before moving on, let’s first understand what the two terms mean:
What is a Learning Management System (LMS)?
An LMS is a platform which stores all e-learning courses and training materials in the form of a centralized learning hub. It’s a combined solution which helps to organise your learning process, reduces the time to create courses, and helps the courses to reach out to a wider audience. It also has options to present the content in different formats as well as make it interactive to make the learning experience fun. The learning can be also gamified in the form of quizzes with options to track and measure the progress of the participants too.
Popular LMS Software
Some of the most popular LMS software are:
- Adobe Captivate Prime
- AlphaLearn LMS
- SAP Litmos LMS
- Features of LMS and CMS
What is a Content Management System (CMS)?
A CMS is a software that helps users create, update, and manage content on a website without the requirement of any technical expertise. In simple words, a CMS helps you to build a website without you needing to write code from scratch. This is because the CMS handles all the infrastructure for creating and designing beautiful-looking web pages, storing images, and writing blogs. A CMS is not just helpful for you in building websites but also for other functions such as document management.
Popular CMS Software
Some of the most popular CMS software are:
Content Management System Vs Learning Management System
There are some inherent similarities and differences between an LMS and a CMS. Let’s look at a CMS and LMS comparison to understand the two software better.
Benefits of CMS
A CMS can help you with several things such as:
Store all information in a single platform
– Helps you to reduce paperwork and keep all your information in one place. This makes it easier to keep a track of everything since there is just one data to work on.
Integrate with your website
– If you already have a website, your CMS should integrate with it seamlessly. This helps in saving time and human effort and reducing the chances of any errors in uploading content.
Assign Resources and Experts
– The function of a CMS is not just limited to store content but also to provide options to assign resources, classrooms, and experts to the courses so that all information are in one place.
Benefits of LMS
An LMS can help you with the following:
– LMS makes e-learning possible through which your courses can reach students in different geographical locations and time zones. Moreover, it also makes it possible for students to access the content whenever it’s convenient and also to stay updated with the course contents even if they are not able to attend the courses full-time.
Track Progress of Students
– An LMS also gives you the option to keep track of your students progress on the courses. You can get information on each of their performance and measure the effectiveness of your courses.
Reduces the Time and Cost of Training
– An LMS can also help reduce the time and costs of learning and development by doing away with the need for students and experts to physically travel to the training location and spend cumbersome hours consuming the content.
When to use a CMS?
A CMS can be used when the intent is to provide passive learning. Learning via a CMS is similar to reading a blog or watching a video on a website. There is no possibility for any interaction with the content. Thus the platform is perfect for simple training topics and on-site workshops. A CMS is helpful in storing one version of files which can allow you to make as many updates as you want and have all of them incorporated in one place.
When to use an LMS?
LMS is a great tool to train your employees online since it comes with a lot of interactive features. These features make the learning process fun and also provide employees with the option to engage with the content. This helps in achieving more engagement and course completion rates. It especially works for large companies which have lots of employees spread around various locations. It acts as a unified learning platform for all and also helps in providing company training reports.
Similarities between a CMS and an LMS
It’s okay to be confused between the two terms – CMS and LMS. A good way to understand both of them is to realise that there are similarities between them. Some of the common similarities between a CMS and an LMS are:
- Both of them deliver online content
- Both of them allow multiple users and offer multiple permissions
- Both of them feature reporting features
Differences between a CMS and an LMS
There are several differences between a CMS and an LMS from both an employee and a trainer point of view.
From an employee point of view:
- CMS can be for both online and offline learning but LMS is only for online learning
- LMS contains a lot of interactive features whereas a CMS is mostly for passive learning
- Learning on an LMS is far more engaging than on a CMS
From a trainer point of view:
- A CMS can be deployed faster than an LMS since it’s a simpler system
- There are several design limitations in case of a CMS owing to its simplicity
- The reporting offered by a CMS is not as detailed as that of an LMS.
Features of an LMS and a CMS
The best way to make a CMS and LMS comparison is by comparing their features. The table offers us a comparative study of the features of both software.
|Key User||Content Author/Host||Learner|
|Content Access Levels||Yes||Yes|
|Content Use||No, only by site visitors||Yes|
|Track Users||No, only by content author||Yes, by individuals & groups|
|Share User Data||No||Yes|
|Update Content Easily||Small site changes only||Yes|
The Evolution of LCMS
Since the functions of LMS and CMS overlap quite a lot, a new platform known as the Learning Content Management System (LCMS) has come into the picture. In simple words, an LCMS is a platform where you can create, upload, and manage digital training content. It takes care of the entire process of e-learning, right from creation to delivery.
LCMS and LMS have a lot in common but there are also fundamental differences between the two. The two essential differences between LCMSs and LMSs are:
Type of learning
– An LCMS focuses mainly on digital learning content while an LMS manages a diverse range of learning experiences, including traditional forms of learning and training such as face-to-face classroom training.
– Since LMSs help manage different types of learning experiences, they’re not always on the same platform. However, in the case of an LCMS, the creation and delivery of content happens on the same platform.
To know what to choose for your business, you need to understand your specific needs. To know if LCMS will work for your business needs, you need to understand what LCMS has to offer:
Create courses and training materials in-house
Pay for just one tool instead of two for creating and delivering your content
Efficient workflow to reduce the time spent in creating e-learning content
Analytics on how learners interact with the content
Tracking through API rather than SCORM
Secure log-in system
Here are the features that set apart LCMS as the ideal tool that blends the features of both LMSs and CMSs:
Modern and Responsive Design
– An LCMS helps you to create content that is adaptive to all devices. By optimising the content for all devices, it ensures that you can access the content from anywhere on any device.
– Cloud-based LCMSs act as a seamless platform that supports you right from creation to the delivery process. It helps create efficient workflows with features such as visual libraries, asset libraries, course management, and collaboration.
Publishing and Logins
– LCMSs help you to publish your content not only as a SCORM file but also offers features such as API integrations, URL links, etc. It also offers options for domain-protected log-ins and offline releases.
– The LCMS dashboard has plenty of options that provide a lot of data to help you measure and analyse whatever aspect of the training you need.
CMS and LMS can be confusing concepts when looked at separately but they work together and their features interlap to provide you with a seamless learning experience. With the arrival of LCMS, the process has become even easier. Combining the features of both LMS and CMS in it, LCMS offers a smooth workflow and one single platform for both content creation and delivery.