learning management system, online learning, elearning, learning portal

How Does a Learning Management System Work?

A Learning Management System, also abbreviated as LMS, is quite a frequent term when it comes to tip sheets, online learning/courses, MOOCs, and so on.. The functionality of LMS is, however, not just limited to Academia, but can also be used by the corporate sector, as well as by SMEs to impart training, managing organization’s learning and development needs, or to track any online initiatives.

The basic functionality of LMS revolves around sharing resources or assets online through a common medium, which can be made accessible to authorized users or members of a department/organization. Even some of the advanced LMS are equipped with training material development tools that allow you to create materials from scratch without consulting any third-party software or services.

Related: How to work effectively in a virtual team?

Types of Learning Management System

On a broader view, LMS can be divided into types based upon the mutual comparison, as mentioned below:

1. Free Vs Commercial

A free LMS allows you to build basic learning content for your students or followers. Some free LMS offer advanced features as well. Whereas, a commercial LMS is used by large organizations or academia and has different price tags for each advanced level and features.

2. Enterprise Vs Individual

Enterprise-level of LMS is usually employed by big corporations and multinational giants to train employees at a mass level. This system is often equipped with advanced features and technical support. Whereas, the individual LMS is often used by SMEs or individuals with limited features. It comes with a variable price tag list so that people can choose the package as per the requirement.

3. SaaS Vs Licensed Products

SaaS is an easy-to-deploy system and is usually a cloud-based system, often accompanies by frequent updates. It is great for those organizations which are growing over time and often require technical support. Whereas a licensed LMS often offers a great level of customization and it can even be supported by a cloud server. It is quite useful for those organizations which need it for a long period.

4. Built-in Authoring Tools Vs Pre-Written CMS

This allows you to access the authoring tools that can help you create course content over time. A number of modules can also be integrated later on. Whereas in the pre-written Content Management System, several project documentation and learning material can be stored. However, it is not a substitute for an LMS and can contain pre-requisite material before the inaugural of the actual learning content.

5. Cloud-based Vs On-premises

A cloud-based LMS often comprises a secure off-site server and can be accessed via different electronic gadgets. And its scalability is quite easier. Whereas, in on-premises LMS, it is often a licensed product and specific to an organization or academia. Moreover, it may require several servers before it can deliver the results.

Read more: 5 ways to successfully start a remote job

10 Must-Have Features of a Learning Management System

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A learning management system must incorporate crucial functionalities and technical facilitation in order to provide training and education material to the learners with much ease. Some of the attributes mostly acquired by the users include:

1. User Experience

User-experience is one of the many attributes required by organizations and academia to help people quickly get familiar with the system. A great UX/UI allows the users to easily navigate through the system and become adaptable to the interface design. Hence, users can focus more on learning instead of getting frustrated and unable to find the relevant sections or buttons for uploading assignments.

A great UX/UI allows you to impart real-world knowledge better and allows them to gather the information without facing any hindrances. With better capabilities to offer, easy-to-interact-with system interface, the user-experience becomes the key necessity for a better learning experience on any LMS.

2. Content Management

Content Management System is one of the inside tools required to ensure a better learning experience. It allows both the organization or academia and the users to easily upload the digital content, both media and documents, easily to the LMS. A CMS within an LMS comes with different features, depending upon the type and size of material uploaded to the system.

Hence, a CMS can be easily tailored to the needs and the tech-support available in-house. Also, it is necessary to choose the right CMS for your LMS so that both you as an organization and users can easily comprehend the system functionalities.

3. Integration

Integration is one of the main concerns when it comes to a robust LMS. An integrated LMS allows you to integrate a number of functionalities within your system. If you are an enterprise that offers training courses online through CMS, then you need to have integrated many functionalities within your LMS, such as payments, user accounts, forms, emails, instant messaging, to name a few.

For better integration and learning experience, the users must update to the latest version from time to time, as organizations tend to add new features from time to time.

4. Blended Learning Support

Content Management System is one of the inside tools required to ensure a better learning experience. It allows both the organization or academia and the users to easily upload the digital content, both media and documents, easily to the LMS. A CMS within an LMS comes with different features, depending upon the type and size of material uploaded to the system.

Hence, a CMS can be easily tailored to the needs and the tech-support available in-house. Also, it is necessary to choose the right CMS for your LMS so that both you as an organization and users can easily comprehend the system functionalities.

5. Mobile Learning Support

An LMS must be flexible enough to be able to come up with new innovative solutions. Hence, to incorporate mobility, Mobile Learning Support is necessary to support learning while a user is on the move.

Due to fixed schedules, Mobile Learning System allows you to access the LMS from anywhere and hence becomes one of the flexible solutions. Therefore, this supports just-in-time support and enables continuous learning experience over time.

6. User Management

User Management is one of the desirable aspects when it comes to defining a great LMS. On the LMS, you can onboard a number of people. They can have multiple technical roles working on the system as well as teaching or training staff too.

Moreover, you may also be required to provide generic access to the public and are often subjected to copyright issues. Even you can have onboard external users as well as external governing body members, subject to the requirements.

7. Assessment and Testing Procedure

When you as an organization or academia incorporate an LMS to impart training or teach educational courses, often a proper course outline is prepared. This course outline may include a series of tests or even a final big exam.

Hence, your system must be able to receive the assessment reports from the students or trainees as well as to take online tests on the selected dates. The test can be a full-fledged exam or even just an MCQ-bases questionnaire, which can be further made capable to display results later on or instantly respectively.

8. Reporting and Tracking

As an organization, you may be required to use an LMS to receive and share reports within an organizational hierarchy. Here, often the managers, supervisors, and subordinates work together to make the system running smoothly. Hence, you can assign different employees different tasks with deadlines and can track as well as receive reports through this system. 

Our LMS platform also allows you to send or accept payments online, directly or through third-parties payment integration. Onboarding/ trustable payment gateways build further credibility of the platform, plus ensures the safety of your payment.

9. Security

Security is one of the most required features in any LMS to keep the data safe and secure from unethical hackers and cyber-attacks. You must have a proper IP blocker to block the access of unauthorized IP addresses as well as must have an advanced password authentication.

Moreover, you can have domain or MAC address-based registrations, as well as anti-spam and anti-virus systems installed. Moreover, you must have proper data encryption as well as backup storage in case of any emergency and mishap.

Benefits of Colaraz eLearning: Learning Management System

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Though Colaraz eLearning incorporates a number of benefits, due to which it is highly recommended. It gives you proper flexibility and freedom over your choice of system. Some of the top-5 benefits are as below:

  • Organizes Content in One Location: Colaraz eLearning allows you to store course data and organization files on the system. Hence, it allows you to keep important data and be able to share with other people easily as required.
  • Access to CMS: As an organization or academia, you can allow the students or employees to access the content on the system. As per the global system, one can access materials under different time zones
  • Track Performance and Reports: You can use Learner’s Journey to track performance and reports of learners online with much ease.
  • Reduced Learning and Development Costs & Time: It is one of the systems which allow you to reduce online training times, cut venue costs, and other related expenses. Rather than, the training material can be available to the masses and they can access them whenever they want.
  • Quickly Expand Learning Courses: With the help of LMS, one can expand the eLearning material easily online. All you have to do is to log in to the system, add resources, and share the news with all the employees

COVID-19 and the Future of eLearning

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Due to the COVID’19 lockdown, the Learning Management System has come to the rescue of many organizations. Many academia and organizations had to close or minimize their operations across the globe and had to employ LMS to carry out the operations online. Several universities are conducting classes online and are sharing the learning content through the LMS system.

From multi-national organizations to SMEs, all are employing LMS to virtually coordinate on day-to-day operations as well as to track employee performance. Hence, LMS is one of the authentic and widely used systems to ensure smooth operations under this indefinite lockdown period!

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